The Goddess politely knocked on my door, giving me many opportunities to awaken to her presence. After 49 years, however, it seemed I wasn’t going to open the door. So she blew the damn thing off its hinges.
She sent me Amantha.
From the very first moment I met her, Amantha shone a different light on life and how to live it. Beauty was everywhere in her world; in her smile, in her dancing green eyes, in her throaty chuckle, in her strong, work-worn hands. And her house… it was simply astounding. A turreted dome filled with satin cushions, bejeweled decorations, Arabian archways, exotic tile-work and faux paint, the house screamed her life-long credo: “Don’t stop till it’s over the top.” A celebration of the Goddess, it was the veritable pleasure-dome of Kubla-Khan in Xanadu itself.
Amantha’s very essence was grace. She wasn’t impatient. She didn’t struggle. She was one of the hardest workers I ever met, and yet she made everything seem effortless. This, I gradually learned, was because she never pushed against life. She went with it. She waited, open and receptive, to hear the voice of her heart and spirit to find her path on a daily basis. Whether she was facing big issues or small stuff, (“And it’s all small stuff don’t you know?”) she waited to get clear. And waited. And when the message finally arrived, she was calm enough, un-busy enough in her mind to hear it. And then, even if the message made no logical sense (and often it didn’t), she followed what it said. Intuition was her infallible guide. And her life was the result.
This drove me and most of my other hard-driving, logical, struggling, intelligent, professional women friends – all of us stuck in our heads and not our hearts – nuts.
But we loved her. How could we not? She loved us. She intrigued us. She had something we didn’t understand. She had something we, as women, desperately needed. She had the Goddess alive and well within her. Not some pale New Age caricature of the Goddess draped in crystals and velvet, (although she draped herself in both as often as possible!) but a raw, vibrant, soothing, compelling presence and intelligence that meant something. We just didn’t know what. Or at least I didn’t.
People who didn’t know her might think her grace came from having an easy life. But Amantha did not have an easy life. Born in 1944 at the end of World War II, she married young and had her first baby at 16. She experienced terrible things that all too many women in this world face – diminishment, marginalization, domestic abuse and rape amongst them. But she accepted these things, determined to find the gifts they brought, learned, gained strength, and moved on.
She raised and supported four amazing children all by herself. She showed them how to love life, taught them to extreme ski (how else to ski except extremely!), introduced them to astrology and gourmet cooking, and, above all else, gave them the freedom and respect as individuals to live their own lives. She lost her oldest son to the emptiness of the open ocean one terrible day. And yet somehow, even in that, she found the gift, gained strength, breathed in more love, and moved on.
Everything she touched – whether a table or a curtain rod, a skirt, a hat, or a house – became something unique. Creativity was her nature and everywhere she went beauty followed. She worked hard to increase her astonishing knowledge of soul astrology and made herself available to those in need of guidance. Eventually, after God knows how many miles, lovers, husbands, spiritual books, homes, food, and adventures, she arrived in Washington State and my life.
We were friends for almost ten years, but I really only know the bare bones about Amantha’s life. You see, she didn’t hold onto her story; never put it on display. Instead she focused her attention on others. God knows she knew just about everything about me. I loved my story; my pain, my confusion, my abilities, my failings… I dumped them all in her lap. She never encouraged this, for she was not an enabler. She just let me do it.
She was a wise, loving, imperfect, and compassionate woman with direct knowledge of the human spirit and an unshakable vision of where it could take us. She embodied the Feminine in all Her outrageous glory and power, subtlety, receptivity, and vulnerability. She flaunted the unfathomable Goddess to the world, all the while still soaking up her secrets. Because of all this she was a healer, and people flocked to her in droves. Her friends were – and still are – legion.
If it weren’t for Amantha, this blog and the light-hearted bleach-blond at the top of the page swathed in a sequined black shawl amongst a field of daisies headed to the stars wouldn’t exist. Oh, I probably would have opened the door to the Goddess sooner or later. Probably later. Maybe. But the Goddess wasn’t taking any chances. She sent me Amantha to make sure I damn-well got the message about how to live life in a good way straight from one of her best messenger’s lips.
And then, as always, Amantha moved on, leaving me and everyone else who knew her the richer and more glorious for her touch.
Rock-on sister, wherever your outrageous, loving spirit might be.