Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vince



Disclaimer follows post.

He comes to visit me these days when I'm feeling sad, when I'm missing my old dog (who died exactly four weeks ago today). Sometimes he sits on the couch. More often he lies on the bed next to me, staring at the ceiling, talking.

He's a young soldier, maybe 18 or 19. He has short blond hair, fair skin with a few adolescent blemishes, squarish face, dark eyes. His frame is boxy though his arms and legs are skinny. He has an accent, maybe W. Virginia or a bit further west - Tennessee or Kentucky? It's not the soft, classy drawl of upper class coastal southerners. He calls himself "Vince" and addresses me as "ma'am" even though I've told him that is not necessary.

Apparently Vince has been a soldier in many of his lifetimes, always (so far) on the losing side of the conflict. He has never been an officer or anyone removed from the front lines. This life pattern is so ingrained in him that by comparison, life as a dog was a "pass" as he says. He says it was so easy, he was amazed every day that he never had to worry about being hungry, thirsty, about being too hot or too cold or overworked in any way. Even so, he's not too interested in being a dog again. His goal is to rebirth as a soldier on the winning side of a war. I guess that's a worthy ambition. I guess.



Vince tells me that dying by way of an anesthetic overdose was "a rush," and "beats hell out of" dying on a battlefield, thirsty and bleeding, in horrible pain or numb, listening for hours, sometimes even days, to the moans and groans of the dying soldiers around him. Better than dying of the flu, or from wound infections in fly infested field hospitals, too. Dying by anesthetic overdose was like water skiing, he tells me. Strange comparison, don't you think?

When the sadness abates, or I get sleepy, he always looks at me carefully for a minute or two. Then he says, "Goodbye, ma'am," and fades away. That Vince is so sweet.

Disclaimer: I'll be the first to admit that this might be all in my imagination, or that it's a psychological technique my unconscious is using to unwind from losing my one and only dog. Since I deal with dead soldiers all the time, I prefer to think it's "real" but please remember I'm a bit looser with my definition of that idea than most. Don't worry - I'm no further off the deep end than usual. Really. I'm OK.

32 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Real or figment...what's the lesson?

Jake had a good life and died water skiing. What a rush! No fear and full of love.

I wonder, though, why Vince is so drawn to the life of a soldier.

Reya Mellicker said...

Stranger still is why I'm so drawn to soldiers since I am the biggest pacifist you have ever met in your life.

Yes, yes. Real or figment doesn't matter, does it? Thanks, Ellen.

tut-tut said...

I could look at these photographs all day . . .

Reya Mellicker said...

I couldn't stop photographing those clouds. Incredible ... the proverbial silver lining! Except it was gold. Wow.

Expat From Hell said...

Filled with insight and creativity. A visit from a soldier. Why I should I be surprised with you? Great stuff, great dialogue, great food for thought.

You continue to show me the way forward by showing the way inward.

EFH

steven said...

i love the movement of clouds across reya's sky, appearing, separating the sky into cloud and light, and then into sunburst! steven

Mary said...

I love that Vince is with you....there is some comfort there. And- the second photo of this fabulous set totally has a dog profile in the middle.

Hammer said...

I can't get past how the cloud edge in the second one looks like some seriously badass lightning.

The ghosts that talk to me while taking some kind of physical form are all relatives, but their ages are all wonky. They're either much younger or much older than I ever knew them in real life. I am not making this up. It's the goddamndest thing...

willow said...

Yes, real or fiction, it doesn't matter, but I'm fascinated, nonetheless.

The Bug said...

I really love this story - & am planning to treat it as "real" because I want it to be! I listen to books on tape & the previous one & current one both have ghosts in them. And on another blog I read the author is talking about her house being haunted. I'm fascinated! My new house has no aura about it at all (and I'm probably not the most receptive person anyway), but I wonder if I'm about to encounter my own other presence?

Steve said...

Wow! Obviously Vince is real to you, on some level, and that's real enough, isn't it? The ways we cope are truly fascinating.

Deborah said...

photos are magnificent

all my love

JC said...

Do you actually see him or is it while you are napping ? Or, do you just sense his presence ... while you are awake ?

(I watch the the show .. Medium ... and I've seen a few of the shows with John Edward )

Either way, I'm not sure I'd want to some back and battle but that must have been when he felt the most connected and the happiest.

lakeviewer said...

What a beautiful explanation to calm and soothe the spirit.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I liked how this story made me feel. More at peace and I could tell for you too, more peaceful...

blonderthanyou said...

love love love this...& you of course..
xoxo

Dan Gurney said...

Any "wall" between "the real world" and "imaginary worlds" is far more permeable than we imagine them to be.

California Girl said...

Actually, I think that is a lovely way to see things. I don't have visions. I rather envy you that. I do have a strong intuition but it's not the same. You must find this particular experience very comforting, especially the part about the anesthetic.

Nancy said...

I never see anyone. Having a Vince would be nice.

Ronda Laveen said...

Messages come how they need to come. I'm glad he told you how it felt to disappear by anesthesia. Say hello to Vince for me when you see him again.

Elizabeth said...

I think dying once would be quite sufficient for me.
Weird little mini-poster round here lately
'GOD HAS A PLAN TO KILL ME'
It's comforting in its odd way.

I'm glad Vince feel able to confide in you.

Jeninacide said...

How nice of Vince to visit you. I believe that is a huge blessing!

Liza Ursu said...

Jake speaks! I'm con"vince"d.
Thanks for the beautiful photos.
Expat your words were touching. "You continue to show me the way forward by showing the way inward." What a beautiful thing to say. That brought tears to my eyes.
PS - My heart goes out to your sister.

karen said...

Stunning photos! Vince is fascinating... I enjoyed your last post, too, about blog clans, and am loving the little tributes to Jake in the side bars, of course x

Reya Mellicker said...

con"vince"d ??? Liza! WOW! Thanks.

Hammer, I knew you would get this.

I "see" things that are not always visible. I see them in my mind's eye. For those who think they can't see, but would like to, all you need to do is open your mind, draw some healthy boundaries, and then practice. I'll show anyone who wants to how to do it.

When I "see" and "hear" Vince, I am in al altered state of consciousness, what in the shaman world we call "trance state." Everyone knows this place, somewhere between being asleep and awake. Lots of people go into trance on elevators - you know, you get to the floor where you're headed and can't remember the ride but were captivated by your own thoughts? Many people trance out while they drive, don't remember the drive at all because they were "somewhere else." That really freaks me out. While driving, pay attention!! Please!

Thanks to all for receiving my vision with such open minds and hearts. Really, thanks.

Reya Mellicker said...

I love this. Just looked up "Vincent" - it means "to conquer" which is exactly what he's been telling me he wants to do next time around.

St. Vincent is celebrated by vintners, so I approve of that (I love nice wine).

His celebration day is November 11 - Veterans Day in the U.S. so that sure fits the soldier persona.

Wow.

Just me said...

I think it's beautiful.

Meri said...

Looks like normal to me. But then, you'll understand why when you see my post tomorrow.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Reya,

When you see Vince please tell him Thank You for me. I think he is there trying to make you happy and I really appreciate him doing this. He is also there to protect you and to help you to understand that Jake is just fine. Maybe Jake sent him, but either way someone up there loves you and is trying to take care of you.

It is totally awesome that they want to protect you and make you happy. So go with the flow and I think you will be okay. They love you and so going with them is great, they know what will help.

God bless my friend and know that we all love you too. I will try to send my spirits to help you too. I haved prayed to them to go there and protect you and help you. Let me know if they do this. I will have to have some talks with them.

God bless to all who are trying to help Reya, my prayers are for you two. Thank you for helping her.

Pauline said...

even when we're living in the "real" world, we're living in our imaginations. This post brings to mind the Anais Nin quote: "We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are."

The photos are amazing!

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, you are well blessed indeed. My first thought when Vince mentioned he had been a dog was similar to that of Liza Ursu.

Phoenix said...

Coming to terms with a dear loss isn't easy... that there is a Vince who cares is enough.. real or figment doesn't matter. What we call real is in the mind.. and what we imagine is driven by reality.
The photographs are awesome.. yeah, the golden lining indeed!