My friend Stan Barlow died. I haven't seen him in person in 25 years but we kept in touch occasionally on FaceBook and via email and he always proved himself to be one of the good ones.
When we were seniors in high school, Stan and I were in a play together. Our Drama coach, Bobby Murray, was big on doing bonding exercises that would help us be a more cohesive group. For one of these exercises, Stan and I were teamed up and instructed to hold our hands up, fingers spread out, palm to palm so that we were mirroring each other. Then we were supposed to move our hands closer and closer together, without touching, until we could feel the other person’s energy.
You have to remember that in 1984 in Kerrville, Texas this was akin to asking us to perform a voodoo witchcraft ceremony with a side order of ritual sacrifice. But it was Drama class so we rolled our eyes and went through the motions of it. After a few seconds, Stan’s eyes got huge, his jaw dropped open and he whispered, “Oh my God, can you FEEL that?!” I could. There was a very tangible electricity between our hands. Like the tingly, static feeling when you’d put your face too close to a live TV set back in the day.
We stayed with our hands like that for a full minute until we had freaked ourselves out entirely and had to awkwardly laugh it off. We shook out our hands out and did a couple impromptu patty cakes to erase the sensation. Then we hugged and promised to never speak of it again.
In the 34 years since then, whenever I think of Stan I think of that moment. It was silly and sweet, like him. It was also an example of how open and brave he could be. Because like I said, the atmosphere in our small Texas town in the 80’s was not exactly conducive to experimenting with hippie-dippie stuff like energy or auras and vibes. So for him to be willing to try it and then willing to admit he felt something was a genuine leap. I always appreciated that he put himself out there like that and I was so glad we had our moment of bonding.
As agreed, we didn't ever speak of it again really, except for the one time I saw him at a party about 10 years later. He walked up to me and without a word, held his hand up, fingers spread out. I mirrored it, we smiled and both walked away.
Safe journey, Stan. I can still feel your energy and it’s still good.