From Chapter 2 - Adolescence
One unforgettable Thanksgiving night when I was 17, I had to figure out how to gain control of my out of control acid – laced, freaking out nervous system. My first impulse had been to run down Fargo Street in Chicago, towards the lake. My intention was to throw myself into Lake Michigan. There was no rational reason behind this, only that the lake was attracting me to it. I was so high that it felt like I was moving in slow motion through a thick substance and my feet were not touching the ground. I became frightened as it seemed obvious to me that I looked abnormal, and that I would be picked up by the police. So, I went back to my apartment and lay supine in bed, meditating to save my life. My arms and legs were twitching spontaneously. My brain felt like it was lit up with electricity. It took a while but gradually tremendous effort I brought the mind to a tighter and tighter focus. Gradually, my body relaxed and thus began an extraordinary night.
It should be mentioned that I had spent the previous five months meditating and praying most of the time.
Lying immobile on my back, I continued prayer and meditation. A spirit came to me with a mother energy. Although I could not see her, I knew she was hovering in the air above my feet. I felt "liquid love" with the consistency of the oil flow into my chest from her chest.
In the morning, Spirit Mother oversaw my shower. I felt as if I was a young child. She watched over me as I dressed, noticing as I started to put on mis-matched socks. She was with me when I went for a piano lesson and played a piece the way I would have played had I been a little kid. And so on. It was like this all day. On the bus home, we communed with mutual love passing back and forth between us. In the late afternoon, I lay down to sleep and, when I awoke, she had gone.
Years later, I was initiated into the Afro-Cuban religion called Santeria. In this religion there are various powerful spirits called Orishas. Through readings, a santero (a priest in the religion) determines which Orisha claims the "head” of the individual. In my case, the signs indicated that I be dedicated to Yemoja, a powerful mother spirit.
I know that she watches over me and will come again when next I am in trouble.