My intent for tomorrow is to drive for four hours round trip to (hopefully) receive a blessing from Amma Sri Karunamayi. My toenails are newly painted, and the alarm is set for 4:27 in the hope of getting myself on the road (or at least to the nearest purveyor of caffeine) by 5 am & avoiding the worst of the rush hour traffic. (Is there anything disturbing ... anything at all ... about a society where coffee shops find it profitable to open at such an unholy hour?)
C (formerly known as "George") has a birthday on Friday; we're having a little hoolie on Saturday. (My delight at being reacquainted with this word is large). There is much to do in preparation, so I considered *not* making the drive to see Amma. For about five minutes. But as soon as I looked at her website again this evening, I felt drawn anew to make the journey. I keep telling myself (and others) that I am having a midlife crisis, or an existential moment of being (thanks, Virginia), so I need to walk the talk, or whatever, don't I? So the alarm is set; my white clothing is ready; and, yes, my spirit rouses a little ... after a long, dreary winter ... at the prospect of a jaunt on the morrow.
Until a few days ago, I knew nothing about this woman. There's another Indian female teacher, another Amma, (which is, after all, only the Hindi word for "mother"), aka the hugging saint, who I *had* heard of. Initially I confused the two and felt disappointed that this Amma wasn't the same as that Amma. Such silliness. As my friend J said, " ... the world needs as many manifestations of the Divine Mother as we can get!" And so I am excited to have this manifestation to look forward to.
A joy to me in all of this is the fact that I learned of each of these Ammas from two especially dear friends. Several months ago, J shared information with me about the "first" Amma; and now my friend A has told me about her recent blessing from the "second" Amma. I've "known" A & J for perhaps a year, maybe two; the quotes are because we've never met face-to-face, even though we've shared many cyber conversations of intimacy & hilarity, the three of us. We all participated for a time in a Yahoo! group intended to foster spirituality and sisterhood. Sadly, the experience fell far short of the mark for me, but even in disaster there are gifts.
To me, J & A are delights that I carried with me from a painful experience. And I continue to profit from their association on Facebook, a venue (?!) about which I remain conflicted. I love to play word games and keep up, generally speaking, with my friends, but Facebook is turning out to be a frighteningly efficient time-suck in a life already marked by too many temporal challenges.
Anyway, I am grateful to my friends, past & present, and to all the Ammas in the world. My hopes are high for tomorrow.