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tulani celebration


tulani celebration

Scott Bahlmann

Dear M, 

The first celebration I'm going to share with you is that which honors Tulani, my spiritual guide of wisdom and knowledge. These celebrations are fluid, and sometimes end up taking a different form than I expected. I don't hold them very seriously, it's a way to playfully engage in a specific aspect of myself.

Tulani's animal form is the giraffe, a creature of quiet and watchfulness. I decided I would have a day of silence in honor of this observational aspect. She is also a transient, having no real home, but wondering constantly, experiencing new and diverse locals. Wealth and poverty, abundance and despair are all familiar to Tulani in her unhurried travels around the globe. I thought as the date approached that it would be nice to perform some service as part of this worship, in particular for the homeless. I didn't have a solution by the time the day arrived, so I decided instead to go for a walk, with a small blue pebble in my mouth to remind me of the silence. 

I set off with no particular destination in mind, and no expected time frame. Just walking and observing, and seeing where I went as I went there. My first instinctual change in direction led me down a side street, and three houses in I saw a falcon. Not a silhouette in the sky, but a predator with it's prey, on a manicured side lawn maybe four yards from my position on the sidewalk. It was uncomfortable with me watching, as I crouched down by the curb. After a few moments, the hawk hopped-flew as it re-positioned the dove in it's talons, then took off to find a more private dining place. 

This simple, unique, occurrence conveyed to me that I was doing well in my intuitive choices for this worship, and I continued on. I had brought with me some canned fruit juices, as I didn't know how long I would be out. But I found simple nourishment in fallen fruits on a back roadway and sidewalk. An apple and a pear, that I accepted as unintended gifts with appreciation. After a while of walking, and being some distance from home, I decided to begin moving back the way I had come, without retracing my path. I was headed toward a busy thoroughfare that I wanted to avoid, but all the streets leading back toward my home were dead ends, for four blocks, until the only street left was this motor heavy roadway. 

Just before it, though, was a little side path, advertised as a park, though it was more of a walkway, that led the way I wanted to go. I passed by the greenery, and at the end of the path saw a man sitting just before an overpass, engaged in a book. He had his belonging in a bag behind him, and was quite unaware of me until I was just in front of him, offering him my canned juice. His eyes were stunningly clear, and he accepted the beverage with thanks. It seemed appropriate that I be able to share with someone, not only transient, as Tulani is, but also someone appreciating literature, which seemed to relate to the wisdom aspect of Tulani.

As I continued on my walk, I heard the can pop open, and the prayer I have for Tulani came to me. I had studied it a few months before, thinking it would be nice to hold in my mind on this day, but my efforts had been trivial, and it had escaped me until this moment. 

Kana tasangana muchaita muchitidziidzisowo 
-when we meet, you will teach me-

And I realized that the celebration was complete.