One woman’s quest to make sense of a nonsensical world after losing her dream home and all her worldly possessions to a raging and sudden wildfire. Exploring the existence of God, our cultural discomfort with grief, what it means to be human as well as life in a 1967 Airstream trailer, Kristen Moeller shares her humanity, her spirit and her dark edge openly for herself as well as for the countless others who beg to be heard in their wild journey through this wacky world.
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Calling in the big guns

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Up before the sun is not my usual M.O. But I now rise from bed to enjoy my last day in this house. Today, I say ‘enjoy’ because after taking one to many trips to the dark side, I screamed uncle and called in the big guns. I have plenty of great teachers and mentors in my life, and I have the good fortune of an inclination towards Shamanism as well as a new community who plays in that playground. Ancient spiritual wisdom was just what the doctor ordered l in helping me turn my ship around as I continued to bump ground as I sailed further into dark water. Wading through memorabilia as the memories wafted through air like fruit flies, smacking my skull and knocking me senseless, I was beginning to drown in the pain.

Two Shaman’s later, I am back on solid ground. I don’t mind walking through my grief and allowing it to be – and I needed to see the sun shine just a bit. I needed to know that healing was happening and that this wouldn’t be all there is and was, forever. Shaya Mercer brought me reminders of the little girl I once was as I first explored the territory around this lovely home. We were a happy family, fortunate to vacation at the beach, my parents gorgeous and smart and in love with their little brood. Then suddenly and out of the blue, Dad was leaving and life altered. All my clear memories after that event are my mistakes and humiliations and youthful angst. Might I have been that anyway? Sure, but as we know, divorce messes with kids heads. Like many, I stuffed those feelings way down deep and then stamped them down further as I launched into my addictions. “I will never be left again”, became a mantra. “Be good, be nice, be sweet” became a trap.

This house held it all and saw it all. As I sort through pictures, I study that young face sometimes smiling broadly at the camera, other times caught at an angle and a little more difficult to read. Who was she? Who might she have become had things gone differently? Into each life rain will fall, and rain poured with my parents divorce, moving around, changing schools, my mom’s grief around losing her sister in a motor cycle accident, and then her parents within a few years after. Add in her second divorce and alcoholism, then my own burgeoning addictions as well as choosing the most unstable of boyfriends to be my companion, I was off to the races, racing to nowhere.

So, I unplugged from trust and anything I believed as a young child when I sought meaning and believed in the spirit of a geranium plant handed out in church in honor of someone who passed. I planted that geranium plant in the garden and I swear to this day that it survived a winter and came up the next year to bloom. I believed that plant contained God; I believed in something bigger than us all. But clearly, fear began to take its grasp of my life and my trust and faith was shaken over the years. I grasped for solidity and something to count on in this ever-spinning world. Years later, my sweet mountain perch was one of those few things that felt solid – and that I could depend upon. We know what happened there, so here I am faced (again) with the opportunity to examine my need to grasp and hold on, my desire for certainty in an uncertain world and my pain that things aren’t the way I hoped they might be. So, when Shaya reminded me of all this, something eased inside.

Then, big gun number 2 was talking to my beloved Julie Davis with whom I did some deep work in the early days after the fire when not only was I experiencing my grief around the house, but also an excruciating level of guilt. I felt I was supposed to protect my house and had failed it by letting it burn. She gently guided me to see that this wasn’t so and that actually the house and I had found each other to be together for the time we were. Relief flooded my being and I was left with the appropriate amount of mourning instead of burdening myself with excessive guilt. Now, here I am (and was) at a crossroads again. Am I abandoning this place? Is it abandoning me? Are we making a dreadful decision, one we will always regret til the day we die? The pain was becoming unbearable. Julie took time to journey and come back with answers for me:

This is not a mistake. It is the next step in my growth and development. I will mourn the goodbye to this house but I will also be able to celebrate the time here. I will carry the spirit of this house with me as I go – and yet leave it here too for the next owner to cherish.

Julie then spoke an unspoken conclusion my parents came to long ago: “if we can’t be happy here, we can’t be happy anywhere”. And, true to that, since they weren’t happy here in this magical place that they chose together, together, they called it off. Then, Julie talked about a need for rootedness that passed to me from generations before, how my mountain house represented that rootedness but that now, something else was being reclaimed in my forgotten ability to be fluid.

I adored my mountain home – and yet sometimes, I felt that we found our forever house to early. I knew I would never leave it and still wondered what it might be like to live elsewhere. More than fantasies of wanderlust, it was like marrying a first love and loving deeply but realizing there was more to experience out there. Now that house is gone. And according to Julie, now I will be able to choose differently about where we live and for how long. This perch in Evergreen that we still hope will work out is a lovely space, and most likely we won’t be there forever either. Will we build again? We still don’t know. But maybe now, we can choose without the woundedness, need and craving in our way. Maybe I don’t need to be rooted like I thought I did. Maybe I am now fluid and can bring this strength into all aspects of my life.

I am a funny girl. I say I scream to God and get no answer, yet all you need to do is read my last report from the dark side and hear my words now to see for yourself that answers came. I am not saying I won’t write more darkness because I will write whatever is there to write. Writing is my process, I will speak what is there to be spoken and allow the words to rest after they pass through my fingers onto the page and into the ether as I share the good, bad and ugly with my trusted readers. But I can say, that since this session yesterday morning, I have a lightness that wasn’t there before. My sadness is here, but it’s not threatening to swallow me whole. I am looking at the pink turn to yellow outside and seeing the beauty and knowing I can carry it with me. It is time for another goodbye yet I won’t leave claw marks as I go. Instead, I will shut the door and feel the weight of my ancestors hands on my mine.

And instead of closing, the door is opening to what is next, what will come, and what will be.

 

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8 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    I am so relieved to hear that you are feeling some relief from all the grief that you are experiencing. Thank you once again for sharing from such a vulnerable place and allowing me to feel vulnerable too as I once again feel my own grief for losses that occurred many years ago and for the losses that are looming on the distant horizon. Being fluid is clearly one way to move through this thing called life. Deep love to you my dear friend….

    Denise

  2. While not in quite as dramatic a way, I too have been facing doors closing and endings, among which are that my minister friend and soul sister, with whom I’ve performed and done ministry for 10 years, is returning to the Seattle area to join a man who manifested in her life in a miraculous way. Our old singing group was together the other day, and together we sang Turn, Turn, Turn…there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. The song is resonating through me still. Love to you,
    Nettie

  3. Alison says:

    My beloved guide and teacher,

    I read the words yet feel them touch me. I grasp the course correction yet resonate with questioning all that is. I share the sound of a door closing yet am equally comforted knowing another opens.

    There are souls that connect and those that whisper past. How very grateful to have the connection.

    Safe voyage home dear one. The rest of your life awaits.

    XO

  4. Edee Gail says:

    As I read your poignant “pieces/chapters” of grief, growth, frustration, change, new realizations, (and so much more), I can’t help but wonder, how graceful and open I would be to all that you have been walking through, should I ever be in your place. (and no universe…i am not asking for this.)

    Kristen you are most inspiring for stepping towards and through these perspectives with such bravery and authenticity. Good for you to pull in the “wise ones”
    (not that you’re not) to show you where you could take a big deep long breath. much love to you. friend Edee

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