Earning my wings at 11:11 on 11/11 | AspenTimes.com

Earning my wings at 11:11 on 11/11

Barry SmithAspen, CO Colorado

You know what they say: If you point an accusing finger at someone, you are actually pointing three back at yourself.Well, it’s true. When I look back on my life, everything that I’ve ever criticized someone for is something that I’ve eventually been guilty of myself.I suppose this means I should work on being less judgmental, but, instead, I’m considering pointing at others only while wearing a mitten.For example?One of my first jobs after moving to the mountains was working at the Snowmass Conference Center. The majority of the conferences held in this building were of a medical nature, so the abundance of pragmatic doctors made the attendees of the Angel Conference stand out even more.These folks showed up wearing flowing white robes and cheesy halos made of wire and sparkles. They believed themselves to be angels – for real. One day during their week-long stay, they asked me to remove the chairs from a room so they could hold an impromptu wing adjusting seminar. No kidding. How one’s wings get out of adjustment, I never found out, as I was too busy wondering why they hung up a huge banner that read “11:11.”I asked one of the passing angel attendees. He explained that 11:11 is a special gateway that we will all soon pass through, and that with the introduction of digital clocks, people are seeing 11:11 more often than ever before, which means the gateway is flinging open soon, and, most important, could I tell him which room the halo polishing workshop has been moved to?I laughed, I pointed, I pointed and laughed. What a bunch of kooks, right? 11:11? C’mon?Then, years later, it started to happen. At first I’d glance at the clock and just think, “Oh, look. It’s 11:11. Cool.” Years later this grew into, “Look! It’s 11:11! Just like yesterday! Wow!” MANY years later it had gotten to, “Oh my God, it’s 11:11! This means that there’s order and reason in the universe, and I’m in the exact place that I need to be at the exact time! Hooray for 11:11!”Which brings us up to this very day, right now, Nov. 11, 2007 – 11/11 – as I sit writing this column.I got up early and wrote in my journal about how I can’t wait until exactly four years from now, when it will be 11/11/11. And won’t it be cool, I wrote, when it’s 11:11 on that day? In fact, that’ll happen TWICE that day, morning and evening! And, I continued, my excited scribbling – barely legible by this point – if I were to position myself at the Utah-Nevada border, then drive back and forth across the time zone at the appropriate hour, I could actually experience 11:11 11/11/11 FOUR TIMES!Be still my beating heart.But that, I concluded in my journal entry, is still years away, and for now I’ll have to be content with 11:11 11/11/07, which is only a few hours away. But here’s the thing about me and 11:11, possibly the ONLY thing that separates me from the wing fluffers: I can’t plan it out. I can’t set my alarm or check the clock every minute. No, it just has to happen. I have to glance up naturally and see it. That’s just the way it has to be. Otherwise, I could just manually set my clock for 11:11 at any time of the day and, you know, look at it. And where’s the cosmic significance in that?But today there’s some pressure. To miss 11:11 on Nov. 11 seems, well, like the kind of thing that would send one running for a wing adjustment. How out-of-cosmic-alignment would I have to be to miss such an event? Soon I got on with my day and, thankfully, forgot all about it. Until I glanced at the clock in the corner of my computer screen and saw?YES! 11:11! And then, three seconds later, it was 11:12! I was THAT close to missing it! Holy?!I was shaking with excitement, like I’d just won some universal lottery. I’m in tune! I’m on track! 11:11 on 11/11! I was there! I saw it! I’m? I’m? Whew, what a rush.I collapsed back into my chair, spent. I felt a strange sensation right in the middle of my back. Something new … something odd?Feathers?Barry Smith’s column appears on Mondays.

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