My morning was made beautiful by seeing that P had posted pictures of herself and Duchess Goldblatt on vacation. P is a very dear friend of the soul-level, mind-reading, telepathic sort, who I can tell anything and trust with my heart, even though we have probably spent less than twenty-four hours total in each others’ physical presence.
Some people in my day-to-day life find that connection unusual. What they find even more unusual is P and I having become acquainted because of our mutual devotion and service to Her Grace, The Duchess Goldblatt of Crooked Path, with whom neither of us has spent even twenty-four seconds in actual physical presence.
The Duchess, you see, is a fictional character. Her Grace exists on Twitter, where she is the benevolent ruler of a sovereignty of loving, literary, literate dear ones longing for community of like minds and souls who affirm what is best in universes both corporeal and fictional. Like (I suspect) not a few of Her Grace’s devotees, when I was suffering, I was given comfort and offered support by this community; revealing the details would feel like a betrayal of privacy, so it will need to suffice to say that if not my actual life, at least my heart and soul, were saved by Her Grace and her followers.
They believe in MiracleCharlie.
I used to worry people would think me hubristic for naming myself MiracleCharlie. It had nothing to do with any delusional belief I possessed magical powers, rather, it started two decades ago when I did A Course in Miracles with a friend equally desperate to locate some logical cause/effect for the clusterfuck that was the reality of our day-to-day lives. I already had an AOL-user name based on my desire to be Dorothy Parker, but when I checked the availability of MiracleCharlie, certain it would already have been taken, to my surprise it was okayed. So, when I started Tweeting a few years ago, I carried the identity over without considering how pretentious or preposterous it might appear to others.
Now, I have learned, anyone who matters understands, like Duchess Goldblatt, MiracleCharlie represents the places and possibilities where all of my selves — fictional and in real life — exist. Now, I have learned, anyone who matters understands we are all beautiful combinations of fictions and truths, reality is little more than a collective hunch (thank you Jane Wagner), and every moment of being is an exercise in choosing what of us is “real” today, a leftover piece of wisdom from my Course in Miracle days: We are in every second choosing between Love and Fear.
I love living in Duchess Goldblatt’s dominion, a serenity of souls whose collective hunch agrees that we are stronger in love, that there is a community of generous, passionate, romantic, dreaming, thoughtful, good beings who prove that no matter the trials and tribulations and traumas (and I am hardly a Pollyanna, I have days when I dive into those fears and wallow there), optimism is warranted, the world is a worthy,wonderful place to be where you can reach out and find a hand, someone to hold you, someone to trust.
Better, the world is a worthy, wonderful place where you can be that hand and earn that trust. This week, as I type this, I am sharing my days and nights with two pups, Bear and Rhory, in the beautiful, love-filled home of a family of dear ones as they vacation. They trust me with their pups and their house and their privacy. I am deeply honored by this trust. I am also ecstatic to spend much of the week on their couch, with their dogs, reading and enjoying this worthy, wonderful world.
Better still, yesterday, someone I love very much, someone I admire and adore, someone who allows me all my fictions and truths and sees in them always my essence, always MiracleCharlie, blessed me with the honor of being her driver, companion, responsible party (she is — you can tell by that — a brave woman, a woman of great faith) as she underwent a medical procedure. What a blessing, to be given that gift, to hear and feel from a loved one, “I trust you to be there for me.”
Miracle. These gifts, being embraced by The Duchess Goldblatt, sharing in P’s life and joy, my friends sharing their homes and pups with me, my dear ones trusting me to care for them and hold them up when need be, my Mom and I becoming best friends and sharing secrets and snark, all miracles.
Listen, the thing, I wasn’t always MiracleCharlie. I’m still not always MiracleCharlie. There was a time I couldn’t be trusted to celebrate someone else’s vacation companion or joy, couldn’t be trusted with dogs or a house, or with secrets or to have someone’s (not even my own) back, and many, many times — years, decades even — when I lived in fear. I tried to end my life, more than once, and spent the years when I believed in one or another god praying to that one or another god to let me die before I woke.
I made it through. Dumb luck, mostly, and being loved, being needed, and choosing love often enough that I got through the nihility of bad choices and spiritual paralysis. Listen, what I’m saying is, there will still be dark days, I know this. But, when you have a life as beautiful as mine, when you are greeted in the morning by P’s vacation photos, and the knowledge that another friend might need you to deliver meds, or your Mom might need you to make her a special food she misses, or be the one she can swear with (or, at), and that there are years worth of laughs left to have with the dear sister you live with, and books being written (and read) by minions of The Duchess, and when you are lucky enough to live in a world and have had a lifetime during which marriage equality happened and Hillary Clinton is going to be the first female president; hey, Miracle. Every day.
Choose Love. MiracleCharlie did, name and choice maybe by accident, but here I am, going.
Love and Light, dear ones.