Let There Be Light

  • Shopping for meditation furniture in a specialty store. I try out various kinds of stools, pillows and kneeling chairs.

  • I visit my friend Matt Gnat who is living in Rohnert Park. I get to his apartment and the door is open so I walk in. His stuff is laying about on the floor so I know he's been here recently. I take a walk down the street and see posters of Eric Clapton and Roger Waters. Pink Floyd's "Time" starts playing in the background. I return to Matt's apartment and find a note on the door addressed to Matt from his mother. She's asking him where he is and there is an implication that his girlfriend just had a baby.

    The scene cuts to the interior of another apartment, with a woman arguing with her hysterical mother-in-law. Then it cuts back to me as I walk around Matt's apartment complex. I see the woman is outside her apartment as a male neighbor approaches her about the noise from her screaming mother-in-law. I see that this is a tense situation so I come up to them and try to intervene. The woman brings me inside and introduces me to her husband and mother-in-law. The mother sits cross-legged and I do the same while we chit chat.

    Cut to me eating lunch out front with the husband and wife. We're sitting at a glass table talking. The mother has gotten upset again and is inside the apartment fuming. Suddenly the wife screams and points upward. I turn and see the mother on the roof of the two-story apartment building. She runs towards the edge and dives out over us, crashing into the glass table in a shattering explosion. She's bleeding all over but still alive.

    Cut to the exterior of a church that is built into the ground floor of a high-rise apartment building. It's the lone structure in a huge open area, surrounded by grain-colored fields. This is now definitely a movie. I turn to my mom sitting next to me on the couch as we watch the film and say, "That can't be Rohnert Park--there are no tall buildings like that there." She disagrees and when they pan the surrounding hills, it's definitely Sonoma County. Two men walk out the front of the building: a lawyer and his assistant, Harvey Keitel. Keitel is saying, jokingly, that since they're in a church, he won't make morose comments. The lawyer agrees with him. A crowd of people slowly filter out of the building, talking quietly and milling around. (I'm confused as to whether this is a trial or a funeral.) I'm there too, walking around under the dusk sky with Matt, who has at last appeared. We overhear a senile old man describing his one and only suicide attempt. He dove into a river and went over a huge waterfall--"Fell two football fields," he says. We're walking on a gravel strip the lines a drainage ditch near a kind of wetlands. The sun has dropped below the hills and the light is fast disappearing. But suddenly the sky is filled with blinding light, far brighter than full daylight. I look up and it disappears back to dusk, leaving half my vision imprinted with a dull red after-image. The crowd has no idea what just happened and we act like it's no big deal. As I joke, I raise my arms above my head and shout at the top of my lungs: LET THERE BE LIGHT!

    And there was light.