Whitley has written about how he feels about his new novel The Grays. People Magazine calls it “a great read.” It is based not only on Whitley?s own experiences, but also on the experiences of so many other witnesses whose stories we have heard over the years. But for me it’s more than any of those things: it’s a love story.
It’s the love story of Whitley and me. We don’t actually remember being brought together as children by the visitors (whoever and whatever they are) the way Dan and Katelyn are in the book, but we’ve always felt that we were somehow destined to be a couple. Whitley has vivid memories of meeting me when we were children, and the meeting place he describes could well have been my own backyard!
But he was never there, and I was never anywhere near Texas, so there is no explanation. And yet, when we met, we both had the same feeling of coming home at last, of finding a dear, old friend again. And it has been like that ever since– the first moment seems to be our permanent moment. After 38 years, our love affair is as vividly alive as it was the moment we first laid eyes on each other.
And, speaking of eyes, when I read the story of Katelyn and Dan’s love in the Grays, mine became moist, because it was so beautiful to see my husband’s love of me reflected in his story–and to see how deep his insight is into my love of him, and the struggle I went through when he told me–of all things–that he thought he might have been abducted by aliens!
After that, I really could not imagine what was going on. But his descriptions of what was happening to him were so vivid that I believed that, certainly, it was something…
Then our next door neighbor came over and asked about the light that was appearing above our house at night, and I will never forget the shock that went through me at the moment that I heard this polite, very rational man asking this fantastic question.
But still, I had never heard or seen anything myself–until one night, Whitley told me he had been begging the visitors to show themselves to me. We were sitting in our hottub when this strange noise started out over the woods–a sort of rattling, humming sound. And here came a bunch of lights over the house–not fifty feet above out heads.
Whitley yelled, “it’s them,” and sure enough, it was a UFO. But what a WILD flying saucer! It looked like a big pile of lumber decorated with Christmas lights. We stared at it in open-mouthed astonishment as it went over the house, then passed down a draw a short distance away, never going higher than fifty feet or so.
We saw it clearly. No question. But then I had to say it: “Whitley, that was a ridiculous UFO.”
“What can I tell you–they have a sense of humor,” he replied. After that, I did not worry so much about his long, secret forays into the woods at night. Surely somebody who would do something like that wouldn’t hurt my husband or take him from me.
I saw nothing more until years later. By this time, he was meditating every night in a room down the hall from our bedroom, and the visitors were coming to meditate with him, a whole bunch of them. I knew they were in my house, I could hear them. And one night, I decided that I would join one of these sessions.
I went down to the room and sat in a chair. Despite everything, I still thought maybe this was something in that very huge and complicated mind of his. Despite everything, my own mind just wanted it to be something like this.
Then–thud! thud! thud! Something was landing on the roof right over our heads. A moment later I sensed a presence in the room. It was like people had entered who I could not quite see in the dark. And I felt fear. I am not ashamed of it, I felt intense fear. Who wouldn’t, facing something this strange? Except, of course, Whitley, who just sat there in the lotus position looking as calm as some Buddha. I said, “I’m not ready for this,” and went back to bed.
Half an hour later, my husband came beside me, and held me, and I felt that he had come from a far, far place back to his home, that is me, and us.
My natural skepticism has always been a good foil for Whitley’s desire to find answers to the mystery of the all this. It has been the foundation that kept bringing him back to what is essential to his success both in his relationship with the visitors and in his exploration of all the unknown: the question. Keep the question open, I tell him, and he always does.
One thing I’ve learned from my recent near-death experience is that keeping the question open is the ONLY way to find real wisdom. If you think you have all the answers, God or the gods (or whoever they are) won’t sprinkle down any more knowledge and blow it your way. Why would they bother? You wouldn’t notice it or be ready to “catch” it when it came.
If we can’t live in a state of indeterminacy, we won’t be ready to interpret the messages we receive in the light of our own experiences and understanding?which is what creates wisdom. we will either take them literally (in which case, it’s called information, not knowledge, and the gods figure we can get plenty of information on our own), or we will create all kinds of dogma around the whiff of knowledge we’ve been given, then wind up attacking anyone who has interpreted the same message even slightly differently.
Meanwhile, I’m living the love story of The Grays. It will be in bookstores very soon, and Whitley will be on Coast to Coast AM talking with George Noory about it on August 24th.
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