Thursday, January 7, 2010

Moving on

Those were really hard times for me.  Although I never regretted my decision, I wondered if it might have been easier if I had waited.  The social worker signed my up for public assistance, and money was really tight.  There was no money for my precious books; feeding the boys took top priority.  Now, the New York shelters are horrible places with drugs, alcohol, and crime running rampant, but women with children who entered a program were treated with the utmost respect.  Our building was clean and drug free; the ladies were wonderful.  We even alternated watching the children so each of us had time to ourselves.  

No, it really wasn't bad there, but still, I could feel a sense of depression creeping up on me.  I'd always been so independent and now was depending on the state to live, to be able to feed and take care of my children.  Oh, I knew it was only temporary, but that is a hard concept to understand when you are living through an awful situation....and I realized then that from the time I left my husband, my spiritual journey had taken a slide...So, when one of the women asked me if I wanted to attend church with her on Sunday, I jumped at it.  I'd never been in a Roman Catholic Church before, and my heart was longing for some sense of meaning in my life, but I didn't really feel comfortable there.  The following week I politely refused her invite and found myself in the Lutheran Church down the block...and there, too, I didn't feel as if I belonged.

Then, my Muslin friend invited me to accompany her to the Mosque on 3rd Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan...and I will admit I was in awe  from the moment I saw that domed roof rising like a half moon above the buildings around it.  As we stepped in side, I was told to remove my shoes.  The inside of the mosque held a beauty beyond words, and the people there were so friendly and helpful...from giving me a scarf for my head to educating me on the ritual cleansing before prayer.  Thankfully, it was basically a cleansing of only those body parts that were visible for I think if I had to strip, I wouldn't have continued.   For the service, the men were downstairs and the woman up on the balcony...totally separated from each other...a concept I can never reconcile with.  It bothers me whenever I see women treated as second-class.   And when I heard the "Call to Prayer" the hair stood up on my arms and a shiver slid down my spine.  I'd heard it many times on television, but as that voice reverberated throughout the mosque, I felt as if I had been transported back to another time and place.  I did my best to follow them...kneel, head down, arms raised, head down again, touch the floor...but had no idea what was going on around me.  I went a few more times, and then, two things happened that would once again change my life.  They had found me an apartment in another borough--Brooklyn, and I got word that my ex-husband had died from a rare form of cancer...and no matter what he had put me through, I had never wanted for him to die. 

It was now 1990.  The new apartment was wonderful, and after settling the boys into their new school,  I began looking for employment.  It wasn't too long before I found a job working for an expediting agency...This was a place where we provided a service for rich people...getting cars registered, visas, passports, etc.  A few of our clients were Ralph Lauren and Donald Trump.   And best of all....there was a Barnes @ Noble right across the street so I was once again able to read.  As far as my spiritual journey, I couldn't afford the Kabbalah Centre, and I had completed  all of the Rosicrucian Fellowship courses.  So, what now?  

"The Golden Dawn".  Wow, the Golden Dawn had everything as part of its component--Kabbalah,Astrology, Tarot, Egyptian Mysteries, Enochian Magic, Alchemy....even Rosicrucianism.  I was in seventh heaven...couldn't get enough...but somewhere, deep inside, I continued to feel a sort of emptiness, like there was something else out there waiting for me.  There was.  One day, in 1991 I was sitting in Washington Square Park on my lunch hour, reading a book, when a man came up to me and said, "Would you mind it I sat here?"  I looked up and found myself looking into the eyes of my soul mate.

To be continued....


  1. I feel the same way too, Mary. I cannot give my allegiance to any religion or spiritual path that treats women as second class participants (no matter how patronizingly they try to pretend that no inequality is really involved or that we're "different but equal"). That goes for their treatment of gays and lesbians too.

    And boy, do you know how to end on a cliffhanger!

  2. lol I will echo Debra's thoughts and say CLIFFHANGER!

    You can weave one heck of a story, lady. I'm on the edge of my seat here!

  3. Cliffhanger! Can't wait to read the rest. It sounds like you have explored many many paths and read and experienced and incredible amount.

    Good for you getting out of that relationship. I know it must have been hard. But what a great example you set for your boys!

    Really enjoying yoru blog...

  4. Ooooh - I have goosebumps!

    Pleeeease continue soon!