Spirituality and Sedona

Twenty-two years ago I was regular guy; worked in the New York sewers with Ed Norton. Ralph Kramden, a friend from the old neighborhood, drove a city bus crosstown and used to let me ride for free. Of course these guys were from the TV show, ‘The Honeymooners’ which I marveled at. Script writing was timeless and the sets were basically costless. Here I am thinking about that show which was in endless summer re-runs on WPIX; my streams of consciousness are surreal; sometimes I know not from where they come. But it just hit me. The night before I was going to Phoenix (Scottsdale), Arizona, 22 years ago, for the very first time, I was watching the episode when Ralph finds a suitcase of money on his bus. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could find something like that?” Then I randomly picked up a magazine, flipped through pages of recipes and abs workouts, found an article on the magical, spiritual, and surreal qualities of Sedona, Arizona and its red mountains and haunting vortexes of new age realizations. I was heading to Scottsdale the following morning which was 75 minutes away from Sedona. So there it was. A life changing moment; I was curious about spirituality and vortexes and decided that on the free day during my Arizona national sales meeting, I’d take wife and young son and go exploring Sedona to see for myself.   I’ve never been the same since. You’re even reading words of a post side-effect metamorphosis.

I rented a white Cadillac (my first time in a Cadillac) for the journey up Route 17 from Scottsdale to Sedona. We went with friends and their young son and stopped at Montezuma’s Castle near Sedona. Cave dwellers lived there four hundred years ago but mysteriously disappeared. Mountain tops over caves seemed to blend into the bluest sky without clouds I’ve ever seen. Silence was profound but strangely loud. Back in the car, I talked about magic vortexes and spirit nearby. Landscape was boring, with dry grass and gentle hills; no signs of majestic red mountains and scenes from John Wayne cowboy movies. Then like a George Lucas special effect, craggy, towering, bright red mountains jumped across the two lane highway. A sign on the roadside welcomed us to Sedona elevation and population. A few feet beyond the sign was a five foot pile of red soil on the roadside.  I veered the car off the road, jammed on the brakes and jumped out. My passengers thought I hit a moving life form and were worried. “I’ll be back.” I deep voiced (sound familiar?). I don’t know what possessed me. Perhaps the red soil beckoned. If there was magic in the soil and spirituality to be found, I wanted absorption.  I jumped into the dirt, scooped it up and rubbed it all over my exposed arms and legs to a horrified Cadillac audience. If my skin was porous enough, I was determined to go back to New Jersey enlightened and spirited. Later in an outdoor shopping venue, something (one of my favorite spiritual words) made me stop by a weathered old Native-American woman selling CD’s of local music. I bought Coyote Oldman’s ‘Tear of the Moon’ (flute and Incan pan pipes) which has continually lured me back to Sedona; exceptionally haunting music.

How do I know something happened with Sedona’s soil?  Back in Jersey a few days later, I bought a Pick Six lottery ticket and won the bonus number; 1 in 100,00 odds($500 prize). I never win anything and sensed something (that word again) and theorized the rubbing red soil facilitated an intrinsic element of spirit. So I lamented, that if only I had stripped nude and rubbed the soil over a larger surface area (all the cracks and crevices), I would’ve absorbed enough to win $ 1 million. Of course tongue and cheek but also heavy duty, industrial strength spirituality. Twelve times since, I’ve been back and climbed my favorite vortex red mountain barefoot (absorption through soles).  Over the years, spirit has directed me to write a novel, discover the universe and other realms of conscience. Here I am now, two hours after the NY Giants whipped the Green Bay Packers, thinking I could write more of the spirit even though I was going to save it for a memoir of 444 pages ( a special number, by the way).  Edith Bunker from ‘All in the Family’ on TV used to say, “Ain’t that something, Archie?”  And spirituality is.

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