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Dori Hartley

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Embracing the Weird, Weird World

Posted: 05/15/2012 12:24 pm

Ever feel like parts of your life could be made into an episode fit for the X-Files or Fringe?

I wouldn't say it happens to everyone, but most of us have had at least one experience that we simply cannot explain. Whether it was a trick of the shadows that made you second guess yourself, a temperature change that somehow had you convinced that you were in the presence of a ghost -- or a light formation in the sky that spooked you just enough to think you'd seen something unearthly; whatever it was, it defied reason on a deeply personal level and thereby left you awed by its mysterious occurrence.

I've always thought that metaphysical events are like sneaky little ego tests. Bearing witness to phenomena is a head-trip, but the weirdest mind game of them all happens when you decide that you have to tell someone about it.

So, because your ego can't keep it a secret any longer, you tell someone -- and you get that look. You know the look -- the one that says, "I'm humoring you right now, you pathetically deluded cretin." Even if you've just witnessed the birth of a universe, if it's not seen by anyone other than you, it just gets chucked into the "They're crazy, pay them no mind" bin. For most people, "seeing is believing" and if "they" don't see it, then it doesn't exist.

Then there's the other side of the ego test, where you tell someone your amazing tale of weirdness and not only do they believe you, but now -- in their eyes -- you have become the Psychic Wonder, the Magi, you are the chosen conduit and from here on in your words are what separate you from mere mortals. You're the one, Neo -- you've gone from Average Person to Special Person. You are now convinced that your mission is to read cards, detect auras, channel the dead and interpret signs.

Let me say that not a day goes by where I don't try to debunk the curiously odd incidents that I've witnessed; yet there are episodes I simply can't reduce. And even though the sharing of my stories makes me sound like a raving lunatic -- I stand by these events and know them as part of the unexplained truths of my life.

Like the time my beloved friend Dave avoided me on the street. He gave me just enough eye contact to acknowledge me, yet his pace suggested that he had no intention of stopping to chat. I hadn't seen him in years, so I was surprised that he didn't stop, but I figured the dodge was due to the fact that the last time we'd seen each other he was in seriously bad shape and didn't want to have to explain his strange behavior. Heroin had turned him into a jittery, sloppy mess and, at the time, he was hard to be around. But now, he looked good, healthy; he must have gotten clean. I was happy for him. I walked home feeling happy, and as soon as I got home the phone rang. It was my old friend Robin, who also happened to be a good friend of Dave. She had called with sad news. Seems our buddy Dave had died just the night before.

Oh.

So, how does one interpret that? A figment of my imagination? Perhaps. Dave's formless energy manifesting one last time in Dave's image to say a final goodbye? Oh let's not go off the deep end, now.

Could I dare talk about the time I saw the table levitate -- without arousing skepticism? What if I wanted to share the story of how several years ago I was jolted out of sleep by a being that introduced himself with blinding white light and a deafening horn sound? I remember how the sound went on for hours -- I begged for it to stop! I ran outside to escape the noise, only to see (my husband as witness) that every inch of my pool's surface was covered in white feathers -- and yet, the rest of the patio remained untouched. Was it just a dream? I felt that horn in my bones -- and I will never forget the words the strange being inside the noise told me that night, and yes, that night most certainly changed my entire life. Would anyone believe me?

What about the orange man who disappeared right before my eyes, or the electrified angel statue... or the thousand little bumps in the night that could not be explained?

What are these things?

It's almost as if there's a consciousness surrounding these events that insists upon discretion, like we're not supposed to reveal what's been revealed to us. That's why -- no matter what -- our stories always make us look crazy. That's the trade-off: You tell, you look like a nut job. You don't want to look like a nut-job? Don't tell.

I call it the Insanity Clause. It's how the weird world avoids exploitation.

So, if you want to cherish your metaphysical experiences without having to become either "The Crazy One" or "The Messiah," then learn what I've learned: Weird stuff happens. Talk about it at your own risk. Or don't. Either way, only you know the truth and that's going to have to be special enough.

Oh, and Dave: good to see you again, man.

 
 
 

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