This has happened before.
Every so often I leave my body. I linger above suspended by sheer air and watch myself sense something special. It has always happened in public and I have come to interpret it as a brief moment of unforeseen self-discovery or serendipitous realization. Like a violent ocean wave that travels great lengths to reach my body and momentarily possess it, only to then withdraw silently leaving nothing but the mark of a fleeting transcendent force. Surrounded by thousands of people as I walked through Times Square once, an unexpected sad tune made its way through my headphones. At that very moment the melody took over my whole body and an enormous loneliness settled in. Suddenly I felt as if I was leaving my body and watching myself from above like a movie scene, that same sad song as a soundtrack. I felt as if everybody around me was walking much faster, whilst I moved at a sorry pace, dragging my lonesomeness behind me. I wanted to crouch on the ground and let the crowds stomp on me, knowing that the collision would be as close as I would get ever to any of them. I wanted to cry for help and to desperately connect with the strangers around me. I stood still and closed my eyes, concentrating on every impact my body made against a passer by. I welcomed each touch as an unspoken embrace purposely discharged by fellow forlorn New Yorkers yearning for an intimacy so ironically out of reach. This paralyzing trance lasted no longer than half a minute, and it returns seldom but always like a brutal wave.
Today it returned.
As I walked to my apartment on the top of Capitol Hill in Seattle, another sad tune came upon me as I crossed the park that halves 17th avenue. Suddendly a violent wind picked up and I felt the energy of a forthcoming storm taking over my whole body. I turned my head west and I could see the rooftops of downtown buildings skillfully intercepting threatening cloud formations. Once again I left my own body and watched myself from above, paralyzed by a force much stronger than me. I felt the wind wrap itself around me as if it had human limbs and hold me captive, transfixed, forcing me to watch the clouds as they shifted shapes, traveling viciously and engulfing each other low in the sky. As I stood there watching the storm unravel, tears started rolling down my face and breathless I finally understood that there is something out there much, much bigger than me. I cried silently as the wind released me and I walked home feeling as lonely and insignificant as ever.