Q. How did you come to write about the PLP?
A. My husband, William, once knew a man he personally called the Parking Lot Prophet, a man who had left a successful business profession to become a mystic. This man lived in a truck and camper and offered higher knowledge to anyone who would listen. He didn’t adhere to one specific religion but, like many mystics, he spoke about the Truth as it relates to all religions. I was inspired to write a character based upon this type of person. My Parking Lot Prophet looks different and has unique eccentricities. He jumped onto the page as a stockbroker who found his greater Call by way of a beach-rights campaign.
Q. What is religious mysticism and what is a mystic?
A mystic is anyone whose purpose in life is to practice religion at its deepest level. The mystic foregoes all other pursuits for this goal of becoming.
Q. What is your aim in writing the PLP?
A. My aim is to help readers understand what a mystic’s life involves, how a person can consciously make a choice to not be a part of the status quo, a choice to drop all matters of the self to follow the Path. This decision can happen fairly quickly for some people. Some join monasteries when it happens, others decide to do this work while living in the world. The PLP is of the latter group.
At the same time, spiritual-religious transformation takes time, there are steps along the way as a person learns to drop old habits and old ways of thinking that obstruct the Path. The PLP shows this work is not easy.
Q. There is humor in your PLP stories. Why is that?
A. A religious path can sometimes be taken too seriously. Actually, it can be incredibly funny and absurd. We are all bumbling along the way. Not to mention the PLP is a very funny, quirky person.
Q. So are you saying he speaks for himself?
A. His words, his actions, often come to me within a stream-of-consciousness. I never know what he’ll do next. He is truly a sage that way.
Catherine Kigerl is a contributing author to New Halem Tales Secrets. She is also the author of Stirring up the Water (under the name Cat Ruiz) published in 2008 by Salt Publishing Ltd, Cambridge UK. Her projects in the works include: The Further Adventures of the Parking Lot Prophet and No Expectations. A second collection of poems, The Water Settles, is also forthcoming.
You'll find The Parking Lot Prophet in New Halem Tales Secrets. Check out the book here.
Visit Cathy at the Website, New Halem Tales Secrets and at 5 NW Authors.