AS SPIRITUAL AS I GET
The secret’s out – I eat Chinese food fairly often. How do we know? The frequent references to my fortunes, of course.
Tonight’s revelation: “Focus on trusting your intuition and you will get through it.” This fortune seems rather appropriate and timely. I like to think that I have an intuitive sense about myself and the obstacles I face. But what about conflicting intuitions, those instances where communication appears to be real and yet the people involved are light years apart in understanding? One person’s intuition is another’s indecipherable attitude. In this 1968 scene from PERSEPHONE IN HELL, Glory and her physics teacher couldn’t be further away from understanding each other.
“Stay a minute, will you, Gloria?” Mrs. Standish asked.
What’s important enough to make me late for my next class?
Madeline Standish looked at Glory. She saw a vibrant girl with a movie star figure, startling violet eyes, and wild dark hair strung with colored beads. Those hippies, Madeline thought, out to change the world. Our perfectly good world.
“Miss M_____, you simply must pay more attention in my class. Your grade depends on it. You want to go to college, don’t you? Well, of course you do, a bright girl like you. Not that girls need college. But you don’t want to end up a nobody, do you?”
I’ll never be a nobody.
Glory drew herself up out of her self-indulgent slouch. Her eyes turned dark and piercing. She looked at Mrs. Standish with the wrath of the high born.
I am Elizabeth of England, the great queen, and being talked to as a lowly sailor.
Madeline sensed she had said the wrong thing. She tried again.
“Glory, as a member of God’s Chosen People, you have a special obligation. You have to try your best. We know that all Jews are smart. That’s God’s truth. God expects a lot of you.”
Oh, is that all this is? I’m not about to let on to Mrs. Standish that I don’t believe in the god of the Jews, or any other god for that matter.
She’s complicated and interesting, Madeline admitted to herself. But Jews are tricky. I much prefer our normal girls. Still, I treat everyone the same and I’m proud of that. It’s a modern world, after all.”
Tonight, along with my Singapore rice noodles, beef with broccoli, and Peking ravioli, I contemplate my life. I sit in front of this computer with a glass of red French wine and wonder where the world will take me. What trust should I have in my own intuition, when it’s clear that intent can so easily be misinterpreted? Even one’s own mind must be subject to scrutiny. How long, how deeply should I think things through? What about feelings? Am I thinking too much? Focus…trust…intuition – Chinese food for thought.