Satori in Brighton Beach . . .

or how I found redemption on Barrow Street© by Jack Schimmelman Blue
I curve before an eternal pool into which I dive. When I feel safe in a blue clear lagoon, I see friends swimming beside me. I never expect them. I don’t know them. They are cobalt blue circles of light of all sizes bright as the sun within my heart. At first I am fascinated by the spectacle presented to me. Then I want to know who or what they are. I want to understand more with my brain. I need to catch up to my soul. I rise from my mind asleep in black whirlpools. The noise of our suffering calms. My friends, my blue circles, witness earth’s essence. I awake through a liquid mirror. I energetically wash myself and think I have it made. I swear that these lights are celebrating, laughing, getting drunk. This is my alpha and omega. This journey would dwarf all that I had previously ingested. Once 10 years soared as I sat 3 times a week in classes with a medium, a channeler of spirit. A very nice woman, in her 30s who was shocked by her ability to be the vessel through which an astonishing energy would manifest upon her going into what she described as a light trance. At the time I was creating a theatre piece and as an afterthought an actress in my ensemble recommended I go sit with a medium she knew. When I attended my first class (and class is the only way to describe these gatherings), I was very skeptical. There were 10 other people in a tiny Greenwich Village studio, all assembled around this young unassuming woman. As she went into her trance, I looked behind her neck to perhaps find vertical strings emanating from her back and someone, somewhere pulling them. Then I thought that maybe it was a magic trick, but during the 100s of times I attended these very special classes I never found the source of trickery. The source (sauce) was within. Shortly after I began sitting with this young woman who looked like Diane Keaton’s sister, I gave into the incredible feeling that would fill my body every time spirit would speak. A heart named Mary showered us with infinite love that elevated our breath.

The room softens. Mary enters. She merges with our heart and soul. The atmosphere is charged with unconditional love. Students unwrap from their sleep. Her curriculum is daily life. Her lesson is simple. Accept What Is. On the first day of my profound buoyancy, I awoke to find an illuminated rainbow hanging in front of me. It was New Year’s Day. 1987. At first I thought it was light streaming through my bedroom window in my rickety Brighton Beach cottage, but then I realized that my French louvers were shut tight leaving the room in darkness. When I left the room I expected this optical illusion to have disappeared upon my return. However, when I came back to my bedroom it still hung in the same spot as when I had left. This time I had a chance to inspect this small rainbow from all angles. It was magical. It disappeared. One hour later cobalt blue light circles appeared to me. They were round. Somewhat oval shaped. They were bright. I went outside and saw them in trees, in front of me, on the beach; prancing on the ocean, dancing on the backs of people; in short, they were everywhere. As time raced through my biology, these lights never disappeared. Sometimes they were so bright in the darkness of my home, I had to shut my eyes for fear of being blinded. One night while sitting with my pure white, green eyed cat on my dilapidated couch in the darkness of my living room, I was delighted by a blue dancing display unfolding in front of my television, which was turned off. They were neon bright, unbearably charging the air. They hurt my eyes. I shouted out for them to stop(!) and they disappeared only to return the next day in the cold, January day. In class I asked Mary who or what these lights were and she told me that they were my echo; that they were conscious beings, that they were me. Hard to believe. Harder to understand. So life continued. Employed, loved, unloved, lonely, not lonely, unemployed, sad, happy, healthy, sick, everything continued as before with one difference. These intense oval shaped cobalt blue lights were everywhere. They were my ocean. My pool of reflections. They are my destination.

In a moment of time in a moment of space I walk down a black Island road on the other side of midnight. I pray for guidance. Suddenly upon my heart’s command, neon blue ovals stand side by side at the intersection of being and joy. They light the sandy terrain, beautiful silhouettes appearing from roots of despair. I follow these laughing lights; assured that pleasure awaits my appearance. My house was down the road, 2 miles from the final ferry and I never would have arrived safely in that hot summer night if not for jubilant light. As I write about this now on the precipice of sickly, old age, the smell of island summers returns. My friends never depart. They endure.

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