I walk in the cemetery, minutes after sunset. I watch the lightning over the Salt Lake Valley. The city lights slowly brighten as the wild sky darkens. It’s not a picturesque rolling thunder storm, with majestic hues of deep blue and purple. It’s a hasty smear across the sky, the color of a massive bruise. Like the one that covered half of my thigh the entire summer of 1994, after the fall down the water slide. Brown and black with a fleshy orange undertone from the lingering sunlight. Lightning flashes in quick bursts, behind the Wasatch mountains, above the ball park, over the lake. I hear no thunder over the pulsing bass of the The Suburbs.
I open a new google doc, to write this all down before I take a shower. I read last night’s document, my scripture journal, where I wrote about doubt and fear and starting on a new spiritual path. I re-read my self-assigned study topic from last night: to re-read the reaction of King Benjamin’s people after his prophetic address and ponder on my reaction to the “fear of the Lord [that] had come upon them.” Nine years ago my reaction to those verses had triggered my first true conversion to religion. I re-read it today and wonder what’s it like to know something wild or to truly feel fear.