“… Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
This is probably the biggest quote from Shakespeare that speaks to me on a daily basis. Because I need to be reminded of the unanswerable in order to prevent my measly human brain from closing down. Collapsing under the weight of my manufactured opinions and judgements. (This is a hint for my next blog post, too, by the way.)
When my mom started her online business in 2005 I was eager to help with her website and give advice. These were tangible things I could get behind. But I never really gave her business a push on my own website because of the subject matter and my atheist leanings. A decade later I feel like an idiot for not doing so. This post is an acknowledgment that Shakespeare trumps my philosophical platform.
Some of you may know her name, Betty Malicoat, since she wrote the short story I adapted into a film short, narrated by Academy Award winner Linda Hunt:
Available on iTunes! (Oy, even in a post about my mother I can’t resist some self promotion. Probably due to the way I was raised… Oh, wait.)
First, you need to know what my mom’s business is. Check out HealerCounselor.com.
She essentially offers two services: spiritual counseling over the telephone and distance holistic healing… I think it was the second service that I couldn’t quite reconcile with my understanding of the world. But she has so many satisfied clients and testimonials at this point that my mind has opened to a neutral question mark. To quote a 20th century bard – “Whatever gets you to the light it’s alright.”
Yet, even with my love of science and my smug suspicions about the power of psychology, I have always told the following story to friends who ask about what my mom does.In 1984 I had hit rock bottom. I had been fired from my prestigious union waiter job at Original Joe’s in the marina district of San Francisco – where I had been outed as non-union by some very miffed 60 year old career waiters. I had only been living in SF for a year. Now I was broke and unemployed. I was literally eating peanuts from a large bag for a week.
I moved back to the east bay and joined a group of close friends who had rented a dilapidated 1920’s house in Walnut Creek. I had avoided calling either of my parents for a few months because I was ashamed. I had left high school but hadn’t yet started on my dream of pursuing acting. I had spent the last year dropping acid, waiting tables and spending all my money on my friends, weed, dining out and, sweetly enough, over-tipping other waiters. I was 18 and PAR-TAY-ING!
One night, after a particularly touching episode of “Murder She Wrote” and a fresh sugar high from the pint of ice cream my friends had bought me, I gave in to my need to talk to my mom and called her from a nearby payphone.
“Are you okay?!” She sounded worried.
She said she had been receiving these “messages” from “sources.” (She had much more detail about the “messages” and “sources” but I sort of see it all now as her trade secrets so I’ll leave it at that – “messages” and “sources.”) She had worried that I’d become suicidal. I laughed and said I’m the last person to ever entertain notions of that. In my mind I thought, “Wow, she’s really off the mark here.”
And her being “off the mark” was unusual since she’d always seemed to know things before they happened with my sister and I. Even with her other family and friends.
We made plans for me to drive down to see her in Fremont (if I could get my dying Pinto to start and stay running while driving over 30 mph.)
It was a very productive visit. We spent hours doing the math (something we both suck at) and figured out I needed a second job and that, together with my first job, I’d be able to save enough money to move to LA in exactly 6 months. I had a plan to finally start my real life!
Then we relaxed and just visited.
I started to tell her about this marijuana pipe my friend “J” had made for me. (Yes, I freely talked about my drug use with her after I moved out – and much to her mild dismay). My friend J had taken a stick from the front yard and carved a peace sign on the front of the bowl so as you passed it to others you were actually passing peace to them. Cool idea. Cool guy.
She asked if he also painted or drew. Turns out that, through hallucinogens, he discovered an amazing talent for drawing. Pure abstract designs that were so detailed and gorgeous. He would draw for all his friends.
Then she said, “He’s the one.”
“Yes,” she said very seriously. “He’s the one they wanted to tell me about. He’s very depressed and thinking of suicide.”
This was news to me. I thought he was just very mellow. (We smoked a lot of pot then.) She then told me to pick up the pad of paper and to write down all that she was about to say.
Two pages later she said she needed to rewrite it on her own and I went to bed. I had no idea what to make of it. It was the first time I had seen her do that.
In the morning she gave me an envelope to give to J. Which I did when I got home.
“This is for me?”
“From your mom?”
J had never met my mother. He opened it with a curious smile. As he began reading, though, his smile vanished.
“I have to finish reading this in my room.”
When he came out 20 minutes later it was obvious he had been crying. He said she knew so many things and that he had been feeling suicidal and that her advice was to reach out to his father. Reconnect. That there was something there that would heal the both of them.
He then wrote a long thank you letter back to her.
Pretty freaking weird and cool, yes?
But throughout my childhood my mom had always been doing this for her friends. She was always on the phone for hours helping people with their situations (sometimes even while our dinner burned in the kitchen). And when I moved to LA she did the same for me. Always with amazing insights as to the people I was dealing with and the choices I was faced with.
Last year, while I was traveling to 17 cons, one of my liaisons was telling me about her troubles. I suggested she try my mom’s service. Partly because I knew my mom could help but also partly because I wanted to hear a friend’s view of what it was like. To see if my experiences were special merely because I was her son or if others had the same experience.
My liaison/friend sent me this for my mom’s website testimonials page today:
Even she had the unique “Betty” experience. It was’t just me. And it was very similar to the experiences of others:
So this blog post is really about a son who has been put in his place by Shakespeare, John Lennon and the many people that my mom, Betty Malicoat, has helped over the last decade through her website.
If you think you or someone you know could benefit from my mom’s services, please visit Betty Malicoat’s Spiritual Counseling and Holistic Healing website. (By the way, the artwork on there is by Betty, as well.)
And please feel free to share this post or her website anywhere and with everyone. I’m a lucky and proud son who thinks many more people should experience her gifts… Whether they be “magical” or, as I like to think, part of heaven and earth that my philosophy (and our science) has yet to even dream of.