Thursday, March 9, 2017

An Early Separation

Sometime in the early 1990's.

It was winter, and I was camped in a high, cold place in the Oregon Cascades.  The temperature that night was 17 degrees, by the little thermometer I carried on the zipper of my parka.  I was having a hard time staying warm, and I kept waking up, because I was cold.  I think the repeated transitions between waking and sleeping had something to do with this...

I woke, sat up in the tent, and rearranged my sleeping bag, and the frost liner above me.  I scrunched back down into the bag, pulled it over my head, and rolled over on to my side.  And I kept on rolling, oddly enough.  I rolled right through the wall of the tent and outside to the snow-encrusted ground, where I bounced twice, lightly, in the cold dark air.  I bounced and floated, as if I only weighed an ounce.  when I finally came to rest, I sat up, and I was just sitting there on the snow.  But I could no longer feel temperature in any way.  I wasn't cold or warm, I just didn't feel anything like that.

All other sensations were perfectly intact.  I could see the bright, hard stars above me, and I could see everything around me, in the dim moonlight.  Instantly, I thought "up."  I don't why I thought that, but my body (whatever it was in that moment) shot straight up.  I went up and up and up, and I seemed to be passing through dark gray layers of .. Something.  As I went higher, I felt more resistance with each layer I passed through.  Finally, I hit something and bounced down.

I woke up in my tent, feeling cold.

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