Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Confession,The Wind-Tamer, and Rod Serling

Inspired by the Sesame Street memory-lane and a late-night viewing of Superman, I have decided to confess something.

I am going to confess something that I still do that I have done since I was ... well, since I can remember.

Here goes. This is a bit embarrassing. I still randomly... randomly... well how to say this...

Sometimes I randomly, and without reason, will try and ...USE THE FORCE. That’s right, you heard me. USE THE FORCE. In modern day scientific terms, I try and employ telekinetic power to move certain inanimate objects. I know for certain that it will never work, and Lord help me if it ever does. I would probably freak out. But, I can't help it. There it is. I might have mentioned this but I have been fascinated by this kind of superhuman ability even before I saw Star Wars. When I was 7 years old and before I had seen Luke or Obi Wan in action, I had the neighbor boy scared to death because I convinced him that I could control the wind.

7 Year Old Me: " He O'dell, I can control the wind"

6 Year Old Neighbor Boy, O'dell: "nuh uh."

Me: "Uh huh, watch"

Then I would wait till I heard the wind coming through the trees and move my hands with the swaying trees as they were blown by the wind. This understandably scared the begeebies out of the poor lad and he promptly ran home to his mommy. My mother got a call 20 or so minutes later. That conversation went something like this:

Phone: "riiiiiiinnnnng.... riiiiiiinnnnnng.... riiiiinnn"

My Mom: "Hello... Oh hello Charlotte... yes he is....what? He said he could control what?....

[Muffled noise from the phone and my mother turns her gaze my direction and gives me a dirty/puzzled look]

...Yes, I he will tell him. Just a second...

...Son, you come here right now and tell O’Dell that you cannot control the wind. What in the world..."

And so, I told the neighbor boy my secret. It took a bit of convincing because he was about a 12 on the gullible scale. But he finally came to understand my true humanity and earthbound, slight-of-hand technique.

Sometimes I look back on this and think it is kind of creepy, but then I find myself at 32 years old still, randomly trying to move objects. I have a hunch that the same impulse that inspires me still to randomly try and move things mentally is the same impulse that inspire men to build ships that will fly into space. I imagine if it ever goes away, if we ever get tired of dreaming, then I think I would know what it feels like to be ... well... hopelessly grown up.

Then I also wonder if that impulse, that desire to do things, control things is really a remnant of a missing power that really once was ours. Something inside of man is constantly pushing him to regain his dominion over nature and over himself. I think that impulse can inspire us to reach the most amazing things and then the most horrible things.

Isn't it funny how good something can be is directly proportional to how bad it can be. It took the greatest Angel to bring the greatest and original sin into existence. Then there is man. Man is capable of the most incredible feats. We can fly to the moon and split the atom but we can also bite down on a nut, have an allergic reaction and within minutes, we are dead. We are really in control of darn-near-to-nothing. The very little that we can do or control, we screw-up royally more often than not.

Most of the time we busy ourselves with maintaining the ILLUSION that we can control more things and people than we really do, and somehow, that striving to maintain that illusion can produce some good and inspiring things, but most of the time you just find yourself reaching for a remote control across the room and realize that it isn't about to fling rapturously into your hand, no matter how fancy you flick your wrist. It is going no where and neither are you unless you get up and get it, if you don't faint, fall, hit your head on the coffee table and end up in a coma. All because you got up to quickly and couldn't control the wind ... flowing into your body and into your blood.

Finally, if I could control this blog and the sound from your computer as you read this, I would end this blog with either the soundtrack to the opening credits to the original Star Trek TV show, or the Twilight Zone.


Chaotic Hammer said...

Apparently you are a little more powerful than you realize. That last paragraph worked on me -- heard both songs back to back. Weird.

For me, the movie I watched as a kid that made me certain that I could move things with my mind was Escape to Witch Mountain. It's only on a rare occasion these days that I spend a few moments trying to move something, but my poopy no-fun logical-thinking mind doesn't let me go there very much any more.

Last night, I did have a really cool flying dream again, though, and I was flying quite fast and laughing and having a lot of fun with it. So I'm not completely dead yet. :-)

Seth Ward said...

I love flying dreams. I never saw Escape to Witch Mountain... Any good?

Chaotic Hammer said...

Honestly -- it's been so long since I've seen it, I don't remember much about it.

I'm thinking that by current standards, it would be pretty bland and boring. It was a Disney movie from the mid-70's, and was playing toward a very young audience. So I'm thinking there probably wasn't a very complex or intriguing plot, and it was probably fairly predictable. It had a couple of kids in it who had paranormal powers, and that was what apparently fascinated me about it.

It's probably something you could put on the TV for very young children, that would keep them entertained for a little while.

kat said...

I have a friend who is a teacher who "uses the force" to make kids get back in their seats. Meaning, that if a kid is out of his seat, my friend will look at his student seriously, stickout two fingers and "use the force" to move the kids back to his seat. Since he teaches jr. high, all the kids think he's pretty cool for doing that instead of the lame things other teachers do...