JOURNEY OUT OF DARKNESSPart Thirteen
One day Tom gave me a gift of a beautiful photograph of Baba sitting in a chair. His sadra pulled up over His knees and from that photograph began my first painting of the God-Man. It was to become a very compelling piece of work. I felt excited about what I saw emerging on this new and inspired canvas.
Then Meher Baba announced in one of the Family Letters, written to all of Baba's followers by his sister Mani, that He was making arrangements to give a special Darshan to His Western lovers in December, nineteen sixty-five. Had our time been moved still farther into the future? Phyllis was growing even more restless.
Now it was the month of December, nineteen sixty-four, and still we would have to wait another year. "It seems you can't count on Him," Phyllis complained to the Rileys. "He is always changing His plan."
"That's true," Tom said. "That's quite true. It's the way He purges us of our expectations." But Phyllis was not in the least satisfied with Tom's explanation. She wanted to know, were we going to see Meher Baba or not?
One morning at breakfast, Phyllis said, "I think we ought to go to India right now, this month. We can go during the Christmas vacation."
"But Meher Baba told us we should come in May of next year," I objected.
"Yes, and after that He announced, we should come the following December. At this rate we'll never get there," Phyllis insisted. "I see no reason why we can't go right now."
"He told us when to come," I argued, "don't you remember the cable?"
"I see no reason why we can't go now," Phyllis said, repeating what she had said before.
Why was it always like this with Phyllis? "I just can't go now," I said.
"Well, if you tell me not to go, then I won't go at this time."
"How can I tell you not to go to see the Avatar?"
"Well, then, I'm going."
I was in a terrible bind. Would I have to let her go by herself? Why did she make things so difficult at every turn of the road? Things weren't happening at all the way I had hoped. Once I had been a painter, but now all I did was wrestle with the ins and outs of the struggle to be a spiritual aspirant in quest of some unknown Eastern God.
"If you think you have to go now, then go," I said. "But if you are not able to see Baba, don't blame me for your going against his order."
"I just have to go to be near Him for those few days. It's something I must do."
"But there's no money for whimsical adventures like this. When the Western Darshan comes a year from now, you won't be able to go. There simply won't be money."
"That's all right. I just want to go now," she insisted.
There was nothing I could do. She was going to go!
1998 © Craig Zenner
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