Mystic

mistik/

a person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.

THE BUMBLING MYSTIC'S OBITUARY

A SPIRITUAL MEMOIR

Wait. I thought mystics were old guys with white beards? Well, some of them are. 
A mystic is simply someone who seeks to have a direct relationship with the Divine. In my case, I didn't want to know about God. I wanted to know God, to have an interactive relationship. It's also important to distinguish between a mystic and a saint.  Saint is a title bestowed by the Catholic church or a term that implies a virtuous state. I'm not that—by a long shot.

I've written a spiritual memoir called The Bumbling Mystic's Obituary, that begins with a wince-worthy, frame-by-frame depiction of my young self, including me running away to the mountains at 13, to contemplate the meaning of life. Woven through the story are a series of jaw-dropping synchronicities in breath-taking landscapes—White Sands, New Mexico; the Olympic Wilderness, and a (mostly) uninhabited island in the San Juan archipelago, where I spend two years in solitude.

My question is amplified when, while living in an intentional community near Seattle, I receive a premonition of my death. The ending chapters deal with how I approach this unsettling news.

I am currently pitching it to agents, but you can read the beginning below.

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CHAPTER ONE SAMPLE

where ya headed?

The squelch and static of the police radio triggered adrenaline, but somehow I resisted the urge to run. I lifted my head, quickened my pace, projecting a sense of purpose. I was walking—no crime in that. 

In my peripheral vision, I watched the car make a U-turn.

It couldn’t end yet. I’d barely started. I wasn’t done. 

“Hi there,” I heard a male voice say.

I turned to see an officer adjusting his baton, leather boots creaking as he walked around the front of the squad car.  He stepped onto the curb, gaining another 6 inches, and stood in front of me. 

“Where are you headed?” 

Well, now, that was the question, wasn’t it? Where was I headed, and what did it all mean? 

“To the end of Katella,” I said, as if answering a history question. I was pretty sure he didn’t mean “in life.”  

“My eighth-grade class chose Disneyland for its graduation trip,” I said, maintaining steady eye contact, “but I just went with my family and didn’t want to go again.”

That much was true, and I said it with the conviction of one who followed all the rules, which, up until the left turn on Edwards Street instead of a right, had always been the case. I like to walk (true). I want to see where Katella Ave. ended (kind of true). Yes, my parents know where I am (not true at all).  

“What school do you go to?” he asked. 

“Blessed Sacrament.”

I couldn’t have made up a better answer. 

I’d never talked to a policeman, let alone lied to one, but I must have pulled it off, because he said “OK,” hesitated, then warned me about some tall bushes up ahead. 

I had nothing to worry about—I wasn’t afraid of tall bushes.   

 

PRAISE FOR TBMO

"Lots of goosebumps, plenty of laughs, plenty of “oh shit’s” and just a general sense of awe at the way you’ve pulled it all together and told the story (not to mention the human part of me who is in awe at the way you’ve lived it). I don’t even like reading memoir as a rule, but I loved this book."

I started reading once I downloaded the file... mistake! Darnitall! I started reading, stopped to work, and then picked up the book again and had to finish. I laughed many times. I cried a couple. I feel inspired.

"I LOVE this book! I decided to just "take a peek" even though I knew I only had an hour. I can't put it down, I love it so much!"

"I  AM LOVING LOVING LOVING your book. The book is awesome."

"Wow. Your writing style is so approachable, with rich descriptions of the surroundings and the honest, vulnerable, funny descriptions of your thoughts and inner workings. Can you tell I'm blown away by the story and I'm only on pg 47. Thanks for sharing this with me. You're hittin' it outta the park!"

What a delightful romp and contemplation. The writing was at times poetic, magical and transporting.  Oh, and clear and masterful.