Listen to this as you read. The videos are immaterial to the text, but the music is pivotal.
Last night as I’m seeing the new Star Wars film at the cinema with my beloved the timeless themes of good versus evil really get me to feeling, and my thoughts drift away from the film to my friend Brent. The depth of the emotions I experience has me weeping as my attention to the film wanes. Waves of grief wash over me. I mourn the loss of my friend. I’m not sure why what was supposed to be an evening of diversion with my spouse aroused such strong feelings of grief, but I trust there is a reason for these feelings and thoughts.
The Force and Dark Side are not necessarily things that Brent and I discussed unless we were talking about the Red Sox/Yankee rivalry. When I was living with him there hadn’t been a new Star Wars film in the theater for 12 or 13 years. Brent and I both had been tempted by the powers of the dark side. I lived pretty close to the edge in those days. It seems that it was when Brent and I were roommates that I started a course correction, a heading that I am struggling to maintain (still).
I’d been in the company of people that come as close to the embodiment of the Dark Side as you’d ever have chance to encounter. I’d even gone so far as the generic equivalent of studying with Darth Vader. But it was when I was with Brent that I decided to retreat from that dark place. The gravity that Brent exercises on the universe helped me change my trajectory.
We did not harm anyone or anything when we were investigating those avenues. When I think on those times, I always feel that I turned my back on The One True God, our Father in Heaven. It is only through his grace that I am writing this today.
I like to think of Brent as a humble person, trying his best to find his way in the world, but whose own cosmic trajectory was disturbed by a number of factors, which I won’t go into now. Sufficeth it to say that his death has affected me deeply.
2 Nephi Chapter 2 Verse 28
I’m older now, so I should be used to all the sorrow and pain. But all I can do is look to my Lord, ask for forgiveness, and repent. There’s nothing that I can do to change what has happened. I can only hope to control my actions and my attitude. I like to think that the world will eventually be a kinder, gentler place. A place where a person like Brent can abide.
I want to be a person that has that spark which will help shine a light into the darkness and invite someone that is suffering into the light.
It is only through expanding one’s awareness that one can see the pain that others are experiencing. If one cannot see the needs of one’s friends, then how can one help to fulfill those needs?
Maybe the reason why my thoughts turned towards Brent was what I experienced before entering the theater, which touched my heart.
When my wife and I were at the cinema, it was jam packed. I haven’t seen a theater packed with so many people since the Fourth of July Weekend 1994, when it was raining cats and dogs. The cinema at Patriot’s Square was totally mobbed then. It was like that last night in West Valley City, Utah, minus the rain. As my wife and I were entering the auditorium where the movie was about to start I noticed a small child, maybe 5 years old jogging around blindly. He appeared to me to be lost. If I hadn’t recognized him for the lost boy that he was, and if my much less imposing spouse hadn’t intervened, how much longer would it have been before he got the help that he needed. The poor boy was distraught having lost his parents.
I remember losing my parents when at the former A & P in Dennisport when I was about this kid’s age. When I saw the woman at the service desk with the long salt and pepper hair, I thought, “That’s Mom, for sure. I’m saved!” But it wasn’t, it was a woman that looked almost exactly like my mom. I became terrified, screaming!
I seem to remember my mom coming up from behind me as I screamed in horror, and her consoling me, and I was hyperventilating, sobbing hysterically.
I’m so grateful for the people that have mothered me, and comforted me throughout my life. My own real mom Carol Furbish, and Cheryl Martin who took care of me for a few years when I was in my early 20’s.
I miss my friend. I hope he finds the comfort he was so earnestly seeking throughout his mortal life.