Friendship Made Easy

November 29th, 2010

I recently had the privilege of cooking for William Spear's week-long retreat called The Passage.  I have known Bill for many years now… I first met him as a macrobiotic scribe in New York City and took notes while he gave consultations to clients.  That was a small, and memorable, window onto his compassion, experience and skill. 

Later, when I was a private chef, I worked for some of his clients and would speak to him on the phone from behind the scenes, giving him my observations and taking his suggestions to tweak the food.  During those phone calls, I got to know him just a little better. 

Around the same time, I read Bill's book Feng Shui Made Easy .  I had never really gotten into Feng Shui, considering it too mystical and complicated.  In his book, Bill takes the view that the art of placement is goverend both by external laws but also can be generated from a clean, inner condition of the body.  When we eat whole, unprocessed foods, we tend to make better decisions… guided by our intution.  And intuitive Feng Shui is very powerful.

I have never read any other Feng Shui books.  Bill's book gave me enough to re-arrange my apartment, to furnish my office, and to even help others with their spaces.  His take on Feng Shui made perfect, and refreshingly satisfying sense.  Yay.

So I was growing in respect and admiration for Bill, but still felt a certain distance.  He was a big-time teacher.  Around since the Michio days.  Kickin' it Old School.  I was just a goofball.

During a Kushi Institute Summer Conference in the late 90s, I picked up the mic at the cafe.  I had been dabbling in standup comedy, doing a whole schtick called "Zen Comedy", which meant: Sometimes I'm funny… Sometimes I'm not.  Stupidly, but sometimes with the blessings of the standup gods, I would just stand up in front of audiences and riff… talking about this, that and the other thing, hoping to be funny. 

It wasn't until I had been up there for about ten minutes that I noticed Bill was in the audience.  Before I could feel self-conscious, I saw that he had melted into stupid laughter, tears rolling down his face.  He–longtime macro, Feng Shui dude, worldwide counselor–was a totall goofball too.

Since then we have been close friends and, a few years ago, I took The Passage.  Without saying too much about it, it was a transformative experience.  With his wisdom and compassion, Bill helps people move through the very real tunnels we get ourselves stuck in during life.  He has a HUGE heart and I am beyond grateful to have a place in it. 

Just last week, Bill launched a gorgeous new website about his macrobiotic counseling, his end-of-life counseling as well as the relief work he does around the world.  Oh yeah.  And there's an awesome new edition of Feng Shui Made Easy.  Pllease check him out. 

One Response to “Friendship Made Easy”

  1. Mr. Spear says:

    Ms. Porter,

    With reference to your post on the 29th of November, please be advised that your hyperbole comes perilously close to libel. Were it not for the fact that I totally adore you, my lawyers (who eat steak tartar for breakfast) would take you to the cleaners. Instead, I have recommended that they take you to Bali where you can eat lots of vegetables and pray that someone doesn’t come along and pinch you — since this is all a dream.

    Thanks for writing such a swell piece about me. Goofballs everywhere will surely agree that “easy friendships” are never one-sided, so try not to get too carried away with my pseudo-divinity. You see, my dear, it’s all smoke and mirrors. And I promise not to tell anyone — ever — that I taught you how to cook (but apparently forgot to teach you how to cleanup after yourself…..)


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