Karma Chipmunk

Nuggets / Stories

The story of how these words landed here, in this blog that I started three years ago yet have never posted to, is as esoteric as the story of the karma chipmunk itself. How two strangers can find each other amid such vast time and space, and share a small part of each other, with each other, for just a brief moment, is as important a lesson as the one my chipmunk taught me that day. The words below are taken from an email thread between myself and a virtual stranger to whom I attempted to explain my chipmunk story – the background and context regarding how such an exchange came to be is tricky and I’m not sure I fully understand it myself. Regardless of how it came to be, offering a piece of my soul to the unknown that day yielded support and encouragement that had the effect of a lightning bolt – a surge of energy that manifested itself into action. And here I am.


So, KC…like I said, words will likely fail me, but hang with me! Some background first, I’ll try to keep this part brief, but it is definitely relevant. I grew up around adults who were way too wrapped up in their own baggage and issues to be present and available in a loving, nurturing way to their children. General neglect and a complete lack of healthy proactive parenting is probably a good way to characterize my childhood…definitely a lonely and isolated existence.

My particular brand of abuse is definitely more about the acts of omission rather than commission – although I am here to tell you, omission leads to just as much suffering and lack of safe, secure connections as physical brutality. It’s safe to say this lack of connectedness has been an ongoing issue, although I had no clue for a very long time. No clue there even was a problem and certainly no clue why disconnectedness might be a problem, specifically.

You would think my complete and total abhorrence of all things religious would have been a clue, but I didn’t know nuthin back then. I’ve been slowly waking up and learning about these things for a couple of years now.

Fast forward…several months ago, maybe a year now, I was driving from Cincinnati to Bowling Green, KY – about 3.5 hours & a trip I could drive in my sleep, I’ve made it so many times. Not only do I cruise that route on autopilot because I’ve driven it so many times, this particular trip, I was, ironically, listening to a John Friedlander CD (no, this is not actually ironic at all, but the fact that it even occurs to me to label this “unexpected” shows you where I was in my awareness at the time!).

If you’re not familiar with John or Gloria, they wrote the book Psychic Psychology, which was pretty much my first exposure to anything related to an aura, chakra, human energy field, etc. – besides maybe a rainbow crystal necklace a friend of mine had and a brief explanation she gave me once about what the colors meant.

So, I had read the book, and had the audio CDs which are a combination of learning modules and guided meditation modules – obviously when I was driving that day I was not listening to the guided meditation tracks! But I was listening to the learning tracks as I was driving – pretty much like an audio book kind of thing.

Driving along 71S doing at least 80, with part of my attention on the audio and the rest on the road, some creature ran out into the road and I hit it. Of course, there’s more to it than that. You can imagine, it only takes an instant to realize you’re about to hit a critter, and at that speed, the time between “oh shit” and splat is just a fraction of a second. Except it wasn’t. This is where it gets really hard to describe. Literally, a second or two elapsed, clearly -but when I look back, or think back to that moment – or perceive back, more accurately, time stood still and a lot of stuff happened.

In my mind now, looking back, this is how the story unfolds: I calmly identified the scene before me (“oh no, there is a living creature bolting out from the grass right into the road and into oncoming traffic!”), evaluated options (“I certainly don’t want to hit the little guy – whatever it is, but I’m going awfully fast…I could try to slam on the brakes, I could try to swerve…if I do nothing (and here’s where I went all Einstein), given my current speed and the distance between me and him, I will most likely hit him square on with my left front tire…but I’d really rather not do that…cause he is, after all, a living creature…and I’m not one of those PETA kinds of people, I barely even like my own dog, but still…”), and came to a resolute understanding of what was going to happen (“nope, hitting my brakes won’t work and could be really dangerous if someone behind me is too close…swerving at this speed could also really be dangerous…I don’t like these options, and I wish this weren’t happening…I’m not happy about this, but this poor guy is going down…without a doubt”).

That’s a lot of cognition for a second or two, right? Yeah. I hit the creature, then things really started to get weird. Almost immediately after I knew I hit him, I heard something. Yes, I said heard. As in words. English words. With my ears. No idea whose words, whose voice, where they came from…no clue. But I heard the words “here it comes.”

OK, maybe this is the part where it gets really hard to describe. I “perceived” another “message” – no, message isn’t the right word…I perceived a knowing – a truth of sorts (I say “of sorts” because I still don’t know if truth is the right word, only because I’m not sure I always believe, or remember)…whatever…this “message” or whatever you call it, I know did not come to me in the form of words and it didn’t come in via my ears, but it came in nonetheless. Now, I have to try to put words to it, because how in the hell else could I even try to communicate about it? The words I have assigned to it are: “we are all connected”. So, it went like this…notice critter, smash critter, “here it comes”, “we are all connected”…then I started sobbing. Deep, physically painful, headache-inducing, ugly-cry-face sobbing. For a long time.

In the playground that is my excruciatingly overactive mind, I think about that chipmunk moment a lot. I think about things like, “How do I know it was a chipmunk? What if it was a bird or a rat?” or “What if I didn’t hit him – what if I actually missed him…it all happened SO fast, after all”…and I wonder if the incessant second guessing, in general, is a byproduct of chronic and pervasive disconnectedness. Then I usually remember that ruminating about these kinds of things is a very complex, sophisticated and effective way to avoid being still and sitting with the pain of a life disconnected….the pain of a life disconnected when all I ever really wanted – longed for – and still do – is deep, lasting, meaningful connections to other human beings.

I’m not entirely sure what it all means, I didn’t, and still don’t, feel profoundly different having been visited by a chipmunk spirit…but I know it’s important…so I have a charm on my bracelet to remind me.

That’s all I got.

The best part is the response. Like I said, it was what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. I suspect I will need to hear it over and over, so I asked for permission to post it. Posting it here is completely self-serving – I need these words near me.

Holy shit Jenny. I normally talk all fancy. But I have other ways and words as well. Holy shit. I totally love that this happened to you and I am so glad that you felt okay sharing it with me. Wow. I love it! What a powerful experience. I mean…wow. I am smiling. I am laughing. And almost crying. It’s great. It’s really everything isn’t it? All in one moment…and then a moment that can teach you for the rest of your life…

And then the chipmunk charm on your bracelet.

I have to say this also….are you listening? I mean Jenny…jeez…your writing is so alive. I am not just saying this. Really, your writing is so engaging, so conversational. It is a real pleasure to read. And if you speak in person anything like your writing, it must be a lot of fun to actually talk to you. It’s some of the most fun and intelligent, moment by moment writing I’ve read. You write and it puts the reader right there next to you…and makes them smile…and makes them think. You don’t have to work on a thing. Sorry. Can’t hide behind that. Forget what I said about finding your voice in writing. All you need to do is start a blog and make this your first posting. End of discussion lady!

And that’s exactly what I did.