- 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
Forces of Nature
Pen to Paper, 40 Minute Writing
Albert Einstein, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Thomas Merton sit at the side of my bed, all facing me, all touching me. Albert is holding my hand, Georgia is holding a foot, Thomas has both of his hands on my left side. I’ve just woken up. I don’t know how long they’ve been here. Suddenly I see a fourth person, Jesus. He is laying his head on my belly, looking up.
“What the hell, Albert! What are you all doing here? And, Jesus! You brought Jesus?”
“You are having a hard time, we want to help,” Georgia says. I take my attention away from Albert. As I look into her eyes, I see in death she is still blind. I look away, to her dress which is made of poppy panels with a trim of black stamen. I sit up, push Jesus off my belly, and lunge at Georgia, now hugging her.
“I’ve missed you,” I say, bursting into tears, afraid of ruining her dress with my force and tears.
She pulls me closer, whispering into my ear. I begin to sob, sinking deeper into her arms. The guys adjust themselves to this new arrangement, still touching my naked body in some tender way.
“I don’t know what to do. I’m terrified of what is happening to my body and my mind. I’m going blind, I’ve got constant vaginal herpes, my arms and legs keep falling asleep, and I am housing an energy telling me I am dying,” I sob.
Albert chimes in, “E equals MC squared.”
“Albert, that isn’t very helpful right now. I’ve been working with this energy, as long as I can remember. It haunts me. I have these fucking symptoms, and I’m exhausted trying to deal with them.”
Georgia pulls me into her body again, “Just cry right now, love, just cry.” Then she turns to Albert, “Albert go grab a handkerchief please.”
Something seems to open in a deeper part of my body as I lay my head on Georgia’s bony left shoulder covered with the soft red poppy petal dress. Crying harder than I can ever remember, my tears falling on her dress, her neck. I sense my body changing, lifting, becoming smaller. I sense my arms shrinking, and beginning to vibrate. As my tears pause, I see I am now looking out of another’s eyes, no longer my own eyes, but compound eyes.
I am becoming a bee again.
Lifting off ever so slightly from Georgia’s body, my whole being begins to drink in waves of light I have never seen – ultraviolet light and bee’s purple – attracting all my senses. I look down to find my whole body now covered in pollen, my arms, belly, legs, and then suddenly I am Kristina again, naked in bed, covered with pollen, Albert sitting on the chair next to the bed holding out a red handkerchief.
I snatch the red handkerchief out of Albert’s hand, raise it to my nose, and blow hard.
“Jesus? Really, Albert? Where did he come from?” I ask in disbelief.
“Hmmm” he hums, in a perfect middle C, reminding me of the sound of gravity.
“Albert, I’m naked. And suffering. Not sure I’m going to live much longer. Losing my vision. Going crazy trying to live in my tiny world of tasks. Think of it, Albert, keeping food in the refrigerator, scrolling through pictures on Facebook of winking owls and wicked presidential candidates. All while watching my daughter suffer, while I sit back and do nothing, paying for gasoline at the pump knowing damn well global warming is beginning to crush us like a giant foot stepping on a colony of ants. Albert, how’s a heart to stay present within each of these nows while it knows it is walking to its own death, closer and closer, pulling open the curtain to a morning sunrise as if it is all you’ve done in your entire life. Like that one moment is the collection of all the moments, all the paradox, all the desire.”
Albert stands up, walks to the end of the bed, and crawls up next to me.
“I wouldn’t mind dying if dying were all.” he says.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I ask, jumping out of bed. “Especially coming from a dead person Albert. Dead. You are all dead, Albert. And, I am dying. The planet is dying. We are all dying. I am not supposed to talk about any of it. I’m just supposed to suffer, and hide my suffering so no one else can see it or be inconvenienced by it, or have any hints that it is going on. It’s all your fault, Albert. Well, and Michael Faraday, of course.”
He stands up, laughing hard, and kisses me on the cheek. “Yes, harnessing electricity. Were we humans really ready? I can’t say we were, but our imagination was ready, our curiosity, and especially our desire.”
I hug Georgia, glare at Jesus, pick up yesterday’s towel from the floor, and walk to the bathroom.I start the water running into the tub, flip the lever to close the drain, and then sit on the toilet to poop.
“Albert?” I yell.
“Yes?” He yells back, sounding like a chicken shaking off dust.
“Can you go check on the chickens? I don’t think they have any water. The hose is in the backyard.”
I listen as he slowly scuttles down the hall, through the kitchen, and then turns the handle of the backdoor.
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.