I began my journey as a child fascinated by the mystical. I sought spiritual experience at every opportunity, but they were few and far between in my lukewarm Protestant family. Frankly, I don’t ever recall a mention of Jesus Christ on Christmas.
I became a Catholic at the age of 13, then started looking again at 15 when Catholicism no longer answered my burning questions sufficiently. My search led me through every religion they had a book about in our library until I found Hinduism. My friend Carolyn and I celebrated Krishna Day before we even knew about the International Society for Krishna Consciousness– ISKCON. Later we found an ad for Krsna Book on a box of incense. We became registered members writing to Swarup Das in L.A.
I joined the St. Louis temple in the summer of 1975. Later my family made me come back (I was underage, and first went with permission). When I turned 17 I returned to the St. Louis temple, was sent to Chicago because the women were in India, and later moved out to L.A. with the man who would become my husband, to join the temple there. (My friend Carolyn was basically deprogrammed by her family. She was forbidden to spend time in her room, talk to me, or read her Krsna related literature. Apparently it worked, she stopped talking to me after a few months of furtive phone conversations.)
I married and had 2 kids, left the Hare Krishna society in 1979 over the appointed-guru issue, left my abusive husband in 1983, and remained a devotee until 1989, after I came out as lesbian. There seemed no place for me there. I gravitated to paganism (Wicca) where I remain in an eclectic practice. I love to read the Buddhists also, and still enjoy studying other faiths. I am always excited by how others approach their relationship with God and believe passionately in religious freedom and respect for others’ faiths. I am technically an agnostic witch. I know that confuses people but basically I acknowledge that there is no proof that anything spiritual exists, from the soul to magic to deity. Any spiritual activity I engage in may have no meaning beyond the psychological and that’s ok with me. That has its own value.
Later in life I realized I was bisexual. Suddenly the number of women who wanted to date me dropped even lower…so I started dating men. I met and married Dave, who I feel very lucky to have. My daughter blessed me with two grandsons and a granddaughter who bring me great joy every day. Dave has become a Grandpa, skipping over all the work of being a parent. Smart man.
I am a lifelong Democrat and active in liberal causes. I am working on a memoir covering my childhood, time in the movement and abusive marriage, homelessness and eventual recovery from domestic violence and years at college. Perhaps there will be a second volume bringing me to the present day but I have to finish the first one before I think beyond that. Dave tells me I must also write a book about poverty specifically. We’ll see.
I live with heart disease, migraines, and a spine affected by ossifying ligament. It’s a thing. Who knew?