Mendicant Mind began as a simple exploration of a series of unusual events. As I searched for the meaning of these events, I concluded that they were not isolated to a current period of time but were part of a thread that ran back to the 19th Century. It occurred to me that I had to look into my own past and experiences. My assumption was that the book would be about me, I soon realized that it was more about the people that I encounter, the commonality of the human experience, and the gifts that we give to each other, large and small, from which we construct our perception of the world. In my travels I had the opportunity to meet people of many faiths. I found it interesting to compare and contrast them on an informal basis. To some extent this made me examine my own vision of Christianity, which I perceive to be a one-to-one relationship with God. In Nepal and India they use a greeting, said while doing a slight bow and hands held in a prayerful position, which is a single word, namaste, and literally means “ I bow to the divine within you”. It is a great affirmation. That vision of others is a central theme that I hope the reader will recognize in many of the vignettes.
As a special educator who teaches history, I always tell my students that history is like a spider web, one could go down the central strand to get from point A to point B but if one takes the tangential side strands, zigzagging back and forth, one can still wind up at the same endpoint but with much deeper experience and understanding. So it was with the writing of the book, I would fly off into explorations of genealogy, quantum physics, the intellectual history of the study of coincidence, and many other nooks and crannies that I investigated as they appeared to be another connecting thread in the story. I also experienced a renewal of faith while writing the book. While I have long been a card carrying member of the Procrastinator’s Club, God decided to present me with a deadline I could not ignore, and if I wanted to do this project I would have to get on my horse. It was a great gift, an example of God's grace and it gave me great peace.