Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering



In the Reyaverse, reincarnation involves sets of similar lifetimes, meant to help us work through various issues. By "us" I mean, the soul. One lifetime spent in a particular pursuit isn't enough to really get the wisdom at a soul level. Human life is brief, while the life of the soul is infinite.

I remember (or believe I remember) a long series of lives as a foot soldier. These lives took place a long time ago, way before warfare and weapons were sophisticated, long before battles were precisely planned or strategic. Being a soldier - such as I was, at the bottom of the warrior hierarchy - had to do only with the survival instinct of the clan or tribal soul. I can't remember thinking about what was right or wrong, or which side should win. I don't even think I was afraid. I remember the shuffling of feet and the silence before the fighting began. I remember doing as I was told while dust swirled. I remember chaos and shouting. I remember: swing something heavy, swing something heavy, die - at the hand of someone much more skilled than I. Not my proudest past lifetime moments.

It happened time and again. I believe at some point my soul decided to move on to something else. Thank you, God!



The above is not a great picture. It's the Women in Vietnam memorial on the National Mall. I couldn't force myself to go to the wall yesterday, but I did spend some time with this statue. That woman, holding the dying soldier? It strikes a chord.

I am currently engaged in a series of reincarnations as a healer. I remember several lives in which I served as a military nurse. I remember particularly the Civil War and WWI. What that woman in the sculpture is doing, I did that a lot. Soothing, wiping the brow, cleaning the wounds, holding a cup of nasty water so they could drink. I remember the smell, heat and/or cold. It was never comfortable.

I remember closing the eyes when the soldiers died, pulling a sheet over the face and moving on to someone still suffering. The soldiers died miserable deaths in both wars, as often from infection and the flu as from their grisly wounds. What I remember from those lives is feeling helpless and resigned. I was no Walt Whitman, believe me! I remember going through the motions without hope that anything could bring the guys back to good health. And they were so young. So young!

In my current incarnation, it took until mid-life to remember my calling as healer. I resisted it as best I could. The story I tell myself is that I couldn't do it again, or so I thought. I just couldn't. I hated being a military nurse. Did it build character? You tell me.

It was remarkable to take back the role of healer so late in this life. It was a soul retrieval to be sure. In this life I don't tend to ailing soldiers very often, thank god! - though I have on occasion since living in DC, such as when a group of us worked at Walter Reed at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I couldn't continue doing that work, though, because I became fiercely ill the day after, every time. Finally, I stopped. I do work on members of the military, but rarely is it someone who has seen action. When I do work with these guys, it's harrowing. Still!

Today I remember with love those who engage in war: the brave, the smart, and the not so smart. (I remember what that's like.)

May your souls rest in peace, all you heroes and all of you who could never be heroes. Rest easy now, ok? Please?

Shalom.


4 comments:

Susan Carpenter Sims said...

Hmm... so much I want to touch on here. First of all, in the Reyaverse, wouldn't it be Reyincarnation? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

I've always been intrigued but dubious when it comes to the concept of reincarnation. I like the idea that there was a me in other lifetimes, but I've never really explored that because of said dubiousness.

I guess early on I developed the theory that there is only one infinite soul, and that when you die, your little "piece" of that goes back into the soul soup, so that the next incarnation could be part "you" and part someone else. And yet, I do have certain resonances, that could be called memories, like what you speak of here. In fact, I have a similar sense of identification with the life of a soldier that you've described.

Reya Mellicker said...

Reyincarnation! Wow!

I doubt everything. The idea of reincarnation resonates for me. May I add I'm not the first person to think this way.

I don't try to understand. I use the language. it works in the Reyaverse, but doesn't have to work in the Susanverse.

There are many truths.

Pam said...

Yesterday I was scrolling through South Australian soldiers war records and official photographic portraits from WW1 - we were such a young underpopulated country and couldn't afford to lose so many of our young naive men anxious to 'see the world', shiny bright with their desire to sign up and fight for their country - gardeners, farm labourers and librarians blasted away in the muddy fields never to return.
I found photos of my ancestors and those of my husband, beautiful photos - our family all returned.
I found someone completely unrelated to us, "Walter Vernon Chase" whose family lived in a little house my husband and I bought when we were aged in our early twenties. I couldn't believe the coincidence of the address. He died and never came home. Now I want to find a photo of that little cottage we lived in once, and place his photo next to it. I don't know how I ended up in the alphabetical 'C' section of my search but it was obviously meant to be!!

Reya Mellicker said...

You were well guided, Pam. Maybe by your dad?