2. Go the Mountains, A Voice Calls

Blog 2: Sept. 13-18, 1996—Angst follows me like a heavy cloud that won’t lift as I drive west with my car full, and my friends, Jane and Geri, driving up ahead. They, too, are leaving the East Coast for San Francisco.

We stop in Nashville, home to country music and where Jane’s friend lives. Sitting on her porch under humid evening skies, we begin to relax. It takes an effort, though—we are still inside the density of the East Coast—and only after Geri massages my head do I feel the weight I’m carrying begin to release. My mind stills, lightens a bit.

Back in New Jersey, I doubted my trip west—felt my longing to go back to Spain gnaw at me—but now I’m feeling a glimmer of hope.  I long to learn about cultures still connected to the earth in simple ways. I always have, and maybe now I will.

We drive beyond Nashville, further west, through storms and lightening, and changing landscapes. Jane is driving ahead and waits for me to catch up with her and Geri so she can call out to me, inside the storm, “Toto, go home!” I laugh at her reference to “The Wizard of Oz” and we drive into a canyon, where we tent for the night under trees surrounded by walls that protect us from the fierce weather.

We sleep fitfully, but protected, and now I’m driving behind my friends again. We are in Arkansas. I pass a sign that says, Alma. That’s soul in Spanish. It may seem inconsequential, but it seems uncanny that as I pass this sign, I begin to cry heavily. It’s the kind of crying that grips my body and soul, yet wrings out all the tension I’ve been carrying. I feel the thick clouds inside narrow, humid skies lifting, and I hear my own voice telling me to go to the Sandia Mountains.

Sandia Mountains? It’s clear my imagination isn’t playing tricks on me, since I have no idea where these mountains are. Yet I’m determined, amidst my crying and breakdown—or breaking open, more accurately—to figure out what it all means. The Sandia Mountains must be in Los Angeles, I think. Maybe I’m supposed to work in the movie industry. That’s it! My rational mind has figured it all out—turned an unusual call (I’ve never had a voice of any kind speak to me like this!) into a career move.

Yet the crying continues, and truth be told, I have no idea what’s happening to me.


15 thoughts on “2. Go the Mountains, A Voice Calls

  1. Yes…I heard a voice tell me to go pick up my guitar that I had abandoned years before. This made no sense at the time…but was the key to leading me to a whole new life filled with joy and love.


      • I would say the “voice” was inside of me but felt like it came from someone other than me. I picked up my guitar in March of 1997. Songs slowly started, became spiritual…about my journey…which led me back to college and a Master’s program in Religious and Pastoral Studies…mostly just to force me to delve deeper and because it was some action in a direction that might lead me to something new career-wise…although I had no clue. Then to the idea of youth ministry, then to my first album “Listen to Your Heart”, then to a Youth Minister’s job, then to a second (Live to Love) and third (Give Praise and Thanks) album, then to Clinical Pastoral Education (Chaplain training) at a hospital…which led me to a new position at the church employing me…in pastoral care and social justice. I use my music in pastoral visits, retreats, talks, jail ministry and in my own occasional concerts. It has led me to cross beyond boundaries of religion into a much broader and ever broadening spiritual realm.

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      • To address the question “Have you ever heard a voice calling you to act?”. . . Well, many times, in ways both large and small. There was the voice that told me one evening many years ago to stay home instead of going out with friends–the voice that saved my mother’s life that night when she collapsed with congestive heart failure and I was home with her because of that voice. (It was the same voice many years later that told me to return to her side at the nursing home the night she passed away.) And there was the voice that told me to leave everything behind and travel to Spain with a certain spiritual blog writer. That voice ultimately set me on a path of discovery that still reverberates with me today, after years of studying and performing Flamenco guitar, and now building Spanish guitars in my little workshop with a passion I could never have imagined a dozen years ago. Sometimes I reflect on it and think that perhaps it was the voice of sheer insanity–and that is perfectly fine with me. I wouldn’t have my life be any other way than it is.

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  2. It is interesting that the two people on this blog that shared about hearing voices guiding them were both called to go back to music, guitar it seems, and what a sweet calling. I like it. Thanks for sharing. What a crazy journey it is, yet in the bigger context it seems to make sense.

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  3. I had that little voice speak to me twice. First time, I had just started my pilgrimage east, and followed by a friend’s suggestion, went to Sedona, AZ. I had somehow gotten to the top of Bell Rock in a trance and found no way down. The voice said “jump, you’ll be fine! :-)”. You can imagine my logical mind’s reaction. After 2 hours of heeing and hawling, I jumped, and I was, falling down Wily E Coyote style, although comedic and unpleasant, allowed me to fall to the bottom with just 3 scratches and no other injuries nor achy body parts. The second time, I had just crossed back over into the country in Upper State New York – spent 5 months crossing the USA, went to Montreal, and stayed there for 3 months, and decided to leave. The voice chimed in again, “Go to Albuquerque! :-)”. Whaaaaat??? But I knew better to object given how Bell Rock worked out, and crossed the country again in a month. That is how I ended up in Albuquerque. For Blimey!

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    • What a great story of your experiences of being called, Peter. Isn’t it so strange how people like you, and I, and others have been called to Albuquerque of all places. I wonder why in a bigger way. It’s not a place that jumps out as being a obvious vortex and most people are more likely to go to Santa Fe than this unassuming city. Yet the Sandia Mountains and the land here have something to offer that is profound. Did you discover why you were called specifically here? What uniquely this area has offered you, and you it?


      • It is funny. When I first told people about the voice to come here, several others tried to correct me by say New Mexico or Santa Fe, but it wasn’t neither. It was specifically Albuquerque, and the energy here has two qualities – that Albuquerque is a space port of some kind; and I could feel a massive amount of underground crystal energy proving the city, plants, people, and places with a kind of nourishment. I am definitely meant to be here, and to essentially get my feet wet. In the 1.5 years here, I have made many more profound and authentic connections than the combined 30 years I spent in California. I’m here to get my feet wet in spiritually based talents, skills, and self development that would facilitate all this. I would ask you the same question, but I get the feeling you’ll get to that soon enough, in literary style!

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