Searching for My Intelligent Life


 

What if the saucer comes down and you say “no thanks”?

Hopefully, you won’t regret your decision, years later—won’t look to the sky, waiting and hoping for lightning to strike twice.

On November 5, 1975, the saucer came down for a group of seven loggers in the mountains of northeastern Arizona and one of them said “yes”…

Travis Walton leapt out of their truck, moved toward the hovering disk, was lifted in a shaft of blue-green light, then fell to the ground.

Believing their buddy was dead and fearing for their own lives, the crew then sped off.

When they returned a short time later, Walton was gone and stayed gone for five days.  His story of alien abduction became international news and he remains a celebrity today—at least in UFO circles.

Of course, such a tale will prompt many to say, “Yeah, sure.”

As for myself, I don’t know what happened to Travis Walton and I won’t hazard a guess…

Actually, I’ve spent more time pondering the tale of logging crew member, Ken Peterson…

In a story aired on NPR’s This American Life*, Mr. Peterson says he wishes he’d stayed behind and shared the ride—harrowing though it was.

Since 1975, he’s made camping pilgrimages to the abduction site—to the place where he got the fright of his life—and spent countless hours researching the UFO mystery and developing his own theories.  He’s waited, hoping that the light might come down again.

Well, lightning does strike twice sometimes—but probably not if you’re waiting, hoping for it…

Of those who claimed to have been struck by such a light…

…I think many of them have truly experienced something beyond the boundaries of our current knowledge—beyond what we accept as reality.

We have to call it something, so for now we call it “UFOs”.

To me the key point is: how these experiences often transform the recipients.

But here’s the catch: we can’t will the light to come to us.  I won’t frustrate myself by waiting for the light, hoping that it’ll strike.  No, I’ll just keep on doing the slow, tedious work required to change my life.

Every once in awhile, I do get hit with a little flash of light.  Maybe in the coming years, I can hold on to that light a bit longer each time, can receive higher and higher doses…

Could it ever become a permanent fixture?

But of course, to realize that desire will take work, lots of work…and there’ll be pain involved.

So, I can understand why Ken Peterson wishes he’d gone with Travis.  I can understand why he makes his hopeful pilgrimages.  Still, it seems sad to me…

However he did get a gift.  That sudden flash seems to have given him a deeper appreciation of the unknown—of the mysteries of this life, of this strange, perplexing, beautiful Universe.

(* “My Own Private U.F.O.” was broadcast on December 3, 2010.)

© 2012, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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