Michael Joshin Thiele found himself on a forest path. Before him was a buzzing swarm of honeybees. They moved toward him as if part of one being. He watched them, entranced. The swarm came closer and a warm sensation permeated Michael’s soul, as if the swarm were embracing him. He felt a love for the bees—and for life itself. It was like a light, filling him with a sense of possibility and amazement. The buzzing intensified until…
Michael opened his eyes. He was lying in his bed, the morning light filtering through the windows. Was that a dream? he wondered. He could still sense the warmth from the swarm. He could still hear the humming and see the bees moving rhythmically in one gentle mass. He’d never witnessed anything like it. The feeling the bees gave him, though—that intense reverence for life—was familiar.
It was the same feeling Michael had gotten four years earlier, after losing his 31-year-old wife, Karin, to colon cancer. Michael had expected to spend the rest of his life with his beloved Karin, but their time together was cut tragically short. When they discovered her cancer, the couple was living in their native Germany. Eventually they couldn’t manage on their own. Michael quit his job in Berlin, and they moved to her parents’ house in the countryside. Michael was with her every moment for those last few months. He was by her side when she passed.
Karin’s death left Michael completely untethered. Things he used to consider important no longer seemed to matter. Things that used to take priority—a stable job, promotions, a 20-year life plan— now seemed meaningless to him.
If life can be gone so quickly, what is the point of chasing material security? he wondered. He felt spiritually restless.
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“My mom found a house for us to look at,” said my fiancé, Jon. “It’s in Richfield, not far from where I grew up.”
“Can you perform a hymn for us next week?” my pastor asked me after Sunday service.
The Girl in the Dream
Was this a church? The high, vaulted ceilings made it seem like one—almost but not exactly.
News From Around Our Wonderful World
Liverpool, England Joanne Carr is hailing her son, Dougie McInerney, as her guardian angel.
A Light in the Blizzard
I stepped on the gas and shifted into drive, then reverse, then back into drive again.
Straight From the Fish's Mouth
Florence, Italy. I’d been there before on one of those scruffy five-dollar-a-day youth-hostel jaunts through Europe, but now, just graduated from college, I was wondering what to do with my life.
Have you ever felt called to a purpose?
As I reached to turn off the lamp on my bedside table, my eyes fell on the card my brother Isaac had given each of us siblings on what would have been Dad’s sixty-eighth birthday.
It was midafternoon, and I was already curled up on the couch in the living room with no plans to move.
A Doll's Hat
My fears around the surgery built all day.... God, please let me be as strong as my young patients are.
Plan a Charlotte dining day with stops at these recently opened restaurants from our 2021 list of the city’s best (and enjoy a few treats in between)
SOMETIMES IT’S EASY to get bogged down in negativity, especially coming out of 2020. We’re going through a pandemic, many of us haven’t seen our families in almost a year, and all the fun activities we used to do (horse related or not) have been rescheduled, canceled, or set aside for the time being.
What we’re raving about this month
LISA MARIE'S LIFESAVING BREAK FROM SCIENTOLOGY!
Rebuilding her life with psychological therapy forbidden by church dogma
How to age, store and collect the world's finest cigars
Tomorrow: David Wallace-Wells
Imagining a COVID Endgame “Should we be satisfied with just slightly speeding up the status quo?”
AUCTION OF A RONNIE VAN ZANT PORTRAIT
MICHAEL CARTELLONE has given his musical talent to many a band in need of a professional drummer. He toured and recorded for acts as varied as Cher, Freddie Mercury, Adrian Belew and John Fogerty. He is the former drummer of ’90s hard rock supergroup Damn Yankees and German metallers Accept, and he is currently the drummer for Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Using the elements as his guide, Michael Scott examines the changing landscape in two exhibitions.
WOMAN VS. MACHINE
DID YOU DITCH MACHINES FOR FREE WEIGHTS AND FUNCTIONAL TRAINING? IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE THESE DISCARDED TOOLS ANOTHER CHANCE.
THAT WON'T WORK ON THE STREET!
IT’S SAFE TO INFER THAT EVEN BACK IN THE DAYS OF THE GREAT ASIAN DYNASTIES, THERE WAS SOMEONE POINTING AT THE TEACHER OF A KINGDOM’S ARMY AND SAYING‚ “THAT WON’T WORK IN BATTLE.” MARTIAL ARTISTS ARE KNOWN FOR BEING CRITICAL OF TECHNIQUES THAT ARE NOT INTRODUCED BY THEIR INSTRUCTOR, THAT WERE NOT CREATED BY THEM PERSONALLY OR THAT COME FROM OUTSIDE THEIR SPECIFIC SYSTEM