I probably should take a step back and tell you more about myself. Many of the details of my daily life that I have described in these chapters are not easily apparent to most people. If someone happened to meet me, they might sense something unusual, but they likely would ignore it.
I am a mystic. I have been one since I was young. I was a prayerful kid and developed an early devotion to the Eucharist. I was always aware of the active, dynamic whirl of color and life that marks spiritual presence. I took this experience for granted and only gradually became aware that most people ignored the spiritual around them while I accepted it. I knew at times that many of the people in my life like my Mom and Dad sensed it, but they responded to it without full recognition.
In adolescence, I realized that what I felt and heard and thought was unusual and that realization became part of my struggle to understand my identity in my personal development. One of the main things I had going for me was my imagination. I could make connections between what I read, what I heard from teachers, my own experience and shape it in an imaginative way to keep a healthy perspective. Going along with a moment of spiritual interaction was like acting out a story.
One of my oldest memories was playing with my Viewmaster stage. A Viewmaster came in different models. One was a hand model in which you put a circular collection of pictures that you could watch like wearing binoculars. The device I had was projection device that projected the pictures on a screen. I was lucky because I had a little stage that surrounded my screen. I remember looking at the stage and seeing a little version of me signaling me to come and act out a story. Years later I realized that figure was the Holy Spirit calling me into my life in theatre. I have acted and directed plays throughout my whole life both in the regular world and the spiritual one.
I also took seriously the idea of having a spiritual advisor to run my thoughts by. Some of them fled out of the room when I tried to relate my experiences. Other accepted the idea that I was an imaginative guy and helped me to be cautious. Caution with spiritual awareness is a healthy skill or human nature would take the experience and turn it into something strange. Example, a person can have a spiritual sense of God’s presence while eating a banana and then try to form a religion around eating bananas. Later on when one of my best advisers died, he told me as he went to Heaven that he was shocked to see that what I told him was true. He hadn’t actually believed me, but he somehow had trusted me.
I will tell you more about my life as a mystic as this book unfolds. When I was in college, I made my main goal in life to be an active mystic like Teresa of Avila. Trying to do that gave me many good and sometime silly experiences, but the experience makes for good storytelling.
Another important factor of my life is that I have had two partners who are my best friends and extended family. We started to work together as theater artists and have been a part of each other lives across those years. To understand this friendship, here is a conversation about the fact that I was writing about my spiritual life in this novel.
M-What will happen if people take you seriously?
P-They won’t. We can just say he has an active imagination.
M-I am not so sure. Some of them’ll think he believes all this.
Ed-That’s the fun of it.
P-He has been promising his writing would make us money for how many years?
M-Why should this be different?
Ed-It’s probably the right time now.
P-Heard that before.
M-I can always say I had no idea about all this.
E-You’re a little late for that. It isn’t that we I haven’t told people about all this.
P-I’ll deny everything. Anyway people like to pretend that you’ve forgotten all about your crazy ideas.
M-I’ll pretend that I don’t know anything about it unless, of course, it makes money.
The beauty of this friendship is that they have kept me grounded all these years.
Anyway, I can write this all down and declare that this novel is an urban fantasy (a contemporary form of literature I teach). If you should happen to read it, you don’t have to believe it even if I declare that it is all true.
As I’m writing this, my guardian angel is laughing hysterically. I’m glad that he is enjoying this. I put up with him because I’m counting on his discretion concerning keeping secret some of the details of bad judgments I have made across my life. As I type this, I don’t like the sense of his grinning at me. I can’t see him. but over time, I know I’ve become aware of his presence.
Regarding my guardian, he has been able to keep his identity hidden from me for all these years. I think he is a distant ancestor, who was involved in theater in some country or the other. He has able to go with the flow of my narrative as only an actor thinking on his feet can. With the vast amount of ancestors any individual has, a family member could have come from anywhere in anytime. Although gender is not a normal attribute of angels, I use the masculine pronouns to refer to my angel because guardian angels often are humans who have taken on some angelic duties, and my angel feels masculine.
I owe him a great deal. His hand has pulled me back from many disasters. He has tripped me up when I was running into danger. I’d tell you about some of those times, but those events are the ones I’m counting on him being discreet.
He has often comforted and consoled me. Made me aware of when I needed to do the same for others. Warned me about the insincerity of some individuals and helped me recognize the light in others.
Right now, I feel my guardian shaking his head because I have assumed that he is a man. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I am willing to put some money on it.
My daily life in the normal world will slip into this story, but most of the events I’ll describe are the ones not so obvious and hard for even me to see.