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Paul Knisely, Evolution among the Giants

May 1, 2010


 I am honored to present the Personal Evolution through Outdoor Experience of Paul Knisely.

            The wild earth whispered into the ear of a young man.  He was listening, but there is a lot of competition in the heart and mind of a nineteen year old.  Straddling two worlds, a skill natural to a Gemini, Paul Knisely went through the paces of the future that was laid out before him through family expectations.  He was a square jawed athletic machine in which every aspect of his collegiate life was a competition, from the ball field to how many beers could be downed in a night.  It could have been Paul’s innate ability to live and thrive in multiple social environments that made it seem like he could continue in that life, play super competitive football, live in a city environment, get a degree in political science and move into the working world of Washington DC and at the same time know that something was missing.  Know from the inside out that the world had another plan for him. 

            Paul began to migrate west, responding to a call that had grown from a quiet background murmur to a persistent shout.  While living in Vale, Colorado, Paul took a trip to Costa Rica and met a woman on the beach.  It was one of those synchronistic chance meetings that have a catalytic effect.  They stayed in touch and she invited him to visit Northern California.  She lived south of Arcata in the land of ancient redwood giants.  Paul had never seen a redwood tree, nor encountered groups of like minded people connected to the earth in a way that offered relief to his heart and soul.  It was a mind expanding experience.   After his visit, as Paul was leaving his friend, she suggested that he visit the Rockefeller Grove.  As he wound down the road in his rented car, Paul arrived at the grove of which she spoke.  It was a perfect day and it was as if he were the only person on earth. 

            He began to walk out into the forest and he had the sense that something big was up.  Paul had the overwhelming feeling that he was in the right place at the right time.  His body began to clear itself, both physically and mentally.  He walked on as if being led, like his body was possessed by forces outside of himself.  He continued until he was on a great redwood that had fallen over a stream.  The elements were all present, the water, the earth, the blowing breeze, the bluebird sky.   He sat because he had to and began a process of involuntary meditation.  Paul had no experience with being still or meditating.  His whole life had been about acting on the world, bringing something by being physically overt.  Now he was frozen in space, yet he had the physical sensation that his head was expanding, growing so large it was melting into the sky.  It was scary and overpowering, yet he was overcome by a strong sense of faith that things were okay. 

Paul walked out of that redwood forest a different man.  He had been given the gift of clarity, the knowledge that his current path was okay, that he was doing the right thing in changing where and how he chose to walk the earth.  He was not betraying his family or letting anyone down, it was a simple understanding that the chance to live his authentic life was a choice that would be supported by the world around him.  He was ready to accept that life would unfold according to its own volition.  The earth offered Paul a chance for personal transformation and it was with a grateful and humble spirit that he accepted the gift and walked away.  It was a complete acceptance by nature and in every sense a primal welcome back party for Paul at the root of his being.

See Paul’s page on my website:  personal evolutions/Paul Knisely

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carolyn permalink
    May 2, 2010 8:41 pm

    I feel I am back from a long, long journey. Two months ago yesterday I had my major heart surgery. They opened me up and after much struggling exchanged a new valve for a corroded one. Having your heart held in some ones hands and repaired is an unbelievable experience.
    I am slow to reenter the world. I have been awaiting the time I can reconnect with my daughter by reading and writing on her blog. I found myself going back to the office several times, even turned the computer on once and walking away. I found my body restricted. Thirty days in the hospital in bed has left a large impression on me.
    Do I deserve to live in this world? Do I want to reenter it? The great surgeons and caring hospital staff has given me no choice since that Monday morning when I was put to sleep and have no memories for 5 days after. My daughter arrived and I began to experience life again. Those beginning weeks is time, other than remembering seeing my husband daily and my children either in person or on the phone, I don’t want to remember.
    Now here I am, putting my toe back in life I went in to a grocery today with my husband who has been doing all of the shopping for several years. We divided up the list (he still very protective) gave me the shorter and easier part. Words don’t convey what it is like to think back to all those years when my heart was working at under 40% and I pushed myself to walk down a grocery isle. I wised into the store and picked up the things and met my husband at check out. He had the car keys out for me to be able to go to the car right away as in the past when I would be exhausted. I felt energetic and was was sad that the list had come to an end.

    I came home and decided yes I am back, this is the time I can write on Julie’s blog.

    Yes I am reentering the world. Love, C

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