Prosperous, Fortunate, Favorable,
By Tandy S. Martin
A couple of weeks ago I was driving up the California Coast to see an old friend of mine in Goleta. She lives in a converted water tank high in the hills where hawks circle lazily surfing the wind. L.A. was in the middle of a heat wave but I was in my little rented Suzuki with the air conditioner turned on high, day-dreaming through the miles. I hadnít realized just how much I missed the ocean. Itís not like I had lived that near it. Burbank for Gods sake! Still, its huge presence informed my existence. As it flowed past me, my heart filled with gratitude at the incredible luxury of my experience. ďI am rich beyond measure,Ē I actually said out loud in the car. ďThank you,Ē I said.
I flew into L.A. from Washington D.C. to attend a Memorial Service for another
friend who basically died from drugs and alcohol (Letís call him R). He had a
big house in one of the Hollywood Canyons, a home studio, a pool, and a
successful career. He had admirers and hangers-on and detractors. He could play
music and paint, and write incredible computer codes to create beautiful effects
that were his alone. He was funny and smart and eccentric. He was found by his
mother in a pool of blood after he didnít answer his phone for two days.
Prosperity ó the state of being prosperous. Advance or gain in anything good or desirable.
Synonyms: fortunate, successful, favorable, auspicious, lucky.
The truth of the matter is: I donít have a house, a pool, or even, at this moment, a successful career. I do have a sort of home studio, but it is in my cousinís basement and I also sleep in that room fighting the heavy inertia of solitude as I try to move a film project forward. I am not among my own kind.
What I am trying to say is: what is prosperity anyway? I used to spend quite a bit of time thinking about it, especially in the 80ís, a big Ďaffirmationí decade. Not that thereís anything wrong with affirmations. They work for some people, they just never worked for me.
And there were some about prosperity which I pretty much took to mean money. The more money you had, the more prosperous you were. If you were saying prosperity affirmations, it was because you didnít have enough money. When you got enough money, you obviously didnít have to say those particular affirmations anymore, You could start on: ďEvery day in every way I am getting thinner and thinner.Ē And somehow, somewhere, God would take an interest.
Do you think itís prosperity that K paid my way to California? Or that C gave me an envelope with $300 in it so I could have a good time while I was there? Was it prosperity for me to be able to take it? Was it prosperity to be able to see that giant converted water tank with a hexagonal roof and a stained-glass window, and actually sleep there? Or meditate in the beautiful little Vedanta Temple, or teach my friend two magical passes I had learned in Peru?
I know it was definitely prosperity to stand at the oceanís edge at 4 p.m. in my bathing suit, a cold wind blowing over the water, and bully myself into diving in. And it was prosperity to cry with my friend at her kitchen table about a tragic situation in her family.
Rís Memorial Service was held at Cal Arts, and lots of people came. There were
four Academy Award Winners present. There were food and wine, and art hanging on
the walls. After awhile people sat down and took turns telling stories. His
family was there, including some cousins and an aunt. People laughed and cried.
He was loved. He was a very rich man.
R was prosperous. He was fortunate, auspicious, lucky. And that is the strange thing about prosperity.
So am I.
Tandy Martin recently produced and directed a spiritual documentary, ďThe Heart of the SilenceĒ, filmed in the Peruvian Andes, and featured in the July/August issue of Awareness Magazine. She and her talented team are looking for individuals to assist in completing this fascinating film. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to the September/October Index page