On the Matter of Spirituality

In the present moment, I am sitting next to a pile of notebooks, an astrological journal/planner, a deck of tarot cards, and an oracle deck. Tools for assessing the energies of the day, instruments I am employing to tap into this nebulous, intuitive side that has been bursting to come out since I’m not even sure when. Looking back I believe there were glimmers, I just didn’t recognize the signs as clearly as I do now. The fact I am even typing anything about this is strange in and of itself. Two years ago if you had asked me if there was any meaning in anything, I’d have told you no. Life is just a random jumble of circumstances and in order to not feel crushed by existential loneliness, humans invented systems to try to make sense of things. And maybe that’s still true, but there are just some things my science brain cannot explain yet also cannot help but notice.

I’ve transitioned from being a devout Catholic to an agnostic to a couldn’t-be-bothered-to-think-about-it to a “wow that was some cosmic synchrony wasn’t it?” to a fuck-the-universe-and-all-of-this to what I suppose is my current state of being a spiritual atheist. This path had some pretty stereotypical turns, specifically the part of going from Catholic to non-Catholic, and that is a mostly boring and not worth telling side-story.

The biggest change came through the ways in which my adult life completely came crashing down around me on June 29, 2018. Sitting across from the man I promised to love forever, watching the shock spread over his face as the words “pancreatic cancer” coldly drifted out of the mouth of the oncologist. I wasn’t aware of it then, but the weeks leading up to that moment were already interwoven with weird as fuck signs that there was something occurring beyond what I can wrap my human brain around, and even in the depths of my memories I cannot fully make sense of what happened. In the moments that followed, I didn’t have the capacity to dissect what exactly was going on. I was in survival mode, caregiver mode, keep our heads above water mode. You do whatever you can when the person you love the most is swiftly dying of an incurable disease, including shelving any thoughts of yourself and what this means for you until the time comes when you have no choice but to think of those things.

That comes after the death, in the quiet moments. The moments where you really feel the absence of presence. It was in those moments I suppose my deep dive into my own spirituality began. When you have nothing else to focus on other than how one day everything you thought your life was going to be suddenly wasn’t anymore, you can’t help but hyper-focus on every little detail. As a scientist, I have been trained to pay attention to the micro-details. It’s how you figure out why a procedure works one day then fails the next. It’s how you improve the robustness of your methods. And it’s how I began to see the bread crumbs from the other side.

Do I sound totally out there yet? I fully admit typing this out makes me feel like I am. My science brain/ego gets really noisy when I openly talk about messages from “the other side.” It hates it. It’s embarrassed about it. It thinks I must off. And yet, I don’t know how else to explain things. I’m fully open to and accepting of having a valid, rational explanation for everything. And I’m sure many things can be written off as odd coincidences because you can’t un-notice something to which you’ve become accustomed to seeing. I don’t know. But, do any of us really know? Until we do, I’m just going to keep stumbling through this strange experience: documenting, observing, and noting when the inexplicable micro-moments happen. And the big ones. But I feel the real magic of spiritual exploration lies in those tiny ones.

I’m feeling called to begin sifting through them, sharing what some will likely write off as woo-y woo woo weirdness. Go for it. I’m not for everyone, and neither is my life experience. But, if you’re as curious as I am about where the hell all of this is leading, I welcome you to stay and see what unfolds.

wordsbykrissie.com © 2020

The Unwritten Stories

The writing begins when you say yes. The plot line tumbles ahead in your imagination, in your favorite habit of playing out all the scenarios long before they happen.  Excitement surrounds you as you share the news.  It spreads, replicating and intensifying.  Everyone is so happy.  You see the trajectory ahead, beyond the invitations and final song.  You see the cozy mornings and late night movies.  The bland conversations about which table matches the kitchen best.  The timeline speeds ahead, moving in the predictable patterns we assume life will display.

Until one ill-fated day it becomes unpredictable in ways you never imagined.  The wrench in the spokes.  The rock striking the windshield at just the right angle and pressure.  The crack is small, but it grows.  Maybe it stops there, maybe you won’t need to replace the glass just yet.  You can still see, still drive.  You accept the damage, the visible blemish in your view.  But the crack spreads.  You can’t stop it.  You can’t make it go away from your vision.  You wonder how much worse can it get.  How much further it can obscure your vision.  Then it’s everywhere.  The damage is too much to ignore now.  You have to get a new window, but you don’t want to.  You wanted THIS window, it was the first.  It was the original.

Eventually you’re forced to take out the cracked window.  A new one is put in its place, but you can’t forget how it felt the first time you were here. The first time everything was untouched, perfect, new. You realize things will never be the same again. That this tale has been stretched out as far as it can go. You want to keep going with everything the way it was, but you can’t.

The reality smacks you hard. Over and over again. It jars you awake in the middle of the night. It creeps on slowly when you aren’t looking, aren’t noticing.

The story you were so happy to live out has abruptly come to its premature ending. You will never finish it the way it was meant to be. In fact, you won’t finish it at all. You’ll be thrust into a new one. A different plot, different characters, different theme. Through no choice of your own, you’re tasked to continue on another path.  It feels alien and unwelcome. There’s so much contraction, the resistance is palpable. How can any other story be welcome when the first felt so right?  You don’t know, but you’re writing it.  A new story you aren’t sure you’ll finish this time, but everything be damned, you’re writing it.

wordsbykrissie.com © 2020

Thought Dumps No. 1

I used to criticize my husband about his coffee consumption. Every day he would fill his zombie-themed tumbler with 30 oz. of liquid energy and schlep it around for the morning. Sometimes it would come home empty, sometimes it had a few ounces left. “You know you probably don’t NEED to make that much coffee each morning, you don’t even drink all of it. And we buy fancy coffee now. What a waste!” He informed me that he did, in fact, need all of that coffee, and that he would make MORE at work and add it to the tumbler. My 12 oz. coffee having ass looked at him in bewilderment.

Now I drink 24 oz. just to get my day started, often adding more to my intake as I chase the energy only holistic mavens seem to magically embody after smelling a package of tea. I can only imagine the smirk on his face right now as I pour the last of the pot into my giant ass mug. I can hear him pointing out what cup I am on for the day, and sarcastically asking if I really need to drink THAT much coffee. Touché, my love. I hope you are eating up every minute of this on the other side.

wordsbykrissie.com © 2020

The Mountains Called

The mountains called and I answered.
My heart was full of pain.
And in their vastness I felt humbled,
For many moments I remained.
Their beauty gave me solace.
Their wisdom full of grace.
The mountains called and I answered
To give my soul some space.

The ocean spoke and I listened.
Soothing waters covered my whole being.
It brought me into healing,
Revealing things I’ve never seen.
It spoke of what was within
In the softest whisper and then a shout.
It gave me courage to be who I am
And washed away the doubt.

My heart was open and I saw
So many of the answers I had sought.
For what I wanted was there all along,
I would never be without.

wordsbykrissie.com © 2020