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Eat Pray Love Chapter 37

I honor the divinity within myself and the red cardinal too. | Journal Entry 37 of 108

June 18, 2019 Comments Off on I honor the divinity within myself and the red cardinal too. | Journal Entry 37 of 108

Om Namah Shivaya is a mantra that can be used to connect with one’s higher self.

It translates to:

I honor the divinity within myself.

Or, I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.*

According to MindValley, “it is seen as the death of the ego, and rebirth of the soul.”

I honor the divinity within me…and recognize the divinity around me.

A red cardinal flew by the windshield of our black Toyota Highlander as we drove down the winding road to my uncle Mike’s place. Many family picnics have been held at his house down by the mighty Mississippi river. It was about to host both a family picnic and a Memorial Service for my uncle Tim.

“I think a cardinal means something,” I said.

Before those words made their full trek from my mind to my mouth, Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive started playing on Laser 101.7. Our radio is normally tuned to MPR 91.7, but the Highlander’s radio had been inconsistent when it came to that signal as we drove around the state to various family functions that weekend.

I turned it up. My daughter complained, because she was exhausted and wanted to sleep. She’d driven through the night from St. Louis with her two-year-old daughter to make it in time for the service.

“Uncle Tim gave me this song,” I said in answer to her protests. We all listened in silence:

I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I’m wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive

As Chris drove, I sat shotgun admiring the scenery, imagining how riding County Road 21 on a red Ducati would feel. What would it be like to lean into its curves? I’ll never know.

Finding Divine Meaning, Connections…

I waited until the song was done to look up the symbolic meaning of cardinals. A Google search brought me to these words that I read aloud to Chris and Elizabeth:

A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you.

My voice choked on “will always be with you.”

In the words, I see the echo of the Sunday morning hand-shaking, Catholic church refrain:
Peace be with you.
And also with you.

That was him. It had to be. Maybe he was racing by, trying to make the rounds as people drove to send him off.

Divine mix-ups?

Tim had given me the soundtrack to Young Guns II in the early ‘90s. By mistake, I thought Wanted Dead or Alive had been on that soundtrack. The correct song is Blaze of Glory.

I’m going out in a blaze of glory
Take me now but know the truth
I’m going out in a blaze of glory
Lord I never drew first
But I drew first blood
I’m no one’s son
Call me young gun

I didn’t realize my gaffe until a day later when I sat down to begin writing this post on honoring the divinity within. To honor what is divine within is to recognize the divine of all; and, to see how we are connected to everything (imho). That’s my logic for writing about the cardinal and my uncle instead of strictly adhering to a post about honoring the divinity within myself. Speaking of divine and holy…

Excerpts from Allen Ginsberg’s Footnote to Howl:

Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!

Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!

Tim’s jeans were holy.

Thoughts of divinity and connectedness brought me to the red cardinal, the guitar intro to Wanted Dead or Alive, my uncle Tim, all of my uncles, my big family, my new family, the river, and on.

I Googled “Young Guns II soundtrack Wanted Dead or Alive.” It brought me to an article about Emilio Estevez asking Jon Bon Jovi’s permission to use Wanted Dead or Alive for Young Guns II. Instead, Bon Jovi composed another great song, Blaze of Glory for it. So maybe I was still wrong, but less wrong.

Regardless of the truth, the inaccuracy of my mind’s connection, both songs remind me of Tim. I’d like to think that he might’ve made the same mistake. In his music collection (records, tapes, CDs), I didn’t see any Bon Jovi. His tastes were varied. Harry Connick Jr. to The Clash, Frank Sinatra to Husker Du, Arlo Guthrie to The J. Geils Band.

According to my mom, his most recent favorite song had been Rock, Paper, Scissors by Katzenjammer. It’s on their 2012 album, A Kiss Before You Go.

Rock, paper, scissors
Which one is, it’s your decision
And no matter what you choose
You’re gonna live it

Rock. Paper. Scissors.
Divine. Holy. Unending.
I honor the divinity within myself.
I see and honor the divinity in everything else too.

Side Note: I’m excited to start using the Om Namah Shivaya mantra as I meditate.

This post is part of a series inspired by Eat Pray Love.

*Source: Mind Body Green