Gareth Calway has been a Baba lover since 1979.
While unemployed (in every sense) and pondering his future after graduating from University, he received a hug at an introductory meeting from an elderly and distinguished not to mention divinely eccentric follower of Meher Baba (Lady Dorothy Hopkinson) after apologising for giggling all the way through her transcendent talk.
Inwardly convinced that something deeply significant had happened at that meeting but reluctant to credit The Avatar for it, he decided to devote 40 days and nights to a trial, convinced that Meher Baba wasn't someone to idly flirt with but needing a strong signal that He was someone it would be right to devote his life to.
Checking the 40 days "expiry date" in a diary, it was found to fall on Good Friday (1979). Certain that this was too corny to be true (and never having been any good at math) Gareth checked again and found that in fact the "expiry" date was Easter Sunday.... This was a coincidence, yes, but it was also a genuine message to someone puzzled by that "Being Is Dying By Loving" paradox, thinking of starting a new life from the sterility of his old one and (deep down) in love with Jesus.
Though bored and unimpressed by conventional Christianity, Gareth had always felt drawn to the gnostic side of Christianity and by the Bible as a mystical text especially as reflected in the work of poets, and the lyrics of the 60s and by the person of Jesus as God in human form, and Baba seemed prepared to indulge Gareth even to the point of "arranging" for him to spend a night of silence in a graveyard on Maundy Thursday on a grave that (it turned out later) bore his own date of birth (another Maundy Thursday).
At this point, it was clearly time to stop mucking about, start following Baba through the more inconvenient, down to Earth, paths of everyday employment but Gareth was moved by the fact that Baba would take the trouble to respond to him in his (i.e. Gareth's) own rarefied language.
Marriage and a career in teaching followed (both still going strong!) and Gareth continues to record the journey in pursuit of his hart/heart Meher Baba, as seen from these apparently ordinary Ways.
Coming Home, a book of poems which explores the theme of Evolution / Reincarnation / Involution as described by Baba, was published in 1991.
Britain's Dreaming, with a third section devoted to poems of the would-be Path "The Way of Love is a Tightrope" was published in 1998. It ends with Gareth's oldest retained poem and first real Baba poem, "Beloved, To Please You" written in June, 1979, and still truer to Gareth than anything else he's ever written.
February 2009 update: Marriage still going strong (3 decades same as my Baba romance). Teaching career brought to an end after 27 years to become full-time author in 2007. First novel River Deep Mountain High published 2008, going into paperback Feb 2009 prefixed with Baba's words about literacy not being education, education not being culture and culture not being gnosis. The novel is set in a high school and is a romantic comedy. Eighth book of poetry about King Arthur and the Grail Quest scheduled for publication later this year.
Gareth Calway: email@example.com
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