There are so many things to blob about today, I don’t know if I should talk about the weather, the family (our grandson is delicious) spirituality, or politics. Oh, let’s take a leap -- of faith and just see where this goes. As long as there was a mention of faith and it’s Christmas, let’s start there. What the heck are these political candidates thinking (talk about a leap)? There has never been a time, that I can remember, when Presidential Candidates competed for who was closer to God, who loved the baby Jesus more, and who had the best Christmas commercial. Huckabee’s “let’s be nice to each other” being more of the same, Hillary’s being so condescending and Giuliani’s being a little too much theater.
Commercials have transitioned into events, instead of sound bytes/bites. But they remain not as colorful as events (we used to call events campaign ‘hits’ which was much more descriptive – so I’ll stick with that). The Clintons and Magic Johnson did a supermarket/shopper ‘hit’ on Tuesday. It was every advanceperson’s nightmare. It seems the ex-President wandered off while Hillary and Magic were talking to a crowd imported by the campaign. (The press were supposed to be watching—you know the old photo op). Most of the media stopped listening attentively and followed Bill, leaving the press opportunity/mini-conference without any media and just a few stunned shoppers, who didn’t expect to find their supermarket encumbered by a candidate and a former basketball star. It was chaos until someone went and collected the President and brought him back to where he was supposed to be. People just running hither and thither (my mother would say like a chicken with it’s head cut off... yech). I love when this happens because it keeps a campaign in touch with reality, and illustrates that there is no way to control or predict what’s going to happen with anything political.
Speaking of reality... What is the nature of your personal reality? This is an actual question I was asked by an actual person while in San Francisco for the Democratic Convention in ‘84. No, it was not asked by a political colleague. It was asked by a friend of Pam's during a period of time when she was living in a Sufi community - she is still a Sufi but lives with her mother in a two family house in Boonton NJ. You can be a Sufi no matter who you are or where you live. There are no rules in the spiritual approach to the universe in which we are a part-but not a very big part.
After the Udall campaign ended in 1976, I was having a difficult time and needed a place to find peace—and maybe myself. It’s unclear how this happened, since we didn’t have cell phones and Pam lived in a Sufi commune, in a geodesic dome, in the middle of a forest in Woodstock NY, but we connected. (It was the real Woodstock, but by then they had picked up the trash so it was both magical and pristine). She invited me to bring Seth and visit with her for a few days, to join in the music, dance and ongoing spiritual conversation. It was both relaxing and reinvigorating. Talk about culture shock and personal reality. I had been 24/7 darting around the country, never stopping to have a thought about anything but trying to elect a President, while these lovely free thinking people had been thinking about they fit into the universe. Talk about feeling small.
Anyway, we had a blissful time. Seth danced with the Sufis and sang “Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” non stop for days. We spent all our time just having time to be together and “lay back’. It was more than wonderful—it was mystical. Unfortunately, when we returned home I packed to go back on the road for the general election -- that was big part of my personal reality. And so the saga goes on, but it wasn’t until 1984 that I was confronted once again with any questions about my personal reality.
When Pam’s friend asked me the question, I think I gave him some smart ass answer, as would have been my style. I didn’t know how to, or want to, answer that question. I didn’t even know what it meant. I had nature and personal and even reality, but not all combined. A few days ago Pam asked if I remembered when the question was posed. And I did remember, but I hadn’t thought about it for years. And now, when I might reflect, I have to go have breakfast with good friends, go to the fitness club, develop strategy for my book “So You Think You Can Be President” (don’t forget) and finish our Christmas cards – Hey, I find that the nature of my personal reality has not changed much in the last 30 years. We’re just sayin...Iris