Dance of the Heretic 💃🏼 - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

Dance of the Heretic 💃🏼

My past year has basically been a tour of everywhere that you do not want to go as a human: loss, failure, loneliness, detachment, existential angst, grief, both parents’ cancer, and fear.


This episode of That’s What She Said details the ways I’ve moved through the time since losing my mom.

Take a meander through the most devastating year of my life, embroidered with poems and tenderness and laughter.

In this episode, I’ll walk you through the practice that helped to reconnect me to my body, my breath, and my being when grief hit. Then, I’ll share completely heretical, would-have-gotten-me-burned-at-the-stake things I’ve learned to help me re-establish my connection to the divine.

I encourage you to embrace the bigger, larger, more profound connection to the divine that I’m detailing within this episode. It’s a connection I never found in a church of any denomination, but that I feel each time I place my feet on the earth. (Related: coming out of the spiritual closet.)

Progress Report

In the sacred text
left behind by Mary Magdalene,
the word ‘God’ was replaced by
‘The Good.’

Mama I saw
snowdrops yesterday.
They were revealed when the snow melted,
blooming on ice.

I almost genuflected in the mud.

Mama I’ve seen
birds bathing in the stream
as the woods thawed
and the juncos were passing through,

I’ve seen fog and rain
and the leaves falling one by one
for weeks until only a handful
hung on for winter,

I’ve seen deer
wandering through the forest
and a fox slinking through the snow.

Mama now I know
the pulsing of the land, alive,
even in winter.

I can feel the creek’s current
in my fingertips as it passes.

I’ve drawn the sun into my chest
and danced as if you’ve never left;
I’ve wet the forest floor with tears
for everything we did
and did not say.

Mama I’ve never danced so much.

I’ve shown up in the forest and loved
you, the world, the sky,
The Good,
even when nothing felt good
and I wanted to join you
somewhere beneath the earth.

Mama, I’ve seen
The Good.

I’ve seen The Good.

P.S. The word Heretic is IN THE TITLE, so please don’t listen if you’re a Good Catholic Looking to Take Offense At Every Word I Say.

If you’re curious about how a formerly Catholic woman moves beyond early experiences of church to reclaim her connection to the divine — listen in now.