Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Finding the Straight Path

Dear Friends,

In Islamic Sufism, there is a beautiful concept of life as a circle. We are all on a different point in the circle of life, trying to find our ways to the center - where truth and God are found. Respecting each person's path is an integral part to achieving a straight path to the center.I have one more change of plans which I believe is the straighter path to the center. After discussing the situation with my family, I have decided to not go to India for the teacher training and instead return to New York City.

Unfortunately, my maternal grandmother (my Nana), has been in the hospital for some time and is not doing very well. She is in critical condition and my mom and brother have been at her side daily. They have asked me to come home to share what could be the last moments of her life.

Gloria Taylor, my Nana, has been an incredible inspiration in my life and I feel compelled to be with her while I still can. My Nana has always been a strong, independent woman whom I have looked to for love, support and guidance. She had my mother at the young age of 17, and returned to school to complete her undergraduate degree. Gloria and her husband John Taylor took my mother to Puerto Rico after her graduation while my grandfather worked with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Gloria then went on to do her law degree as she moved with my grandfather to Oregon for years while he managed a dam project. When her husband gave her the ultimatum to either return with him to the East coast or complete her J.D., she opted to stay with her husband. However, when returning to New York, she instead completed her doctorate in Economics. From there she taught at Wagner college and finally at Manhattan Borough Community College for several decades. Even after she retired, she was involved in conferences and presented papers. Gloria even took up a new interest in the influence of linguistics and culture.

My Nana has been a world traveller. Gloria loved to spend her winters in Puerto Rico - which she did for nearly three decades. She traveled to Russia, Europe, Latin America and visited every state of the United States - even Alaska! When I was living in France during my junior year of high school, my Nana came to Paris for the week and let me skip school! We spent the week sight-seeing, shopping and even watched topless dancing women at the Moulin Rouge as we sipped champagne. She let me smoke a cigarette in front of her and told me, "darling, I went through that phase too- I trust you will be smart enough to let it pass." She was right - cigarettes are a past time for me with my yogic way of life these days.

I love my Nana very much, and I feel blessed to have her in my life. I can't wait to see her and share a hug with her and some untold stories. I let my know to tell her to wait for me, and I trust that she will.Please keep her in your prayers. I look forward to seeing people in the U.S. soon. I don't have a plan at the moment, but I trust that the next steps will lead me to the path I am meant to be on.

Blessings to you,



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