... and to quote my best friend at lunch last week, "mkromd, even your emotional baggage is Prada." Personally, I think both of them are saying the same thing... which is unfortunate for me because I tend to be that person who keeps good luggage for life. But I digress. This post isn't a silent cry for help about my Prada “problem.” It's actually about a book I'm re-reading called, "A New Earth" by Eckhardt Tolle. If you haven't read it, you should. It's life-changing. However, I should warn you - it's not an easy read. It's about learning to extinguish your ego.
Now... at this point in our story, it should be noted that my ego is the Mohammed Ali of egos (except that it doesn't fly like a butterfly, it flies coach because it's incredibly cheap when it comes to airfare… how do you think I can afford Prada on my budget). But that's STILL not the point. The point is that my ego will not go down without a fight. In fact, it's SO massive that the other night, as I was lying in bed reading this book, I honestly said to myself, "Self... what if the eight people who don’t know you but read mkromd anyway think you've stopped writing because you were taken on May 21 by the Rapture? Perhaps you should write something - just so no one wonders.” Yes. Really.
At any rate, I apologize if you were worried. I wasn’t raptured; I’ve just been swamped… especially a few weeks ago, when I was summoned home (to Appalachia by my family for my nephew’s graduation party not by God to avoid Armageddon – just to clarify). And, while there, I ran my ego’s end-of-times concerns past my mother, who ACTUALLY said, “Yes, you and Kissinger must have been worried sick about the people you’d leave behind.” When I reminded her that our former Secretary of State’s out-of-control ego orchestrated the Vietnam War for personal and political gain, she had the nerve to add insult to injury by replying, “True, but if there’s only one slot left, and it’s between you and him, he has a Nobel Peace Prize.”
Thank God my ego isn’t just massive, it also suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder, which makes it hard to hold a grudge (well, truth be told, it has ADHD and something else, but when my therapist diagnosed me, I wasn’t really paying attention, so I have NO idea what all I have).
On the UP note, while I was home, I also got to spend some time with my brother (who is an incredibly gentle being that was badly damaged in an ugly divorce but has found solace in organic gardening). So we’re standing in this amazing vegetable patch he’s planted and he’s explaining to me why he doesn’t know if he can come to my wedding because he just doesn’t believe in marriage anymore and he doesn’t want his negative energy to impact my happiness, etc. etc. When I asked him if he was at least dating (it’s only been seven years), he jokingly said, “I don’t know. Maybe I need a sign.” And that’s when we HONESTLY (I swear on all that is holy) heard, “THIS IS THE VOICE OF GOD….”
But… to tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.
Several years ago, our oldest brother was in a horrible accident and almost died. He was thankfully life-flighted from our local hospital to a state-of-the-art one an hour away, where they saved his life. In return, my parents and several of their friends donated land in the woods near their homes for another helicopter pad - should anyone else ever need that kind of medical assistance. And from time-to-time, even though it’s fenced and gated, because it has Loud Speakers for Public Announcements, people use it for non-medical events as well (tornado warnings, etc). However, given the May 21 Rapture madness, this time it was being used illegally by a religious group. Yes, they broke in and started proselytizing.
Now… that they broke into a gated helicopter pad so God could easily find and take them wasn’t the good part. That they were announcing their location to him… JUST IN CASE... was AWESOME. And it wasn’t just that they were crazy… it’s that they were crazy and shouting the BEST questions like, “Are you a crack whore? Are you a womanizer? Have you tried to find Jesus in a bottle...” that made my brother and me drop EVERYTHING and haul through the woods to answer them. Too bad the cops showed up before God. I REALLY wanted to confess that the Devil does indeed wear Prada.
At dinner that night, when we told our mother what we had done, she said, “Be glad you weren’t caught. You wouldn’t just be gettin it from your Uncle, the town Judge, you’d be Armagettin from me.” At seventy, she’s still funny.