Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My eternal life

She says I have great passion for all that I believe in. She says I am very protective of and caring to those I love and will let nothing harm them. She says I am a natural romantic and have very good taste and a great sense of beauty. She says she feels I like the finer things in life and like to surround myself with things of beauty. I realize she's made a reference to beauty twice now. Makes perfect sense. She says I am very creative and like to put my ideas into action. She says I also have great psychic intuition and should try to develop this more. As I gloss over the words, I understand she's being true and authentic.

She saw me as a young woman at about the first or second century AD. I was born into a well to do noble family. At this time I was about twenty-three years of age and a wife and a mother of a young son. I was Christian. I lived in the city of Carthage in North Africa under Roman rule. I was among five other Christians condemned to death in the arena because of my religious convictions. I had been converted to Christianity after hearing about the great teachings of the man they called Jesus. My father and husband were pagans and came often to the prison bringing my infant son with them. She says they pleaded with me to renounce my religion and save my life. But I just could not. Yes, I can see aspects of myself in this woman. I feel a pull towards her. And what of those recurring dreams I have of myself with a little boy year after year? What of those recurring dreams I have of Jesus? Yes, he and I go way way back. Welcome.

My punishment by the Romans was seen as justified by the belief that as a Christian my refusal to respect and honour Rome's pagan gods provoked their wrath. Any disaster such as flood, drought or earthquake were attributed to the Christians' lack of faith in the gods and their retribution. As a Christian I was denounced as an enemy of men and the gods and therefore needed to be punished.

I was offered a pardon if I accepted the rule and dominance of the Roman gods and could throw a few grains of incense on the altar of a pagan god. She says I could not do this and accepted my fate of death in the arena. How ironic this all is, I think to myself. Both Jesus and paganism coexist in my present. I'm amazed how I've learned to integrate them both into my life, accepting both, denying neither.

She continues on with the story. Later with my four companions, who were all female, I was lead to the arena where a massive crowd had gathered. A lion and a leopard were let loose upon me and the other women. The crowd roared loudly and cheered as the animals attacked me. Lying half dead, some gladiators came into the arena and finished me off with a sword, which ended my great pain and suffering. I'm taken aback by these words, how they're suddenly imprinted on my mind and heart. That infamous sword-- revealing, telling, and appropriate. I should want to talk about this sword but something about this is too real for me, too surreal, too strange, too synchronistic so I'd rather not. I dislike the Romans. All personality, no essence. How is it possible that I could love being Italian one day and feel completely disconnected the next? Whatever the Romans were able to achieve in the past, their offspring have nothing to show for themselves today.

Now, I must explain. I did a search on the internet and wouldn't you know...a similar event took place in Carthage to a woman by the name of Perpetua, her friend Felicity and three other campanions (male). At first when I read the story, I was so bruised, wounded, and angry. I thought, 'How can she make up a story like this and think it's okay?' Seriously, is she actually telling me I could have been who is now known as St.Perpetua? Except for a few minor details, the stories are pretty much identical. So I write to her and tell her what I think. She writes me back and says I could very well have been St.Perpetua or one of her contemporaries...And this St.Perpetua...I can only wish to possess a fraction of her courage and compassion. Her name means, continual, everlasting. I too find it oddly eerie that I would title this blog, My eternal life before I even knew who St.Perpetua was.

The second time she sees me, I am a young woman who lived at around 1640 or so in a small town in Massachusetts, America. My parents and grandparents had originally crossed over the Atlantic from England to settle in the New World. Yes, the English. I'm drawn to the English, their way of life, that feeling I can not put into words and won't even try. I like it this way.

She says my family and I lived a very simple and god fearing life as Puritans. I know full well what it feels like to be god fearing. She continues. I dressed plainly, ate simple food and worked very hard looking after younger and older members of my large family. At around 18 years of age I met and fell in love with a young man. He was not from my community but was considered an outsider. My parents had arranged for me to marry a much older man who was widowed and had four small children to look after. I did not want to marry this man. I loved the young outsider and promised him I would elope with him. But my plans were found out and both me and my young lover were punished. We both received public floggings and felt physically and emotionally hurt. Yes, it would be like me to elope, to act in the name of love and truth against others who would deny me. And here again, I can see how social upbringing, societal rules, and oppression have played a major role, how they had and continue to have power over me.

She says I went on to marry the older man and bore him a further 9 children. I cringe here. Thirteen children combined? Fuck him. My marriage was loveless so I concentrated all my efforts and love into my children. Yes, this would be me too. How else could one function in a marriage like that, to give of oneself without passion or desire? I think machine. I think function. I want to throw up. She says I never forgot my young lover and vowed that I would meet up with him again some day. Of course I would say that. Just yesterday the thought entered my mind, me in my romantic notions, that I had told a special someone (unable to see his face), that we would find each other again--in some other life, some other time... That these sort of thoughts can reverberate through time is quite astonishing. I have no words to explain these feelings and again, I'd rather not try. She goes on to say that I never did meet with him as I passed away giving birth to my last child at the age of around 40. Judas Priest! Is it any wonder I have no desire to bear children?

Finally, she says she saw me as a young woman living on a small island. She feels this was an island of what is now known as Polynesia. She sees me and my family - my mother, father, grandmother and many brothers and sisters, both younger and older than me. She sees all of us helping with large fishing nets at the waters edge. It is very hot and senses the time is around 1850 or so.

Near to me with another fishing boat and net is another family group that has a young good-looking man. He is tall, has dark twinkling eyes and a lovely smile. We smile at each other shyly. The young man and I are destined to be married as both our families have arranged it.

I am nervous about marriage and worried that my new husband will be unkind to me. This worry is soon relieved as soon after marrying we fall very much in love with each other. She says I love him so much because he loves me and always puts me first. He adores me and treats me like a princess. He brings gifts of flowers and occasionally pearls that he has found while out diving. Apparently, I am never left in any doubt that he loves me with all his heart.

Now, let me interject here. I can't relate to this story at all. I don't even really like this person who is supposed to resemble me, or I resemble her? Princess? Yes, she's sweet and all but I don't resonate with her. I may be romantic but this is not the kind of romance that speaks to me. I'm no damsel in distress. I need no saving. Flowers? Pearls? You want to show me love? Let your eyes speak. Let your eyes tell a story. Let this be your gift to me. You don't have to lay your fingers on me to touch me. She's just way too happy which isn't to say that I'm not, I just feel like there's got to be some kind of loud silence that transcends time and space, that there's got to be some kind of abyss to cross that will allow me to see what's real versus what is not, what must be shed and reborn. I need to fall in order to pick myself up and realize my own power and strength.

Then she continues. She says we share a lovely life together, with plenty of food and a simple way of life. We are very happy and healthy and I give birth to 5 children – all girls and I love motherhood. I enjoy looking after my girls and teach them many things. Both my husband and I go on to see many grandchildren born and even great grandchildren as we both live to good ages.

It doesn't matter to me whether the above is true. I'll take what I can from it and I have. This reading tells me what I already know of myself. Love, passion, kindness, beauty, creativity and personal conviction rule. To be able to stand for what I believe in even, especially in the face of opposition is how I build character and relay essence. I don't always put them first through action but I can see that my happiness, my freedom rests here among the sublime and the real. I understand, I will never be more than I am if I undermine these. And I have and sometimes do undermine these aspects of myself. I am boundless and limitless. Everything I see in the world is a reflection of me and I of the world. I won't be writing for a while...maybe a week. I've got to tend to my auto harp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It doesn't matter to me whether the above is true. I'll take what I can from it and I have."

touche. now that's an open mind.