I am flying home today. Up out of the gray and rain that has cloaked Austin, Texas and above the clouds. I can see that to the people who love it, Austin is a city full of treasures, a place to fit in when you don’t fit in anywhere. I wholeheartedly celebrate the quirkiness of it. I am also happy to leave the cluttered chaos of Austin today for the aesthetic expansiveness of the city I call home. When I am sorting through a really huge thrift store, I start to get a headache from overstimulation. This dizzy ache of overwhelm from the overstimulation of being here in this thrift store like city set in two days ago.
I think if you lived in Austin long enough, you’d get used to the aesthetic chaos of Austin. In many ways a strict building code, inhibits art and destroys individual creativity so it had no place in Austin. But being here, I have begun to see the beauty of the building code. Austin would be a very hard city for anyone who is made uncomfortable by chaos. You can expect no less from a town that supports so much individuality that everyone is in essence on their very own page.
I have enjoyed this trip. Aside from sound equipment failures, how typical the workshop was a thing of beauty and the things people have all been internally drowning in, were given the room and care to come out. It was an emotionally freeing gathering.
I’ve done so much out of body work since I’ve been here that I’ve barely slept. Last night, I was called out of body to a car crash on a highway near my house back home. The traffic was stalled for almost a mile. One woman in the crash was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car. Everyone else was unharmed enough to walk away from the crash to the side of the road. But the woman who was ejected, had landed on the pavement near the middle of the road. Her sister was over the top of her, crying hysterically and desperately trying to revive her. When the emergency medical team arrived, she was pronounced DOA (dead on arrival). And the entire scene almost went into slow motion. No one was rushing to get anyone anywhere. There was no point. The focus turned to cleaning up the crash so traffic could move forward. The woman who had died was covered with a sheet and carried to the back of the ambulance, but the ambulance did not go anywhere fast. The attitude from the emergency personnel, who were desensitized to both trauma and death was one of indifferent resignation. And at the epicenter of it, was this woman who had her sister one minute and didn’t have her the next. The world had closed in around her and stood still. No one knew what to do for her. The absolute shock of tragedy and trauma had taken her by the throat. There was nothing familiar in that moment for her and no support. What she had to make sense of and accept was to unfathomable. And so the numbness set in to cushion her fall.
I was called out of body on account of this sister. Trauma has a way of ripping you open to source. She was so open on account of her mind being unable to swallow what had just happened that she could see me when I appeared. She was praying to me to bring her sister back and make her ok. In the years to come when she tells the story, she will say that she saw an angel at the crash that day. It is the only context she has for spiritual beings appearing to assist at deaths.
This kind of spiritual ‘work’ is not uncommon for me. So you would think that I would get so used to it that I too would become desensitized to the trauma of tragedy. But this is not the case. Desensitization is actually a conscious choice. It is the choice of disconnection and I will not make that choice. The price to pay for connection is that I am affected by this work. But the price I pay is worth it because lasting joy is the result of being willing to be affected by life. That willingness is a lack of resistance to feeling and so, you move through the feeling and beyond it.