- 1.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Home
- 2.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – The Gravity of Relationship
- 3.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Light
- 4.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Beyond Voting: Albert and Kristina
- 5.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – The Energy of Summer
- 6.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Zen Koan
- 7.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Looking at Death
- 8.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – The Last Time
- 9.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Stick-to-it-ive-ness
- 10.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Forces of Nature
- 11.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Courage
- 12.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – September 3rd
- 13.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – The Illusion of Time
- 14.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – Finding Voice
- 15.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – A Talk Amongst Rocks
- 16.Conversations with Dead People: A Series – How to be in Conversation with the Universe
Pen to Paper, 40 Minute Writing
It’s 6am. I am in the garage, having been woken by chicken squawking. I open the door to the chicken coop. At first, I am startled.
“Good morning,” he says.
“Albert Einstein, what are you doing here? And, why didn’t you let the chickens out at sunrise? You know how Yolko is so aggressive towards the four new girls.”
“Yes, Yes,” he says. “I was meditating on her squawks. On her attitude of dominance over the entire flock. For the smallest of all the chickens, she sure knows how to control everyone of them.”
“Yes. I think it’s because she is the least domesticated of all the breeds.”
“Hmmm..” he says, thinking deeply like he always does when he pops in for a visit. I grab the hatch rope, pull up the heavy door of the coop to the outside chicken run, and secure the door’s rope to the nail.
The chickens run out: Rumi, an iridescent green Black Star; Yolko, a silver head Egyptian Fayoumis; Honey, a golden Araucana; Violet, a brown and white Speckled Sussex; Beni, a Red Leghorn; Penguin, a black and white Barred Rock; and then the last two Araucanas, both a gray golden, who were not yet named.
When I turn to look back at Albert, I see he is smoking his pipe, just outside of the garage. He knows I hate the smoke. I walk over to him, he sets his pipe on the top porch step, and offers me a hug.
“How are you this morning?” he asks.
“I slept well. And, I dreamt!”
“Tell me,” he says, as he pats the cement step, encouraging me to sit next to him.
“My favorite subject,” he injects, as he puffs on his pipe three times, holds the smoke, and gently mouths three rings of smoke.
“Light was streaming in a skylight, like how we usually see it. Then, it became something very different, color particles rising and falling, moving with will toward me, and then light became a woman, a teacher.”
“I’m jealous,” he says, as he nudges me with his shoulder.
I turn and look into his face, “You are irreplaceable, dear Albert.”
His smile spreads across his entire face, his eyes twinkling. Yet, I see a sadness on his face, making me wonder what death is like for him. He doesn’t talk about it much.
“Now, go on. Give me every little detail of this dream.”
“I’m in a small room, lying in a small bed, sleeping. On the opposite side of the room, there is a skylight. My eyes open to light streaming through the skylight. As I watch, the waves of light become pieces of light, and then this woman. She says she can be a teacher.” I pause, trying to put words to an experience that feels unspeakable. “The feeling I got from her is the same feeling that arises in my body when you hug me, Albert – full embodiment, an opening to the mystery, love.”
Suddenly, a chicken squawks from the garage. We both move to jump up, me a bit faster, so I turn and help Albert up. As we enter the garage, we see Rumi in one of the nesting boxes.
“I think we are going to get one of our first brown eggs,” I say.
He squeezes my hand.
“They are all just beginning to lay. Rumi, Penguin and Violet are brown egg layers; the Araucanas lay blue-green eggs. I’m not yet sure about Yolko and Beni.”
“Let’s watch. I can’t think of a better way to get close to God’s thoughts than to meditate on a chicken laying her first egg!” he says with enthusiasm.
As I pull up a white square bucket full of birdseed for him to sit on, I say, “Speaking of getting close to God’s thoughts, did you hear about the discovery?”
“Discovery?” he asks as he carefully sits on the low bucket.
“Yes, they actually heard your gravitational waves. A rising middle C. I still can’t get over it, Albert, we can hear gravity, not to mention the fact that we are held here on Earth because the fabric of Spacetime is pushing us, Spacetime woven together as one thing, pushing you onto that bucket.”
“He laughs, “Ha! I knew it. Newton was wrong. The apple wasn’t pulled to the ground, but Spacetime pushed it!”
Just at that moment, Rumi’s squawk feels as if it will crack open our ear drums. I walk into the coop, lift her iridescent green and black body into my arms, and then grab her warm brown egg.
Conversations with Dead People is a series of stories which show up in my meditative practice, Contemplative Writing. With this practice I sit with pen and paper, twenty minutes, and write to a prompt from a meditative space. I share these stories with minimal edits to share the depth, the directness, the deep body sense, I experience with my teachers.
Albert Einstein pops into my writing often, we hang out, giving us both a direct chance to explore the illusion of time. Albert feeds me tremendous encouragement to trust the irresistible urge I have to grieve, and heal, through death.
We also meet Thomas Merton, Georgia O’Keeffe, Carl Jung, and more through this weekly blog, Conversations with Dead People: A Series. Please join us each week.