Odd things happen to me. It is just a fact of life, and a wonderful one at that -- for a writer or a
I had my first out-of-body experience when I was just five years old. I had a fairly severe case of the measles. So much so that my parents had me in their bed. My fever was high enough that I began to bleed from the nose profusely. Lying on my back I began to choke to death on the stuff. I remember watching this happening from across the room. I didn't question what was happening. I was young enough that everything was still new, so this was just another new thing.
I think that this experience set me on a track to be aware of things and not try to explain them away as imagination or coincidence.
By the time I was through college I had found that I could go out of body at will during meditation. How could I be so sure that this was not just imagination? Several years later I was hanging out with the members of a group of people who were followers of a spiritual leader who called himself Rama. They had been taught to meditate with their eyes open so that they could see things.
One evening I joined them in a meditation. I still meditated with my eyes closed, so off I went. I chose to go out of body, but did not stay there. When the meditation ended I opened my eyes and found the young woman sitting next to me looking at me.
"I saw you go," she said. She then told me exactly what I had done out of body. Exactly. If had had any lingering doubts as to the reality of my out-of-body journeys, they were banished forever by the young woman I had met only an hour or so before.
When I was a child I would occasionally have these very intense and real dreams. They were so real that I was certain that I was actually somewhere else. I remember coming back through these dreams, across a border of some sort. I remember because I tried to bring physical objects back with me and they could not make it through this "wall" with me. I was particularly heartbroken when I couldn't bring back a kitten I had been playing with.
When I was a teen my mother took me to see a psychic who, not knowing this story, said that I was a "dream-walker," and that I would travel while I slept. I found this an interesting thing, but didn't know what that would mean for me.
Then one night after I was grown and living on my own I went to bed early feeling strangely tired. I fell asleep immediately and began to dream that I was in a small airplane not far from the Air Force Academy. The plane was in distress and we were about to crash. It was just me and the pilot. We came down in a snowy field. I was lying in the wreckage watching as the pilot got up and moving. I wanted to urge him to go and get help, not to worry about me, because I knew I would die, but I could not speak.
In the middle of all of this I woke up and went to the bathroom, muttering to myself that there had been a plane crash near the Academy. The dream did not stop while I was awake and it continued when I went back to sleep.
The next morning I got up and turned on the news while I was getting dressed. They teased what was coming up on the news saying something about a plane crash near the Academy. I went cold. "And the pilot survived and the passenger died," I said to the television that was then showing a commercial. I sat down on the couch to wait for the story. Sure enough, they reported the story of my dream, detail for detail. I had dreamed it while it had happened. That was when I remembered the words of the psychic.
So seeing a UFO when I took the trash out one night was par for the course by then. And I had always had a feeling that I would be one of those people who found a snake in the house. So one night a python turned up in my bathtub. One Christmas the police chased a guy who had just robbed a nearby gas station through my front yard and tackled him to the ground in a neighbor's yard. When I was a kid working as a hospital volunteer I got to meet a guy who was out walking his pet lion.
Yup, it is one Odd life for this Olson and it all stands to make my writing that much richer.
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