Well, one of the phrases in the title of my blog is “Past Lives”, and I’m inclined to actually shed some light on that. I usually am very selective in who I tell about this, as most people seem to think you’re either crazy or silly. I am a firm believer in reincarnation. And by firm, I mean that there is no doubt in my mind. I’ve had too many strange coincidences for me to believe that we appear only once on this great world. When I was a very young child, I began drawing dragons. And not simple S shapes with legs and fire, but sophisticated Chinese dragons. My mom wanted to know where I had seen them before, but I informed her that they came from my head, from something that just appeared there in a flash. These sorts of things have happened my whole life. I went to a festival once where they shot off a ceremonial cannon, and for a few seconds I wasn’t in the present. I was running across a smokey field, wearing a dirty old uniform that seemed like something from the 17th or 18th century. I see men to my left running with me. I can smell the smoke, blood and piss. Then I was back, and no one around me was aware of what I had just experienced. At a firing range once, when the rhythm of the guns shooting was just right, I was laying in the woods, holding my side as blood was gushing out of it, and the pain was horrible. When I came back from that one, it felt like someone had hit me in the hipbone with a ball-peen hammer and continued to hurt for a long time afterwards. Once I was in my room playing a computer game, and I could hear the TV playing a scene where there was a swordfight. All of a sudden, I was at the edge of a clearing, fighting my way into the edge of the wood through a line of men with shields and armor. The battle raged all around me, and I tripped on a root. I can still taste the dirt and blood as vividly now as I did in that moment.
So, this is why I don’t tell many people. Every day is like I’m not here. I live as much in the past as I do in the present, and people don’t understand that. It can be something as simple as the shape of a hill, and I’m suddenly remembering charging Goths, or Huns, or Romans coming down a similar hillside. It’s really no wonder that I became a historian.
Anyways, I wanted to share this link. It came on NPR a year or two ago, and the first time I heard it I could do nothing but listen transfixed. I saw myself entering Jerusalem, and climbing a high hill. Falling to my knees and holding my sword as a cross. I remembered more of that life than any of the others, and it was because of this song. I remember the glory of the City, of being where Christ had died, and how short-lived that glory was. We had to leave that land in defeat and shame. How I escaped, I don’t know. But I remember a return to safe lands, and remembering until the last of my life the glory of entering the City. (I’d like to add here, for the record, that I am not an especially religious man, and not exactly Christian, either. So don’t mistake this for zealous ranting. It’s honestly the way I feel from back in those times. I’ve probably worshiped everything under the sun in some lives, so I’m religiously complicated at best.) It isn’t a neat, orderly assemblage of memories, or anywhere near complete. But every time I listen to this song, I remember something new. And, most importantly, I remember those feelings. So rarely do we feel so strongly, nowadays. That’s why this song is important to me. I hear those feelings with it. Awe, beauty, glory and wonder. But behind all of it, an overwhelming sorrow. That at much I can feel. Because no matter how much I remember, I can never go back to those old days. And I will never remember all of them. With each flash I get, I think of those ones that will never have the opportunity to pop up. It’s like watching a part of your soul die forgotten. Except that you don’t even remember enough to mourn it properly.
So, there’s an inkling of what I feel on the subject. I only have one follower, so I doubt my thoughts will be judged too harshly.