Sunday, November 2, 2014

The end of the haunting.

I heard live music last night - bluegrass. Fun.

Yesterday at last I broke free of the haunting.

Oh yeah. I've been haunted by my ancestors, especially in the last few weeks. I knew it on some level, that I - and even my friends - were channeling something not quite right. And there were the mystical experiences. I kind of got it, but still, until I put away the ancestral pictures yesterday, I didn't have the right words to describe what I've been doing. After I cleaned up the ancestor altar and put the pictures in a drawer, the mist cleared. I've been haunted. Good lord.

It isn't the first time I've been haunted. During my years with the Civil War soldiers, I was haunted then, too. Oh my. With the dead soldiers, as with the dead ancestors, I wished desperately to send healing back to them. I wanted to help, but what happened was I got sucked into the energy, not intentionally, even with the Civil War guys. I was pretty ambitious back then. Also much more grandiose than I am now. Let's see - the Holocaust vs. Reya - who will prevail? The Civil War vs. Reya?  It was like Bambi Meets Godzilla. I had to try, but for heaven's sake. I got in over my head.

Well, I'm not the first, nor will I be the last person to experience a haunting. I believe on some level, the people who are passionately devoted to battle reenactments are haunted by the same ghosts I kept company with during the early 2000s. Same goes for Hasidic communities; I mean, they're haunted by the Holocaust dead. Some are more intensely haunted than others of course. The books of remembrance about old shtetl culture mention hauntings all the time.

I always tell students that it's not healthy to hang out too much with the Dead. A little convo here and there is great for us, inspiring and a little scary, an awakening to the preciousness of life - or it can be - but, too much time spent with the Dead is draining. Look at anyone who hangs out with the Dead all the time, including funeral people of course, but also those who work in morgues, cemeteries, forensic doctors, that sort of thing. They may be the nicest people you ever met, lively, too, but there is a gray gloom around all of them. There is.

Of course it is the destiny of some people to care for the Dead. Somebody has to do it. I'm grateful, though I sometimes feel sad when I notice the impact of over exposure.

In fact for the last few weeks I've had that gray gloom all around me. I noticed I haven't been taking many selfies. I look off in these pictures, not quite myself. Well. I have not been. I haven't felt well, it's no wonder I haven't looked so good.

It's over now, though. As soon as I put the ancestral photos away (with love and respect) - that was yesterday - I felt better, more energetic, cheerful, curious and not so damn worried. What a relief! Whew.

Farewell, fine gazing globe.

It's cold in DC today, very windy. In fact the wind blew hard enough to knock my green gazing globe off its stand. It shattered into a million pieces, a great lesson in impermanence. It wasn't cheap and you would think I would be mad or sad that it broke, but I felt not a second of sadness. I've had one foot in the next world for a few weeks. I've been halfway through the looking glass. The gazing globe falling and breaking is, to me, a signal that I'm back on the right side of the mirror. The portal to the wormhole of history is closed.

L'chaim, y'all. Carpe diem. Be here now. Shalom.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your gazing globe -- but thank goodness when it broke you were on the correct side of the mirror. :) It's got to be draining spending so much time with past tragedies.

    1. Seems to be part of my destiny, but I'm out of that now for the time being. L'chaim!

  2. perhaps it was the final door slam of the ghosts departing.

  3. I don't know who my ancestors were. I only occasionally imagine them & invent stories about their likely hardships. I don't know if imagining & being haunted is the same thing. It seems like when I imagine something I am quite purposeful, almost like an art project. Haunting seems different.