I loved Frances Stokes Hoekstra’s “Gestures Of Protection” [January 1993] because it was so cleverly ambiguous. I was never really sure with which character I was supposed to sympathize.
The ashram scene was inherently false, yet somehow powerful and legitimate. The guru had wisdom and power, but he also seemed suspicious, with his flip answers and the set-up of his little domain. The father was correct in his distrust of the whole scene, but he was entirely wrong in trying to manipulate his son with money. He had a profound experience at the end, but I don’t blame him for resisting it if it meant that he would have to surrender — even something as simple as credence — to the guru.
I’d like to know if Wally eventually came home or at least left the ashram; I rather hope he did. Do you think you could ask Hoekstra for a sequel?