MaRiza Noyama-Zee ::: Origins

When I was 10 years old, I had my first opening to the world of Spirit. . .

My earliest memories are full of good feelings and wonder; the scrumptious sensation of sun touching my naked baby back, the smell of my mother’s cooking calling to me through the house, my deep feeling of connection with the natural world around me as I ritualistically rubbed my cheeks on the petals of flowers and measured my growth each year in comparison to how far these red blossoms were from my face.  Sadly, this innocence and sense of connection did not last.  At some point the belief in my own separateness,  feeling cast out of the light of Oneness, moved into my heart, as is the perceived reality for so may living on this planet at this time.

I became an intensely serious and pragmatic child, one who felt very wary of religion and magic of all kinds.  I clung to science as a way of feeling safe.  Science gave me a sense of control and know-ability about the reality in which we live.  I grew into a child that believed only what I could see, and trusted nothing else.  Underneath it all though, a child full of wonder was hiding, waiting for it to be safe to come out.

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Me in 1986 as “Girl with Hawk” by Howard Seth Miller
girl with hawk
“Girl with Hawk” re-colored and re-released in 2008

The first turning point came twenty-six years ago when I had my first encounter with a spirit being, the veil was momentarily lifted.  I remember running down the dark hall of our chilly Chicago apartment, feeling the tiny hairs on my body begin to elevate.  As I skidded around the corner, calling for my mother, there was a sudden flash a light . . .  this flash of light I would later encounter many times as spirit entered my reality from someplace beyond . . . on this night the flash of light was more like the headlights of a car, blinding me and stopping me completely in my tracks.  I froze and started to slowly assess my situation.  I realized that the flash that I had seen coming from over my right shoulder was actually only a reflection from the mirrored hall closet door and that the incredibly blinding white light was actually coming from just behind me to my left.  I slowly turned and as I did I saw something that completely shattered the reality that I had built up around me.  In the corner of our entryway stood a being who gave the impression of a man, standing the full height of our ten foot ceilings.  I was hit with a wall of emotion, ranging from compassion to sadness.  I was terrified and I remember everything that followed in slow motion.  I screamed and ran into the bathroom where I found my mother.  I told her what I had seen and she simply said, “I believe you.”  This upset me further and I argued saying that the appropriate response would be something along the lines of, “You’re just tired and you imagined it,” I was not ready or willing to digest the experience and catalog it as “real”.  I had too much of my previous reality hanging in the balance.

After this experience, my family went into a state of fear.  My stepfather made a large wooden cross and placed it in the corner where I had seen the spirit being.  We began to pray at night for all the restless souls, and the story became legend.  We brought the story out to play occasionally at dinner parties and other gatherings, and with each telling I believed it a little less.  Without any hard “proof”, my scientific mind took the reins, welding the door shut between my ordinary waking reality and everything else.

One night, six years later, my family and I were telling the story to some close family friends.  As the story came to its usual predictable conclusion, I saw my mother do something she often did at the end of this particular story – she looked at my stepfather and this time audibly asked him if it was “time.”  I begged her to tell me whatever it was, I was 16 after all, practically an adult!  That night she conceded and told her own part of the tale.  Some time before my encounter she had been walking down that same chilly hall on her way to her art studio when she walked into a wall.  In truth, there was no wall to walk into, just a big open archway.  She stopped and looked up and she found she had walked straight into the same being that I later described.  Instead of telling my stepfather what she had seen, she simply found him and asked him to escort her to the art studio.  The night of my sighting she told my stepfather the truth of her experience.  So that is why she believed me without question, and why both my parents responded with such vigor.

After I heard this addition, my gates flew open.  It was almost as if I could see my safe and mundane reality crumble in slow motion, falling into a heap of sugar glass at my feet.  Uninhibited, magic and mystery began to stream into my world . . .  and I was never the same again. . .

To read more of my stories, check out the blog, where I will release more of my tales to the collective experience!

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