Through the Golden Veil they tumbled, reliving scenes from their own lives. Kristen Campbell relished The Golden Veil’s gateway to Kalendra.
He stood in his office at the company he managed for 17 years. This was his third year in a row without vacation. Kristen’s worked 15 hour days and most weekends managing many projects. If he didn’t want to work Sunday, he was told, don’t bother to come in on Monday.
8 years old Kris is sitting with his parents., “I quit my job and traveled the world just the shirt on my back”, his dad said. “I was sailing with my friends. I insisted we stay in the port one more night,” his mom said. “I knew I would meet the love of my life.”
“A leap of faith can change your life.” His dad opened the engraved wooden cigar box filled with his most special treasures and gently gave Kris the one way ticket stub. To Kris it was pure gold.
Kristen walked out of his Monday morning planning meeting, into his office and closed the door. 8 year old Kris took over his body, grabbled his wallet picked up the phone and bought a one way plane ticket to Paris. He insisted on a window seat. Then he skipped Kristen’s body to the center of the office, announced his resignation loudly, hooted and laughed with glee. Kristen returned to his office, closed the door, sank into his chair and felt relieved.
Kristen Campbell danced with excitement as he thought of traveling the world. He thought of his dear nephew Jaime, the single most important person in Kristen’s life.
Kristen arrived in Paris with no agenda. He sat in coffee shops, wandered cobblestones streets and back alleys. He simply watched people lived their lives. He was fascinated. Fishermen, Shop keepers, physicians, all manner of people. He wondered how many felt satisfied. Some people visibly thrived as if they glowed. Kristen wondered. He saw people thriving from nearly every walk of life. He saw the grey and yellow looking people. They scowled, complained and made excuses. As Kristen listened to people’s stories he discovered the grey people demanded control over the few options they knew. They were distressed by those who believed in possibility. Kristen was intrigued.
Kristen saw parts of himself in many people. His traditional work path kept him from connection and kept him from developing parts of himself. They must have gone to sleep or gotten buried, he thought. He slowly began to wake those parts of himself up.
Kristen had worked hard to shut down his feelings to numb the loneliness.
He was restless. “What next?” he asked himself. The words Travel South appeared everywhere - even on a worn escalator.
He met Edwardo on the boat to Morocco. The two men felt like old friends. They traveled together “I have a tradition, Edwardo explained. “I always arrive in rural villages with enough food for a celebration. People are delighted and surprised. They feel valued and cared for. Many barely have access to food where we’re going. Kristen loved watching forgotten villages spring to life. Taking care of the villagers and spending time with them filled him with joy.
Kristen was surprised how deeply restored he felt. Edwardo and Kristen danced and sang with the villagers around the fire. Edwardo and Kristen danced and sang. “The universal language of the hearth,.” Edwardo commented.
Kristen was certain he was under a ‘magic spell.’ He stumbled into the most unusual village. As he walked into the town square, a mysterious woman wearing a white lace dress with big green eyes walked up to Kristen and took his hand in hers. She sang a mesmerizing song about time travelers in another world. Then she looked him in the eye.“I’ve been expecting you. I need your care for my people.”
In silence she led him down the steep staircase, her dress and dark hair flowed gently. Kristen followed her through the meadow to theArcheology site. She turned to him, grabbed his hand and held it near her heart. She bowed her face, then looked into his eyes and made the most humble, genuine request Kristen had ever known. “Please protect the ancient people.” She slipped into the shadows, returned with an ancient toy and placed it in Kristen’s hand. Kristen mused at how timeless it was. The beautiful woman bowed her head again to show her appreciation. Kristen watched as she walked over to a stone petroglyph and vanished.
Kristen held the small toy in his hand. When he saw Jim, the lone archaeologist he asked to help. Jim also wanted to keep the artifacts safe. Kristen handled each carving and thought of the mysterious woman. “How do I protect the ancient people?”
He day dreamed about the craftsmen who used the tools in his hands. He imagined what their days were like. He knew the village thrived when they carved their stories into the walls. Those people glowed. He could still feel their happiness all these centuries later.
Were ancient people really so different? In school he’d learned about early, simple people. Looking at this civilization he doubted that was true. These ancient people were brilliant. What was timeless, he wondered. Food, a peaceful place to sleep and connection over the hearth. Those were the most fundamental human needs. Ironically, in his ‘advanced society’ he’d been expected to give up his need for connection and kinship. The small rural villages helped his life take on meaning and grace. He felt peaceful. Kristen Campbell glowed.