Everything is going to change next week or the week after. I have no doubt that is true. For the Sufi there is a kind of elevator that you are in and every now and then it changes floors unexpectedly. Once I was at a sacred place on the white-washed hillside above Fez, Morocco, bathing in the atmosphere of a saint from centuries ago, when all-at-once I felt as though a large energy filled me and wished me to reach out and touch and empower my fellow travelers. When I felt like myself again, I was different, but my knowing Sufi guide and companion whispered to me, don’t think about it, just let it go. Wise words, because the western mind is always trying to understand stuff, bring experience into something we can examine. There is the human mystery known as labor and birth.. Afterwards, it’s like trying to fit into your 10-year-old shoes when you are 20. Time has marked you. You are on another floor and the elevator door is open and you walk out with your mind blank, changed from the woman who stepped into that “lift,” as they call an elevator in England. A painting can do that. Vermeer’s The Geographer, shows a man, bent over a book and a chart holding a compass. He’s lost in some geographical place or calculation, perhaps inside the flat world with the vanishing edge where boats disappeared… and that mood matches a cool filtered light which enters the painting through the lattice of clear window glass, then falls on the floor and the globe behind him. Great art can put you there, if you are lucky. Step out of the museum washed in that light.
When my son, Ammon, and his beautiful wife Laura become parents for the first time – very soon–I will enter new light. So they say. In the mean time I am suspended like the geographer; I’m not exactly in the room with the compass and globe, and not quite at some imagined location in his vision. My life will change as when the elevator door opens. I will be a grandmother. My arms will hold a baby and my house will become a grandparent’s house. This is all a normal thing, they tell me; gates across the stairs, child-proof locks, weight training for lifting. I’m impatient. What will the eyesof my granddaughter see when she looks at me? What will I see in her face? Like all great mysteries, this unseen land will be charted and I will set foot there. There will be a name. And celebration. Oh, yes!