The Universal Current or How My Faith in Myself Was Renewed

“…we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how.” Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

What circumstances in life bring us to where we are? Is it random? Is it mere chance and coincidence? Or is the Universe really conspiring on our behalf, wanting to see us happy and to see our dreams realized? Intuitively, I believe this to be true, without actual scientific proof and sometimes maybe against all odds. I have long since rejected the idea of the Christian God, the absentee father figure so revered by so much of America’s inhabitants. I do not believe that such a being exists, whether inside or outside of time, but is merely a creation of man to make sense of the overwhelming world in which we live. However, I do believe, somewhere inside my soul, that there is a Universal Current comprised entirely of energy that flows through the souls of the people in this world, and even the animals and trees and non-living rocks and geographical formations. The current can be found in things and can be found in us. It is everywhere. But, we do not always live inside it or notice its living inside us. If we will only pay attention to it, we can feel its presence. Maybe it feels like coincidence or de ja vu. And so, I will tell you how meeting a little musician by the name of Miss Meaghan Owens gave me the renewed faith to pursue my dream and to tap once again into the Universal Current that controls all our destinies.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t lost my job in California and become a traveler. The life of the traveler is filled with uncertainty. Though it is this uncertainty that leads to adventure, it can be quite a burdensome cloud to live under. Society teaches us early on to be productive citizens, to lend ourselves to the yoke of the machine, which we do continually and at an early age. The traveler must throw off this yoke and suffer through the unavoidable and inexplicable guilt that comes with living our lives outside of the established “way of doing things.” After that, we must accept the possibility of failure. Still further, we must leave the concept of home behind us. From now on, we will be wanderers– the only home we have will be inside our skin and bones. So, I became a traveler. This must have inexplicably thrown me into the current of the Universe wherein, unknown to me, Miss Meaghan Owens was already making her way. Ater a couple of months on the road, I found myself again in the place of my birth. Where it all began. Where I began. I had not lived there since my early childhood, and had never, until now, felt a desire to return. After I had established myself there somewhat, unpacked my things and arranged my temporary living space to my liking, I once again entered the realm of the literary. I went to a local coffee house called Berkeley Bob’s (reminiscent of the Bay Area, which I had just abandoned) to read some of my poetry at an open mic there. It was in that coffee house, in the middle of nowhere, that I first heard Miss Meaghan Owens. She is tiny, with light blue-green eyes and a mountain of lovely auburn hair (a “ginger” my cousin would say). She dresses in flowing fabrics and lace, and her style is reminiscent of those poets who live in Berkeley and consider themselves one with the earth. Her voice was immediately arresting, and her Americana tunes (true folk music) had the southern twang so apropos to the craft, although she was born and raised among the Swedes and Norwegians of Wisconsin. The second she opened her mouth to sing, I knew she would be perfect for the February installment of the Anger Management series called “Brave New Words.” I knew by her sound that the San Franciscans would adore her, so I wasted no time in approaching her to suggest that she play in my show. She told me later that the second I handed her my business card with the yellow canary on it (her own card has a very similar bird) that she knew somehow that she was supposed to play the show. She hadn’t slept in two days and wasn’t sure about what to say, but I told her not to worry, just to think on it and I would contact her in a few days when she’d had a chance to rest. In a kind of cosmic “accident,” her family lived near Milwaukee and she was going to be in Door County at the Holiday Music Motel writing songs, so I decided to fly to Milwaukee to visit my friend Nick whose employment at Frontier Airlines enables me to fly standby at a very low cost. It just so happens, he lives in Racine, a short drive from the airport, so I decided to stop over on my way to San Francisco. Meaghan wanted me to wait for her so that we could fly together. I might not have wanted to wait had I not neglected to bring extra contact lenses and then had to wait for my mother to mail them to me before I’d be ready to fly. So, I waited. It worked out perfectly that we should fly out early on a Saturday morning. Despite issues with traveling with Meaghan’s Martin guitar, Frontier’s crazy gate-checked baggage requirement, we managed to arrive in San Francisco. We had experienced a nearly uninterrupted 24 hours of travel which included a twelve hour layover in Denver, Colorado; a complete lack of sleep; and stress about the guitar. Finally, the cab deposited us on the doorstep of the place I had lived before leaving California: the home of a Norwegian named Randi Pritchard. Interestingly, Meaghan was fluent in Swedish from her time in Sweden as an exchange student, and was eager to speak to my former landlord in that language. (The languages of Norway and Sweden are different, but so similar the two nationalities can understand each other with ease.) As I spent more time with Meaghan, she began to tell me her story during which I realized that we were not together by coincidence alone.

It just so happened that Meaghan knew Cullman because she had been stuck there for five days some time not too long ago. Her money had been stolen as she passed through the town which resulted in her not having any money to resume her journey. She holed up for that short time with the songwriter John Lott who was a frequenter of Berkeley Bob’s. She ended up playing a show there, and rapidly became a favorite. Several days before the trip in which I met her for the first time, Meaghan had been playing shows from Nashville to New York City. During her time in New York, she was writing songs with a gentleman. The two of them joked around that they were Wendy and Peter Pan. After the song-writing stint was over, she was trying to decide whether or not she should travel to Florida or Alabama. On the one hand, she was very tired and didn’t feel like traveling. On the other hand, she really felt that there was something she was supposed to do. Shorly afterward, she met another individual who said that the town he was from in Alabama was so small that she wouldn’t know where it was. She convinced him that she probably did know and when he finally told her the name of the town, it was Lillian, Alabama. She laughed and said she had played there, at Lillian’s Cafe.

“It’s a sign,” he said. “You’re supposed to go to Alabama.” And so, she went. When she reached the Panhandle (called by the locals, the Redneck Riviera), she entered the roadhouse Flora-Bama, where she had played so often before. And who should she see there but the owner of Lillian’s Cafe! It was thus that she was placed on the bill to perform. On her way back, she passed through Cullman and payed a visit to the songwriter, John Lott. It was at this visit, that she took the stage again at Berkeley Bob’s, and I heard her play. That night, I read several poems, one of which was “Wendy After Neverland.” Meaghan later told me that my reading of that poem was the final straw that convinced her she was supposed to come with me to San Francisco because it reminded her of the songwriter she had been working with in New York. All these little things came together as “omens.” Signs that we were supposed to cross paths in just this way.

Shortly afterward, I find myself in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, waiting for Meaghan to arrive at the airport so that we can fly together to San Francisco. When we arrive in Oakland, she remarks that the house we are staying in reminds her so much of her time in Sweden. She feels right at home, as if this is the place she is supposed to be. She is speaking fluently with Randi, enjoying the somehow familiar surroundings and getting ready to play the Anger Management show at Viracocha. On the day of the performance, she slept until 4p.m. I only woke her an hour and a half before the show (the minimum time she would need to get her voice ready for the show, she later told me.) On our way to the show, she told me of the dream she’d been having. In her dream, she had been at a lovely farmhouse, like the one we both discussed wanting to own. When she saw Holly Boston, who I had brought with me to see the show, she said she had seen Holly in the dream. She also mentioned seeing a handsome guy in a tweed coat and glasses. This guy was important she said. Maybe even romantically. She also said that she had been conversing with a spirit who would not let her into the room where her guitar was kept until she spoke to it directly. She believed this force to be me. Just as the spirit was allowing her to open the door, I touched her on the head telling her she had to wake up now. Imagine my surprise when we get to the show to find Jonathan Siegel, the owner of Viracocha, wearing thick-rimmed glasses and a tweed coat. Bizarre. At this point, Meaghan was starting to scare me just a little. Not in a bad way, but with the accuracy of her intuition. It turned out, there was a romantic interest she met that night, a boy also wearing glasses, who had grown up in her hometown, knew all of her friends and hung out in the same spots. Strangely, they had never met until this very moment in San Francisco, thousands of miles and quite a few years from where they both had begun. She spent some quality time with him before leaving, which pretty much fulfilled the dream she had had before the show. (Except for the farmhouse, which we are still both waiting to materialize.) After I had dropped her off at the airport for her next destination, Hawaii, I found the book she had left behind for me, calledThe Alchemist.I open up the book and read the following hand-written note (presumably by the person who had given her the book).

“When you are seeking God’s destiny for your life the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it… Love in Christ, Ken Ellis 6/28/05. I also read the following prologue:

I remember receiving a letter from the American publisher Harper Collins that said that: “reading The Alchemist was like getting up at dawn and seeing the sun rise while the rest of th world still slept.” I went outside, looked up at the sky, and thought to myself: “So, the book is going to be published in English!” At the time, I was struggling to establish myself as a writer and to follow my path despite all the voices telling me it was impossible. And little by little, my dream was becoming reality.” (Paulo Coelho)

This really resonated with me because I, too, am struggling to establish myself as a writer, despite my own disbelief in my ability to succeed…which really IS the only thing standing in my way when it comes down to it. Coelho advocates us to live up to our own personal calling, our Personal Legend. I wasn’t going to read the book right away. I certainly wasn’t going to waste time on the preface. I thought I would get right into the meat of the story. But I read it anyway. I knew I had to. The book began to speak to me. It just so happens, it was saying exactly what I needed to hear at that point in my life. It was telling me just what I needed to do. Little by little, my faith is being restored. Faith that, in living in the present and living up to my potential every day, without regretting the past or fearing the future, I will one day make it to my goal. All I need is faith. And to think, none of this would have happened if I hadn’t lost my job in California and become a traveler.


~ by ImaginaryCanary on February 23, 2012.

One Response to “The Universal Current or How My Faith in Myself Was Renewed”

  1. wow… thanks for sharing that story.

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