Death. It comes at the most inconvenient times. It was about a year ago, I think. I was driving to work. It was a beautiful morning. Most of my drive to work is freeway. The traffic usually isn’t bad. On the morning in question, I saw a few police cars stopped in the median, their lights flashing. As I passed them, I noticed a small pickup truck also sitting in the median. It was pointed in the opposite direction from the way I was going. Policemen were standing around the vehicle, and a man was seated behind the wheel, his face calm in the brief glimpse I had of him.
But it was obvious from the damage to the pickup that the vehicle had rolled. And I had no proof of it, but I had a sense that the man behind the wheel had died or was at the very least seriously injured. I drove the rest of the way to work thinking about that unknown man. Thinking about his day. How normal it was. And how quickly it had changed.
Education Week. Once a year Brigham Young University hosts a week-long indoctrination extravaganza lovingly referred to as Education Week. My wife told me that this year, over 21,000 people took advantage of this opportunity to come to the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, and learn from gifted scholars and speakers about the finer points of Mormonism.
My wife, my oldest son, and my mother. They were just three on campus this week. Yesterday my wife exuberantly said, “You have to come.” And I emphatically said, “No.” And my mother also said, “You have to come.” And I also told her, “No.” So why am I here?
I no longer believe in God, but I still believe in Saints. I believe in Saints because I’ve met one. (Note to God: hint, hint.) Last night this Saint hung out at my house and fell asleep on my couch. Yeah, Saints do that sort of thing, I guess. You can’t begrudge a Saint a little rest every now and again. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Saint came over to my house not to sleep on my couch but to join us for Family Home Evening.
Family Home Evening is, by prophetic decree, a mandatory weekly activity for Mormons. Every Monday night is set aside as Family Home Evening. It’s a time for the family to block out the influences of the outside world and spend some time bonding together as a family. Gospel instruction, wholesome entertainment, games and other activities, songs, and ideally a really yummy dessert generally constitute the bulk of the practical application of Family Home Evening. Different families will institute this differently, but our family usually follows a fairly standard sequence of events for most Family Home Evening nights.
In the past few days I read something that I thought was rather interesting. Hallucinations are not uncommon in the tapestry of human life. While there are always the lurid cases of people with schizophrenia or other mental illnesses, hallucinations aren’t restricted to just that segment of the population. In fact, it is quite normal for everybody to hallucinate at some point in their life. The hallucinations don’t have to be full-on false visions. It can be something as seemingly benign as hearing a voice. But when our perceptions deceive the mind into seeing or hearing or experiencing something that didn’t happen, that’s called a hallucination.
I suppose it caught my attention because I’ve had a series of hallucinations recently. They bothered me a little bit, especially when one followed another, and I only remember one or two other times in my life where I’ve experienced anything I would attribute to hallucination. I was hesitant to write about them here, because I don’t think I’m going crazy, and I certainly don’t want you, dear reader, to think I’m going crazy, either. But when I read that it is not necessarily abnormal to hallucinate from time to time, I thought to myself: Okay, I’m game; I’ll share.
I was told by my energy healer / counselor that I need to spend some time with me as a little kid. The version of me who felt alone and unloved and unworthwhile. Not a ton of time, just a few minutes every day. I’ve been trying to do that, and I thought I’d share with you how that was going.
I imagine in my mind this adorable little kid. You know, because of course I was adorable. And his eyes are sad. I wrap him up in my arms and tell him how much I love him. How great he is. What a marvelous future he has ahead of him. His unlimited potential. I’m practically crying because I know how much this must mean to him.
My family went camping recently. Sometimes it’s really nice to get away from it all. Connect more with nature. Breathe fresh air. Enjoy campfires and camp cooking. Sleep in the cool night air. Turn off the electronics.
Well, not all the electronics. Cell phones seem like a must, even while camping. And the spot we picked was chosen particularly because it had cell service. Cell service, but no electrical power. And that’s where the problem began.