I was listening to my friend S’s podcast today, and he was talking about beliefs and superstitions, and specifically mentioned a few things that have happened to him that he can’t explain. He also talked a bit about the fact that energy does not dissipate, which makes the idea of reincarnation completely possible.
Bear with me, Ghost, while I explore this a bit.
I’m not averse to the idea of unexplained phenomena. Ghosts, even ;). There are so many kinds of trace energies you can feel if you reach for them. When M and I moved out of our first place together, a 600-square foot house with a heater embedded in the floor that we had to poke with a long stick when we wanted it to work, the cinderblock bricks of which had been repurposed from a demolished women’s prison, the house quite literally began to die. We moved out because the property had been sold to someone who wanted to build a bank there, so the five or so small identical houses on the lot were going to be torn down.
We went back a few times in the two weeks following our departure to do some cleaning and gather the few things that were left there, and the immediate change was remarkable. Mold had gathered on the walls. The roof had started to leak. The house looked like it was absolutely about to cave in on itself by the end of those two weeks. We did very little maintenance while we lived there, but it was a bright little space, a perfect starter for people living together for the first time. How did the energy in that place manage to change so drastically? Did the bricks feel in their mortar that they were about to be torn asunder for a second time? Was the house grieving our departure, or its impending demise?
Today my dear friend Matt told me he is thinking about joining up with forces in Ukraine to repel Russian invaders in response to this request: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/27/ukraine-appeals-for-foreign-volunteers-to-join-fight-against-russia . This is too horrifying. His loss would be inconceivable to me. I don’t even want to think about the potential consequences.
I met Matt when I was an undergraduate at UNM, and he was a grad student. We were both in the same class, European Archaeology taught by Dr. Lawrence Strauss. Matt is gregarious and charming, and I was instantly drawn to him. But it was much, much more than that. It’s quite possibly a ghost story.
When I was first introduced to Matt by a mutual friend in the aforementioned class, I got chills like I’d never felt before. Every hair on my body stood on end when he shook my hand. I remember feeling distinctly dizzy, and like the breath had been knocked out of me a bit. I thought, “I KNOW this guy.” I couldn’t hear what he was saying properly. Before you ask, it wasn’t love or infatuation. It was something else, something so familiar that I felt I had come home. Again. And again. I had come home again.
I had come home from a very distant past to a person I’ve known absolutely FOREVER.
I had come home to someone I most assuredly once knew as a brother, as a comrade, as a warlord, possibly also at some point as a lover. It was unnerving. I felt all of these things almost immediately. I also chastised myself for being so silly at the time. Surely it wasn’t possible?
Matt is an easy friend. He will do anything for anyone. He will always, without question, have your back no matter what is going on in your life. He is one of the few people I know who seems to exist in a place where he never judges others. He is compassionate and empathetic. He is hard on himself like no one else I know, which may be his only fault. Now that I’ve known him for about 15 years (in this life), the facts are: he IS like a brother to me. He IS a warlord and comrade; he fought in the first Iraq war in 1991 and he’s been a military medic and an EMT. He IS a lover; over the years he’s treated me to songs he sings, meals he cooks, his mentorship in archaeology, and many other kindnesses I will never forget.
Back to when we met, though: after knowing him for only a short time, maybe a matter of weeks, I said to him at one point: “I feel like I’ve known you for a long time.”
He looked at me and, without hesitation, said, “Yes, I think we’ve known each other for lifetimes.”
Tell me that’s not real. Tell me that’s not our energies coming together repeatedly over the ages. Tell me my heart was not as full as it could possibly be at that moment. I get chills just thinking about it now. He had no knowledge of any of my feelings at our first meeting.
He calls me his shield maiden. It’s the most apt description I can possibly think of for the way I feel about him. Sister in life. Protector. Co-conspirator when the mood is lighter. I adore him. I would protect his interests and his convictions to the bitter end. I know he would do the same for me.
And now he’s thinking of laying his life on the line for an entire country He’s never even visited. He said to me today in a text: “I dunno. I am really pacing the floor thinking about this. My mind is not made up. It’s why I asked you – someone I would trust with my life and everything in it. You’re my Shield Maiden, but also a voice of reason.”
He says “I’m angry. And, though a lot of folks might not understand this, I think how Scotland just wants to be their own country again; free to be, and free from an English yoke. But those are MY people. Still, that’s what Ukraine wants, too, and this is unprovoked. I. Hate. Bullies.”
I told him this: “I will always have your best interests at heart. That being said, sometimes being protective of someone also means allowing them to follow their convictions. Just thinking of you so hard tonight. Please let me know what you find out and what you decide. I will have your back no matter what. I always have, and always will,”
He replied: “I know. Long before this life, and I am certain long after.”
I also encouraged him to think about the people he would be leaving behind should the very worst come to pass. He has adult kids. He has an ex-wife he still loves very much. I offered alternative ways to help, including evacuation assistance and medical support that wouldn’t put him directly on the front lines. I don’t know what else to do. Who’s to stop him? Who’s to stand in the way of his perception of honor?
Over the past decade or so Matt has been through hell and back, trying to cope with past mental traumas that have also affected his physical well-being. Who’s to stand in the way of his dedication to duty and the potential healing he’ll receive from feeling truly useful again, and making a difference? Not this shield maiden.
I love you. Matt. I love you with my whole heart, now and forever. You do you, I will love you as much in the next life as I have in all the others.