How to Stave Off the Crazies [in uncertain times]

The was a spider in my shower just now. I watched as it spun its web and explored my shampoo, conditioner, and shelf of random shower tid-bits. I wondered what it felt like to be a spider. Did it notice me? Was it concerned about the steam starting to envelope the air around it?

It was time to try and remove the spider from my shower. I attempted to scooch it onto several items when suddenly, it fell to the floor. Horrified, I turned off the water and tried to save it from the pool of death it had fallen into. Nothing was working! I ran out of the shower to grab a couple tissues and rushed back to raft Spidey to safety. Things weren’t looking good. I laid the tissues on the bathroom floor and crouched down to assess my new friend’s vitals. There was no movement. Its body was all smushed into itself.

I remembered how resilient insects were. Once, I saved a moth from a glass of water. (By saved I mean I thought it was dead and I was just scooping it out to give it a proper burial.) As soon as I had lifted it from the water, I saw it move a little bit. I grabbed paper towels and laid them under the moth-in hopes they would soak up the excess water. It worked! The moth seemed to rise from the dead and I rushed outside and placed it in a bush.

I wondered if this spider was like my resurrected moth. Insects were resilient.

I left the tissues and went back to showering. Now and again I would peek to see if Spidey had moved. I didn’t see anything.

Carefully, I stepped out of the shower to dry off and kneeled down to check again.

Please be alive. I’m sorry I tried to move you. You can do it. You’re r-e-s-i-l-i-e-n-t. 

I saw movement. I scooped up the tissues and put them into the sink. More movement.

It looked like one of its legs was stuck, or injured.

I grabbed a dry tissue and made a little bridge from the wet ones to see if that would help. It did!

It was alive! Completely intact!

I debated taking him outside. I felt reluctant to make him have to travel after such a harrowing experience. Currently, he is somewhere in my bathroom.

What difference does it make, to save o-n-e spider, this o-n-e time? I can just as easily step on him the next time I go to the bathroom. One of the cats could get him.

What importance does the life of a spider have, when so many die and are reborn so continuously?

I don’t know. I just know I couldn’t let him drown. Not tonight, not in that shower.


I thought about the weeks ahead and wondered what I’ll be doing with myself. I seemed to have done well with this social experiment. I had gained a lot of value from this physical distancing. I learned things from our machine slowing to a soft grind.

I had only completed one part of a three part isolation series. Wtf was I going to do now?

What can you do but go deeper? Even deeper than before.

We seem to have been raised to be part of a machine. What happens when that machine stops? It’s a question many of us are attempting to answer.

And what will happen when the machine restarts? Will our insights hold? Will our civilization truly be changed?

I don’t know. But I know that every day, I’m going to make sure I don’t drown in the bathwater. I’ll raft myself onto dry land. I’ll make bridges of tissues for myself to climb onto when I’m ready.

Who am I with out the machine?

Just a spider trying to build a web. Unsure of what the next moment will bring, but I just focus on weaving. I remember how resilient I am, how resilient we all are.

Origin Point

My steadiness came from having established a very stable relationship with what you might call God, or the universe, or whatever is it that makes this world have a heart beat. (We had traveled a very long, hard road together.)

I would sit in nature, adoring creation. I would look into people and feel happiness and gratitude that they were here. I did this quietly. I praised everywhere and anywhere, everyone and everything that I could.

I think this “sensing” was born of my natural inclination to adore. In my darkest of times, the only thing that ever felt real was adoration. It was always there, unmarred by any life event or inner turmoil. I could sit with a leaf and feel its beauty. I would look up at the sky when I felt hopeless and there, as I admired its vastness, I would become free.

I was devoted to that which breathes life into our existence. I didn’t know a name, I just knew a feeling. It was the same feeling I had always known. When I was little, before dogma and practicality took away the magic, I remember being in union. I felt t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r. Slowly, as life wore on, together had given way to i-n-c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e.

The place where I sensed what things were like “on the inside”. That place felt t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r. We were all their together, it was a place of union. You can’t tell someone anything they don’t already know, but you can help to create an environment where they awaken to their knowing.

I didn’t like the idea of being a psychic, or a medium, or even a tarot reader. There was something else, something that called to me. Something like c-o-m-m-u-n-i-o-n. I remember hearing that word in reference to Christian rituals. I had to look up the definition.

::an act or instance of sharing; intimate fellowship or rapport
::ate 14c., communioun, “participation in something; that which is common to all”

It felt like coming into the place that is “common to us all”. The place where we know each other, where we see each other. Beyond the veils of identity, behind the walls of separation. Somewhere, we all know each other, and this place felt like home. It seemed like people generally wanted to go there, at least for a visit.

At this point, my original idea seemed strikingly more normal. Ah, I’ll just sit quietly with people and smile at them. It seemed more logical than presenting to people, “Hey, want to go on an invisible adventure back to your origin place?”


So who was the light?

I could describe this in a beautiful, fantastical way…or I could take a more grounded approach. Both would be accurate and inaccurate. So I decided to Google the definition of light.

::“the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.” 

I don’t know if all of my flowery words and long descriptions could have ever yielded an explanation so concise and so fitting.

“The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.”

Light, I imagine, coming from the non-space where our collective consciousness resides. That place where whatever keeps us alive is unified, as one breath and one mind.

I wondered who might be interested in this work. Would it be beneficial? Was this something meaningful to offer?

I knew some things for certain. I knew that I was meant for this in a way. This was something that came naturally to me, like it had been there all along. I felt like I had no fear, no doubts or hesitations. It was clear. I didn’t have to try and make myself do it. I didn’t have to swim through oceans of pain and resistance to spend time in that place. I knew the way and I felt connected to this work. It was effortless. It felt like an offering.

Respite

Adjacent to my unsteady relationship with living my passion through work, the rest of my life was going quite well. I was happily moving along the ups and downs of life.

One morning I woke up and had the best idea! I ran to my sister and told her. “Ok, I know what I want to do. It’s amazing, are you ready?” She reluctantly nodded.

“Ok, so I have this beautiful, peaceful space set up and I sit across from somebody…and I look into their eyes, and I smile. There’s no talking, just sitting.”      Her: “Ok? And?”
Me: “That’s it, we sit together. I SEE THEM. We all just want to feel seen. I’m really good at seeing people.”
Her: “Oh, ok…”
Me: “Yeh! Isn’t it the best idea ever??”

It felt so genuine to me, like it was the most a-u-t-h-e-n-t-i-c  idea I’d ever had. I kept feeling around in it, why did it appeal to me so much? I just felt like I could SEE. That when I looked at someone, I could see them in a different kind of way, a comforting way. And I thought, I like being seen too. It’s about connection, or feeling like a person, like you’re actually here and known.

A few weeks go by and one morning I wake up and have a thought drift in, “How about giving someone an energy reading?”

Wtf is an energy reading? I had no idea, but I posted on my social media to see who would be into an experiment, of sorts. I felt like whatever it was, I knew how to do it.    Some lovely (trusting) friends volunteered and I did my first reading.

I was no stranger to intuitive readings. I had read tarot for over a decade and I always seemed to just “know things”. It felt like there was something to be read between the lines of life. But I didn’t like the idea of being too “foofy”. I liked being grounded in day to day life.

During the first reading, I was extremely nervous. It was like entering a room I’d never been in before, blindfolded. In that darkness, I sensed something. It was like I could see, even with my eyes closed. But I was seeing the i-n-s-i-d-e  o-f   t-h-i-n-g-s.

It felt strangely familiar, like I knew how to move around here. I quickly opened my eyes and said, “Uhhh let’s try for a tarot reading first”. It was comforting to read the cards, that was a well trodden process for me.

After, I tried again…I could still sense something. This time I felt like I could hear the i-n-s-i-d-e  o-f  t-h-i-n-g-s.

I threw caution to the wind and just started saying what I was feeling, what I was sensing. I felt really hot, burning up like a fever. I tried to steady myself. My friend was lovely and gracious, she stayed with me as I felt around and said things.

That first reading, we held hands. We both got a little emotional, I was shaking like a leaf. I had no idea what happened or what to make of it, but I was so thankful that she had agreed to sit with me.

I started meditating more diligently than before. I got a notebook to record what was happening. I continued reading my friends and sister and with each reading, my sensing became more pronounced. My words became cohesive. I would go into a more and more relaxed state, letting go of the neuroses of my every-day self and surrendering into a peaceful space.

People asked if I was channeling, if so, who? I would say, I don’t know.

“Can you ask while I’m reading you?”

And people asked, and answers came. One phrase in particular emerged consistently with each response, “The Light”.

Who was the light?

Finding My True Calling (*hint* it’s a trap) Part 2

I gave up on my passion driven work twice.

The first time, I was taking a drive by the river and I felt an idea slip into my mind. It wasn’t words so much as a visual. I saw myself throwing all of it away into the river. I tossed away my labels, my p-l-a-n-s, my accomplishments. I was none of them. Could it be so easy? It was. I felt free.

I went home and packed up all of my fabrics and anything related to sewing or designing. I put all of it in boxes and into a back closet. I moved the studio all around and left only art supplies.

I had taken the pressure off. I had decided to end my suffering. I thought back over the last while and felt how hard I was pushing. I was squeezing the life out of myself, in the name of passion.

I thought that a lifetime of trauma was the reason I had so much trouble with my creative process. I thought I could heal this like I had healed so much of myself.

Having been so decided on recovering the creative parts of myself, I was going about it like a warrior. Trampling all over my own feelings. Those times I was saying to myself, “I’ve had enough. I’m tired now. I don’t like it. This isn’t the way.”

I decided listening was more important now. I was going to listen to myself. I set down my sword and I took time to just be with myself, with no expectations.

Months passed and I had pulled out boxes of fabric. I started new projects and was furiously writing in my notebooks. Outlines, p-l-a-n-s, sketches. Opportunities fluttered my way, as though the universe knew I had awoken.

I was sewing again and thinking of endless new ideas for what I wanted to create. One day, I was standing at my work table stitching together two pieces of leather. Suddenly, I heard a screeching sound…a s-q-u-e-a-l-i-n-g.

“What was that?”

It grew louder. Like a train coming to an unplanned stop. It rang into my ears until the needle fell from my hand and I closed my eyes as tight as I could. I opened them and looked down at my work table. I looked around the room and it looked back at me.

I could feel it sweating. The air was moist with something sickly and familiar. Everywhere I looked, self-loathing looked back at me. But it wasn’t loathing, it was sadness. It was my failure to have an identity, to believe in myself. I didn’t know who I was here. I didn’t know what these things I was making were supposed to say. When I looked at them, they looked weak and warped. They felt incomplete and alone.

I didn’t pack anything this time. I left everything exactly where it was. Every day I would walk through and pause to look around, to feel around the lines and shapes of what was in that room.

I looked to see if I was there somewhere. Maybe in a spool of thread or somewhere in that bin of leather. But I didn’t see myself.

A few days passed when I woke up and felt my body tense up. My muscles wouldn’t move. “What are you doing? I have to get ready for work.” My body, now full of sand, wobbled uneasily through my house and out the door to my car.

Instead of driving to work, I headed to the river. I drove north as far as I could, parked, and ran to the river. I stared into the water,

“Hey River, what the hell is wrong with me?”

It didn’t answer, but I felt something. I felt something melting and seeping through my skin. It slipped down my body, onto the river bank, and into the water. And then I saw them. There, getting carried away with the current: my labels, my p-l-a-n-s, my accomplishments.

I realized I could continue on this path, trying to express creatively through these crafts. It would continue to break me, to shatter me into little pieces and then put me back together. It was hard, up hill, and disorienting. But there were parts of it I loved. I had so many ideas, I would see them in my head and then bring them to life. I loved sewing, I loved fabric. But it wasn’t enough. None of it was enough.

I had to give up again, to follow a new path. It made no sense, why was it so hard to follow my passion? Why was it so painful?

:: Origin of Passion
1125–75; Middle English (< Old French) < Medieval Latin passiōn- (stem of passiō) Christ’s sufferings on the cross, any of the Biblical accounts of these (> late Old English passiōn), special use of Late Latin passiō suffering, submission, derivative of Latin passus, past participle of patī to suffer, submit;

O-h.