The Stories

THE STORIES OF VILLA AMARI

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

There were some new additions in my life after the re-birth … one being a feeling of occasionally being called to a place I named simply “The Circle”. I would go there and quietly listen … and at first would leave feeling more at peace … then it seemed more and more as if there was something I was listening to … or rather someone … which was still fine with me because I felt inspired, peaceful, and expanded somehow … and it didn’t interfere with anything else so I didn’t question it much.

Then one night as I was getting ready to go to my 11 P.M. shift as night auditor, I felt a very clear and persistent calling to The Circle. Mentally I said “I’d really like to communicate … and I have to go to work … I really can’t imagine calling in and saying ‘I can’t come to work tonight because I have to go sit in The Circle’ … really!”

The calling persisted and I thought “Well, it can’t hurt to go out there just for a minute.” … and I did. It was a clear night. My eyes were focused on the ground to watch my footing and I didn’t look up at the sky until I got just outside the entrance to The Circle … and there I stopped … staring at the sky, blinking, rubbing my eyes and staring again. Above me was what looked like a constellation of stars … in the shape of a five-pointed star. I’d had an interest in astronomy and had studied it since I was a very young child and I knew there was no such constellation! I had some very conflicting and confusing thought and feeling reactions to this including: “Wow! Is this real? What does it mean? … I’m hallucinating … if I stay and think about this I’ll be late for work or maybe not even go ….

Without even actually walking into The Circle, I turned around and headed back towards the house … I was doubting my sanity and deciding to get to work felt sane. Just as I was coming up the side steps by the children’s wing of the house, I heard a car pull up into the driveway. It was my friend Dale and his friend Garrick just returning from dinner. (They were houseguests while Garrick was in the area on business.) I grabbed my chance to have a witness … I asked Dale if he would please come out to The Circle with me … he said sure and asked if Garrick could come along, to which I agreed … the more confirmation, or lack of it, the better.

I intentionally did not say why we were going there or what if anything to look for. I didn’t want to influence anything … and perhaps because I’d feel less foolish if there wasn’t anything to see. We all walked into The Circle before I turned around and looked at the place in the sky over the entrance where I had seen the star-shaped constellation … and it wasn’t there. While disappointed, I still said nothing … and began looking for the possible combination of stars from existing and known constellations that I could have perceived to be the unusual shape. As I was doing so Dale said “I don’t know what we’re looking for, but look up there.” I did … and I was stunned … awed … jubilant …! There, above us, was an even larger version of the configuration I had seen earlier! Still, not believing my eyes, I asked what he saw. We were indeed seeing a five-pointed star made up of stars … or as Dale pointed out “or lights”. I hadn’t considered that before and as I began to do so my attention was drawn to the Eastern sky. I immediately called my companions attention to it also. There was a light moving steadily towards the north. Dale and I began checking out its characteristics and eliminated airplane, satellite, balloon ….

Garrick had been quiet since Dale had said “or lights”. I suppose the unknown carries with it an invitation to be afraid and if the unusual pattern of stationary star/lights above us wasn’t enough, this non-ordinary moving light was … at least for Garrick. I could actually feel the presence of his fear as he watched the moving light with us and repeated over and over in a kind of stunned monotone: “It’s an airplane. It’s an airplane.” It was obvious that he was trying to convince himself. Dale and I glanced at each other and it seemed like an unspoken agreement was made to not try to convince him otherwise. I was certain this was no ordinary flying object. As if as proof, when I looked back to the sky I saw it disappear! The sky was still cloudless and the object had not reached the horizon. There … right in the middle of a clear sky … it disappeared! Something inside me connected that disappearance with the fear that at least one of us was projecting.

I’m sure we all had our separate thoughts and responses to the events … and at that point we were not discussing them. My reaction was to leave, quickly, to get to work. In my mind I communicated “I’d like to stay … I’d like to continue and make contact … communicate … and I imagine that you can arrange it … I certainly don’t know how … I have to get to work now.”

When I walked into the motel I was amazed to discover that I wasn’t even late! (Though since then I’ve found out how “flexible” time is.) After receiving information from the afternoon shift person, I sat down to sort out some thoughts and to collect myself. It was attitude adjustment time … and it took about a half-hour before I was ready to ring up room and tax charges on the account cards for the inn and its customers. I inserted the first card into the machine and pushed the first numbers … and the machine didn’t work. For a short time I tried the usual checklist of possible malfunctions … then I knew why … and burst out laughing ….

I continued to play out my part … called the other night auditor, who came in, couldn’t find a problem, and accidentally locked the keys for the cash register inside of it. He called the supervisor who also came in and who finally sent me home because the audit would have to be done by hand and he was the only one of the three of us who knew how to do it.

What makes it seem like a part in a game or play, is that the supervisor said “You may as well go home … and take your hex with you.” And as I walked out I said “Don’t worry … it’ll work as soon as I’m out the door.” I don’t know why either of those lines were used … it seemed funny at the time … and out of character … like lines from a play or part of a game.

Later it didn’t seem funny at all … when I phoned work about something I’d forgotten … and was told the machine did work … as soon as I had gone out the door. In fact, it scared me a little … who was this that had that kind of power? I gave myself another “let’s think about this and adjust” time, instead of dashing immediately to the circle.

I was looking for a sane way to approach this unique situation and decided that I needed/wanted a witness to anything else that might occur … someone who others would consider rational and objective. By this time it was 2 A.M. and I thought of my friend John … he fit the criterion and was someone I could phone at such a late hour. I went outside to the deck that stretched along the entire back of the house at the second level, overlooking a hillside and ravine filled with trees that reached above the roof of the house. I sat in a chair and put my feet up on the railing and dialed John’s number. When he answered I filled him in on the events of the evening thus far, then invited him to come over and be a witness. There was a pause … and as I awaited his response I looked towards the opposite end of the deck …

There were three figures … light beings … which in height went from the floor to the ceiling of the deck … their basic shape is referred to as humanoid ….

I immediately passed this information along to John and sort of laughingly (I tend to laugh when nervous or in situations which usually frighten people) added … “Don’t worry though. Tigger (my cat) is out here and he isn’t freaking out and I’ve heard that cats are supposed to be sensitive to negative energies that way.” John then responded that he didn’t feel inclined to come over. I didn’t ask why … I supposed it might be fear or uneasiness and I’d already decided that fear seemed to block, dis-continue, or in some way interfere with communication and I also didn’t want to build up or add to any fear in me … so I thanked him, said good-bye, and hung up.

I had already put my feet down on the floor when I first saw them. After I hung up the phone I felt very vulnerable … disconnected from normal reality …. I slowly, immediately, got up and while keeping my eyes on them, backed through the open sliding glass doorway into the living room and shut the door … and I paced … and mentally talked to them about my fear and how I wished I weren’t afraid … they didn’t really seem the least bit scary or threatening … it was just some reaction to the unknown and unfamiliar … I really wanted to communicate … to find out about them ….

I needed to relax … to get peaceful … I laid down to do so and with all the lights on went instantly asleep. I didn’t wake up until the next morning. There was no memory of what had happened while I was asleep, though I was sure something had … and I would remember … someday.

AMARI – A WORD

I know that Amari is … who or what it is remains an ever unfolding mystery … like life itself.

I first encountered the word while working on an idea for an invention. I’d come to a point where I needed a name for it and Amari came to me very clearly as it is shown on the cover of the book. Each time I type or print the word I sense something is missing. Since then I’ve realized that this word may be more connected to the purpose of the invention and perhaps the source or channel through which the idea came.

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For those interested and who can make use of the idea I’ll take this opportunity to share it.

One of my duties, and a fun one to me, at my night auditor job was placing wake-up calls to the guests. From comments made to me I began to suspect that how a person began the day could have a major effect on the way in which he or she would experience the day, so I began to experiment. I didn’t have control over the first sound that would be heard … a phone ringing … nor the particular reactions a person normally had to that sound. For that reason, as I got more seriously involved in the invention itself, I found some research, in particular from Bell laboratories, on the effects of different sounds on the emotional and mental levels. I got to know as many of the “regulars” at the inn as I could and asked the new people a few questions when they checked in.

Actually a detailed account of the research isn’t important. The devices I imagined haven’t gotten to the market place, though you can accomplish almost the same effect on your own with a tape-recorder and a timer – the kind usually used for turning lights on and off. After making your own personalized wake-up tape, you’ll be able to tell for yourself if it is helpful.

To make your wake-up tape the most effective, think about your favorite way to wake-up … perhaps you’d like a friend, lover, or child to record a greeting; perhaps you’ve found exercise a good way to start the day – you or a friend could lead you through them; perhaps you want to hear an affirmation to start your day; perhaps you don’t ever feel like getting up because you don’t like your job very much — you could remind yourself of your goals and how this job is going to help you achieve them, or remind yourself of your very best, most enjoyable day at work and all the things that made it good. With thoughts like that you’d be more likely to attract more fulfilling experiences into your day … and for those who work for tips or commissions or on piece work, you’re more likely to have more money from this day begun with such positive awareness.

Make your perfect wake-up greeting, plug the recorder into the timer, and begin your day with something alot better than alarm!

*******

I’d felt drawn to live at a special house and thought the invention, which I called “Amari”, would provide the means to get that house … so I called it Villa Amari. During this period of time I researched the word and found no other product using the name. I checked Latin, Spanish, and Italian dictionaries and didn’t find it there … though later someone told me it was the Italian infinitive “to love”, so I might have missed something.

When I later had my elsewhere re-birth experience and the close encounter, I identified “Amari” as the place of origin or perhaps a sort of family name of those with whom I communicated … the connection with a word meaning love – as a verb, an action word, then seemed apropos.

In 1976 I changed my name to Suzanne and used only it for the next seven years. It remains my legal name. I then borrowed “Amari” as my last name as it seems to be the name of my spiritual family. When I was informed that I had graduated from corporate America, I “returned” the borrowed surname. In May of 1991, I came to a new understanding of the symbology of names, and was invited to use it as my surname. At this time I knew it actually was my name. Whatever the origins of the word, or how I’ve used it, I know that Amari IS.

VILLA AMARI – A PLACE

On my son’s first day of pre-school, the parents were invited to socialize over refreshments as a way of introducing the children to the environment while helping them get comfortable. Another of the mothers and I kept “catching each other’s eyes” through the crowd. After awhile she came over to where I was sitting and said something like ” I know this sounds corny, but haven’t we met somewhere?” to which I responded “I feel I know you too, though I don’t think we’ve met before … at least not in this lifetime” … and that’s how I met Michele … at least this time around. (At that time in my life I hadn’t yet given reincarnation any thought … those are just the words that came out at the time.)

Michele is the mother of three and at the time lived in the house that was to become Villa Amari. We had become fast friends and when our family first visited at Michele’s family’s home, my sons exclaimed “Wow! Wouldn’t you want to live here Mom?” They were in awe of the indoor forty foot long swimming pool, the “forest” in the backyard with the fort in the center next to a stream of water with a bridge over it, a treehouse near another stream by a bridge which led to the back of a schoolyard — they thought the two-and- a-half block walk to their present school to be much too long … and I think they liked the idea of “the children’s wing” … a part of a house that actually would belong to them. Whatever their “reasons” for wanting to live there and in spite of my feelings that there was something very special about the place besides its material abundance and beauty, I answered their query with “No, I wouldn’t want to take care of it.” I was probably mostly thinking about the sixteen or so floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding glass doors, the swimming pool, over one acre of grass to mow, gardens to tend, and 2500 square feet of house to keep clean including three bathrooms. (My prosperity consciousness was not at the point of realizing that a person could pay someone who enjoyed the work to do it.)

A long time later and well after my husband had divorced me and married someone else, Michele called me to ask for my help in selling their house. It had been awhile since we’d gotten together or phoned one another, but she knew that I knew more of the “specialness” of their place. And as she put it: “You and I both know that this house isn’t going to let someone buy it who would respond to an ad calling it the ‘ultimate executive home,'” which is how the real estate company had been advertising it. I told her that I would give the matter my positive thought, attention, and energy and see what I would come up with and would begin by calling a sensitive friend who was in the financial position to have connections with people who could afford the house, as well as intuitive enough to understand the nature of the place and who might best be suited to live there.

When we ended that conversation, I immediately picked up the phone to call that friend … and didn’t remember her phone number. “Now that’s strange/funny” I thought. Why don’t I remember her number?” … and from somewhere inside of me came the answer “Because I want that house”. The answer, this realization, shocked me … I actually spun around … then looked out the window at the sky and said: “Whatever else you may say, Suzanne, don’t say ‘I can’t!'”

And this person named Suzanne, who sometimes didn’t even know where money for milk for the kids or gas for the car was going to be found, had many doubts along the way. However, she never did say that self-limiting phrase … and four months later moved into Villa Amari!

I admit that two months after feeling invited to that special place, that doctors told me that I might die any day … and that their statement and my belief at the time in the authority of those in the medical profession, freed me from the cautions against taking risks that my conservative background would have imposed on my actions. Also, risk-taking is currently seen as one of the gifts of adult children of alcoholics (a term not in existence at that time.) The doubts were mostly overcome by my faith that I was invited, and no one is ever invited to a place they cannot go.

The things that impressed me about Villa Amari were: it was at the beginning (or end, depending on your viewpoint) of a court; the only part of the house that could be seen from the street was the driveway and garage; there was a special spirit or “energy” (for lack of a better word at this time) that expressed itself: in the seven trees (which blossomed gloriously in the spring!) that lined the drive and walkway in front of the house; in there being seven pieces of wood in each parquet tile in the family room floor; in there being seven wall-length, floor-to-ceiling shelves for the books and treasured memorabilia; in there being seven rays of colored lights in the light organ that pulsed and danced when the stereo was playing. There were textures that expressed this “energy”: slate, stone, beamed ceilings, tongue-in-groove wood wall and ceilings; and the glass walls upstairs and down that sometimes seemed to eliminate a differentiation between “inside” and “outside” — oh yes! … and then there was the outside … flowers, flowering trees, evergreens, stairways, bridges, streams that were sometimes dry, sometimes silently flowing, sometimes gurgling and singing their way to the ever-present creek that eventually found its way to the Mississippi River and of course then to the Gulf and the seven oceans of the world! … And there were animals that lived in and visited this miniature haven of nature, the design of which made it a very private world (except when winter bared the trees) which was actually right in the center of my then all-time favorite city in the whole world … and, keeping the best for last, there was the Circle. My only comparison for the “energy” I experienced there came after I’d read about Findhorn in Scotland. Findhorn’s specialness was manifest mostly in growing plants while the Circle at Villa Amari had an energy that manifested mostly in peace and communication. Perhaps the vortexes in Sedona, Arizona have similar qualities.

*******

There was a guest book on the marble shelf in the foyer’s stone wall. Visitors were invited to comment and we had some prolific writers visit us. I share now some of their perceptions:

“VILLA AMARI

an entry way into eternity

access to the natural-spiritual fantasy world of the Universe

energized for action

synthesized for safety

a real dream

realized fantasy

encapsulated energy

fluttering freedom

a boosting station for my own dreams

A PLACE OF NOURISHMENT …”

and another …

“I have here a feeling of integration. I am moved by the flow between nature without and natural forms, textures, shapes, colors within. I am absorbed in a harmonious whole, at peace, contempletive, serene.

Your joy in this place, Suzanne, is something I resonate with. I am warmed by this marriage of person and place and all of the resultant positive spillover into the lives of your sons, your friends, your animals, your worlds.

Thinking of you here gives me happiness.

*******

Villa Amari was an experience … giving unique experiences … as does life. Further descriptions of its (her) spirit and beauty will be given as the occasions arise.

THE GAY ERA

Sometime after my “re-birth” I seriously began to experience panic and was sure I was going insane. Then one day when I was ready to fall off the edge, John came sweeping into my life … a brilliant, sparkling life-saving hero. “Of course you think you’re going insane. No one around you understands you!” That was his life-saving assessment … and it was true … and the relief was like a ton of weight off my back.

When John first visited he began what I called the “Gay Era at Villa Amari” and I learned many lessons about the aspect of “Relationship” during that period. The local president of the Gay Rights Movement once defined “Gay” to me as being happy with one’s sexuality. I came to see it as being happy with who I am as a person. In either, or both, senses of the word, John is gay … and he very definitely extended his gift of self-appreciation to me … and I receive it still whenever I think about him.

John introduced many of his friends to me and many happy hours and days were spent sharing from a wealth of creativity. John became the resident composer/musician and one of several poets and artists who would gather around the large marble table and share their keen senses of humor as entries were made into the “Official Writings of Villa Amari” book and many tablets of drawing paper were graced with their expressions of color, movement, and “soul.” We danced together inside and outdoors in the meadow … we played, laughed, and dreamed together. We respected each other and felt joy in each others lives. We nourished each other, helped out if one of us felt down, and we listened to each other’s silence.

Without influence of alcohol or drugs of any kind, I met the mind and heart of one “gay” man so closely that it led to a sexual “peak experience” … I realized my relationship to the universe in a very similar way to when I was “elsewhere” during my re-birth process. During this sexual experience my sense of androgeny was whole and complete … I was woman, I was man … I was whole … and I felt myself as one with the entire universe … a necessary, integral part of it ….

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