Chapter Four - A Wild and Wooly One-eyed Sense of Wonder
"Damn, did you see that?" A basketball sized shooting star had just blazed across the summer sky traveling from north to south. I've seen lots of shooting stars but never one that large. You could make out its circular outline and flames coming off of it. The flaming tail was spectacular.
We were sleeping outside at Riley Mirandola's house. There were five young kids there, Riley, Jerry Bones, his brother Dickie, me, and my little brother Scott. We were just talking about shit, when of a sudden this flaming spectacle lit up the whole sky. I've never seen anything quite like it since.
After a while, our enthusiasm for discussing the matter waned ,and we began to wander off to sleep. Riley and Jerry were the first to go under. Then suddenly we began to hear strange moaning sounds coming from south of where we were.
Severino, Riley's dad, owned a block long property with a couple of fields for running a few cows. His land stretched all the way from Orion Avenue in the north to Owens Avenue in the south. The moans we heard were coming from far beyond the border of his fence line, from somewhere in the direction that the flaming visitor that flown.
"What the hell is that?"Scott breathlessly whispered.
"What?" Dickie asked all the while knowing the answer.
"That damned moaning sound. Don't you hear it."
I joined in, "I don't know what it is, but it sounds spookier than hell."
"It's coming from the direction that thing went," Dickie added. "You think it's got something to do with that?" His fear spread across the space between us like a virus.
"I don't know, but I ain't going to stick around and find out. I'm outta here," my little brother said.
Scot stood and gathered up his sleeping bag and started walking across the field that separated where we were from our back door. My dad always left the door opened just in case."
"Are you freaking crazy? What if it's out there. "I pointed to the darkness.
Scot just looked at me and then said defiantly, "I can see our back door from here and besides there's the hole in the fence. Nothing's going to catch me. You coming?"
I looked over at Dickie and then toward where the others were sleeping. I finally looked back at Scott, "Naw. Imma gonna stick it out here."
"Well don't blame me when that sumbitch eats your ass." Then Scott took off running for our house."
I looked back into the frightened eyes of Dickie when he asked, "When what eats us?"
"Don't mind his ass. He's just scared. He thinks that was a spaceship or something and that something's over there at Miller's barn eating them cows or something like that."
"What do you think, Danny? We oughta go?"
I hesitated for a moment. I realized later that my decision to stay where I was was predicated largely on the fact that I was afraid of venturing into the darkness alone as much as anything else. "Do what you want, dude. Imma stay here. How would we feel in the morning if we left these two sleeping here and they got ate or something?"
He took the information in and processed it, "We could wake 'em."
"Naw, they wouldn't believe us."
"They would if they heard those noises."
"Like I said, do what you want. Your house is further than mine."
Earlier that year, in fact, just a few months before I had had an experience with a ghost, my grandma's. The incident had set me on edge and opened my mind up to the darkened attics of our consciousness, those rooms that scientists tell us don't exist.
My parents used to play dominos with another couple. They were playing on our kitchen table that night. A swinging door separated my brother Glen's and my room from the kitchen. One of my parent's friends was a lady named Millie Ford. Millie had medical condition that her skin look gray and ashen. I liked her a lot because she had a biting wit and a great sense of humor, and she liked to joke with me.
Millie said something to the others. I couldn't hear what, but I could feel the tone of her voice in the next room. Whatever she said caused my mom to laugh loudly and that caused me to look up toward the door. I could see the light outlining the door. I could also see an almost shapeless form of a woman looking down at me, and that scared the holy crap out of me.
At first, I tried to sharpen my focus in order to make out what was causing the apparition, thinking it was only a trick brought about by the fact that I was half asleep. The more I focused though, the more the image became sharper. It appeared to be the form of my grandmother in a high waisted dress and apron that she always wore in pictures. She looked concerned and worried, she didn't appear to be menacing in any way.
Nevertheless, I pulled by bedspread over my head, shut my eyes tightly, plugged my ears with my fingers, and prayed for deliverance. I slept like that for over a year afterwards.
I also often since wondered what would have happened if I had just smiled and said something like, "Sup, Grannie? Good to see you."
I've read a lot about Carl Jung's thoughts on synchronicity where he said that there are things and moments that definitely lie outside the links of causal connections to nature. Science acknowledges that there are such things that go against the narrative but would rather not explain them; the lab coated priests of empiricism prefer to hide such things under their beds and pretend that the miraculous doesn't exist merely on the evidence that they cannot explain it.
There was lot time on this planet when our views of the miraculous and reality were part and parcel of the same line of thinking. It was only after the Church became the shills of the Roman Empire that this way of thinking changed, and then it was the results of the Galileo case that provided the shovels and tools that dug out the channels that forced the two types of consciousness into separate streams.
Cardinal Bellarmine, the man who spoke for God at the inquest was later made into Saint, meaning his words actions could never called into question. Galileo tried his best to explain the truth of Copernican theory but apparently fooled himself into thinking that the good Cardinal was there to listen. He wasn't; he merely attended the inquest to put an exclamation mark on the "NO!"
The Cardinal didn't have to be so rude and inconsiderate. The fact that he was indicates that he was blatherer who did not understand what should have been the Church's real position. What he should have told Galileo was, "But you are not taking infinity into consideration."
We are all, in fact, every last one of us, situated squarely in the middle of an infinite universe, so, the universe kind of actually does surround us. This would have exposed those methodical revolutionaries for what they were, the people who labeled the world in front of us by pretending the world inside of our heads, outside of their purview, doesn't exist.
The separate channels of consciousness only exist in the material world. In reality, and in the light of an infinite universe, they are still united and their blended waters pour into the Caribbean Sea at New Orleans, into the Mediterranean at the Nile Delta, into the Atlantic ocean in Brazil and into the Indian Ocean near the Sagar Island. There is a bigger ocean inside of us all, the biggest ocean ever, and it feeds and irrigates the soil of our material worlds where each of us live and toil.
It took me years to get over the fact that my own spiritual advisors threatened to burn me in eternal lake of fire, and years to understand that maybe it was just possible for my Granny to be concerned enough about me to rise up from the soil of Oklahoma and plan a visit to my bedroom in California.
That night though when that fireball flamed across the summer sky, I only knew how glad I was that Dickie stayed with me that night, that my brother Scot made it unmolested to the safety of my dad's backdoor, and that I trusted enough in my abilities to squeeze my eyes tightly and my fingers to plug my ears to guarantee that I would make it safely till the morning light.