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Hellier is Wonderful.

My wife and I recently (actually more like a year ago) binged Hellier, a paranormal investigation docu-series that started with Kentucky cave-dwelling goblins and ended with … well, I will leave that for you to find out.

Even though we both had a great deal of skepticism involved, we kept watching. We even joked between the two of us, creating a drinking game: Take a drink anytime anyone on the show said the word synchronicity. Despite the overall show’s tone of “I want to believe” we enjoyed the actual people and filmmaking. Make no mistake, it is a well-crafted series and it shows.

Here is the thing, I couldn’t stop thinking about the show. I even put it on in the background while working. And that is saying a lot. Normally Star Trek: The Next Generation filled that function in my life—a kind of North Star. While I worked, in the background, I could see diplomacy working, standards being honored, and relationships that were mostly functional. A stark contrast to the real world. Why would I stop the IV drip of a promised utopia as found in Star Trek with Kentucky goblins?

Well, the answer is simply, wonder.

Have you ever seen people (or even yourself) LARP? Live-Action Role-Playing. You may be familiar with traditional pen and paper role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons for example. If not, most of us growing up have experienced it anyway. Cops and Robbers; Cowboys and Indians or playing House or Doctor to name a few childhood games where role-playing is the activity.

It’s in these moments of mental gymnastics, the suspension of reality in favor of fantasy that role-playing has its appeal. A form of escape from a dark world where evil is waged and sometimes (and feels like most times) are unchecked and rampant. It can be vitally important with our own mental health to find occasional forms of escape.

My wife said it one time during a viewing of Hellier. She called it, they were larping! My mind was blown. As a team, they were investigating the paranormal. They had assembled an adventuring party. Except, they weren’t pretending or escaping. They were providing that bridge between what is normally fantasy and making a way for its breakthrough into reality.

Consider the way that Greg Newkirk relates to aforementioned synchronicities.1

You can see it happen here. The connection between that which we want to believe to that which we choose to believe. It’s at this moment that they are not just larping (or pretending)—they are choosing to see the world through wondrous eyes.

And that is wonderful.

Listen, it’s been a helluva year. Almost two years. At this point, I (we all) could use a little more wonder in our lives. For now, I will have Hellier playing in the background as I go about my “normal” life, thinking of ways to find blessing is the tinest of connections that present themselves.

  1. He once described synchronicities with less angst, but for the life of me, I cannot find where that was, either on his Twitter account or in Hellier