LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY WIFE, Betsy. She is a wholly remarkable human being and Awakeness is consciously alive in her. You can see it. You can feel it. You can hear it when she speaks; people are mesmerized by her voice. Animals recognize it. Even plants recognize it. God is here, moving from room to room in our home, in Hut World. Wherever She goes things are made beautiful and are restored to Wholeness. I love her more than I ever knew I could love. Sometimes I feel that I’m going to burst; that it just can’t get dialed up any more, or I’ll explode. And yet, come the next day, it is dialed up; it is more intense, more incredible. Somehow I don’t explode. She says it is the same for her and I know that it is so.
TRULY, WE ARE NOT-TWO. She is my sweet yin, and I am her devoted yang. She is all the colors of my experience, all the fragrance, all the softness. She represents all the goodness in my life.
WE WENT TO SEE a new tax accountant today, a CPA. We found out that we will shortly be facing some large accounting fees and some rather larger IRS payments. The meeting lasted an hour and a half. Both of our bodies went into overwhelm. It was like getting a full body blow from a college linebacker while having your finger stuck in an electric socket. All plans for the future were dramatically altered in those ninety minutes. Things would go unbought for a long time to come; budgets would change, plans would crash; there would be lots and lots of paperwork ahead of us. It was pretty awful.
UNTIL IT WASN’T.
IN ANOTHER NINETY MINUTES we were sitting in a Mexican restaurant laughing about the whole thing. My wife gets it. She understands loving What Is, and that it is always about right now. This, too; this too. She sees the play in action. She embraces it, all of it, but does not cling to it. She knows that what looks like her body is but part of that play, and mine as well. She and I both knew there’s nothing personal going on here. It’s all happening spontaneously to the benefit of all concerned. We don’t have to know the why of things. We both know the Who. God is taking us down to the bone again. Great. We get to consciously wake up a little more amid the fury and whimsy of What Is. We get to work out some more kinks. It’ll make us more useful; it always does. We are not in denial; we arefully engaged while being fully surrendered.
ALL IS WELL. It always is. Today is no exception. There is no exception.
I MET BETSY IN A RECOVERY MEETING about eleven years ago. Something about her drew me to her. One night I heard her talk about her little life with her books and her dogs and her cat; about a bagel and a sofa and a Saturday afternoon nap. I was toast from then on. That was the life I wanted; that was the woman for me. She had a special energy, a special aura, if you will. She had something really deep and wonderful, and magnetically attractive. And being ever the selfish agent, I wanted it, too. They’d told me to find someone who had something I wanted and then to latch onto them. I did exactly that.
SHE HAD NO WORDS for what she had; none. She had no idea how she got it. She knew she had it,whatever the hell it was, but she couldn’t define it and didn’t care. I didn’t know what it was either, not for a long time, but I could see it. I knew it was there. And slowly, story by story, touch by touch, and day by day, that Presence transformed me. You cannot live that close to that sort of primal power and not get some transmission from it. She rolled me in the rock tumbler month after month until she wore off my rougher edges and made me begin to shine, too. She set me up for awakening. From that awakening would come context and words. All of my life I was always the man with the words.
SHE HAD BEEN A FINE WOODWORKER for much of her life, a real artist in natural pine, maple and cherry. She was and is totally oriented to the natural world. The first time I went to her home, her dogs were barking like crazy behind her when she came to the door. I already knew I had to pass inspection. If I was going to win Betsy, I first had to win those dogs. I flung myself to the floor the moment she opened the door, completely open to fur and fang. I won’t tell you I wasn’t scared. They sounded like a pair of monsters. As it turns out, they were Golden Retrievers, which are about the sweetest, gentlest dogs on the planet, but all I could hear was aggressive barking and all I could see were swirling masses of red, and the white of long canines.
THE DOGS LOVED THAT I WENT STRAIGHT TO THEM, and not their mother. Betsy loved it, too. Those the dogs licked me from one end to the other, and rolled with me on the floor, and I was in. If truth be told, I think I won both dogs and woman in a single submissive roll to the floor. I was theirkind of guy. Soon we were all family, along with Robin, the boy wonder, as fine and sure a cat as ever walked this earth. When I was sick one night and day Robin crawled underneath the covers with me and stayed with me the whole time, curled right against my chest, sharing his warmth and the loving peace of his purring. He was the nature mystic’s familiar and with her power he nursed me back to health. None of those lads are with us any longer, but all are still very much alive, and still very much with us. There is nowhere else for them to go.
BETSY SHOWED ME HOW TO LOVE. I was coming off a thirty-five year drunk; it was something I desperately needed to learn. I remember that first year. I was so poor, and Betsy’s energy was so vibrant. I lived on it. I remember standing in my front yard one afternoon as she drove away. I thought, “This is the kindest, most generous person I’ve ever met in my life.” It is still just that way. Hard times came my way in a few years, as will happen when you inherit a drunk’s life. I was arrested for things that took place in my drinking years. I lived in terror of prison for 2 1/2 years. Finally I ended up going to jail for twenty-three weekends in a row. And every Monday I’d call Betsy as soon as I cleared the concertina wire, and our excitement was palpable. We would soon be together again, curled up in the soft, dark magic of our bedroom, with animals all around us.
PEOPLE WOULD FIND IT REMARKABLE that we were bursting with happiness every Monday. Didn’t you just get out of jail? What on earth is up with you two? Well, as Byron Katie says, “The best part about the past is that it’s over.” We didn’t need memory. We had the Now and the Now was and is good. Always.
BETSY WAS STRUCK SOBER. There’s no other way to put it. She didn’t do recovery in any conventional way, but she had and has the highest quality of sobriety of anyone I’ve ever known. Everybody loves Betsy. Especially me. And Betsy was struck awake, too. It just happened for her, unasked for, and even unknown afterwards. She knew something had happened, but she didn’t know what. Enter the man with the words.
To be continued…