“It’s been a long time between truffles!”

That’s what my late wife Anne would say at the beginning of our first meal in France on each vacation there.  We’d go every year or two, and would invariably order an appetizer of foie gras to begin.  In the center of the paté would be a small black nugget of truffle.

With this one simple statement Anne restructured our reality.  A whole year of our lives, with all its content, was suddenly framed to be simply what had occurred “between truffles.”  This gave it an ephemeral quality.  What was real was us sitting at the dinner table in France … again.

This is what I call an anchor.  Two well-defined points in time surrounding (anchoring) some “unimportant” filler.  They can show up in different ways:  Here we are in France again…  Here I am playing baseball again…  Back with Mom…  Another first day of school.

Anchors feel good.  The hodge-podge of our lives is instantly given a structure, even a purpose.  Here I am, back on the beach in NJ.  This is where I’m supposed to be!!!  The present is magically connected to the past in a way that seems correct, inevitable.  God is in his heaven, the plan is in place, and I’m OK.


Previous Post
Next Post

12 Comments on “Anchors”

  1. Tim F.

    Glad to hear you’re “OK”, and you are still “between truffles”, as are we all. Now, anyone fortunate enough to have actually known Anne Starr in the material world…well, the woman absolutely glowed. I was lucky enough to even call her “Anne”. The Jersey Yogi up there was “Mr. Starr”, a nice but rather high strung type A guy it seemed, very busy all the time or something. Serious. Very different from his wife, the original guru here. Anne Starr would focus her total attention when greeting you and light would appear on a cloudy day. Wild. She actually did have an aura, one of those people. I would see it as she and her family would ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Jim was still hiding his, I think. Whether she was alone, or with the family, she would stop and talk to us teens like NO other adult ever did. Those of us kids lucky enough to know her were given a gift we carry throughout our lives. Jim, sorry if we broke anything, we were just kids…Now, Jim would just jog or run by…boy, have you changed. Anne was one of my gurus…now, Chris, he had a BIG crush on her. We’d say; “WAY out of your league, bro!”.

  2. Jersey Yogi

    Tears rolling down my cheeks as I read your beautiful comment. Thanks, Tim.

  3. Jersey Yogi

    Tim, in case you haven’t already read it I’m sure you’d like Gangotri: Journey to the Source, a memoir I wrote about a trip to India Anne and I took in 1985. Lots of material about Anne (from my perspective, of course). It’s available on Amazon and elsewhere, and will be re-published in 2014 in revised form as Jersey Yogi: The Unintentional Enlightenment of an Uptight Man.

  4. Amy Starr Allen

    Beautiful post, Dad. And, WOW. Beautiful comment, Tim. I remember her that way as well… but it’s awesome to hear someone else’s perspective like this. Thank you! 🙂 xo

  5. Julisa Adams

    Great idea! It reminds me of the aboriginal idea of dreamtime. This is a time outside of time, when you come back to it, no time has passed. It’s the space that really counts.

  6. Tim F.

    Amy! An unknowing participant in the making of the Cheesequake Woods version of “The 70’s Show”! Our girlfriends would babysit, but we’d have to wait for the kids to go to sleep. We’d all shuffle in and we had it down to an art..”be cool, don’t mess up anything…”.
    Kerry would babysit you and your brother a lot. I still recall, “his name is Lionel, like the train? Cool.” The Starrs were known for cool books, magazines and stuff from traveling. AND one night…What are THESE? Chocolate covered insects..ants?’re kidding? I dare you..I double dare you..I’ll eat one if you’ll eat one..OK. Your family room was also the scene of my last teenage drama, rolling around the floor with Charlie, who decided it was good night to impress Kerry or something. Funny. We’re still friends. Charlie went on to be a lawyer, top prosecutor for the NJDEPA and spent some time as Acting Attorney General for the State. Go figure. Yes, Jim, I look forward to reading your book and, 42 years later, THANKS FOR THE SNACK!.. I can’t believe I ate that …wow!

  7. Tim F.

    How did Anne get on my guru list? The best teachers, gurus,etc. were always the ones that taught by example. The Starrs were the first “yuppies”. The first time I ever saw a kid on a bike kid carrier. Jogging. Forrest Gump has nothing on these two . Unlike other suburbanites, the Starrs were out there doing. He even played on the softball team with my Dad and brother, I think. Talk about your “body is your temple” thing!

    So, between the years of 1971 to 1975 when I left for college, the Starrs would be out there at the forefront of modern suburban living. A true guru will seem to show up at EXACTLY the right time and say or do the EXACT thing you need at the moment., and then…poof!. Gone. Leaving you, in the vernacular of the day, with a “blown mind”. Anne had a knack for that. Natural gurus are the best as there’s no ego involved and they do what they do just by being themselves. Just pure heart stuff only. So much so, in Anne’s case, when things took a turn for the psychedelic in the Woods, she seemed to be asking us ..”Are you kids, OK? really, OK?” She was real smart and we were sure she was on to us. We had a conversation after she left that went like;”Um, I think she was a hippie or something..?” And we actually tried to figure out, let’s see, the kids are this old, yeah, college in the 60’s, who know? But starting in 1972 she would always stop by to make sure we were OK, really OK?…and we were sure she knew we were up to something!
    So, a few years back I see Jim has a book. Whoa. Wait a minute..I flashed back to sitting on a lawn in ’73, 74…and I was sitting in a full lotus position in a very altered state of mind, when the Starrs come by on their bikes. Jim is already rolling his eyes and giving us that look he had like..”dumbass hippie kids!”…and Anne of course is all sunshine and light, making sure we were all OK!!! She would just say the the most amazing things to us, naturally…wipe us out. Jim could never get annoyed at her for stopping, though. Actually, I remember him looking at her like..”God, woman, you are something else, you really care about these kids!”, lovingly. She taught you a lot, too, didn’t she?

    What makes it funny is that about this time, I was given a copy of Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now” by the owner of that bookstore at the Marketplace,across from where I worked at the Coffee Cup. He just gave it to me saying..”Here, Tim, you need this, it’s a gift.” I started teaching myself yoga at 15, did 4 years in college , and I learned to teach Hatha Yoga from a woman from Ananda Ashram in Monroe, N.Y.. So, it was real mind bender when I saw Mr. Jim had bloomed. Transformed? Nah. Anne wouldn’t be taking up with just anyone, you know. Pure heart, she could see right through you. She probably never even realized just how much of an impact she had on so many. The real ones are like that.
    Seriously, the new edition will actually include the word “uptight” That is so funny!
    Enough, too many words..
    Tim Fay
    I’m on Facebook as Rastafayi or ras.tafayi

  8. Tim F.

    Oops, sorry! I meant to pass this on. I was taught to meditate when I was 8 years old in 1966 by my brother and his hippie friends. Over the years I had many experiences that left me old age even before the new age. I’ll read the book, but you should read this from one of my other natural gurus, Hilda Charlton. I only met Hilda once, and we shared a pizza! She’s on the same list as Anne for me, but was a Spiritual Mother to thousands in the New York area. Interesting lady, check it out!

  9. Amy Starr Allen

    She looks really interesting, Tim. She has lots of books. Which would you recommend reading first?

    I know this was probably meant for my dad, but I’m interested in checking her out, too. And I’m gonna follow you on Facebook. 🙂

  10. Tim F.

    Someone once sent me “Master Hilarion”, but I find the subjective stuff a bit tedious. I would go for “Hell Bent for Heaven”, I’ve read excerpts and she could be real funny. She was very down to earth and open, she took a lot of New York neurotics to a better place. How we got to meet her was funny. A friend ranted and raved about her so much we put him in the car and took him to her. We danced around and had fun chanting and stuff. One of her people saw us and invited us to a pizza parlor. She was funny. When I told her I played electric guitar she said;”Oh, good, some people need that high register loud thing to cut through all the noise in their heads.” She was great!

Leave a Reply