June 13, 1978, to Fatima, Children and All


This is a copy of a letter to Fatima that Moineddin forwarded to me, probably because it contains a lot of details about Moineddin’s teaching trip to Kansas City. Firdoussi [aka John Wyrick] and Sarfaraz Alert: you’re in this letter. One could title this letter A Day in the Life on the Road teaching Sufism.

Rubio, Iowa

June 13, 1978

Dearest Fatima, Children and All,

Ya Hayoo! Ya Qayoom!

The weekend [workshop] in Kansas City went beautifully. I arrived there Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock, was driven by John Wyrick to their home in the ‘student ghetto’, ate a turkey sandwick prepared by a lovely lady named Janneth (Paradise), and took my usual nap. Then up at 3:15, a quick wash of the face, and Darshans commenced at 3:30 and went on until supper at 6 o’clock.

A full-scale Dance Meeting had been arranged for the evening, so by 7:30 I was reciting Saum with some fifty Kansas City mureeds and other devotees in a large hall that the local spiritual community has been renovating (the place smells just like Noor Mahal’s kitchen or Bari’s room, take your pick). I left at the break, leaving John to finish the evening, and was driven back home by Sarfaraz, John’s wife—but not without stopping at a Winchell’s Donut House first!

The next morning arrived early. A shower, breakfast, and leisurely selection of Scriptures ws followed by a Worship Service in the same hall as the meeting the night before, attended by those who Danced previously, plus about ten Sikhs. Naturally, we included a selection from the Peace Lagoon as well as an eight candle. (It was one of those special Worship Services where everyone ends up hugging, even crying.)

Then lunch, a nap, and finally the concluding phase of Darshans from 1:30 until about 4 o’clock. Normally on Sunday afternoons. My energy level begins to sag after lunch, but on that Sunday the spirit was strong throughout the day. After Darshans we all went to the Nelson Art Gallery, theoretically to see a particularly admired statue of Kwan-Yin but actually to see one of the finest Oriental collections I have ever witnessed. We also were privileged to see a statue of the Dancing Shiva (apparently the one whose photograph is on the cover of the Ram Dass book The Only Dance There Is). Both the Kwan-Yin and the Shiva representations carried with them a tremendous atmosphere; the Kwan-Yin had a predominance of mildness in Her aura, while the Shiva very definitely had more of what I would call a sense of the Vajra, of radiating power and energy.

The Nelson Gallery, or museum, was thankfully air-conditioned,, as outside it was a very humid and muggy 95 degrees. Today in this little Iowa town of Rubio (population 65) the weather is extremely pleasant, even cool, under sunny skies. The birds and their singing abound here—even if the people don’t.

I did want to mention that John, who is a Chiropractor, worked on me for over two hours yesterday, making all necessary adjustments. He also placed acupuncture needles in a few spots to ‘open the gates’ for a better energy flow. This treatment did not, however, seem to diminish my’shaky-leg syndrom’ (as we wondered if it would, Fatima). Johnfinished doing me, like frosting on the cake, with a good solid massage. He even heated the oil first—a most kind man.

Also, my Kansas City dialysis treatment was one of the roughest I’ve ever gone through. No cramps or anything, but just totally wiped out all during and afterwards; Sarfaraz, my nurse, said it was probably the change of machines and kidney. So before my Iowa City dialysis tomorrow I plan to phone the unit at Veteran’s Hospital and see if they can run me on a Redy with Travenol 1200 Kidney which I’m used to.

Additionally, my flight from K.C. to Cedar Rapids (with a quick landing in, or all places, LOttumna, aen route) was in a twin-engined propeller craft for which a company called Ozark Airlines must take the blalme! I had to put my finger in my ear nest to the window to reduce the extreme noise and vibration. It was a most unpleasant flight; in fact, it was the absolute worst [uncontrollable laughter] flight I’ve ever had! Thank Gob it only lasted a total of an hour and a half.

Both Grandpa Glenn and Grandma Martha showed up to meet me, so Grandpa Glenn treated us all to breakfast at a nearby Ramada Inn. As Uncle Paul was due to fly in in the afternoon, with Dad scheduled to pick him up, we decided that Mom should drive me here to her home in Rubio (apparently Richland is just a post office address) and I’d spend the day with her. Then later this afternoon Dad and Paul plan to drive here for supper, and then drive me back to Iowa City for the night.

Grandma Martha has a real nice little home here; she is considering buying the place for $6,000. It sits on an acre and a half of green grass mostly, with lots of roses and peonies. She says to send her love to “Pat and the grandchildren.”

I guess this letter turned out to be mostly newsy, but between the lines you may read the lingering traces of baraka that provided Mureeds and Murshid alike with deep spiritual sustenancde all weekend in Kansas City. As I mentioned in the Madonna & Child postcard, it was satisfying to one’s soul in the sense that a Dervish would be satisfied: in other words, Allah was satisfied, and man was content.

Yet despite it all, I am already homesick for Noor Mahal, for you all, for the Prayers and for the meals together—and I have’t even visited Brother Augustine yet, nor done the Danse Meeting with Rahim, nor attended the two family re-unions that are set for the weekend!

Sometimes I think what a poor excuse I am for a Khalif answerable to Murshid and to Allah. And yet, and yet again, when it is time for the juice to flow, it flowest! Alhamdulillah!

As-salaam aleikhum and all love,