Recently I participated in a quantum jump, a kind of guided-meditation-self-hypnosis thingy that is supposed to yield a greater understanding of my higher self, feelings of peace and harmony, and, I don’t know, the ability to manifest things I want. Like that. I don’t actually believe in it.
Fortunately, the person who guides the quantum jump, my friend Debz, doesn’t expect that. She knows that I don’t believe in anything that I can’t touch with my bare hands, and also she knows that my idea of peace and harmony is not punching people even when I want to.
The first time I did a quantum jump, it was because I wanted to say hello to my buddy Debz, whom I hadn’t seen in years and years, and it would give another friend a chance to see the building where she was planning to give a workshop.
So I went into the whole thing with such low expectations that I was blown away by what I experienced. I may not believe in anything but I have a very vivid imagination, and as Debz gently nudged it along, I found myself experiencing a powerful sense of relief, like my heart had been trying to tell me something I couldn’t hear before now. It was one of those jaw-dropping moments of clarity that only come along every once in a while. Afterward, I felt happier and more at peace than I had in so long I had forgotten what it felt like.
So about a month later Debz offered another quantum jump and I knew I wanted to attend. I wanted to refresh those feelings of happiness and peace.
This time Debz did something a little different. She had us think of a life-altering decision we’d made. Then we would find two quantum twins—ourselves in other realities (I told you I don’t believe in this, so I totally don’t expect you to, either). One of these twins was to be an older self who had made the same decision and might show what we would be like in the future, and another self who might show what we would be like if we had made a different decision.
My decision was about having Jessica. As you can imagine, I sometimes wonder what my life would be like without her, and I thought that twin—the one who had chosen not to have children, or at least not to have Jessica—might be able to help me remember some of what I was. I have no wish to define my life solely by my relationship to Jessica, but sometimes I forget how. And sometimes being her mother feels like it interferes with being who I am. So I thought that twin might have some insight for me.
So I went searching, but I never found the twin who chose not to have Jessica.
When I went in search of the twin who was more aligned with the decision I did make, I encountered Alice, one of the characters from a novel I’m writing. Which was a puzzle, since she’s a lot younger than I am and doesn’t have any children at all. Then I realized that she was in this universe because she does exist, in some real sense, the way all of my characters do. And that Jessica is an essential part of that creativity, of accessing that divine whatever that is the source of my stories. She doesn’t hinder it; she helps it come into being. Alice is here because Jessica is here.
I knew that was true of the Jessica stories, that they exist because Jessica does, but I had never recognized that it was also true of much of my other work. So that was an aha! moment. She isn’t interfering, she is helping make it possible for me to be who I am. That was such an affirming thing to learn.
In each quantum jump, we give a gift to the twin we meet. The gift I gave Alice was the agreement to be her mother (she doesn’t have a mother). Which made me smile later; “mother” is a role I resist about as vehemently as I resist “guru.”
After I came back into myself, I had the insight that there is no universe in which I made the choice not to have Jessica, and that was why I couldn’t find that twin. That made no logical sense to me but the more I sit with it the more I feel it to be true. That is a very beautiful and healing thing to me.
I gave that universe without my twin a gift anyway; I gave it stars.
So it was with a feeling of excitement that I approached the third quantum jump. I still don’t believe in any of this AT ALL not even the tiniest little bit but I’d been looking forward to it for weeks.
This time, Debz had us think about something important, a thing we really want, and we went off on a quantum adventure to find out how to get that thing we really want.
Well, there is a thing I really want, really really really want, and so I went to find my quantum twin to ask her how she did it, and I found . . . a frog.
Yes, a frog. A small green frog. A nonspeaking, noncommunicative small green frog. As you might imagine, I screamed, “WHAT THE FUCK??!?!?” at that small green frog, although not out loud.
And then I started to laugh. It was actually pretty hilarious, thinking I was about to find the key to the one thing I wanted, the Holy Grail, the answer to What Is, and instead getting a tiny mute amphibian. I looked at that frog and I laughed. I laughed and laughed, a big belly laugh from down deep in my soul. It was like being tricked by Coyote, you know? All you can do is laugh along with him.
Then Debz said it was time to merge with our quantum twin, to hug, or hold hands, or touch, or whatever felt right. So I picked up that green frog and . . . I ate him.
Yup. I just popped him in my mouth and swallowed. And then he laughed, too, and we both laughed for a long time. Then I said goodbye to him, and gave him a gift of sand. I have no idea why sand, although sand is said to have healing properties, and possibly he was suffering somewhat from having been eaten.
So I went home with a light heart, although not with any deep insights into the nature of the universe, except perhaps this one: sometimes it is laughter you are seeking, you just didn’t know it.
More about Debz’s good work can be found here.
My collection of travel stories, Travels with Jessica, is now available! Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here. And I’ve published my essay “For Jessica” as a small book. Kindle and paperback here; other ebook formats here.
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