Once upon a time, I met a guru. A real one. He spent a week at my place, sleeping in the guest room, and eating all my biscuits for breakfast. He was a hungry guru, he cleaned up my fridge and most food I had in my storage. But, you know, he was a really wise man. And maybe he needed energy, for his lectures.
I remember organizing a big event, for my guru. He came all the way from California, to give his speech. Oh, he was so inspiring. More than hundred people paid the ticket and attended his presentation, that night. Twenty five of them registered for the full workshop. I told you, he was a real guru.
His name was Jim
His name was Jim. Jim died of rectal cancer at the Franciscan Hospice House in Tacoma, Washington, on September 23, 2008. I found it out two years later. I did not even know he was sick. The last time we met, it has been ten years before. But I still remember him.
I met several gurus, in my life. Most of them selling some religion. Jim no, he was not a religious man. He was just a guru with a taste for Italian biscuits.
At the time, Jim had a Swedish girlfriend. I remember picking her up at the airport of my hometown: she was laughing hard explaining that the name of that airport, in Swedish, sounded like “jerking off”.
C.**, who was then living in Malmö, was a good twenty centimeters taller than Jim. And some twenty years younger. The advantage of being a guru.
On my side, I am happy I met Jim
I have talked to some people who stayed in contact with Jim, in the last years and months of his life. Someone was surprised by the fact that Jim decided to get treated in a real hospital, by real doctors. No new age, but surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. I was not surprised at all. I remembered Jim eating my biscuits with the hunger of someone who will not have a meal, tomorrow. And certainly did not have one the day before. Or maybe he was just living the moment.
But Jim, guru or not, was a man.
A funny man, with a strong American accent and a tall Swedish girlfriend.
On my side, I am happy I met Jim.
It helped me to understand that there are no gurus, out there.
This post is in memory of Jim Leonard, a real guru.