Respect for the Medium

I’m just a weekend away from my reading with a medium. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while, and if you are a listener of The Voices Podcast, then this is not news. Regardless of how excited I am about it, there is still a great learning experience to be had, even though I hold a life-long mistrust of mediums that has only recently softened. 
Lately, I’ve had some positive first-hand experiences, so now seems like the perfect time for both the reading itself and for whatever leap of faith I’ll have to take. I attended one of these things with my daughter some time ago, and I was remarkably impressed by the medium’s accuracy, even though she didn’t hit every nail on the head. Nobody’s perfect, but none of the usual stereotypes proved true either, so I decided that day that I wanted to record a personal reading for the podcast. This has been in the works for many moons.
I’ve been extended a number of free mini-sessions over the past few years – impromptu, short ventures of five minutes or less – probably offered because of what I do with EVP. But these have always seemed somewhat preposterous – full of Native American spirit guides, wolves that travel by my side, and old crone-like women protecting me. I don’t know what to make of this stuff, but an full-length reading should be more conclusive. The medium I have chosen is someone I know, but she is clueless about my personal history or that of my family, so if the other side chooses to communicate, almost anything they say will be unknown to her ahead of time – I’ve told her nothing. We haven’t discussed my goals or intentions, my attitude, or what I would like to hear. This is going to be a pretty cold reading, and a fair test of her gift – she’ll be completely on her own. Whatever happens, will happen – accurate or not.
Believe it or not, I have an odd history of skepticism, and nothing has tested it more than mediumship, but that’s primarily because you so rarely are able to prove the findings as right or wrong. Either way, my intentions are not to judge her accuracy. Her contribution to the paranormal is an important and significant aspect of the field, insofar as mediums speak to the heart and soul of the deceased. EVP seem primitive and incomplete when compared to her work, and yet they receive more universal credibility. That seems unfair to me since the medium is the ultimate conduit in spirit communication. If Dad can’t speak the language, he’ll need an interpreter; if Aunt Sue is lost, she’ll need more than my audio recorder or IR cameras. 
So, it seems that mediums operate completely in the realm of unbelievability. It is difficult enough for me to deal with a mouthy skeptic – I can image the flack a medium has to dodge. Therefore, my hopes are for a good reading, and even though I can promise you everything will be taken with a grain of salt, I intend to view the situation as an experience well worth both the money and the effort – no matter what. Voices Podcast listeners will get to go along for the ride, so I recommend the rest of you tag along just this once – maybe we’ll all learn something, and generate a new and much deserved respect for the medium.
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Description of an Apparition

The last 18 hours have been fascinating: two paranormal-like events! I will start with this one and tell you the other in a day or two.

It has been about an hour since I woke up to see an apparition standing on my bed. I had been asleep and dreaming, but the dream awakened me, and I was attempting to remember details; putting off the inevitable trip through the cold to the bathroom. I didn’t want to open my eyes, and after about 2 minutes I felt someone climb on the bed. I first thought it was my daughter, but the sensation was that of a lighter person, so I assumed it was my granddaughter.

I waited for her to speak, and when she didn’t, I begrudgingly opened my eyes. Instead of a 45 pound 7-year old, there was a tall, sharply-formed, dark person. He was about 5 feet tall, was wearing a nearly black jumpsuit, and his left arm (stretched out in front of him) was parallel to the plane of the bed. The jumpsuit was creased in a way that indicated pressing, but there were no parts of his body visible. He did not have a head, his feet were buried in the stomach of my wife, and his outstretched hand seemed to blend into the long sleeves.

I had opened my eyes without moving my body, so I thought perhaps he was not aware that I was watching. It also occurred to me that without the slight light creeping through the nearby window, he would possibly have looked like a shadow. And then, after about 3 seconds, he put down his arm as though finished, and he was gone. He seemed to break apart; to dissolve into the air as we often see in movies – digitally and very quickly, but in pieces; as though in small clumps of pixels. The difference is that he was not flat and projection-like – he appeared solid, and his dissolving was three-dimensional in appearance.

He was less than three feet away from me, and I was not asleep or groggy, or disoriented. I realize many people will suggest this visitation was trickery of the mind, or a classic case of confusion – something else; various other nonsense. It was as I saw it, and I was fully aware. I knew what it was the moment I opened my eyes. I knew some of what it wasn’t. I checked my wife, got out of bed, walked through the entire house, and sat down to write this. And now, there are questions.

Homeward Through the Haze

The other day I was asked to babysit a one year-old toddler named Kenny, who also happens to be my grandson. He’s a funny little boy who has mastered the art of getting into everything – a future demolition expert, no doubt. Kenny is a good boy though, and he listens well when he thinks he knows what you’re saying. Of course, my experiences in babysitting are not the focus of this post.

I turned on the digital recorder while Kenny was visiting. I’ve done this with other grandchildren and have always recorded lots of voices around them, which has led to a sort of theory. It’s not new, but I think all children are under some kind of protection by spirits. I’ve captured EVP that seem to further the theory – voices that give the impression of dealing solely and directly with the child. These are unfamiliar voices to me, and seem less random than the usual EVP I record.  Beyond this different nature of presence, unfortunately, I know of nothing concrete to prove my theory.

But something caught my attention this time, and it startled me. At one point, Kenny pushed a toy into the glass door of a cd cabinet, and he turned and offered an anxious “uh oh.” You can probably imagine that – it’s a fairly common thing for kids to say, but Kenny doesn’t say many words, so it was memorable to hear him use a new one so appropriately. “Uh oh!”

On the recorder, you clearly hear a female voice say those same words less than a second before Kenny, and it caused me to wonder… Was she teaching him what to say? Was he able to hear her and repeat what he heard? Just exactly what kind of relationship does this voice have with my grandson? A lot of questions for which I have no answers, but it certainly has me thinking.

A lot of people believe that children see spirits when they’re very young, and I’m not the only one who has ever tried to capture EVP during those alone moments with a child. But I’ve never heard anyone suggest they are teachers. It’s hard enough being born, and what follows must be a nightmare for kids. Perhaps the presence of spirit is how it’s done. It could be a real comfort to a child to have omnipresent, visible and audible protection, comfort, and emotional understanding. I don’t think it’s out of the question there might also be a few teachable moments.

There’s very little proof of anything paranormal, so attempting to advance certain theories will never result in unquestionable belief. Certainly, this one-time occurrence does not serve as evidence, but now I want to know! I want to know if my EVP voice was Kenny’s coach, and not a random spirit with too much to say. If she had a hand in his “uh oh” that would be an amazing thing to know.

Of course I plan on recording as much as possible – it isn’t always an easy hookup, but what if I were able to capture this again? Or a few more times? How many examples of this interaction will be necessary to serve as circumstantial proof that we get our first life coaches very early?

I’m reminded of a David Crosby song where he says: “It’s the blind leading the blind and I am amazed, how they stumble homeward through the haze.” It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that we all have a little help now and then.

One Small Favor

I’ve been going crazy lately – cooped up in the house and basically useless – recuperating from surgery. I can’t lift more than 5 pounds, bend over, cough or sneeze too much (I have no idea how to stop doing that, so don’t tell anyone), and I’m not supposed to spend the whole day in front of the computer or tv. Yeah, right.

But just think how “good it will be when this is all over.” Horse feathers, I’m going crazy now – I can’t wait that long. I haven’t been on an investigation for quite awhile, haven’t visited my mother, driven a car, mowed my wilderness of a yard, lifted a grandchild in the air, or any number of those normal things I no longer want to take for granted. How I yearn to do laundry. What kind of bloody, feckless life is this anyway?

So what if my attitude stinks. Of course, all of this will pass. The transplant seems to be succeeding, so my vision will improve, and by this time next month my activities should be back to normal. I’m pretty sure my professional baseball career is finished, and I think the President has already found a new personal trainer, but life will be good. I can just see myself on a romp through the meadow, smelling the wild flowers and spinning endlessly until I collapse in the tall grass and lose myself in the billowing clouds overhead. Ah, if only there was a meadow nearby, that would surely be the case.

But alas, I am stuck with Google for entertainment. (Not highly recommended, by the way.) So, I felt the need to look up an old friend – someone I hadn’t seen in over ten years. He was actually an old employer, and he probably qualifies as being both the best boss ever, and the worst. It was just the two of us. I did all the work, and he visited the pub. Or slept in. And the truth is, he bounced about a third of my paychecks over a three-year period. But this guy was also a real gem of a person. He was funny, intelligent, understanding – any desirable personality trait you can think of definitely applied to Peter. He was a prince among men, and that’s probably why I kept coming in each day and believing his promises that the check would be good.

We were a computer graphics firm, and we did multimedia, web, and general design. Well, I did those things – Peter was a salesman, and when there was no work, I learned things. In a way, I went to university at that desk, and I got a better education than Penn State ever provided. Peter made that possible.

After he closed the doors on the business, we stayed in touch for a year – maybe two, and while we never had too much to say, I think there was a friendship there. Not the kind you read about or watch in films, and it wasn’t based on deep communication or the knowing of one another well. Fact is, I never knew what Peter was going do – he was unpredictable and often unapproachable, but he was a very worthy individual, and I appreciated him greatly.

As I said, a significant amount of time has passed since we last spoke, so I decided to Google him, since that’s the extent of my outreach. But damn – he died. In November. Which isn’t that long ago to someone of my age. November turns into December in a heartbeat and in just a dozen more, it’s November again. It’s only been five months since he passed away. Good grief, he was just 4 years older than me. How many heartbeats is that…

Well, life goes on; gotta pick up the pieces; he’s in a better place; wonder if he still had that Saab… Peter is gone, and I miss him. But last night, I remembered an EVP I recorded recently. I think it said “Peter.” I needed to hear that, and of course, I needed to check the date.

And yes. It just might have been Peter. The voice said his name very clearly, and it happened in late November. I’m never sure what to make of things like this, because I don’t like to assign actual people to EVP voices unless I’m completely certain. This is too thin for “certain.” But still… I don’t have to come clean to the world, do I? I can give myself this one, small favor, can’t I?

I don’t recall hearing that voice since. It’s not always easy to tell, of course. Sometimes, spirits sound the same – you have to search for inflection or pitch; you have to guess sometimes. And as much as I would love to talk to Peter one more time, my very best guess is that he has not come back since November.

The opportunities we waste can be staggering, and if we’re not careful, we’ll fill our lives up with “if only” and “later.” And my old friend passed away while I wasn’t looking. What is it John Lennon said? “Life is what happens while you’re busy doing other things.” So true. Death too, no doubt.