Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why? - and other questions



Why in the world did the Fates lead me, thirty-two years ago today, to an intersection outside of Aloha, Oregon? Why did destiny arrange things so that I drove across that intersection at precisely the "perfect" moment to be rammed - twice - by a Southern Pacific freight train? Why? I didn't hear the train's horn (listening to Running on Empty, cranked up to eleven, at that moment. Honestly you can not plan for things like that.) There were no bells, bars or anything marking the intersection except a sign that said "Don't park on the tracks."

Good advice!

Over time I managed to draw so many lessons from that experience. For instance, it was after I was discharged from the hospital that I sought out my first alternative medical practitioner, an osteopath named Paula Eschtruth. It was she who brought me back to physical health and set me on the path of healing. She was amazing and I am so grateful to have found her!

Being knocked upside the head by a freight train is a perfect example of the way in which shamans are called to their vocation. There's always something - illness, injury, accident, insanity ... come to think of it, I suffered from every one of these on my way into shamanism. I had the knack for healing, and for my brand of mysticism, for as long as I can remember, but I didn't understand any of it consciously until I was well into my thirties. I used my healing energy to make myself sick, so as to avoid school or work. I was pretty good at giving myself a raging fever. (Why??) I dumbed down my mysticism by drinking, smoking pot, and doing as many drugs as possible. Until I got out of that stupor, I couldn't even remember my dreams, much less connect to the world of spirit. Whew.

To answer a couple of questions from yesterday, Steven, how is it helpful to remember past lives? It's interesting, something to do while waiting for the train, yes? And too, it gives me a persective from which to take all of this - you know - this life not as seriously as I might otherwise. It helps me focus on my soul's purpose. When I'm working on my soul's purpose, I experience a sublime satisfaction. I find it extremely helpful.

Jo, I didn't know anything about my past lives when I was a child, nor did I know I was a healer. My familial label was "the pretty one." (Why? My sisters are very beautiful.) I suspect they chose "pretty" because they couldn't think of anything else to say, since I was also "the weak and wimpy one." Sitting in my room, reading and re-reading that book about the WWI nurse's execution, or the chapter in "Little Women" in which Beth dies, weeping, hiding as much as possible (fearful that I would be imprisoned, starved and killed), all those behaviors were interpreted by my family as indicators of my lack of courage. With no connection to my big ole history, without a way to explain my odd behavior, I was seen as weird, and a pain in the ass. When my mother explained about how I knew when she had a headache, you could tell this fact creeped her out.

Past-life memories began coming to me shortly after the train hit me. One of my great teachers explained that the train wreck opened a hole in my energy field so these revelations could come into my consciousness.

I promise to answer more questions, and also to talk more about my strategy and preparation for the trip to Krakow, but for now, enough - eh? I think so. Here is the first of my offerings to Bridgid, a beautiful poem posted in 2007 by my dear brother Hammer of the now defunct blog, Throwing Hammers. Man I loved that blog. Love the man behind the blog. Love this poem. Much love to all. Happy February! L'chaim.

Mind

The slow overture of rain,
each drop breaking
without breaking into
the next, describes
the unrelenting, syncopated
mind. Not unlike
the hummingbirds
imagining their wings
to be their heart, and swallows
believing the horizon
to be a line they lift
and drop. What is it
they cast for? The poplars,
advancing or retreating,
lose their stature
equally, and yet stand firm,
making arrangements
in order to become
imaginary. The city
draws the mind in streets,
and streets compel it
from their intersections
where a little
belongs to no one. It is
what is driven through
all stationary portions
of the world, gravity's
stake in things, the leaves,
pressed against the dank
window of November
soil, remain unwelcome
till transformed, parts
of a puzzle unsolvable
till the edges give a bit
and soften. See how
then the picture becomes clear,
the mind entering the ground
more easily in pieces,
and all the richer for it.

--Jorie Graham


24 comments:

ellen abbott said...

I think knowing something about your (the plural you) past lives helps you understand things about your present life. At least for me. I have a hard time with self forgiveness and a past life regression helped me understand that. I'm better about it now but it is something I still have to work on.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Wow Reya, you really must have been blocked if you needed to get hit by a darn train to open up! I can see why you love the poem, it's wonderful.

Vicki said...

Reya~ you are so beautiful inside and out! There are so many layers to learn. Just a wonderful post!

Vicki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Vicki and yeah, Ellen, I agree completely. Context always helps.

YES Jeanette I was a seething, blocked, angry person when that train hit me. Kind of did me a favor - in a way.

The Pollinatrix said...

I had no idea you were ever hit by a train - that is pretty monumental.

I've never been one to muse much about past lives, but I like your explanation about it here. We are creatures of story, and the stories we choose to live inside either help us focus on our life purpose, or drag us away from it.

And speaking of dreams - when I read the line about the hummingbirds in that poem, I suddenly remembered part of a dream I had last night, in which I had a hummingbird hanging around me, sitting on my shoulder and such. I won't say the memory hit me like a train, but it definitely jolted me with inspiration.

Reya Mellicker said...

Hummingbirds are always bringers of good news, sweet news, magic and beauty.

Hammer said...

Stumbled onto this clip a little while ago. This seems the perfect place to share it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euH3N7WfHp0

Can't believe you dug that poem up from the weather-beaten walls of my old place. Thanks for the kind words. See ya 'round, stargazer.

Jo said...

Some of us take very direct routes on the paths we're meant to follow, and some of us take a more circuitous route. As long as we arrive where we are meant to be, it's our choice how we get there.

You have taken an interesting and scenic route to the place where you now find yourself. That can never be a bad thing.

Still, I wish the train hadn't had to push you onto your true path so insistently.

More when you find the time, please.

Reya Mellicker said...

Hammer I'm over my stomach flu. Let's get together.

lacochran's evil twin said...

"To answer a couple of questions from yesterday, Steven, how is it helpful to remember past lives? It's interesting, something to do while waiting for the train, yes?"

I'd like to believe you won't be waiting for another train, at least not in that way, again.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ha ha! Laura, I didn't see it ... what an eye you have!

Natalie said...

LOVED this post, Reya.
It explains some of things that I couldn't piece together. Pretty? Pretty gorgeous I'd say, and courageous too.

Reya Mellicker said...

Natalie! Thank you so much!! Wow.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yikes! rammed by a train - and twice! that definitely could release a lot of energy and power if it doesn't kill one.

tragedy and close brushes are amazing in what they can do for us when we let them ....

namaste sweet beautiful reya.

steven said...

reya - thanks for thinking about my questions. the existence of past lives is something that i've been aware of through readings and the work of friends and while i connect through that part of my knowing that is described by incarnation, i haven't identified my soul's purpose with the surface features of the existences it may have occupied. to be truthful, i worry that focussing on those surface details might muddy the path, even colour the work i'm intended for.
but ..... what do i know? 'cause i plain and simple don't know.
while i can see how knowing previous lives could help clarify the surface features of my present existence. it's the deep mapping i'm really drawn to. i'm very interested in moving beyond the murk of personality, neuroses, inclinations towards self-abuse, not being able to forgive myself, carrying the weight of histories and so on. i'm also very interested in accessing (among other things) the pure reality that expresses itself in redemption, goodness, and grace. i believe that this is best achieved by letting go of connection to the surface as an end in itself and seeing it as a beginning, a signpost, an indicator of the riches that lie below.
reya, it's thrilling that this sort of dialogue and the comments that are accruing to it can exist. i am a work in progress and ask for the understanding of all who might read this as i write these words in the trust that i am attempting to articulate something that truly . . . has no words. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven you know exactly what you are doing! We're both after the same thing. Different strokes for different folks, eh?

I still think you've been an angel in past lives. It's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Linda said...

Ah, the Brigid poem is your brothers'! It is a great poem and it so speaks to the unfolding of the journey about which you and Stephen struggle to find words. I am so sorry to hear about the trains. Huge Ouch! =(

To me, you are a person who knows what people are all about down to their soul. You have a gift of insightfulness. I think of Steven angelically. It may be because of his peaceful, direct way of writing.

I do not know how to say anything about your trip to Poland. I have read all of your recent blogs and I am at a loss for words. In my brain all the words sound trite and insignificant. I only hope the trip works out to be even a little bit of what you want it to be.

My daughter married into a family of Polish people who had never been to Poland until Wally went there last fall. Wally's dad was born in a concentration camp. They came to Canada when the war ended. There was nothing left in Poland.

You have a beautiful soul that shines outwardly Reya. Wishing you love, peace and joy.

Meri said...

I love this glimpse into your interior life and your amazing journey. I posted a poem to honor Brigid, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to put it on the Facebook community page. I'm a Facebook wimp.

Val said...

just loving all your blog posts Reya - they massage my brain. Can i come with you to Poland in your pocket?

Reya Mellicker said...

Val, I WISH you could be there!

Meri I'll swing by and see your poem tomorrow. Yay!!

And Linda, it's so wonderful to have come to know you, especially through Facebook. Because of Barry and you, I feel like a part of your family. Thank you so much for all your wonderful thoughts and words. Tiny hearts!!

Kerry said...

What a beautiful poem. I always love it when you post something like this. I must be mindful to "soften my edges;" that's good advice, always. Surviving a train wreck is truly epic and hard to fathom, but wow, I'm glad you came out of it and went down the path that you did. It seems meant-to-be.

Pam said...

Glad you are still with us Reya after that scarey experience with a train! Your post made me do a bit of research.
If you have a spare moment, and are interested perhaps you could google Bethany Barossa Valley where I nearly lost my life this time not 37, but 27 years ago at this time, at a rail crossing along Bethany Road. It's criminal how badly signposted it is out in that particular Australian countryside, no boom gates, and at the time no flashing lights. In one direction you can see for miles, in the other direction, trees and a bend hide an oncoming train from view. Perhaps the fact that I just made it over the line,(after checking a clear view for miles) before the train bore down from the bend,means I never will be as psychically open as you, but I'm not complaining! I believe the line is closed now.
Like Kerry said, surviving a train encounter is truly epic. If your not up for the search I won't blame you - could hardly do it myself!

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam I will DEFINITELY google the place of your near meet with destiny. Clearly you did not need to be hit twice by a train in order to be open. Wow. What crazy synchronicity! Amazing.