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  • Katharine Krul

The Vortex

I was recently on a vacation that included two days in Sedona, Arizona. I have been to this magical place before, about 10 years ago. This time I traveled with my children, my husband and my mother. When my Dad was still alive, it was a place my mother and he frequented too. This time, a holiday of five, going and remembering and feeling okay as we are...with children, and without my Dad.


Vortex....it is defined as a mass of whirling fluid or air that pulls things into its centre.


Some people say that Sedona is a vortex...a place where tourists are pulled to visit, and a place where we are pulled to keep coming back. I agree wholeheartedly. I am very familiar with being pulled to visit somewhere. I have been to Costa Rica on a wellness retreat, twice, where I was pulled to go, and heal and sit and breathe. I have been pulled to walk into a store to buy an Inukshuk, in Alaska.


So what I know now, as I sit with God in my deepest moments, is that I am also pulled to just sit in my living room chair or on the floor in my home studio, or in a pew at church, or in my office where I work. I am pulled and I can’t resist the pull. So I go to where I am pulled. I know I don’t need an airplane to find solitude and comfort. I can find it right wherever I am.


And where I am being pulled, and what all these places have in common, isn’t geography...it is the deep well of my soul and a pull towards God and pull alongside God. It is the hand of God reaching out and pulling me with a force indescribable at times and also so describable that the tears from my soul are a wellspring of all that is good ~ a force ~ that if it had words it would be “magnificent” “angelic” “pure” “incredible” “fluid” “wondrous”... If it had movement it would be me dancing... If it had smells it would be flowers and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies... If it had sights it would be the ocean or a red rock in Arizona or a mirror... If it had sounds it would be my children saying “I love you” or a bird chirping in the springtime or my voice when I sing.


What I am suddenly realizing right now is that my 180 degree life shift took place after a hurricane-like vortex within. In 2008, I had vertigo that lasted over 20 days. It was extreme and it was horrific. I was violently ill and could not move or sit without my world spinning over and over again. A Vortex. God in my body, in my soul, shaking me to my core and waking me up. Before that day, those days filled with vortex after vortex, I didn’t pray out loud or dance to heal or sit to breathe or go to places that brought me calm. I didn’t. It was God that spun into my being, stirring me up and encouraging me to step up and out and be....just “be”. It was a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, where I am told I could never be well again, that made me well...more well than I had ever been in my life. MS...My Soul, My Strength, My Spirit, My Spinning. I am thankful for the diagnosis, for it truly saved my life.


And so when we were on holidays a week ago, walking on the red rock under the clear, blue sky, I felt at home. Just as I do, when I dance in church, and when I come to work...and when I write these words in my pajamas, in my chair with a cup of tea at my side. I am home...with God, wherever I am.


© kekrul, March 24, 2014

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St. John's United Church is one congregation with two places of worship in Georgetown and Glen Williams.

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