40. A matter of interpretation
As my journey continued, so did the patterns that were slowly emerging. Soon after uploading new material onto my autobiography I would notice things which matched material I had written. In chapter 37 I had noticed car registration ‘Dead …’ in Robe Terrace Medindie. At the time I was on my way to the city to attend the Kapunda Road Royal Commission. This enquiry was established to look into a very controversial outcome of a hit-and-run crash, in which a cyclist was killed.
The accused, a Criminal Lawyer with the surname McGee (note the name) had pleaded guilty to killing the cyclist. He had evaded police for a number of hours, but was caught and arrested later that evening. The controversy started when the lawyer escaped a jail term, but was given a $ 3100 fine, plus 12 months licence suspension instead. An angry public cried foul; the Government ordered a Royal Commission. I suspected a complete different scenario. That’s why I volunteered to have a say. (More later, God willing).
Seconds prior to noticing the deadful (sic.) car registration number (in Chapter 37) I had picked up a piece of paper, looked at it and put it into my pocket. A week later I happened to look at it more carefully. Then the amazement hit me; the surname of the recipient was McGee. (I had been on my way to the inquiry into the McGee case - what co-incidence!).
Part of an invoice I picked off the road, while cycling to the Kapunda Road Royal Commission, an enquiry into lawyer Eugene McGee. (I blanked out the full address for privacy).
(Believe this or not: Just as I was typing the previous sentence, I overheard on my transistor the first item on the 3pm News (ABC 5 AN - it was about the Kapunda Road Royal Commission).
The white paper was a letter, an invoice for $ 71.90, for medical services rendered. According to my wife and family, picking up such pieces of rubbish was the product of my madness, my illness showing through. But if I really was ill, then they were blind - and my illness is probably simpler to cure than their blindness.
The Christian name of Miss McGee, plus the street and suburb where she lived, all fitted into my code. So did the words robe, die and son, plus a few more. Deep down I found it easier to believe that somebody read and liked my coded story and somehow knew I’d be along that road that day. They dropped that paper a few moments before I came on the scene for me to pick it up. Whoever that was, was encouraging me in this way to persist in my walk and to confirm – I was not mad, just different.
The day before flying to the USA for a second journey the twin boys and I finished a prototype of our road safety game Traffic Jam. We had worked and reworked it over a period of two years, constantly coming up with better ideas. This first workable prototype was fun to play. We were very pleased. I knew, if we found a suitable backer, who would see the potential, it could play a great role in young people’s understanding of traffic and road safety. The hard part was to enthuse others, especially in a city, where you feel an outsider.
The cars in our game were positioned to driving on the left side of the road. I still decided to take a CD of the game with me to the USA to perhaps show it to a games manufacturer. Surely, in the land of unlimited possibilities, somebody would recognize the huge potential of road safety through fun and education.
When being asked, why I was flying to the USA, the game gave me a certain legitimacy. The other reason was my sister in Alabama, whom I said I was visiting. I could hardly tell people the story about my praying for Reuben, whose name was really Caleb, and that ‘leb’ means to live in German and Ca were the letters to abbreviate California, and therefore I thought God wanted me to fly there.
Talking with confidence that you believe what you're doing is right and under the direction of the ‘Holy Spirit’ is not fashionable in modern Christianity. Walking by faith means taking a risk. No war is fought, let alone won, without taking the risk of leaving your comfort zone. To win the war Christians must join the battle in the war zone - on bended knees, wrestling with God.
Two years earlier I took a huge risk, thinking God was behind my walkabout to the USA. HE was with me then and HE would be with me this time. I didn't really know what God had in mind or arranged behind the scenes. But I knew I had to go and I obeyed.
Isobel had reacted surprisingly calm at my disclosure that I was taking another trip to the USA. She suspected immediately that visiting my sister was not the only reason. Likewise, she said, and quite rightly so, the road safety game was not at the stage to be taking it that far. We both knew I would still be going to the US.
Isobel and Dieter (left) during an autumn drive into the nearby Adelaide Hills. We visited an Open Garden, organised by Radio 5 AN 891.
There were 12 trees in the group I am standing in front of. One looked almost dead, compared to the other healthy ones. I commented to the owner: "These must be the 12 Apostles and this one (pointing to the dead tree) is Judas".
My life here in Australia had been full of activity and mystery. As exciting as these experiences were, there was not much to show, where life was leading. I knew much was going on behind the scenes. Living by faith was not meant to be easy. A verse kept reverberating in my mind: The prophet is not recognized in his own country and in his own family. Would this second trip abroad open the possibility to find acceptance abroad?
I was even contemplating more drastic possibilities. Did God want me to move away and not return, or not for a lengthy period? Could it happen that living in exile, to use the correct terminology, would turn the situation around, ready for a return later? After all, the word ‘leb’, which prompted me to book an airline ticket to LA, means to live at, not merely to visit a place.
To travel and leave my family at this point was not what God had shown me. To be leaving the family would be running away from my responsibility. I made it very clear to my family that I was not running away in fear. I had legitimate reasons to run, if I wanted to; more than I had in 2003. But there was a mission to accomplish here in Australia after my return.
On Tuesday morning 5/4/05 Isobel and I covered the 20 or so kilometers to Adelaide Airport in less than ˝ hour. We didn’t talk much. I saw the usual parade of registration plates reading - ‘Victories for 105’ or ‘You are the victor 513’ or I would interpret the writing on the side of a business van as - Star of all etc. My thinking frustrated me at times; more so because I couldn’t talk about it with anybody, it was too far outside the normal.
To lay bare my world of thoughts to an outsider I likened to explaining to child in first grade, material from a text book of grade six. Neither Isobel nor my family had read or learned the ‘code’. Little wonder VL, VT or CPT meant nothing, even in combination with 153, 123 or 007. The longer my journey went, the more alive it all became to me, widening the mental gap between us. Our minds drifted apart, as if a strong undercurrent was pulling us away from each other.
The good-bye on 5/4/05 at Adelaide Airport was a physical demonstration as to what was happening in a spiritual sense. Parting was un-emotional, low key. Isobel liked it that way. Showing emotion is not something that came easy to her. As I waved to her for the last time from the steps before boarding the aircraft, I wondered for a moment, when I would really see her again? My plans were to return after three weeks, but I was always prepared to follow God’s leading, whenever, wherever.
My luggage consisted of the same small, pull-along, black suitcase as I had 2 years earlier, plus the small Ben Mitchell’ backpack. I may sound paranoid still, but right from the beginning of my trip I felt I was being watched. I didn’t mind, it could all be for my safety, if there were people believing some of the claims I had made.
I assumed this to be the case, otherwise there would be no explanation for the large number of data, which followed me from Adelaide across the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and back. I won’t try to cover everything written in my diary, but concentrate on the most outstanding and meaningful experiences over these few weeks.
The seat number allocated for my first leg Adelaide to Sydney was 13 C. On the flight to Los Angeles I sat in 55K, just to tease my 153-wired brain. An hour or two into the international flight out of Sydney I stretched my legs to get comfortable. Under the seat in front of me I noticed a stack of newspapers. When I was satisfied that they didn’t belong to anyone, I reached down and grabbed a section and started reading. It turned out to be the current edition of ‘The Australian’ Newspaper.
After only a few minutes reading I saw on page 3 the number 5 showing through. The top right hand corner had been folded back. A further fold left the letters – tation says N’ hanging on the page. The article was titled: ‘Exciting life a matter of interpretation, says Nic. It reported the World Premier of the film ‘The interpreter’ with Nicole Kidman.
black line next to the T I inserted to show where the paper had been folded).
how I found the page. I interpreted the message: “A cross, I on cross, says
The life of an interpreter is exciting, I agree.
I hadn’t touched down in the USA and my Da Ninci brain already had been teased. A week later I was walking along Hollywood Boulevard and did what everybody else did - read the famous names inside the golden stars on the sidewalk. My mind was far from the ‘N’ incidence at the beginning of this trip, when suddenly my feet stopped walking. I had stumbled across the famous name, that of the Australian actress and something looked out of place – the letters NI.
Man, what happened here. NI is out.
(Unless NI was meant to be in italic - and the wind blew the wrong way).
Many such surprises, clues that indeed my website story had reached the world, were waiting for me during the next few weeks in the US, in the city of angels and beyond.