20 years later Dr Burroughs and I sat in Burger King reading poetry to the folks eating their meals.
I am very pleased to be a part of the Mago Life. It has been a long time since I have tried to enter a community that is womyn centered in the tradition of the Great Mother. I was literally called to this path in 1995. I had been sober four years and had dived long and deep into Christianity. I started with the church I knew in my youth. So much had changed since the sixties. The biggest change being the closure of so many parishes. With five children and no car coupled with rude treatment, I left quickly.
Next came very brief bouts with that ole time religion. No, Thank You and as the kids say, Bye Felicia. But the next venture set me on course. Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon was a Black Female Visionary who had just opened the third manifestation of her sanctuary and it included a 10,000 seat church, banquet hall, an accreditated ministerial institution and a K-8 school. A graduate of the Unity School who was not allowed to live on the campus. “Johnnie” created the Universal Foundation for Better Living which now has affiliates all over the United States and the Carribean.
The metaphysics infused me with curiousity and I became an avid student. I immersed myself in a course of study that led me to a life of deep understanding and a love of the interior that has never left me. It was the bumping into Jesus that became problematic for me. Even when he was called Jesus The Christ, it just wasn’t a good fit. Initially I loved him and wanted to be him then, not so much. All the woman as source of original sin was too much for me to believe. I am a woman, my mother, grandmother, great grandmother; my best friend, her mother, grandmother,sister, my best teachers, my counselor, my therapist, my daughters, all women. I could not accept it.
Fortunately for me She began to whisper into my ear. It was just an overwhelming sense that someone was calling my name. I was in a transformative phase at the time. Leaving a relationship, leaving a “good job” because I couldn’t bear what I veiwed as the boss’s inappropriate behavior with the women on the tier. I was a Substance Abuse Counselor at the Cook County Jail in Chicago.
I had moved into a new apartment and taken a low paying position as a reporter and columnist at a tiny community newspaper. Part of my job was to interview the leading citizens for a one on one spread in the paper. I loved it. I was going on this particular feeling disconcerted because of the pulling/calling I felt so strongly by then. I had no idea my life was about to open up and that I would never be the same.
I was to interview (the late great) Dr. Margaret Burroughs who had started the world class DuSable Museum of African American History in her kitchen and was now a Commisioner at the Chicago Park District. I loved her because in addition to all of that, she had come to the Cook County Jail when I was an inmate. I had gone to hear her speak and won a prize with a bit of advice. “You don’t belong here,” she whispered in my ear as she gave me the book and a loving hug.
So there I sat misty eyed and intoxicated from the synchronicity of the experience. Then I blurted out- Dr. Burroughs I feel something calling me… Its not really a hearing, its a sensing. Lately I’ve been going to the beach where the willow trees are near. I take gifts of fruit and coins and I leave them on the water and under the trees along with my tears. I am crying or near to crying all the time, you gave me a book when I was in jail and now I ‘m sitting here, I know this is Divne Order tell me what does it all mean!!!
She said, “Write This Down”. I got my pen ready. She said, “Go and Get the Book When God Was A Woman By Merlin Stone”. I have never looked back.