"Have you ever seen a UFO?" Interview #8

“No. I wish I could say yes. But, no.”

The interviewee hadn’t ever seen a UFO, but was willing to talk about a powerful synchronicity in her life.

Idyllopus Press: OK, recording. Do you want to be anonymous for this or first name or what?

Anon: How about anonymous?

Idyllopus Press: OK and I’ll take a picture of your shoe or something afterwards because we must have a picture.

Anon (laughing): OK.

Idyllopus Press: All right. The first question. Have you ever seen a UFO?

Anon: No. I wish I could say yes. But, no.

Idyllopus Press: OK. Do you know anyone who’s seen a UFO?

Anon: I don’t think so.

Idyllopus Press: OK. Have you ever dreamt about a UFO?

Anon: I don’t think so.

Idyllopus Press: OK. Second question. What’s your most interesting coincidence you’ve ever had?

“The (coincidence) that is most powerful to me, because I felt it was waking me up to something, was something that happened when I was about 19 years old. And I was living in Nashville at the time and I worked for Nashville’s equivalent to Georgia Power.”

Anon: The one that is most powerful to me, because I felt it was waking me up to something, was something that happened when I was about 19 years old. And I was living in Nashville at the time and I worked for Nashville’s equivalent to Georgia Power. So, to me it’s significant that it’s the power company I was working for. And I was getting ready to go home one weekend, which I would do from time to time, and a woman named Eleanor who worked in an office down the hall had come in. And I had talked to Eleanor before. She was just an ordinary woman, probably in her 50’s. And I mentioned that I was going home for the weekend, and she said, “Oh…”

Idyllopus Press: You mean coming down here…

Anon: Right. I was going home was really all I said. I was going out of town, I was going home for the weekend. So she asked me where was home and I said Atlanta, and she said, “Really!” And I said, “Yeah,” and she said, “Well, I used to live in Atlanta when I was growing up.” And I said, “Yeah?” She said, “Well, what part of town do you live in?” And I said, “Oh, I live in the northeast part of Atlanta,” and she said, “Oh, well, that’s interesting, I lived in the northeast part of Atlanta, too.” And I said, “Yeah?” And she said, “Well, what street do you live on?” And I said, “Well, I live on McQuinn Avenue,” or I did at the time, or my parents did. And she said, “Really, I grew up on McQuinn Avenue.”

By this point in the story I was really beginning to feel pretty strange. I felt pretty disoriented because it seemed so improbable that she would have lived on the same street that I grew up on, where I’d grown up, because, you know, it’s a street people in Virginia Highland would know but it’s not the main street…

Idyllopus Press: Right.

Anon: And she was living in Nashville and we’re talking about Atlanta. So I said, “Well, what house did you live in?” And she said, “Well, I can’t remember what the house number was…” but she said it was the house that faced Avalon. Now, I was beginning to feel more than just really strange about it, because that narrowed it down to only two possibilities. My house and my next door neighbor’s house. And she began describing the house because she couldn’t remember the house number, about what it was like to walk in the front door and what the living room looked like and how the rooms in the house were laid out, and I am just bowled over with the fact that she was describing my house. That here I was in Nashville, Tennessee, working for the power company, and I run into the person who lived in the house where I grew up. And it wasn’t…

Idyllopus Press: So how many years would it have been since she’d lived there?

Anon: At that point it would have been 30 years, and there were maybe 6 or 7 families who had ever lived in our house. Maybe. Maybe not even that many. So the odds were pretty slim.

So as we kept talking about the house, I started finding out things about the house that I had wondered about, but didn’t know, and about people in the neighborhood. And one of them was that we had this garage at the back of the house with a kind of house above it. My mom had put up a sign at the time–and I guess I’m about to give…blow this anonymous idea–but mom had put up a sign for us kids and she had called it “The ______ Pest Nest”, and it was a place we could go and play. Well, it turned out that Eleanor’s father had built what we called the Pest Nest, that it had originally been a chicken coop that they had built. So that’s what _____ Pest Nest was…

Idyllopus Press: The chicken coop…

Anon: And she knew that the people across the street from us, the Browns, who had never had children, that it wasn’t that they didn’t want children, they couldn’t have children. She didn’t know exactly why but, you know, they couldn’t, and I’d always wondered about that too because they’d always been very nice to us. Mr. Brown used to let us do things like, he had this fabulous garden, they grew camellias and azaleas and all kinds of wonderful things, and they had this multi-level yard, and he also did bonsai trees…

Idyllopus Press: Oh, I like bonsai trees.

Anon: And he had music boxes. And it was okay to go to his back door and knock and he’d bring out a music box or a bonsai tree or something like that. To share.

But anyway, it was just that, to me, that was the most amazing coincidence in my life, that I would go to another city and meet somebody who grew up in the house that I’d grown up in. And I felt such an attachment for the home and it was clear that she had as well, that, you know, there was something about that house that went deep in you. It was nicely laid out and it felt so much like home.

“I felt as if something in the universe was really grabbing me by the scruff of the neck and saying that there was something deeper in the world…”

Idyllopus Press: What did it mean to you that you would meet somebody…

Anon: What it meant to me…I felt as if something in the universe was really grabbing me by the scruff of the neck and saying that there was something deeper here in the world, that there was something else going on in the world besides just the things that you could see. And, I felt, I don’t even know how to describe a physical sensation other than just to say that I felt so disoriented for several days afterwards. It just seemed so unbelievable. And, um, anyway, that’s it.

Idyllopus Press: How do you think she felt? Did you have any impression?

Anon: I’m not sure she felt as completely weirded out about it as I did. You know, she was certainly surprised and I remember her saying that she was going to get in touch with her mom, who was evidently still living at the time, and find out for sure what the house number is. And the funny thing is, I don’t remember ever having a follow-up conversation with her. And then, eventually, I left Nashville permanently and came back to Atlanta and all. But it has just, as I said, it has always struck me as funny that it happened while I was working at the power company. I mean it was as if power became a metaphor for…

Idyllopus Press: Right…

Anon: It was like, “Get serious here, there’s something more to the world.” And I don’t think I’ve ever really forgotten that.

Idyllopus Press: I like that story. The power company…

Anon: So, that’s it.

Idyllopus Press: OK, that’s a good story. I’d freak out if I met anybody who…

Mutual laughter.

Idyllopus Press: So, I’m going to ask you the third question.

Anon: OK.

Idyllopus Press: And the third question–you’ve already told such a good long story, but I’m still going to ask you for another one. Do you have a story that you’d just like to tell? Something that comes to mind? That nobody else would ever be able to tell?

Anon: I mean, that is a harder one because I don’t know that I go around telling stories particularly. I know I was thinking on my way over here that you might ask that question…

Idyllopus Press: I probably would.

Anon: And I know what was on my mind at the time, what I was thinking about talking about, so it sounds like that’s what I’m going to talk about now, is about my dad…

Idyllopus Press: OK.

“And he said, ‘I just kept saying if you would just come that we would have everything we need as long as there’s just the two of us.'”

Anon: And you know that my dad had surgery for a condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, and had a shunt put in a little less than a year ago. And things have been kind of difficult in terms of his recovery from that. And there was a period of about two months ago when he seemed a lot more present and things seemed to be going really well, and a particular thing that happened that meant a lot to me was I came in one day and he just reached up with his arms in this great open gesture and he said, “You’re here!” And I said, “Yeah, I am!” and I held up my arms, too. And he said, “I just kept saying if you would just come that we would have everything we need as long as there’s just the two of us.”

So, that’s meant a great deal to me. But it’s like right after that, it was as if things didn’t go very well, and it was as if, kind of in a way he slipped away again. And then he had the shunt adjusted again about a week and a half ago, and I’ve been looking, looking, looking for some sign that it was helping this past week and a half, and nothing seemed to be changing very much, where his conversation…the first part of his sentence would make sense and then it falls apart into this garble. So, I came in today to see him and it was like he was there again, and his sentences were making sense again.

Idyllopus Press: Oh, that’s…

Anon: It’s not that everything was perfect, but it was a pronounced difference from what it was, and to me it wasn’t just that his sentences were making sense again, but that it was almost as if he was newborn and he wanted to see things and he wanted to know what was going on. And he wanted to go in rooms and he wanted to know what was behind this door or that door, so I was taking him around different places. And we discovered on the first floor, where he lives, that there was a little lending library. So he was asking me questions, “So, we can just take these things? There’s no cost involved?” And it turns out in the same room there’s a computer and that we had free access to it, that I have access to it at any time. So I went to it, I went over to the computer, and I parked him next to me and I typed in his home town, McCurtain, Oklahoma, which I’ve pulled up things from before, and I’ve really wanted to find information about McCurtain, which is a very small town. And I wanted to take him back to McCurtain. He wanted me to take him back to McCurtain then he got too sick for that to be possible. So, I’ve looked for things about McCurtain before and not ever found very much. But this time when I put in “McCurtain, Oklahoma” I pulled up somebody’s website that had about a dozen pictures they’d taken, this year, in McCurtain, Oklahoma, on the main street and identified different places. This used to be so-and-so’s grocery and this used to be this, this used to be that.

And, you know, could be that dad was just agreeing that he recognized some of the names I was saying, I don’t know, but he seemed to recognize some of those things. And, anyway, it just meant a lot to me, that he seemed to be present again. And it’s just interesting to have my 85 year old father but feeling so newborn. He saw, you know, I took him back up to the floor he lives on and he was looking at all these people who live there too and he kept saying, “My goodness gracious, my goodness gracious, I just don’t know what else to say.” And I know…

Idyllopus Press: He kept saying, “My goodness gracious, I don’t know what else to say…”

Anon: About the people that he was seeing, because you know he’s looking at people in wheelchairs and who can’t walk very well. And I know he feels protective of all those people although he’s not very much different. I certainly felt from his saying that that he was seeing all that again for the first time, that he was, um, I don’t know…it was like he was waking up from some kind of dream or something…so…well, hope that something more keeps happening for him.

Idyllopus Press: Me, too. Me, too. Thank you, I didn’t know that…Okay. All right. I’ll cut this off. I’ll cut this off.

Anon: Now you’re going to have a lot to…

Idyllopus Press: Type! I’m going to have to type, type, type, I know.

Anon: It’s too bad you don’t have some kind of machine that will, you know…

Idyllopus Press: Yeah, really…

* * * * * * * * *

And we talked about coincidences and the book Flatland and how there are coincidences which seem like visitations hinting at the type of revelations in Flatland, that there is more going on than is casually perceived.

It has been a long time since I’ve read Flatland so here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis of the plot.

The story is about a two-dimensional world referred to as Flatland. The unnamed narrator, a humble square (the social caste of gentlemen and professionals), guides us through some of the implications of life in two dimensions. The Square has a dream about a visit to a one-dimensional world (Lineland), and attempts to convince the realm’s ignorant monarch of a second dimension, but finds that it is essentially impossible to make him see outside of his eternally straight line.

The narrator is then visited by a three-dimensional sphere, which he cannot comprehend until he sees Spaceland for himself. This sphere, who remains nameless, visits Flatland at the turn of each millennium to introduce a new apostle to the idea of a third dimension in the hopes of eventually educating the population of Flatland of the existence of Spaceland. From the safety of Spaceland, they are able to observe the leaders of Flatland secretly acknowledging the existence of the sphere and prescribing the silencing of anyone found preaching the truth of Spaceland and the third dimension. After this proclamation is made, many witnesses are massacred or imprisoned (according to caste).

After the Square’s mind is opened to new dimensions, he tries to convince the Sphere of the theoretical possibility of the existence of a fourth (and fifth, and sixth …) spatial dimension. Offended by this presumption and incapable of comprehending other dimensions, the Sphere returns his student to Flatland in disgrace.

He then has a dream in which the Sphere visits him again, this time to introduce him to Pointland. The point (sole inhabitant, monarch, and universe in one) perceives any attempt at communicating with him as simply being a thought originating in his own mind. (cf Solipsism)

The Square recognizes the connection between the ignorance of the monarchs of Pointland and Lineland with his own (and the Sphere’s) previous ignorance of the existence of other dimensions.

Once returned to Flatland, the Square finds it difficult to convince anyone of Spaceland’s existence, especially after official decrees are announced – anyone preaching the lies of three dimensions will be imprisoned (or executed, depending on caste). Eventually the Square himself is imprisoned for just this reason.

When we had finished, I was going to take a photo of Anon’s shoes but she suggested I instead take a photo of her feet.

"Have you ever seen a UFO?" Interview 8

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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