- 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
Beyond Voting: Albert and Kristina
Pen to Paper, 20 Minute Writing
Albert Einstein visits often lately, I find the chickens have adopted him. Just this morning, I am leaving the house to walk the dogs, and I find him sitting on one of the metal chairs in the back yard with Violet, our chestnut brown chicken dappled with white and deep sea green, stroking her back, while she cooed.
“Why is my mind covered with despair? Do you ever feel despair? And, if you do, how do you move through it? Rayna loves school, but it is putting her in greater pain and it triggers my trauma. Here I am now doing nothing about helping her out of this situation. Is this how my mom felt when she watched Jay ride his bike to his death? I know she isn’t necessarily going to die from this, but how far can she push her body before it collapses? And what is writing for, Albert, anyway, what is writing for, and would you vote for Hillary? And Albert all this stuff is so woven together in my being, a matrix of sticky stuff, like cotton candy stuck in my hand and face and I can’t get it off and Albert do you see how stupid my thoughts can be sometimes? And Albert?”
“Yes, Kristina.” he says, as warmly attentive to me as he is to Violet, sitting on his lap.
“Thank you for coming by so often. I don’t know if I could make it through all of this without you.”
“You are welcome. I love being here with you, Kristina.”
“You showed up in my dream the other night. Sitting at the side of my bed, stroking my arm. I couldn’t tell if you were really there, or if I was just dreaming.”
We both laugh, which startles Violet, whose very large chicken feet begin to claw at Albert’s trousers. He lets her go, wipes his hand on his jacket, and then pats the seat next to him, urging me to come sit. I walk over to face him, and the sun, and sit down.
“I’m scared, Albert. I’m scared of problems that I can’t solve. I’m scared of global warming. I’m scared of what I see happening with Rayna. Yet I keep thinking of Jay and my mom and how there is so much mystery to this goddamn thing of being human.”
Albert pulls his pipe and tobacco out of his coat pocket, carefully stuffs tobacco in his pipe, and then hands me a bit of tobacco.
“Please take this, Kristina; take it with you to the polls when you vote. Just before you walk in the door, toss it in the air over your head, and say a prayer.”
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.