- 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
How to be in Conversation with the Universe
Pen to Paper, 20 Minute Writing
The alarm rings. I grab my phone, and shut it off. Albert Einstein snores next to me. The room is black, except for the glow of my iPhone. I check the weather to see the likelihood of a clear sky. It looks hopeful.
“Albert,“ I whisper into his ear. He stops snoring, rolls onto his side, facing me now, and opens his eyes.
“It’s time,” he smiles. And, then says, “Let’s cuddle, first!”
“No. As much as cuddling with you is extraordinarily delicious, it’s time to go see Jupiter and Venus.“
“Oh, yes,“ he says, and throws the covers off of us both, eager for our planet gazing date.
In the kitchen, I find him working on breakfast. The house smells of bacon. I peer into the skillet.
“Yum. Looks delicious, Albert. I’ll squeeze some orange juice,” I say, as I pull out the juicer.
We work side-by-side as the bacon sizzles, the juicer hums, and the three dog stare at us, hoping for a snack.
Now, at the breakfast table, we pause in silence before eating. I notice Albert seems sad.
“You ok?” I ask him.
“You are perceptive this early morning,“ he says.
“Want to talk about it?“ I ask, as he takes a large forkful of scrambled eggs into his mouth.
“Do you think we can do this?“ Albert replies, barely audible through his mouthful of eggs. I notice my body tightening. It’s the first time I’ve seen him this discouraged.
“Go look at Jupiter and Venus pass each other by?“ I ask, hoping Albert’s question was a small problem.
“No, silly, this bigger thing we are trying to do together?” he asks, chewing.
“I muster all my courage, and all my knowing, and say “Yes, I know we can do it. You already figured out how to
split the atom,
expose the illusion of time.
If you can do those things, we can figure out humanity’s wicked problems together.“
I notice he continues to shovel in the food. My plate is still full, except one bite of the bacon, which I am currently chewing.
“Did you eat as much when you were alive?” pointing my bacon at him.
“I think death has increased my appetite.”
We both laugh. I look, “Let’s go, it’s getting close to sunrise,” I say, leaving most of the food on my plate, pushing away from the table and then helping Albert.
We bundle up in our jackets. Albert wearing an old Green Bay Packers hat; me, enormous black snowmobile mittens, the eager dogs following us out to the car.
I drive us to the lake, let the dogs out, and then walk over to Albert’s side of the car to open the door.
“Come on, old man,“ I say.
“Hey, watch out who you are calling old,” he says as he slowly sets his feet onto the blacktop parking lot and stands up.
“Look,” he says, pointing past me, as I turn. I see the two planets, bright lights in the dark morning sky. Jupiter and Venus, seeming to touch. We do not move. I can not tell if either of us is breathing.
A sudden burst of Canadian geese.
The dogs chasing the birds. I grab Albert’s hand, we walk in the direction of this cosmic wonder, our bodies touching the planets through the light on our faces.
“Yes, Kristina? “
“Solving the world’s wicked problems, creating new culture, bringing the wisdom insights of science to the ordinary person, loving every child, all to help life improve for, to narrowly avoid this crazy extinction path we are on. This is what’s on your mind, yes?”
“Yes,“ Albert says as he squeezes my hand more tightly.
“It’s conversation, being willing, as individual people, on a moment-to-moment basis, to invite the conversation.” I muse.
“Yes, I agree. Being in conversation with the whole of your unique 13.8 billion years of self evolving,” he agrees.
“I’ve been talking to puddles, the waves in the lake across the street from my house, watching the way the tennis ball hits the water when I throw it for the dogs, Albert, through my iPhone camera.”
“Yes, you are witnessing the nature of this energy field we not only live in, but are.”
“So, the more we each pay attention?” I ask him.
“It’s how I unlocked the tiny world of the atom. I paid attention, I asked questions like what if I travel at the speed of light, what would I see?”
“I feel it, Albert.”
“I feel it, too,” he says, as we both look up to see the sun rising.
“Find your voice. Live in nature. Or lose your bodies. Now. Stop being dumb. You can’t own nature. ”
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.