Pondering the Pavement

July 14, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed (Part 2)

[The conclusion of my own tale of discovery in honor of the upcoming 14th anniversary of my spiritual journey]

Despite the deluge of self validations being strewn about, I was still no closer to solving this mysterious eagle reference. I was, of course, getting quite frustrated over the whole thing. Have you, by chance, picked up on the fact that I’m just not patient? Rumor has it that patience is a virtue. I’m OK with that theory providing that the virtue comes ‘round the mountain quickly. Needless to say I keep my guides quite busy hurling debris at me every few minutes. I like to think of myself as their personal workout regime.

I gave the menu at Denny’s a quick once-over to make sure they didn’t offer a ‘Batter Dipped Eagle’ luncheon special. No such luck. Obviously I wasn’t supposed to get all of my answers at America’s Favorite Diner. It’s a good thing that I didn’t because there’s was a Denny’s just around the corner from where I lived at the time. I would have been ticked having spent all that time and money traveling to Sedona for a blue plate special of perception when I could have just walked down the block. I will admit, however, that the timing of Heather’s call had truly convinced me that I was supposed to be in Sedona. Lord, but I’m easy.

EvaCassidyAlbumLater that evening I hopped in my rental and headed out to a grocery store. I was craving cantaloupe. Hey, it happens. I like healthy food if it tastes good! On a whim I had this desire to listen to a CD entitled “Live at Blues Alley” by Eva Cassidy. Eva was a extraordinarily gifted singer from the Washington, DC, area who left this world far too soon. She possessed a voice that can literally bring me to my knees. I’m not much of a fan of music in general; I listen to very little. But Eva is different. Her voice touches my soul—it hits home—pure and simple. Without thinking I slid the silver disk into the CD player and found myself chuckling over the first track: “Cheek to Cheek”. I’m on a spiritual pilgrimage and I’m hearing the voice of an angel singing “Heaven…I’m in heaven…”. Ya gotta love it. The second track, entitled “Stormy Monday”, began playing and I didn’t think anything about it at first. Suddenly, as I’m sitting at a traffic light, ONE lyric jumped out at me: “The eagle flies on Friday.” I just stared at the console and at that moment I knew Heather would have the key to this grating eagle reference. She had, just a few hours earlier, changed our clandestine meeting from Thursday to Friday. Was this divine intervention or just my desire to dump the responsibility in Heather’s lap? To be honest, either solution worked very well for me at that point.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the market, still chuckling in awe over “the eagle will fly on Friday”, another track had started. This one was entitled “People Get Ready.” It starts with these lyrics:

“People get ready
There’s a train a comin’

You don’t need no baggage
Just get on board
All you need is faith

To hear the diesel hummin’
You don’t need no ticket
Just thank the Lord.” *

The instant the second line was sung a train whizzed by along the track directly across the road blowing its whistle. I started to laugh and just muttered, “smart ass” to the cosmos. “Oh, yea,” I thought shaking my head, “I’m gonna pay for that one later.”

While in this grocery store I found a section displaying a wide selection of religious candles. Saint Francis and Mother Teresa stuffed right in there between Spam and Mrs. Butterworth. How handy. Save your soul, grab a bite, and you’re on your way. You have to love the convenience of it all. And, low and behold, amidst these candles encased in what resembled tall and skinny drinking glasses, was one for my pal, the Archangel Michael. It was only 99 cents. I figured Mikey was worth a buck so I put it in my basket next to my cantaloupe and Caesar salad… the whole time praying I would not somehow get them confused at the peak of my feeding frenzy.

Thursday night I went through my meditations and this time had success. In addition to calling in my usual entourage, I asked to speak directly with the Archangel Michael. Why not, right? You never know until you try. Within moments I felt a very strong energy around me; it was a force unlike any I have experienced so far. It was very strong, even authoritative. Not threatening by any means but I was given a feeling of a higher presence that had a definite purpose. Most importantly it was absolutely not Robert, my Master Guide (or any other member of my spiritual entourage for that matter). There was definitely a new kid on the block. I was immediately lead to my laptop. While I normally take pen in hand to transcribe these messages from upon high, I knew that this had to be typed. The energy was too strong for my mere hand. There was no way my penmanship could keep up with this intensity while still remaining legible. I sat down at the keyboard and this is the conversation that flowed like wildfire from my fingertips:

What message do you have for me?

“I come in love, understanding, benevolence, trust and truth. Be steadfast in your faith, Charles. It will not let you down. On a wing and a prayer you are perched and shall not fall. It is God’s love that never falters. It is your love that He seeks. You have offered it to Him unconditionally and he is stronger for it. Yes, God ‘needs’ your Love. You were made in God’s own image–does He not feel as you? Do you not need the love of others? Of yourself? God is no different. You have not quite grasped the concept of ‘Your God Self’. God IS within you and you are within God. Between heaven and earth is the almighty love of God and Man, permanently binding them together as one. Do not ignore the greatness within you for God has never ignored it. Accept it, Charles! Own it! Be the man that you are, not the man you THINK you are. Your reality is within your hands. Allow it to breathe and thrive. Like a butterfly let it soar swiftly, elegantly and with beauty. Open your palm, Charles, and release the butterfly from its cocoon. You are protected, you are growing. THAT is what you FEEL, Charles. What you perceive as doubt is CHANGE. You do not yet fully understand what is happening so you ‘naturally’ fear. You must admonish the fear; beseech it to leave you and, in its place, you will find God’s unconditional love. Within that love you will find AND understand the truth. The truth being YOU; not an illusion but the real thing.”

I worry about taking pride in my abilities.

“It is not a sin to be proud. Are you using your abilities for personal gain? Are you using them to mislead others?”

If I do this for a living I will be gaining from it.

“But is that the MAIN reason?”

No.

“There, my friend, is your answer.”

It’s hard to let go of insecurities.

“Insecurities are not truths. The truth is within the light. If you walk into a darkened room you are unsure of what lies ahead, correct? Once you turn the light on you know where to step. The trick is finding the light switch. YOU have found that switch, Charles. It’s in the same place each time you step into the room. Why do you ignore its very existence yet dwell on the existence of non-truths? Old habits die hard BUT they are replaced by the reality of God within you, your life, your surroundings…need I go on? God IS everywhere, Charles. Even in that darkened room you enter with such trepidation. Reach inside, turn on the light, walk where you know you should tread. The furniture may be moved but the path will always be seen. Have faith. As the staff in your hand steadies you over the rough terrain, so shall your faith. The journey will grow within you but shall always be clearly marked. OPEN YOUR EYES! Trust in yourself and KNOW God will never falter or leave your side. Be one with God as you go with God. In peace, in strife, God is there.”

And then ‘it’ was gone. I asked a couple of times just who I was talking to and I was answered by silence. I know, in my heart, it was the Archangel Michael. I asked to speak with him therefore my faith tells me that is exactly what happened. Once I added Michael to my collection of spiritual connections I felt compelled to ask the hotel management for a special group rate for my room.

Simply put: Friday could not get here fast enough.

* * *

Sedona RocksI drove into Sedona along AZ 89A taking in the breathtaking scenery. I stopped frequently at various ‘scenic overlooks’ along the route. As I was pulling out of the first tourist trap overlook I found myself behind a green SUV (like Elvis they are everywhere!). Painted on the back of that vehicle was a dream catcher with a soaring eagle in the middle of it. When I pulled out into the regular flow of traffic I saw the shadow of an eagle flying overhead cross the pavement before me. Slap me in the face again, why don’cha?

I met Heather at a Mexican Restaurant in the heart of the tourism that is Sedona. After proper introductions (which, among artistic types, can really be just about anything) we sat down and she immediately began discussing the tarot. Thankfully I was donning my blue sunglasses (a must for any fashionable medium don’cha know) so she couldn’t see my eyes widening to the size of half dollars. I said nothing but I was thinking “Well, son of a bitch”.

I’m widely known for my Mastery of the English Language. Yuh-huh, I shor is…

I have a major blockage to the tarot. I’ve attempted ‘fiddling’ with them, for lack of a better term, with no success. I run into walls and obstacles over and over again. I can’t grasp them—or so I want to think. I would have more luck if I tried to read lint. One of my guides, Pamela, is here, she claims, to help me with the tarot. As I see it dear old Pamela needs to sit down for a long one-on-one with Saint Jude for this little miracle to transpire. My learning the tarot is about as hopeless as finding a Hooter’s in the middle of the desert. (And I have looked!) Oddly, as I run like a madman from the tarot, I find it being thrust in my face with more regularity than the best of bran could offer. I have insisted, time and time again, that I can’t read the damn cards! And yet I have two decks, six books on the subject and even an Angel Oracle Card deck. Oh, yea, I’m ‘running’ from it all right. And here’s Heather, a total stranger, talking about those infernal cards the instant we meet. My guides must take turns driving yet another spike into my cranium.

Amidst her structured speech she suddenly stopped and explained, “When I went to bed last night I just knew I had to talk to you about the tarot.” I just laughed. I explained the whole ‘tarot blockage’ that I have and how I seem to be the only one who sees this impasse. I added, “My guides keep bringing it back into my life. Now, if they could just bring me a Hooter’s cheerleader, I’d be fine.”

Heather laughed. Thankfully.

Later in the conversation she said, “You know, just before I read your email about the eagles, I was having these random thoughts about eagles. Isn’t that weird?” Before I could respond a flash of realization swept across her face. “Have you been to the Chapel of the Holy Cross?”

I shook my head. “Never heard of it,” I said.

She went on to explain that it was a chapel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built into the rocks overlooking Sedona. She leaned into me and said, “There is a rock formation up there that looks exactly like a giant eagle head.” You know how you can look at some formations and say, ‘oh yea that could be an eagle or it could be a Buick’? That’s not the case with this one. It really looks like an eagle!” She emphasized each syllable of that last sentence with a series of rapid-fire pokes in my upper arm. She then leaned back and said matter-of-factually, “You have to go there.” So, of course, since I have no will power of my own I caved and readily agreed to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross later that day.

After meandering through a few art galleries, Heather and I parted company and I headed back to my Ranger. As I entered the sparsely populated parking lot I stopped dead in my tracks. Parked a measly four empty spaces away from my vehicle 05_hooterswas a Hooter’s Calendar truck with photos of Hooter’s girls plastered all over it. My jaw fell open, swaying in the desert breeze. If my eyes had grown any wider they would have merged together to give me that dashing Cyclops look that any unibrow would envy. Then, as is my custom, I dropped to my knees laughing in hysterics. Are my guides on top of things, or what? Now where did I put that tarot deck…?

Along the road leading out of Sedona, and toward the Chapel of the Holy Cross, there is an art gallery that has a massive sculpture of an eagle erected outside of the building. Suddenly eagles were everywhere! I made a left onto Chapel Road, parked the gray Ranger, and proceeded to hike up the path to the church overlooking the panoramic scenery below. Along the pathway up to the church there is a statue depicting St. Francis of Assisi, another saint that has been connected with me by other mediums. Yet another indication I was, indeed, on the right path. But why did it have to be so steep? I think all paths should have moving sidewalks and/or escalators. But that’s just me.

Once I reached the top (still bewildered why I hadn’t melted like the Wicked Witch of the West) I found myself being physically turned clockwise until I was facing a stone eagle head which overlooked the back of the chapel. I was immediately bombarded by a massive surge of energy that led me to a small wall. I was physically turned around, and ‘pushed’ gently down to a sitting position. Then I heard “Shhhhhhh.” I tried to ‘listen’ when a gaggle of tourists approached chattering about the heat, their bunions, the hilarity of their recently purchased I’M WITH STUPID t-shirts and other such topics of disinterest. I got up and walked inside the sanctuary seating myself in the last of the seven benches masquerading as pews. Of course the benches were out of the sunlight so I was happy. I would have sat on a pile of rattle snakes as long as they weren’t in the heat. I had lived in the Washington, DC, area for ten years so I’m immune to the bite of poisonous snakes. Enlightenment AND political commentary wrapped up in one saucy burrito? What a bargain!

06_chapelThere was a small group of individuals sitting in the sanctuary. Some kneeling, some sitting in quiet reflection and others just damned thrilled to be out of the sunlight. It was like I was sitting between a colony of Christians and a roving band of vampires. A description, I believe, that can adequately sum up any family reunion. A variety of hymns were playing over the internal PA system. I calmed and centered myself, closed my eyes, took three deep breaths and heard, “What are you going to write?” I was confused by this comment. Again, “What are you going to write?”

I replied, “I don’t know what you mean.”

Again, but this time far more insistent, “What are you going to write?”

I thought for a moment. I had no idea there would be a pop quiz on this trip. I was the one always asking questions and now the tables were turned. I was paying the price for the manifestation of the Hooter’s truck. “I guess something that will help others learn…” I uttered without an ounce of conviction.

“RIGHT!” I ‘heard’… or dare I say, ‘felt’? “In order to teach you must learn more, open your mind to more possibilities.” Then ‘he’ went on to give me a ‘polite’ lecture on Christianity. I have this habit of butchering the religion at every turn. I never liked it much and I tend to rag on it a lot. “There is nothing wrong with Christianity,” I was told. “The problem lies within the malpractioners of it. Remember that.” Of course, I had to admit he was right. “In order to teach you must free your mind of unnecessary baggage and weight for that will only limit you. Prejudice and ignorance have no place in the classroom. Do not forget ‘life’ is a classroom.”

I asked, “OK. Who ARE you?” Here I am being handed profound information and I’m wondering who’s talking to me. Am I a butthead or what?

“I am known as The One Who Soars with Eagles.”

“But what is your name?” Refer to the ‘butthead’ remark above.

“You would not be able to pronounce it,” he replied. He was not being condescending by any means. He was very matter-of-fact and I believed him. After a slight pause he then said simply, “Go in peace.”

Just as I was reeling from that experience I suddenly ‘knew’ the title of my book: ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’. Well, go figure. Once that dawned on me the PA began blaring another hymn in the Heaven’s Top 40: “The Old Rugged Cross”. This hymn “coincidentally” was my favorite when I was a kid. I admit that was pretty cool although I was more impressed with the Hooter’s truck. Once again please reference the earlier ‘butthead’ statement.

I left Sedona not as a new man but as an awakened man. As I pulled out of the chapel I saw an eagle flying high in the south western sky, just swooping down, left and right, going with the wind. It looked random but yet, at the same time, meticulous, refined and with self-assured purpose. I pulled off the road, put the truck in park, and just watched this majestic creature dancing in the sky. Many people sped by me, either immune or indifferent to their surroundings, as I absorbed every movement of this seemingly private viewing. “Thank you,” I whispered to no one in particular as I leaned on the steering wheel and just gazed, smiling, ever upward.

And so it began…

* * *

“Remember, as a child, you had to crane your neck to look up to the adults, the sky, the trees, the table top. As the years pass you grew and you found yourself not having to crane your neck as much. You are growing spiritually and you do not have to crane your neck as much as you did when you started. You are constantly growing. Like a flower reaching for the sun, bask in the warmth and love of the light and grow as high as only your own limitations will take you. Believe in limitless possibilities for then you will be soaring with the eagles.”

–Robert

04_eagle

*”People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius

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