I first became aware that I wasn't "alone" in 1975, when I was six years old. As is common to many people's experiences with the entities we call personal guardian angels, the contact was triggered by an event involving physical danger. We lived in a suburb of Knoxville, Tennessee, but our house wasn't in a neighborhood, it was isolated in the woods -- our "driveway" was really its own quarter-mile-long gravel road, with a mailbox out on Sands Lane. We would travel by car just to go get the mail, and usually, especially if the weather was bad, my Mama would pick me up where the school bus dropped me off and drive me back home.
If she'd merely left the house to quickly run and get me, then the front door was unlocked. Leaving her behind to pull my two-year-old little brother from the backseat, I would race inside to the television. Elementary school seriously interrupted my soap operas, but if I hurried I could catch the end of The Young & The Restless, As The World Turns, or Another World -- honestly, I can't remember what the schedule was at that time, but I was such a little soap fag at that age! How funny is that? If nothing else, I always got to the screen in plenty of time for afternoon double reruns of Batman.
I didn't know until later that the front door should not have been open that day -- this was one of those times when my mother had been away from the house running errands and had waited in the car until I got off the school bus before continuing on home -- no one had been at the house for several hours.
I bolted through the front door and was immediately frozen by an oppressive chill. If you've ever had your house or your car broken into, you know this sensation -- a split-second instinct or intuition that you respond to in a very physical, animal way. It's like the paralyzing fear you wake up into from a nightmare, with your ears ringing. Before your eyes or your thinking mind can process the broken glass or the missing objects or the disturbed furniture, your body knows that the space has been violated. Maybe it's literally the air currents through a smashed window that create some of that unexpected drop in temperature, maybe some part of our primal sense of smell picks up on the pheromones and adrenaline left behind by an invader -- but most of it is pure vibration. The integrity of the environment has been compromised. You immediately feel watched -- something is there that shouldn't be. There's a touch of ... nausea... grief.
A commanding voice stopped me on the black slate of the entryway -- nothing still or small about this voice -- it was unnaturally amplified, seeming to come from every direction all at once. I was suspended within the sound.
"Don't go any further into the house," it said. It was a female voice, very formal and authoritative. Intimidating -- not mean or evil -- but scary in the way a teacher might be.
I turned around to find an impossibly tall woman standing behind me, just inside the door; her head almost touched the ceiling. She was like the inverse of a silhouette -- instead of being lost in shadow, her features were obscured by an internal light. She was eerily monochromatic -- her skin, her hair, her clothes were all the same bleached, glowing color, like white marble or translucent quartz lit from inside. She wore some tight-fitting garment like a body stocking -- my association at that age was the suit Catwoman wore, only cream-colored instead of black, and without the hip belt and built-in-claw gloves -- it was woven through with a metallic thread that was the only quality which distinguished it from her skin. She also had another layer of clothing worn over this, like a satin night robe that went from neck to floor.
She wasn't transparent or wispy or vague; she appeared to be solid and really there. Already a C.S. Lewis fanatic who identified with Edmund, I thought she could be the sweeter sister of Jadis, Queen of Charn, White Witch of Narnia.
I knew she wasn't a "ghost" -- I saw those kinds of spirits throughout my childhood -- she didn't feel like a ghost. She looked more than anything like a living statue. I felt she wasn't exactly human, but I must admit the concept of "angel" didn't occur to me. It wasn't until I was a teenager and first exposed to the artwork of William Blake that I recognized what she must be. During my childhood I privately referred to these types of entities as The Big Ones or The Big Ones That Glow.
Her hands were slightly lifted from her sides, her palms open to me, not like she was reaching out to pick me up, but to hold me in place by some invisible force. She spoke again, but her lips didn't move. Again, the sound came from everywhere -- I felt it pressing my heart and lungs like the way you feel the bass on a jacked-up stereo.
"Wait right here for your mother." (Remember the scene in Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring where Cate Blanchett as Galadriel speaks telepathically to Frodo? Well, it would a few decades before I came across that association; but yeah -- exactly like that.) Maybe I've just always been such an Anglophile, but for me personally, my angels speak with a "Shakespearean" vibe that I associate with a British accent. Spirit guides (human souls) vary in their "ethnic" presentation.
I simply obeyed her without conscious thought or question -- she made me feel... overwhelming safe and calm.
There were sounds from the back of the house, like a screen door slamming and then feet running through the dry leaves in the woods. We had surprised the intruders; they were probably still in the house, heard the car in the gravel, and fled through the kitchen even as I came in the front. When I turned back around, the Lady was gone and my mother was there. All this happened in a matter of seconds.
We quickly saw as we moved through the rooms downstairs that the windows were broken out of the back door, shards of glass lay all over the kitchen. Things were moved; drawers and cabinets and closet doors were open. The hi-fi stereo components my Daddy kept in his study were the only items of significance that were gone -- the thieves stole his prize reel-to-reel tape recording equipment.
The reason I'm reflecting on this event now is that for years I've heard my parents talk about the recordings they made of me when I was child -- audio interviews of me from the time I could talk until I was about four or five years old. They always referred to "when we were robbed" and I was under the impression that the recordings themselves had been stolen. It was only a few years ago that my father told me "No, they didn't take the recordings -- they just took the equipment. I still have the tapes, I just don't have anyway to play them." I had suggested that perhaps he could have them transferred to digital media.
Last month, for my 40th birthday, Daddy surprised me with a set of mp3 files burned on CD. I have been revisiting that time from so many angles...
You may want to try this exercise too: Over the past nine months or so, I've been slowly making notes of all the "supernatural" or "paranormal" turning points in my life and trying to reconstruct a chronology. You walk around thinking you remember -- how could you forget -- but it's wild to see how the memories surface, like they are attached to one another... even moments that are buried start to emerge as you pull on the threads...
To be continued... These memoirs tend to be a bit longer than most blog pieces, so in my next post, I'll tell you more about my on-going relationship with this entity, how I came to discover who (or what) she is exactly, why she's with me -- and how I learned to identify others like her -- including those who are with you.
These paranormal experiences did not teach me to "do readings" and they didn't "make me more intuitive" -- they motivated me to learn.
The next chapter in The Paranormal Memoirs is here.