The videos I find on Youtube of Point Reyes Station don’t really ring many bells, but this place certainly does:
It’s called Sculpture Beach, and it feels very familiar. I seem to remember being down there, alone, wearing a blue short-sleeve button-up shirt, smoking a cigarette and lost in thought- or occasionally, with a lady friend though it feels like that was longer ago; by ’63 I think it was a lonely place for me. Seems my lady friend had a small red car, but I think this was long before Kathy; I think this one might have been foreign, like an early US-model Opel or something like that.
Add that to the stack of memories from the Point Reyes Station years I would really like to confirm if the chance ever comes.
Last night, I had a dream that was largely nonsensical, but there was one element that stands out.
In the dream, my fiance said the word “army” with a heavy Somerset accent (maybe he was trying to talk like a pirate?). Just hearing the word “army” said that way triggered something undoubtedly past-life related within me and soured my mood. It left me feeling unpleasant even after I had woken up.
What else? I seem to remember there was also a moment going to one of those small, mid-century grocery stores with tall glass fronts that were still common in my childhood (but seem to be vanishing now that everything’s gone to big-box retail). The usual colorful kiddie rides and candy vending machines were out front. I wonder if that means anything? It was a lot like the Piggly-Wiggly in Goose Creek, SC that we would shop at if we were down that way when I was young.
Beyond that, the dream made no sense whatsoever and I’m still in a hazy, dreamlike state (probably because I took something for anxiety right before bed… I hate what those pills do to me though so I rarely take them).
It seems I may have memories of the ancient world after all.
Recall a while back, I described a Greek or Roman ritual in which cattle were herded toward a temple past burning braziers and performers beating bronze gongs shaped like cow skins.
After asking a history professor (without saying I suspected this to be a past life), I was told that this sounded like a type of sacrifice known as a Hecatomb, which was a very common sort of sacrifice made in the Greco-Roman world on special occasions, such as before an important battle or during times when the state was in turmoil.
What I cannot find is a firsthand source that describes the ritual in great detail, let alone any source that describes these gongs. It is important to keep in mind that bronze ritual items from ancient Greece and Rome are rare, since they were inevitably pilfered and melted down to make coinage, new ritual items, or statues of conquerors.
This one might be hard to confirm fully by sheer lack of evidence, but it’s interesting that it sounds at least plausible.
My writing before 2012 feels so stunted and immature now.
It’s weird how much the jolt I got from the prospect of past lives changed my work. I think the only marvel in my written work over the span of time between 2004 and 2014 is the abrupt shift into a more mature style that occurred around the middle of last year
For those who haven’t had a chance to go through my backlog of posts all the way through, yhe one past life I’d most like to brag about remembering is that of William Longespee, the Third Earl of Salisbury. Unsuprisingly, this is the life I am most eager to gather information on, but Count William lived in an age where very few fucks were given about the deeds of royal retainers. If we were with a king, we got mentioned. If we revolted against a king or defected from one king to another, we got mentioned. I just happened to do both; beyond that, the resources on the actual daily lives of medieval nobility are few and far between.
I was once told that in my first novel, the characters don’t behave like medieval nobility, and I kind of internalized that. But what I’ve never done is had a knowledgeable medievalist look at my work because a few people- most of them with some amateur interest in history- actually really enjoyed my work.
I guess maybe the fear of ridicule has kept me from doing so. How do you start that conversation? “Hey, I think I may have been this guy in a past life, wanna take a look?” And even if I did find one who took me seriously, how would I make it worth their while to look at someone like me without becoming a freak to be examined, or a “Ms. X” in their case studies?
But supposing there was some clue in the characters I created, their dialog, interactions, or my descriptions of medieval life and combat that went beyond what someone with my background (a very casual student of history who seldom reads outside of course assignments and has not studied Historic European Martial Arts… yet) might be expected to know? What if it’s more than just weird circumstantial things, which is all I can come up with?
I want to know… I just wish there was a way to do this.
Curious about what it might stir up for me, I listened to some songs from 1948 (the year Phil married Jeanette).
The two songs I listened to were “Now Is The Hour” performed by Bing Crosby, and “Nature Boy” performed by Nat King Cole.
I didn’t get any memories, but I got a strong, uncomfortable sense of familiarity from these songs. I was not expecting to feel so anxious at all.
I have a weird feeling that a lot of things happened during that time that nobody ever spoke of. I’m still feeling really uncomfortable, actually. I’d heard music from this era before (I certainly knew artists like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Dinah Shore, etc) but it has never made me feel this uneasy.
I finally found a French account of William Longespee’s capture at the Battle of Bouvines.
Indeed, the Bishop of Beauvais, having seen the brother of the King of the English, a man of incredible strength whom the English had on this account nicknamed “Longsword,” overthrow the men of Dreux and do great harm to his brother’s battalion, the bishop became unhappy, and since by chance he happened to have a mace in his hand, hiding his identity of bishop, he hits the Englishman on the top of the head, shatters his helmet, and throws him to the ground forcing him to leave on it the imprint of his whole body. And, since the author of such a noble deed could not remain unnoticed, and since a bishop should not be known to have carried arms, he tries to hide as much as possible and gives orders to John, whom Nesle obeys by the right of his ancestors, to put the warrior in chains and to receive the prize for the deed. Then the bishop, throwing down several more men with his mace, again renounces his titles of honor and his victories in favor of other knights so as not to be accused of having done work unlawful for a priest, as a priest is never allowed to be present at such encounters since he must not desecrate either his hands or his eyes with blood. It is not forbidden, however, to defend oneself and one’s people provided that this defense does not exceed legitimate limits.
-The Philippiad of William of Breton, Song XI, verses 538-58
Actually I’m rather amused now because it loosely parallels what happens to a character in one of my more recent books, though that wasn’t my intention.