When I was in Rhode Island last month visiting family for my birthday..
…my brother asked me “So, Julie when you die what would you want to be known for?” Without thinking about it too much, I jokingly said, “Controversy.”
Later, as I gave it some serious thought, his question reminded me of a scene in “Serendipity,” a light-hearted, romantic movie filmed pre-9/11, where two people meet, separate, meet again and marry after having only spent a few hours together in New York City. After the protagonist implodes his life because he can’t let go of those few remarkable hours with this mystery woman, his best friend writes his obituary:
After Jon (my brother) asked me the question, “What would you want to be known for.” I wondered if we should all have someone we know write our obituary for us or if we should be writing obituaries for our friends and family members we’ve grown close to over the years. I suppose it would be a good exercise on how well we actually do know one another. I’ve tried to write my own obituary but it’s the most difficult thing in the world to write about: the self.
The theme of the movie, though, is to follow your intuition and that seems to be the driving force of my life since 2012. I followed my intuition when my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday last month and I said, “To go to Rhode Island and spend some time with the family.” So I did. And years ago, in 2012, I followed my intuition and spent a few weeks in Europe with that same family. In November 2012, I decided to follow my intuition again and say “Sure,” when a man I had met at an event in San Francisco asked if I wanted to meet for lunch the next day. Actually, his direct invitation wasn’t so much an invitation but a statement, “I would like to take you to lunch,” he said. And my intuition said, “Say yes.” So I did. After all, I knew within seconds of laying eyes on him I would marry him. I walked home that night in a strange dream-like state, where I was only half-awake. It was pure intuition and there was some divine energy shift in the universe. The City was quiet and I had no desire except to be alone with that energy and my thoughts for one slight move might throw it off balance and it would slip from my sight; I had an eerie sense that an urgency toward intuition would guide me to where I needed to be. So, I followed my intuition again when in 2017, after we married I insisted we grab what cash we could and escape our rent controlled apartment in San Francisco and find a house to move into, something we could own outright. This was a tall order, to find something we could afford with what little cash we had but destiny seemed to be up to the task. When we were in Detroit in 2018, after an entire year of visiting various cities in the country looking at houses, I followed my intuition that said, “Not Detroit. Try Pittsburgh,” and when I loaded him onto the plane to fly out to Pittsburgh to find us a house, I followed my intuition again and said “This one. This is the house,” when it came on the market. And so it was the right house, and we moved into it.
And in the Spring of 2020, I followed my intuition again when I said, “Here it is. Here is the war. Hold tight.”
Over the last few years I have watched a steady stream of people all around me fall into their graves, fall into physical pain, fall into despair or fall into deep denial. This mixed bag of enormous empathy and sadness and horror hovers around the edges of my own intuition which has kept me from losing my own life in the war. Those unfortunate souls, some of whom I have called friends, didn’t have intuition for whatever reason. Maybe their pineal gland calcified. Maybe the trauma in their life wore them down and their intuition left them years ago. Maybe they’d lived comfortable lives and assumed things would continue to go as they’d always gone: easy, with little difficulties or challenges.
Intuition is the only thing that has saved me. Even if the house is kind of old and not exactly the layout I want and it’s not in the fanciest neighborhood, I know it was the right choice. Even as the war wages and I know it would be easier for me to cave to coercion and community pressure, I hold fast to my decision no matter how difficult it is.
In the past there have been too many times I have not listened to my intuition or my instinct about something and I came to regret it in the long run.
But, with intuition also comes a desire to seek the magic.
When I exited the plane for instance, my sister-in-law picked me up from the airport and immediately whisked me over a bridge I can’t remember the name of chattering about how we were going to go to Goat Island. Once there, she immediately started digging around the sand for sea glass.
We continued on, to explore the little island. We walked around the lighthouse and when we returned we came across the small pile of beautiful sea-blue sea glass she had placed on the wooden walkway to dry in the sun, glinting its magic before she scooped it up and put it in her bag.
She had captured the magic and held onto it in the middle of the war.
My intuition and my instinct nagged at my conscience. It nagged at me day in and day out. It whispered to me that an enormous amount of letting go would be required in this war. For survival I had to let go. My intuition told me to release the hurt feelings, the anger, the feeling of embarrassment over wrong choices in the past and deep betrayal from friends or even family, so I did. I let it all go. I had to let go of the things I thought even shaped who I thought I was and what I thought I represented to the world. I had to let go of my pride and my ego. I had to let go of thinking that providing explanations for why I think the way I do about things would make people understand me more or sympathize with me. I let this idea go. I let all ideas go, so new ideas could come and find a place in me.
But it feels foreign to be so empty yet intuitive in the midst of those who aren’t. I wonder if my good friend’s aunt, who was t-boned by an oncoming car as she was driving to get her third booster will consider this an act of divine intervention or if even a near-fatal collision will not stir her sleeping intuition to life; I wondered if last Saturday’s sudden, unexplainable death of the neighborhood man who was so well-loved in the community will provide that hard jolt into the locals’ hearts or minds. Will their intuition suddenly spring to life? I wonder if the young mother wracked with painful, debilitating cramps has any nagging feeling about why she may never be able to give birth again.
I felt myself falling into a dark, horrifying slow moving film reel as I listened to my neighbor’s story unravel, her words inching me into that cold, hard reality that the war is very, very real and is still ongoing. Wars are meant to kill and destroy, not just one individual but every soul they touch.
This story triggered every horror story I had spent years suppressing.
Last year my elderly neighbor’s daughter had a particularly bad sinus infection and went to the hospital to treat it; she was tested without compliance, immediately diagnosed with “viral pneumonia,” and admitted into the hospital. If only my neighbor’s daughter’s intuition had kicked in the way mine once did, when I was nearly admitted to San Francisco General years ago after a collision on my scooter. I was whisked away in an ambulance, administered a drug I did not ask for by a nurse who had pure vengeance in her eyes. I have never in my life seen anything so evil from another human being. I was alone but I did not panic. Before the drug kicked in I saw this same nurse coming toward me with straps to tie me down and I suddenly found the strength to jump off the gurney and walk out. I left the emergency room in confidence without looking back and walked through the doors out into the bright sunlight before Nurse Ratched could strap me down against my will.
My neighbor’s daughter’s intuition failed her though. She allowed herself to be coerced by the medical establishment and was immediately admitted, sedated, most likely intubated and put into a coma. My neighbor was not allowed to see her 53-year-old daughter, a mother and grandmother herself, unless she succumbed to a countermeasure.
So she succumbed.
In the telling of this horror story in the grocery aisle, she proudly pulled her card from her wallet to prove she succumbed. She talked about walking into the ICU and said all the staff doctors and nurses acted like zombies; everyone was indifferent and wearing hazmat suits. She described how it felt “evil” and cold in the hospital. I felt myself getting dizzy with emotion and anger, all sorts of horrible memories of my various hospital stays over the years due to my autoimmune illness, triggering me.
My neighbor’s daughter perished in November 2021. Murdered. My neighbor blamed herself for her daughter’s death because she, my neighbor, had been outspoken about fighting the war. She wasn’t going to be coerced or succumb to a countermeasure.
But, she inevitably succumbed twice and I touched her arm gently as her body shook with a deep, rumbling cough. I imagined her once strong lungs were now filled with toxins. My intuition tells me she is not long for this world, this beautiful creature who you would never guess is a great grandmother. There is no capturing her intuition back for her. There is no sparking intuition into the hearts of the children who lost their mother and grandmother, this casualty of war. There is no explaining the war to my neighbor and her great grand children, her grand children or even her remaining children. This war is twisted and malignant and like eye color, it is inherited. It worms its way into the hearts and souls of those it kills. War has now forever changed this family and they will not recover.
There is no hoping with this one, my elderly neighbor. She believes she killed her own daughter because at the beginning she was on the right side of history and had influenced her daughter to also be on the right side, and she believes it backfired and her punishment is to live the remainder of life wracked with guilt, blaming herself.
When the intuition leaves the soul, the soul somehow finds its way out of the body and taking a simple breath of life becomes a laborious task. The brightness of life narrows into dark passageways, closing in until there is nothing left.
Those leftovers who walk this scorched earth with nothing but our intuition to guide our way hear the echoes of the past constantly, gently guiding our footsteps away from landmines, surging rebelliousness we’ve never known wrangling us out of the ironclad grips of those who would load us onto the death cars, our instinct shouting at us in dreams to exit the building quickly before it explodes, humbling ourselves with those we would never in a million years consider comrades or friends and we join them in a strange, symbiosis of allied forces. These allied forces are those we have never met and likely never will meet, face to face. But our intuition tells us it’s the right thing to do.
Intuition becomes the fortress to the damaged and they find strength because the intuition that shapes patience and strength and pure love is all that stands between the injured or confused, and the war. Intuition reshapes the world in war and war inverts that world, but those who follow their intuition continue to stand upright in this inverted world.
I’ve talked to many who have followed their intuition and they all have the same remarkable experiences. Somehow they have become the light and people are drawn to them, like moths to a flame, sharing their fears, their confusion, experiences and tragedies.
Intuition burns bright in your consciousness and it has saved your life. Can it save the lives of others? Is intuition the secret weapon that wins the war?
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