Monday, February 5, 2018

RESTORING FAITH




WHEN DARK CHILDHOOD EVENTS

ECHO IN ADULTHOOD


© Copyright 2018 by Neall Calvert


"Awakening of Colour"    (c) 2018 by Neall Calvert

[See www.flickr.com/photos/neallcalvert/albums/72157632002364751]


[ * There are 20 pieces of writing on the mystical path
 in this blog: essays, articles and poems. 
The "blog archive" or Table of Contents is located
below the tall, narrow image at left. 
Click on a white triangle to open it. * ]


AN UNEXPECTED DARK EXPERIENCE occurred in late January of 2018. I was out walking, at night, on a sidewalk, with a flashlight. I heard a vehicle approaching from the rear and, as usual, I immediately turned the light’s beam to shine behind me. Despite this, the truck went by me at speed—with its passenger-side mirror flying by just a foot from my left shoulder!

Shockingly, the truck had mounted the sidewalk (round-style, ‘mountable curbs’ are omnipresent in Campbell River) before buzzing me, then bumping back down off the sidewalk and speeding away down the quiet suburban street. The vehicle was an ominous-looking, dark-coloured, tinted-windowed, jacked-up, powerful, full-size pickup.

Hey!” I shrieked and then I awkwardly chased after it, trying to catch up at the stop sign and get its licence number. I didn’t succeed.

A few days later I shared this unnerving experience with a professional counsellor and was told: “It’s good not to take such things personally; it was probably just a random event . . .” Still, I continued to feel badly, and slowly I realized why: For the first time in the five years since moving out of a big city and choosing Campbell River as my home town, I had to admit that forces of darkness or evil existed here. (Of course they would: they exist everywhere, I would reflect as I wrote this.)

Seven days later, riding my night-equipped trail bike back from town in the dark, after a long uphill climb I paused to rest by grasping a stop-sign post with my right hand. A big pickup drove by, slowed, then pulled over to the side and began backing up towards me. I was still a bit nervous about large pickups—I had been uneasy all week. What’s going on here? I puzzled as I resumed pedalling.

The driver, who would be seeing my super-bright LED headlamp approaching, stopped reversing, and then a mature male emerged from the cab. As I slowly rolled nearer, the man addressed me. “I saw you stopped,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay . . .” I kept moving, but turned my head and shouted back at him that I was fine.

As I negotiated the last three blocks to home I saw the man backing his truck into his yard, and with great relief I realized what the week’s happenings had been about: The first event’s darkness had caused me to lose my faith in humanity (as my dark childhood had done) . . . and the second one’s neighbourly compassion had caused that faith to be restored. . . . Clearly and forcefully, I’ve been reminded how it is I want to live.

I change computer windows to catch the score in an NHL hockey game, and Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green is speaking: “I think there’s things to be learned from every situation, whether it’s a good situation or a tough situation.”

A week after that, the shock must have finally worn off, because I realized that the right thing to do was to report the ‘dark truck incident’ to the police. I walked the two blocks from my home to the station and, speaking via an intercom built into a thick glass pane, recounted my tale. The female staffer wasn’t going to take down a statement at first—perhaps she considered such things commonplace. I insisted, however, because I don’t want such incidents to ever be treated as ordinary.

As I insisted, at that very moment an unusual power arose in me; it seemed to come right up from the soles of my feet and then out through my mouth. It was the power to stand up and report to the proper authorities that something malevolent had occurred in this city (as something similar had occurred in childhood which I then did not have the power to stand up to).

One could conclude the following: The whole two-week incident was a ‘vehicle’ for me to understand two things: the importance of recovering what I had lost in childhood (faith in humanity) and the necessity, in adulthood, of engaging one’s personal power when it seems important to do so. | ~ |



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