I sat the aisle seat. In the middle seat was a Korean or Chinese chubby guy who didn't like to talk. He was kind of scary, in that Korean Virginia Tech killer kind of way. I probed him for answers, and he also said he was from Virginia Tech. On the aisle, was a empty nester woman who was visiting her college child in DC. I told her I went to Russia, and she asked how it was. I said, "Good."
But in my mind, I thought of all the good times and bad times in Russia. I never told my readers why I chose Russia. The idea of the trip was prompted when I witnessed the dead come back to life. Yes, read that again. I am witness to the fact that God can raise the dead because I've seen it. If you have a hard time believing what I saw, I sympathize. I, too, had a difficult time accepting this fact, but I saw it. Even after seeing this, I had to remind myself over and over again that when I came to faith in Christ that I believed that God could raise the dead. Now that I witnessed it myself, I had to accept the truth that God could do this in present time. Yes, I know it sounds insane, but others too have been witnessed that God raised the dead life I speak of in Los Angeles, where I was returning.
The dead one, come back to life, prompted me to go to Siberia in search of the Elixir of Life. Had I found it? I don't know. Was the mission successful? In part and a failure in part.
I looked outside the plane window, and I saw the hues of stratified colors that went from blue to green to orange to yellow and to red. The green sky was phantasmic. I'm not a fan of using big words but this one is apt because I can't describe the color. It was eerie, mysterious, and beautiful all in one. It was phantasmic. Looking out of the window, I thought of getting placed under Russian house arrest.
Most of all, I remembered the people I met and the stories I shared and the stories I collected. When I spoke to Artemii in St. Petersburg, I remember telling myself that next time I travel, I'm in search for the most beautiful story. Where will I find it? I reflected on learning about Siberian magick and mysticism. How could I forget also, all the spirits that visited me and talked with me? Was that real too?
I also knew I found my soul. People ask me what that means. My journey was a mystical one. What does mysticism mean? The word Mystic, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means union with God. I didn't really want to go to Siberia. I remember telling my mentor, I'd rather not go. But I realized, to increase our faith, our wisdom, our hope, and our love, we must go to places we are afraid of going to.
So back to the Dead. The Dead prompted me to go. Now when the dead, raised back to life, tells you go somewhere, it's best you drop everything you do and just go. So, I went. I suppose the heroes of ancient times needed to make their way into Hell and come back out. Why?
So - they could go to places that the living are afraid to speak of. So - they could know that they've done it before so they could do it again. So - like Achilles, they gain invincibility. But for me, I went because my God, in the form of man, went to Hell before to overcome death. I followed in those footsteps and stepped into the world where the living and the dead meet. When I came back, I did gain sacred and secret knowledge that showed me the art of creation. In that, I suppose I found something beautiful and artistic in my soul. I guess finding my soul meant I learned who I was better, who my God was better, and the mysteries of creation. I also inched closer in understanding my role in this world, and somewhere in the intersection of all that, is what my mystical journey was about.
The funny thing is while I was on the journey, I kept questioning why I was on it. I didn't enjoy it much, and I was continually tired. I mumbled to myself, all throughout the journey - NO MORE EXPEDITIONS. That's it!!! Once I get home, I'm staying home. No more crazy journeys where the dead make you go somewhere, where you're trying to looking for magick. Just no more! I'd rather be sitting at home with my mystery pet, my duck, my chicken, and my aquarium fish, eating food my mom and I make together.
Yet, as I stared outside the window, I could see the sun setting, causing the light to flare all kinds of colors. We were flying West, West back home. We were chasing the sunset, and so, that was the longest sunset I've ever seen in my life. I saw a five hour sunset.
Staring outside the window, I thought to myself, maybe I could go on another treasure hunt. A small smile came across my face. I even know what I need to look for, but that's another story for another time. Yes - that too - starts with some supernatural forces that seized my attention one day while I was at home reading a book.
One of the last thoughts I had was this: damn, you traveled a long distance. Here's the breakdown:
I traveled a stunning 34,245 kms (21,043 miles). To give you a reference point, the circumference of our planet earth is 24, 901 miles. So one more 4 hour flight would've completed a circuit around the world!
I took 11 flights. I took 3 train rides, totaling 66 hours! I took 2 ferry rides across a lake. I took 2 long bus rides (12 hours in total). I traveled for forty days In that time, I paid for only 6 nights of my travel. I met 12 Russians.
After all my thinking and reflecting my flight landed. I took the bus to the Los Angeles Union Train Station. There, I took a bus to the El Monte bus station. My mother picked me up in the old Mercedes-Benz. 1989 to be exact.
I came home at 11pm. She asked me to see my duckling, but it wasn't a duckling anymore. Even though it was only 40 days, the thing had grown huge and was the size of a cat. The chicken was the same size. My mystery pet was sleeping, and it looked like I lost an aquarium fish or two.
My mother and I chatted about my adventures, though I omitted the fact that the Russians captured me. (I told her about it a few days later. When she heard it, she asked if it was because I slept with a Russian prostitute and refused to pay. I just laughed and said why would you think such a thing.) Even though I was tired at 11pm because of the hours of traveling on a plane, telling her about what happened gave me the energy to stay up even later.