Some people seem more than human when you meet them, like they were forces of nature given form; limbs to move, eyes to see, lips to speak and ears to hear. Meeting those people is a great treat. They are amazing spirits, walking this world in a way free from fetters that bind many of the rest os us. You may call them free spirits, and you may assume a lot about them. I call them fireballs, they burn bright, they change you and they will change the world in some great way, because it is their purpose, their existence, their way.
Kryssy Ciarlo is a fireball.
We met at Colonial Lake, in the heart of downtown Charleston, surrounded by beautiful trees and homes. In fact, we spent the first few moments of our time together enjoying the Charleston Pride Week parade, which also happened to be today. When you accidentally encounter so much joy and celebration, you know you are destined to have an incredible meeting.
Kryssy has a true gift for conversation. She listens with her heart, a true rarity among people. It is not just your words she is listening to, you can feel her ears, see her eyes, both looking at you, into you, though not through you. To Kryssy you exist, at this time, in this place, with gravitas and full presence. She is fully open, an incredible storyteller and you can see how easy it would be to get lost in hours of conversation with her at any place you can think of. In fact we did. Our meeting seemed like maybe an hour and a half, when almost three had passed between us. The sun felt warm but mild, the water was calm, the spirit around the lake was so conducive to stories that everything just felt right. That wasn't planned, but a significant amount of it was Kryssy. Her gifts for communication are easy and generous.
She is one of the three people I would want with me on a desert island.
Not only for her ability to tell stories, and her generous, listening heart, but for the joy she finds in the world. It's a triumph for those who have walked rough roads to see that joy in others and themselves. Kryssy sees beauty in other people and accepts them for who they are. I tell her a story of seeing a tiger in the wild, of being so close to that animals actual spirit, so far from its cage at a zoo, that it has always been different to me ever since. THat's how she wants to see people, not in cages nor molded into the shapes we want them to be in, but as they truly are. Looking into her eyes, it is how she sees you. Hearing from her heart it is how she wants you to see her.
We talk of many things, of service and sacrifice, poverty, struggle, life, love and growing up. We talk about changing how we react to the bad in our lives, about turning the damage into our strengths and defining ourselves. We talk about dreams and the gym, about living your best life, at least right now until you find a new way to make it better. Kryssy talks about chosen love, about the people in our lives we choose to love and how powerful they can be. We all build these families over our years of living, these people we choose to love and care for. Those bonds are so strong, wonderful things crafted from our heart and intention. Hearing her talk about it is incredible, you can feel what it must be like to be chosen by her in that way, to know that she is you family, that she has you back.
We talk about meetings and partings, how we never know how long someone will be in our life. People may leave for a multitude of reasons. Some of them are tragic; accidents or natural passing. Others are even more tragic; slipping away in time or proving toxic and let go. She tells me of meetings and of partings, of joys and of sorrows. We both reflect on people in our lives and how we never knew their impact when we first met them, but we saw it later; mostly for better, sometimes for worse.
Kryssy tells me of her dreams, of one in particular. She wants to tell stories, to share her gifts for listening and talking via a podcast. I can't help but want this now. You will not understand if you have not talked to her, and with my best words I can only capture maybe ten percent of how this moment between us felt. Trust me when I tell you that this podcast would be nothing short of wonderful a merger of her heart, her soul, her listening and her wonderful words. It is a dream, with all of the joy and fear that accompanies those, but it is coming. She works diligently to make it happen, and I know it will. Listening to her talk about it, her plans, the people, the way she wants to do it, the pure philosophy, is inspiring. Tonight will be a long night of writing thanks to her.
As we walk back from the lake, down the pristine sidewalk of this are, under a cresting sun, we share a few more stories. Last minute exchanges, but knowing there will be more. Our time ends as so much of my time ends these days, with a hug and a smile, a promise to talk again soon. I cannot help but feel I've been chosen, much as I have chosen her.
Kryssy is a fireball. I cannot wait to see what change she will make in this world.
Favorite DinosaurL Ducky from The Land Before Time
Why: Because who doesn't love The Land Before Time?