The normal thing used to be to carry a book somewhere, in a book-bag, a satchel, a backpack, a briefcase. You get there and take it out, order an Earl Grey with steamed milk or fasten a seatbelt, and open into new worlds, riding the author’s stream of words. Things have changed for me. Now my book is carrying me places. A couple of weeks ago it took me to Hawaii, now we travel to the east side of the Rockies. Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins….
Gayan started it by mentioning his fiftieth birthday bash on February 16th. Why didn’t I come? SF to Denver tickets were on sale… After this came up a few times I called my long-time friend Janet, who lives in Boulder… Janet wrote to a faculty member at Naropa University, who invited me to come present at his class. He said the timing was perfect! I have to say this is a dream gig for me, since I have followed the Naropa “Institute” saga for decades, and considered going there when it was founded, the year my husband Shabda and I met. It is named after a Tibetan sage, a fact which I love. What could be more unusual than blending the fragrances of Buddha Dharma with Prophet Muhammad’s ideals? What if the great Tibetan woman master, Yeshe Tsogyal had tea with Fatima, daughter of Muhammad? Didn’t they both work toward awakening? The founder, Chogyam Trunpa would have enjoyed this….
Next Janan invited me to read at her gallery JANAN, Creative Arts and Gallery at 2210 St Paul Street, Denver from 4-6 on Valentine’s Day <> SEVENTH CENTURY LOVE STORIES. But Booking was not over! Fort Collins, lets see. Colorado Poet Laureate, Mary Crow was someone I had a good time with at a writing workshop in Mexico some time ago… So I wrote to her and she invited me for a visit. Gayan phoned Grace Marie, and she offered a reading at the home of a Fort Collins friend, saying she would invite several groups, including The Dances of Universal Peace family and an interfaith group. Thank you Grace! (for flyer info: http://www.kundagrace.com/special events/). Book sense here suggests a focus on an interfaith theme: “…the women from Jewish and Christian roots in the household of Prophet Muhammad and his positive view; embracing one family –– the People of the Book.”
I spoke with Reb Zalman, a legendary sage, now retired from teaching at Naropa, Visionary of Jewish renewal and advocate of inter-religious dialog. I knew him in the late seventies, when he would check on the California Sufis to see how we were doing. The book will bring me to his place as well.
And the book trip ends with a spoken word piece at Gayan’s music-jam birthday Tuesday night. Wednesday I fly home to meet Shabda who will be landing within hours from his Pilgrimage to Hazrat Inayt Khan’s URS in Delhi, India. Book-a-tee-doo-dah!