My core collapsed. The deep rumble started in my center, and it felt like the soft, repeated strikes of a finely wrapped mallet on a deep bass drum. With every beat, my form expanded outwards. As the drumming intensified, I braced myself for the explosive crescendo…but it never came.

Instead, every piece of my form detached from itself with a calm grace, like tissue paper falling from the sky. I watched curiously as all of the layers I’d once thought of as my body came apart like puzzle pieces. As the tiny pieces detached, they twirled away like slowly spinning ballerinas, and then scattered like dandelion seeds in the air after a gentle blow from a sweet child. There was no pain, and the letting go brought a deep peace I’d never known before. I briefly wondered what was left of me…until I had no thought at all.

It all happened in a moment too small to be measured, in the same way that the present moment is gone before you can pinpoint it. And just as past moments cannot be recovered, I knew that I was beyond the point of no return. Indeed, I no longer had a form.

The space that remained was indescribable. If I tried to explain, I could say that it felt like a void… no color, smell, feeling, or sound. Or maybe the endless space was every color and perhaps the sound was so loud that it would have shattered my eardrums—if there had been any air to allow the sound waves to travel. I am not sure. I just knew I’d profoundly misunderstood everything that had happened before that moment.

If I’d had a mirror, I would have only seen a light brighter than a thousand suns.


This is the start of a novel I drafted, entitled Seven Lives. My incredible friend and editor for the project Jordan Rosenfeld encouraged and assisted me with polishing the starting points, but then my perfectionist tendencies overwhelmed me. I burned myself out. I wanted every part of the book to live up to this introduction I wrote in a flurry while visiting my sister Iris in Houston several years ago. Maybe one day…

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this to pair with a podcast episode I’m about to record for Live Free with Selena Sage called, “See The Elements.” You can find the episode here.

Links referenced in episode:

Sage Ashtavakra

Taoist Elements

Taoist Elements as Human Body

You are Stardust

Photo: Sunset in Ponta do Sol, Cabo Verde.