Around the campfire once, someone told a story about “a flying dream,” to which half of us nodded with varying degrees of knowingness. The other half responded with silent doubt. The dream flyers tumbled out a chaos of descriptions, of flapping or not flapping, soaring over mountains and valleys or around the dining room chandelier, or leaping into the air and staying aloft for exquisite, long periods of time; meanwhile, others exclaimed Yes! when something was particularly well described, or gasped in recognition of something they might have thought until then was their private experience alone, or softly held their breath because they wanted to interrupt with a story of their own, but would force themselves to wait because the discussion was under threat of breaking into groups and no one wanted to miss anything, so the group kept itself barely in order. When it was done, the dream flyers looked as spent and satisfied as lovers after an unexpected romp. The others looked perplexed.
I’ve always been a flyer, but I’ll spare you my litany of dreams. I want to talk about my sense of not really being from here, and maybe I’ll learn, as around the campfire that night, that half of my community silently harbors similar secrets. Or maybe not. We’ll see. (More about my extra-dimensional experiences are available by visiting either link on the top of the column to the right.)
The youngest memory I have that might relate to my not being from here is when I was no more than five, when I looked up at my mother ranting and thought to myself, “This is going to be a very long childhood.” I wonder today: Was it normal to have such a mature perspective at that age?
At night, when I went to bed, I sometimes felt myself flashing in micro-seconds between being as large as the cosmos and as tiny as an atom. I also sometimes saw portals and knew with great happiness that I was going again where I loved to go; sometimes I had been waiting with longing. There was a schedule I didn’t understand; I knew I was to be patient and was always happy when the portal or flashing sensations came over me. One day I was told that I was going to have to wait a long time, but I was old enough to understand that it would be long but not forever. I grieved, and then I adapted.
I seem to have been born into this life with attitudes and opinions. I did not take it for granted that the world simply is what it is.
At another young age, my mother had told me, “I love you best when you’re silent.” So I learned to entertain myself. Adults were fun to listen to, but they seemed too easily pleased to hear their friends quote Einstein from LIFE Magazine. Somehow, I felt they didn’t really know much, despite their nodding encouragement to each other.
At five, I started kindergarten and began tutoring other students for my teacher. On the playground, I was appalled to see adults stand by while young bullies did their routines on the weak ones. When I told the teacher, she aggressively scolded me: “Don’t be a tattletale!” I was regularly appalled at the behavior of adults.
I seemed to have come into life with a standard – and a confidence that it shouldn’t be compromised. Where did it come from?
I made very few friends during my childhood. It might have something to do with my two years of “missing time” – amnesia – at age five and six, during which I have evidence I was a CIA mind control subject. [This story is told elsewhere. I apologize to those surprised by the incongruity – but these parts actually connect meaningfully, but that’s a much longer story.] Every now and then, another child would “resonate” with me, and we’d become immediate and decades-long friends.
In adulthood, I experienced quite a few synchronicities, which felt like divine intervention, as well as clairvoyance, intuition, and mystical experiences in nature. But I ignored them, dropped them into an “Anomalous” file and went on with life as if the scientific model explained everything.
At the age of 47, I had an experience so powerful – related to being from somewhere else – that I could not speak of it at all for at least two years, and then I only mentioned it shyly to a few of my closest friends. Eight years later, in 2008, I included the experience in my book RattleSnake Fire, but I declined to comment on its implications:
Camping in the desert with a group of about twenty people, I was in conversation when a friend, an amateur astronomer, interrupted to hand us a pair of binoculars and tell us the Pleiades looked amazing and we should check them out. I’d been enjoying my conversation and wasn’t interested in looking at stars. My thought was: A star in the binoculars would look just like the stars we could see all around us, only bigger. I’d seen photographs of stars and thought there was a beauty to them, certainly, but nothing to interrupt another person’s conversation. Besides, they’d been there for a very long time and would probably continue to be so. I said “No, thanks,” and turned back to talk with my new friend. The astronomer interrupted again and implored me to look. This time I thought his rudeness had passed a particular mark, so that I, a person who’d too little practiced a healthy assertiveness in my life, decided to practice it then. I said, “You’re interrupting our conversation. And I’ve never had any interest in the stars.” I don’t know what he said next, but I remember being speechless at his insistence. It seemed easier to look through the binoculars than to argue with him, and besides, then I’d be able to say, “Just a bunch of little sparkly things…” and then be rid of the man, whom I had always respected until that moment.
I put the binoculars to my eyes and looked in the direction he’d indicated, moving them a bit until I saw the somewhat famous star cluster. Then, I was shocked, as my heart exploded with a recognition that engulfed me – like an aura: I knew the Pleiades – in some hidden space inside my soul. And I knew, for the first time consciously, that I had a whole lot more history than I’d ever considered, outside of simple theory.
I had a moment’s flashback of being in a vehicle of some sort, standing with a group of close companions, looking out a large window at this cluster receding, and thinking, I wonder what it’ll be like to be gone for a very long time.
The vision ended and I was jolted by grief, a new sort of shock, then longing: Grief for the comfort long lost and almost-unfathomably forgotten; shock that that could be my reality, so far from this “reality”; and longing for the friendship I had with those somewhere else, so far beyond the friendships I’d had on Earth. The word home came to mind, with more emotion than I’d ever felt before.
All that hit me in an instant, and I lowered the binoculars and said with wonder to the astronomer, my new friend and, by accident because I didn’t control my volume, to everyone else around, “Oh my god, I think I’m from there!” Then I slapped my hand over my mouth, realizing that those were words I’d have hated hearing from anyone else. I had no patience for people who said crazy stuff like that. I’d been certain they were delusional. But what had just happened to me didn’t feel like a delusion at all – I wasn’t daydreaming, coming up with stories to which I took a fancy. On the contrary, if I’d wanted to impress my friends, this would not have been the story I’d have invented – far from it!
My words apparently shocked everyone into silence, and no one said a thing to break it for about five seconds, while I reverberated with the humiliation of just having said words that I would never have guessed could come out of my mouth and which I knew had a good chance of being hated. I knew I couldn’t change this, because no one could have changed my mind a moment before. I was alone in this, and that was that. Alone and profoundly surprised. My world, my being, my identity had been severely rocked in that moment, surrounded by friends, but with no one understanding.
The conversations started up again, and I have no idea what we said next, but I don’t believe I told much of the emotional part of my experience. I do recall describing how beautiful the light had appeared around each star, and how the fine, thread-like rays emitted from each one met the rays from the others, and at those points of meeting they defined a three-dimensional network of gossamer light walls, like a ghostly cluster of living cells with a glowing star alive inside each one. The fragility and beauty (and familiarity – did I share that or keep it secret? I don’t know) made my heart ache with love.
It was too confusing. I’d heard of people saying they were from somewhere else, but I thought it was probably self-inflating. Of course, I considered myself open-minded, so that people could be from somewhere else, but if they were, I wasn’t sure why I should care or that it had anything to do with me. It was too disorienting to think about, so I never did. But here I was, maybe one of “those people” at the moment of learning she’s different. Well, I always did feel different….
It’s been eleven years this month since the Pleiades burst onto my consciousness, and I’m ready to face now what it might possibly mean. If no one else had said anything or written the books I’d previously secretly ridiculed, I wouldn’t be writing this now, despite my professed intention to always tell the full truth. No, some stuff I reserve the right to withhold, and this has been a partial “withhold” bugging me for eleven years. Now I’m ready to tell it.
Besides, there are theories, to which I subscribe, that we are all of “alien” DNA. And there are theories that, as souls, we are all from many other places. According to these, my story is not unusual at all, but mundane, and it’s only a matter of each of us eventually realizing the truth. Like remembering our dreams.
Here in Silver City, Greg Renfro and friends, including me, have been singing The Star Song, by Missourian Bob Dyer, for years:
I think you must have come from a star
I think you must have come from a star
I can see it in your eyes, I feel it when you smile
I think you must have come from a star
…I think we must have all come from the stars.
I’ve always believed it was possible – but I thought it was just a theory, for someone else; I never wanted it to be a personal fact for me, which would be too attention-getting; when I was young, my eyes used to tear and overflow spontaneously when more than a few people looked at me at once.
It seems time to come out of my denial. Maybe if I share this along with all my doubts, others will relate to the human dilemma, and we’ll learn that we’re not all alone here. And we’ll have a larger world to discover.