Become a Follower of the Big Dude!

Meet the divine Dude in this blog. This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mind Meets Mystery

The last few nights, the moon has been exceptionally bright in the northeast. It shines through my skylight and takes me by surprise. It gives me pause.

Those moments of pause are both breath-taking and terrifying. If we really stop and apprehend the universe, never mind God, we are reduced to amazement. Some mornings, I stay in bed and ponder sacred mysteries. Lately, probably because of the moon, I've been trying to imagine the galaxies and galaxies stretching out beyond the realm of science. I hit a wall. My mind balks in the face of infinity.

I wonder if the universe has an end, outer limits, or whether it goes on forever. I'm talking about the physical realm here, not the spiritual. Being human, I can't imagine things without beginnings or endings. Maybe this is why evolution has so much appeal in the mystery of creation. It gives a beginning and a fairly neat progression from that beginning up to the present. I can't help but think that this is the constructed knowledge of human reason.

In such reflection, I realize that the heart apprehends mystery. Reason MUST make meaning and find connections. These meanings and connections, therefore, are limited by the mind's ability to know them. When we hit a wall or slide into a black hole, we give up intellectual control and recognize reality directly unmediated by rational knowledge.

I don't know what this means. Meaning is irrelevant in the realm of mystery. The most I can say is that I'm aware that I don't know. I've cited Joe and the Volcano once before. When he stands at the edge of this fiery monster, Joe says, "99% of us are asleep; the others are amazed." And so it is for me as I watch the moon through the skylight. Roxie

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some of the Glasses Are Full

Sometimes, the glass IS half-empty.

If we are relying on one glass to provide all the sustenance we need in life, it will not only be half-empty, it will be entirely empty. We will drain it of its nectar on a regular basis.

This lesson was brought home to me this week. On Thursday night, I encountered a particularly negative young woman who poured her critical observations over me and left me feeling hurt and angry. I went home and did a lot of self-talk. I reminded myself of the good things that others had said, I asked the Big Dude for help, I raged and wept.

Eventually, I was able to let it go. I recognized on some level that my self worth couldn't be defined by any one moment of criticism or any one moment of praise. What then?

The next morning, a young man that I hadn't had many personal interactions with told me that he would miss me and he loved me. I received a great gift of love from the young person, yes, but of wisdom from the Big Dude as well.

Think of the half-full/half-empty metaphor this way. We don't have just one glass. We have a table full of glasses. Some are empty, some full, some in the middle. When we are thirsty, we tend to reach for our special glass or mug. Sometimes it's empty. If we think of our many glasses, then there's always a full one within reach to comfort us.

Although, once in awhile, someone comes along and empties our special glass, the next moment a veritable stranger may lovingly hand us a totally new and full one to add to the table. Roxie

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Child Is Born

Having the "Big Dude" as CGOD (Chief God on Duty) bypasses the whole winter holiday confusion. Is it Christmas? Hannukah? Kwanza? You know what I mean. In my personal life, I celebrate Christmas because that's my family's tradition.

The "Big Dude's" winter holiday, though, is bigger than any one tradition. The winter holiday recognizes that at various places and various times, the relationship of the earth and the sun becomes shaky. Darkness settles back over much of the earth and we, humans, need massive doses of "light" to see us through.

Northern Europeans built giant bonfires. Early Americans went to great lengths to preserve the fire in the hearth. People lit hovels and drafty old palaces with candles and fireplaces. Other people warmed their tepees and huts with open flames, smoke escaping through a slit in the peaked roofs. Even in more temperate climates, winter brings change. Foliage changes color even if it doesn't drop off. Birds and animals change their patterns or migrate. The sun, if you're lucky enough to have it, slants in at a different angle and disappears sooner.

We can't deal with that very well. By December or January in the northern hemisphere especially, we are craving relief! Ancient people craved it and so do we. Ipods and Blackberries can't delete the primal fear of being alone in the dark.

So, we need a god in winter. We can be careless and let our spirituality slide in summer but, come winter, we need a god! Along comes the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hannukah, and the rest. Not only do we get various iterations of God, we get to celebrate as well. The cultures of the world, over time, developed these celebrations to bring life back metaphorically, to bring us all together to feast and pray, and to light our lives with every variation of fire. We flock to our spiritual meccas in greater numbers during the winter holiday than at any other time of year. We know what we need and we seek it out. Like the wise men who came to see Jesus, we follow our star. We re-light the Menorrah of our spiritual life. We build the bonfire of our own solstice.

The CGOD or Big Dude gets to enjoy all the traditions. He isn't bound to any one culture's spiritual preferences. When it comes to sacred shit like winter darkness, he comes to all the parties!

While each of us needs to honor our own sacred traditions,it might not hurt to remember all the ways that our brothers and sisters around the world are celebrating the same things we celebrate: Family, new life, lighting the world. It's amazing to realize that we're one tiny speck in the parade of ancestors and cultures who are celebrating light in the season of darkness, birth in a time of death or stasis in the natural world.

I heart Christmas. I love the idea of a newborn baby, king, God. But, I also like the rhythm of nature that brings darkness back every year and then sends some kind of spiritual light to comfort and guide us. Such a good plan. Ingenious, really. You rock, Big Dude! Roxie

Friday, October 29, 2010

When There's No Reception

Everyone has had the experience of being in a dead zone, a place where a cell phone just doesn't work. Or, sometimes the wireless internet cuts out when you're in the middle of something important.

The other day I was playing bridge online with several family members from all over the world and my wireless internet disappeared. I was suddenly cut off from my family in the middle of the game. They didn't know what happened to me and I had no way to tell them.

I know how to reboot the internet so I went into the back room where the modem and router are located and I turned off the power, counted slowly to 30, and then flicked the power back on. I raced back to the computer hoping my family was still waiting for me to return. Nothing. The internet light was still off. I paced around the room in frustration. All of a sudden, it occurred to me. Maybe I had accidentally turned the wireless switch off. Maybe the problem wasn't in the internet. Maybe the problem was in my receptor. Sure enough. The switch was off; I turned it on and clicked back into the game.

When the Big Dude appears not to be listening, when I can't seem to contact the divine spark, I tend to rail at the Dude. I tend to pace around saying, "Can you hear me now?"

When there's no reply, I'm apt to hurl my spiritual cell phone at the wall. I'm even more apt to curse the Big Dude, hurling invectives at him for ignoring me, for leaving me alone with my needs. "I WANT to get back into the game, but you aren't helping me!" I say.

That happens a lot actually. Just as my cell phone is often turned off and my computer is accidentally not connected to the internet, my soul is also turned off. Often when I think the Big Dude is not in touch with me, if I check my receptors, I'll discover that I'm not receiving HIM.

Getting back in touch with the Big Dude is not always as easy as turning the switch on my computer. I have to sharpen my awareness, tune up my consciousness. This is a mysterious process, and different things work for different people. Personally, I need to sit in meditation. I need to breath slowly and regularly. Be aware of the weight on my shoulders, the anxiety in my gut. I need to slow down, to stop. It may not happen as I'm meditating, but by turning on my receptors, I make it possible for the Big Dude to contact me.

Why don't I want to do this? Why don't I meditate? Why do I seem to want to wallow alone in my sacred shit? I don't know the answer. It's probably the same reason I don't want to exercise. I don't seem to like good habits. Maybe it's part of the human condition. If we really, really wanted to "be" with the Big Dude as much as he wants to be with us, we'd probably have ascended into some angelic realm already.

The pull of the earth is strong, we cling to it. We want to satisfy our physical bodies. We want food, pleasure, satisfaction. We want to think our thoughts and feel our sorrows. We want our computers and Ipods, Blackberries and cell phones. We want our cars and beds. We don't, alas, always want the Big Dude.

It's only when the computer seems to crash and we lose contact with the internet that we care about the internet connection. Perhaps it is only when our lives crash that we care about God. Then, we frantically go in search of the switch that will pull his protection back into our world.

Hey Dude! Keep sending the signal day after day, even when my receptor remains implacably off. Roxie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad News: Chariot's Not Comin'

There are periods in life, sometimes called dark nights of the soul, when we simply can't connect, when we scoff at good news yet cry at the bad. I like to think of these times as being up shit creek, but to put it in nicer terms: the good news of the Gospel or the enlightenment of Buddha aren't present to us. The "chariot" of the gospel song is not in the neighborhood.

These gaps in our soul consciousness, these hours spent in shit creek, populate everyone's spiritual development. That doesn't mean we like them. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist writer of note, tells of flinging a rock at her husband when he told her he was leaving her for another woman. That's such a comforting story. She's highly evolved, fairly enlightened, AND she needs to fling a rock now and then.

I wonder why we have these dark periods. Why does the shit we're swimming in just not feel sacred at times? Perhaps I'm asking the wrong question. A psych teacher I once had said, "Never ask a client a 'why' question; it triggers the intelligence and not the gut." I guess that means you can't think your way through emotional shit or soul shit. So, what to do?

The old psych teacher would have said, "Ask a feeling question." Questions like: Where do you feel that in your body? What's the sensation that goes with this issue? Or, just plain, what does it feel like to be up shit creek today? So, I'm noticing that I have lower back pain where I haven't had any pain in several months. Oddly, I'm also having pain in my left ankle.

I know that lower back pain symbolizes lack of emotional support. Aha! That feels true. It's been a rough 48 hours and I haven't been able to speak with any friends about it. Someone suggested that at such times, we need to have our coping and survival skills validated. We need to shout at the world: Do you GET how brilliantly I am coping with all of everything?

This is not my most profound spiritual posting. It needs to be said though. Sometimes, we're in a heap of trouble or pain, and faith or inspiration elude us. I checked in with the Big Dude and he said, "Roxie, the bad news is--that chariot's not coming today. The good news is--that chariot will come eventually."

Ha! Not a very comforting thought, Big Dude. I'm going out to fling some rocks. Roxie

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beneath Still Water

Water has always been a symbol of eternal life, of redemption, and of the spiritual flow of things. In quantum physics, the wave is the primordal matter to which all particles belong. Therefore, it shouldn't be too surprising that I find my most "heavenly" moments when I'm floating in water.

Water mutes the sounds of other swimmers. The act of floating on your back means your eyes are on the sky. The silence and the feeling of being suspended in space and time mimic the spiritual state of enlightenment or grace. The normal heaviness and aches of the human body disappear. Ahhhh. Alas, I don't live on a lake or have a pool and so my encounters with this state of bliss are few.

The other day I visited a friend who had just scored an apartment with a 55 foot screened-in porch overlooking a lake. At one point we took her Portuguese Water dog (something like that) into the water. While she threw a tennis ball half way across the lake for the dog to chase, I floated blissfully amidst the lily pads. Granted, I was distracted by feelings of envy that I hadn't found this apartment before she did; still, I managed some moments of sweet serenity.

I know people who don't like the water, whose memories of it are frightening; they can't relax and float and they can't swim. So, water doesn't really work in reality or in metaphor for them.

Clearly, water itself isn't a path to enlightenment although many of us find it a useful metaphor, if not a way of meditating. But, there are other ways to express the experience of enlightenment. Not that I'm enlightened; I'm not. I believe I've had moments of enlightenment though; I hope so.

One such moment occurred in the evening when I was standing at my front door waving to a friend who was leaving. The scene was of big trees backlit by lighting from the park across the street. I felt myself framed in my doorway and then suddenly experienced a softening of the environment. It was as if there was no barrier between me and the evening air. The feeling was one of suspended time and space. Grace.

You can't force that awareness or feeling. It doesn't even help to be receptive as far as I can tell. Such moment "of glad grace" (Yeats) just come and go. If you look for them, they elude you. If you try to hang on to them, they disappear. Clearly, such moments take place outside of our normal ego-based, intelligence-driven life. Thought drives them away as does our sense of self.

Meditation probably trains our receptors to notice this other plane of existence that most likely is always around us but which we can only see "through a glass darkly." Meditation, at least, helps put us in the now, helps diminish the power of our thoughts and feelings, helps empty us of a lifetime's flotsam. Possibly that emptiness allows us to experience the wave reality more and the particle reality less.

I struggle for words. Writing about enlightenment or grace is like practicing scales on the piano or learning to swim. You end up talking about the steps; the steps may or may not allow you to become one with a Beethoven symphony, may or may not allow you to float effortlessly. The experience OF grace or enlightenment defies the language of our intelligence and takes us into poetry, metaphor, psalms.

For me, floating just beneath still water mimics eternal life, for lack of a better term. I don't know what else to say. Roxie

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lovely, Dark and Deep

In order to grow spiritually, you have to go into the woods. Shakespeare takes people into the Forest of Arden. Fairy tales take children and fair maidens into the woods where they meet strange and wondrous creatures. And, poets like Frost and Wendell Berry celebrate the unknown mysteries that lurk in the forest. Forest is the opposite of civilization. It's where "the wild things are."

Of course, we must go into the Forest. When was the last time you were actually in the woods? I grew up on the edge of a woods. There were two main trails that went into the deep woods, one on each end of our property. The first one was a well trodden path that meandered through a leafy, oddly open forest arena with the green cathedral of branches linking high, high above and sudden clearings of buttercups here and there. It took you eventually to the creek (that's another story). The other path opened at the edge of a lumber mill and truly was a wild place. It was dark and damp, home of tall ferns and mushrooms. The trail was barely visible and I often got lost there. It too took you eventually to the creek but you would be covered with burrs and scratches by the time you got there.

This is a pretty good depiction of the spiritual journies into the darkness of the soul. Sometimes we wander along the easier path, distracted by the sensual beauties of the hard-packed forest floor, the wildflowers, and birdsong. The journey itself is heavenly in that case and we are in no rush to get to the creek. When we find ourselves on the harder trail, we are afraid and anxious to reach the creek, a landmark that will lead us back to the happy trail if we follow it. We are not happy with that journey--too many branches slapping us in the face, logs to be tripped over, prickly nettle to make us itch, mosquitoes and bugs to plague us. It's a more exciting trail but not for the faint of heart.

We don't always get to choose our spiritual trail, but we all have to go into the woods. When we meditate, we often go into the woods. We penetrate the darkness of our own minds at times. The swirling judgments, frantic thought, the restlessness. If we persist, we might emerge at the water's edge where the current flows purely and you can see to the bottom. Beyond thought, WE are still while life's energies bear us along.

There is another light that comes at the end of meditation. When you close your eyes or dull them for long periods of time, you literally "see" ordinary things in a different way when you open them.

So, yes, as hard as it is to find the time to choose to meditate and enter the woods, the alternative is to be thrown into the woods by life's circumstances. The woods ARE lovely, dark and deep. It's the next line of Frost's poem that gets in the way of our darkly exotic soul work--it's the "promises" that we want to keep and the "miles to go" before we sleep. Life's duties call us away from our souls sometimes.

When that happened to me recently, the Big Dude told me to make a list of what I want to accomplish this day. He told me to include meditation, physical activity, something outdoors, something that should be done once a month, and something that needs order evey day. Really, he was that specific. It's noon and I've been in and out of the woods several times, always on the more airy, happy path. I've also done the dishes, folded the clothes, dusted my bedroom, meditated, worked on my class, watered the flowers, and cleaned my workspace.

I'm thinking it's not either the woods or the duties of life. It's thinking in those opposites that maybe led to Frost's and our desolation. Maybe life's duties mesh with the path through the woods to the creek. We walk it day after day, completing life's duties along the way. Roxie

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Author and The Word

It's hard to be unfolding spiritually without a spiritual practice of some kind. My normal process is meditation and I haven't sat in meditation for several days. Hence, it's no surprise that I haven't posted anything. What IS surprising is that sacred shit sometimes comes just because you need it and not because you practiced.

That's the beauty of my Big Dude. He speaks to me when I least expect it and even when I don't consciously want it. Like now.

I was annoyed at the remaining papers that need to be graded. I went in the kitchen to get a chocolate mousse pudding (60 calories), carefully squirted light whipped cream on it, added a few sliced almonds, and there He was.

"Write in your blog," He said. So, here I am. Aware of the fireplace fan whirring, the grey skies outside the window, and the sweet taste of chocolate in my mouth. This moment's blessings.

"Don't try so hard," He says now. I know what he means. My forehead is scrunched in effort as I try to get in touch with SOMETHING that I could write about.

My mind goes into doubting mode. What if sacred shit is nothing at all, a figment of my imagination? I suddenly see that I was first a figment of the Big Dude's imagination and eventually the characters in his novel played their parts and I was born.

This is about my birth-day. On May 24, 1945, I entered the human story and changed it forever. You did the same when you entered, and you, and you. I "get" creation in a semi-mythological way. I get its relationship to authoring a text. You open up a field of energy and you begin to form it. As soon as you begin to form it, it rips away from you and takes on its own life. Your characters refuse to behave the way you imagined they would; things play out differently than the plot you conceived.

So it is with Creation. The Big Dude set some energy field in motion, be it a Big Bang or Light or Whatever. Simultaneously, the field began unfolding towards the world we experience and the worlds beyond our experience. Bad things happened and good things happened. Characters like us cry out: "Why did you let that happen? What kind of God are you?" "I'm the Author. I'm the Word," the Big Dude can only say having lost all control of the characters, the scene, and the plot.

As an author, I also know that the Big Dude doesn't worry about the Creation anymore than I worry about my blogs or other writings. You set out to say one thing and something else gets written. In the end, it comes out just the way it should, a better way than you had imagined. That's how I see the Big Dude. He's in there being the author and believing in his book/blog/poem/Creation. He tweaks here and sets up a new scene there, but it's surprising how little control we have of our writing or He has of His great work.

He loves it though, the way you love something or other. I wake up and the first thing I do is open up my blog to see what's happening. Who's been there? Are there new followers? I add something to it. All day, I'm thinking of trying this or posting that. I LOVE my blogs. That's how I know that the Big Dude loves us. He loves us with the disinterested intensity of an author. Roxie

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Beacon in the Night

In another blog, I came to the profound realization that the green light or green video camera next to my son's name on gmail affected me like a "beacon in the night." He's far away geographically but when I come online and see that light, I know he's in his space and in mine simultaneously. He's working away at his computer in Germany and I'm working away on mine in New York. Just a family working together!

It kind of reminds me of that amazing piece of sacred shit called "grace." When I light the candle and sit to meditate, the big Dude is there with me. I know he's doing his god work far away. He's in his space and in mine simultaneously.

The pervasiveness of the internet gives us a metaphor for the omnipresence of the big Dude or Spirit. If you are connected anywhere in the world, you are connected to everyone, good and bad. Venues like gmail enable a light to come on next to the name of every person who is connected at the same moment (wherever they are). What if every time you put yourself in openness to God, a light came on for you and every other person who at that moment is connected. The big Dude would see these green lights filling his screen next to the names of his people.

Hey, big Dude! We're a physical, tangible bunch. We need those little lights to remind us we're all together. Couldn't your people talk to the Google people so that the next time I meditate, the light comes on? I need that beacon in the night. Roxie

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Rites of Passage

I'm standing at an important moment in my life. I'm about to turn 65, surely an important milestone within human accounting of such things. It's more than that though. I am celebrating my survival.

This year often felt like a time when I should be getting the last rites as it didn't seem that I would ever get to an actual passage through this particular sacred shit. The year started with big changes at work and my taking an early retirement package. I was totally unprepared for retirement but the state of my health combined with the offer of early retirement was too much to withstand.

So, a little over a year ago, I cleared out my desk and office from the detritus of a lifetime of accumulated big and little things that go with work. My favorite framed pictures came off the walls. My books got packed into multiple boxes. My mementos, gifts, notes from my children, and coffeepot followed me home. Almost immediately I went into the hospital for hip replacement surgery that was long overdue. I came home to a long recovery as the soft tissue damage in the thigh and leg was and probably always will remain painful.

As I worked my way through that recovery, measuring my success by how many steps down the road I could take with my walker or how many times I could life my leg, I began to see an empty life ahead of me. I was a worker bee suddenly out of the hive. I had no idea what to do.

This is when I began to experience that passage as a kind of last rite. I thought it would never end and that life, from that point on, would be, as the saying goes, "a bitch" and then I'd die! I was sad and angry, frustrated and bored. After a lifetime of spiritual practice, I didn't want anything to do with spirituality. I couldn't meditate to save my life. I couldn't get in touch with much of anything.

Having taught mythology and knowing full well the dark passages that the hero pushes through to get to the next elixir or spirit guide, I suddenly couldn't remember any or that and, if I did, I didn't believe in it. I couldn't remember the trials of Odysseus, the dark nights of Mary, or even the many deaths of the little hero in the Zelda game as he makes his way through the various levels and saves the world.

When you're in the dark and you can't find the light switch you're in a phase called "disorientation." The familiar, the taken for granted, the ground you stand on is not there. In the tales of the Hobbitt, swamps become alive with ugly creatures underfoot, whole forests pick up and move, giant spiders block your passage through a mountain tunnel. The hero went to sleep eventually in complete despair. Disorientation. Every life passage includes disorientation--the end of a way of life in its most intimate details and a period of time when the new life hasn't yet been born. Students leave home and move into dorms, drinking and sleeping themselves into oblivion: disorientation. Newly weds can't figure out how to sleep in the same bed amicably or how to share a bathroom: disorientation. The newly divorced walk through an empty house or apartment at the end of the day, instinctively shouting, "I'm home!" Disorientation.

The trouble with disorientation, one of its key symptoms, is that you don't know when you're in it. You deny it. You believe you should be doing fine or you think you ARE doing fine but you aren't sleeping very well; you're eating too much; you're crying or drinking a lot; you're numb. You don't know you're going through a natural, productive human situation that will move towards Odysseus arriving home, students taking up the mantle of scholarship, and the various heroes saving the world.

There needs to be a very spiritual ritual for every passage. The churches have that part right. So, where is the passage for disorientation. Where is the clergywoman saying, "Ah, you're in disorientation. It will pass." Where is the smudging of your soul? Where is the Native American shaman to throw you into the river and refuse to let you come out until your soul has returned to you?

For that's the problem, isn't it? You've lost your soul. Rituals of calling and naming and bringing back are needed during this time. Rituals that stand at the brink waiting while you flounder in the deep water waiting for your soul. That's what we need. We mostly don't have them.

But, when all else fails, time is a great shaman. Time passes and you grow inspite of yourself. You find the light switch in your new dwelling place or time. You eventually can find it in complete darkness.

I want to celebrate my rite of passage through disorientation. With two of my friends, I'm throwing a giant birthday party for my 65th year. I'm meditating, watching for signs and guides. I'm singing and moving. The Red Sea has parted and I'm on the other side suddenly. I don't know how or why, but OH I want to celebrate.

I want to celebrate making it through the worst year of my life (or so it seems). I want to celebrate a new, patched-together existence that is more satisfying than the previous one. I want to name all the guides who helped along the way. I want to name my loving children and friends. I want to build a monument to myself.

I want to fall on the ground in gratitude for the grace of this new life. Thanking the Dude for my sacred shit, Roxie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What's In A Name?

I sit here trembling a bit at the audacity and what some might call the "sacrilege" of Roxie's spiritual blog. At the same time, it feels right.

So, let me talk about the title: Dude! And Other Sacred Shit.

First, I want to share a contemporary God. This is an offspring of the Jesus who lived on the streets and spoke the common tongue. In case you haven't noticed, the most common way that people address their friends today is: "Dude!" The feminist in me struggled with the seemingly gendered nature of that term. All I can say is "Dudette" didn't work (LOL). Plus, I confess to more than one god in my spiritual galaxy. There's God,Lord, Cara (guardian angel), Buddha, and Mary to name a few. The god who speaks to me comes as a gentle male voice. Do I think the God is male? Not for a minute (well, maybe for a minute . . .). I don't believe that physical gender and spirituality go together. I think my Dude has what we might describe as male and female qualities. Dude is a hybrid, still evolving and complete at the same time. A mystery (as he should be).

Dude is a spiritual being of our time. He's rooted in Christian and Buddhist language and concepts since those are the languages I know; those are the languages I can interpret. But, this Dude (like Jesus and Buddha) speaks of this day and age and its manifestation of the sacred. This Dude has a Blackberry and a laptop, plays the Wii. He also sleeps on city streets and eats from dumpsters. He's at a football game and in the mountain lake where you take your kayak. He's a black rapper and a college president. He's a brilliant woman scholar and an abused child. When you tell Dude your story, no matter what your story, he's been there and she understands.

This Dude has had and seen his share of sacred shit. He's not afraid of it or of its language. I can't relate to a god that's been crucified, but I can relate to one whom my government has imprisoned and humiliated. I can relate to one who's been raped by his own holy men. I can relate to one who grew up playing baseball or soccer and who dated the Prom Queen. I can relate to the god who knows the working of corporate conglomerates, pimps, and teen-age girls who are pregnant. I can relate to the god who loves alcoholics and drug addicts just a tad more than wall street hotshots. This Dude thinks all of us are mortal particles in an ocean of sacred shit. This Dude recycles! Roxie