It was during my last year of university, whilst taking a world religion class, that I came up with my personal mantra, which was paraphrased from the book of John; I and the beast are one. It fit. At the time, I my meditations focused on making sure the demon and ghost worked in concert, not conflict. It's all about balance.
Shortly after my thirtieth birthday, Lee tattooed my mantra across my back in black India ink, using Nepali script-the closest I could get to Sanskrit. The pain was exquisite. I felt it necessary, though. Besides, it balanced out the demon and man brands under my collar bones. Those marks symbolizing the twin aspects of being. Yin and yang. Light and shadow. Instinct and intellect. Chocolate and peanut butter.
Supposedly, I'm one of the balanced ones. At least some of my friends think so. I find this amusing, since I catch my moments of queer anxiety and know I'm not always good at the mundane things. Yet, strangely enough, some of the cats I've know over the years and lifetimes have come to me when they need to be reminded to breathe.
I've had my own friends I go to see to remind me to breathe. My gurus, dysfunctional though they might be. Funny how it's played out that there are those who see me in that role. I don't believe I'm a guru or a guide.
It's strange, because I've never rightly tried to be a saint, superhero, or even bodhisattva. I just do what I do. It's taken me a lot of years to accept I might wield some mojo as a storyteller. Whilst I do feel good when one of my friends tells me my words or presence helped, I still catch my wondering if it isn't some kind of secret joke. Proof in the pudding of the maniacal humor inherent in the universe, much like a giraffe or a platypus.