When I get to California this summer, I intend to take every opportunity for closure with my apparent previous life.
For one thing, I’m going to visit places I knew. Point Reyes Station, San Rafael, and Berkeley are all on the itinerary.
For another, I plan to have what I guess could be termed a memorial service for my earlier life. I’ll go out to the cliffs along the California coast with a boom box and play “Da Stiegen Die Menschen Als Licht” from Beethoven’s “Cantata on the Death of Joseph II” and watch the sun set over the ocean.
I already feel the need for this more strongly than I have since the memories broke. I think my recent trip to San Jose- a place I’m sure I had been to at least on occasion during that life- has really only made the pull of these places I knew from the late 30s to the early 70s that much more irresistible.
It’s time to start letting go and moving on. I have learned a lot from my previous life but I can’t write in the same voice or see the world through the same eyes, because too much has happened since then.
Incidentally, my next book should be out some time around the 33rd anniversary of Phil’s stroke; the significance of the number is not lost on me.
This photo, of a hop warehouse in Poperinghe, gave me shivers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poperinge#mediaviewer/File:Hopmuseum_Poperinge_1.jpg
Not so with photos of Toc H (also in Pop). I felt I might have given the place a passing look but it didn’t really resonate the same way.
Also, I found a regimental diary for the 2nd KSLI online, finally, and… I’m going to have to wait until I can burn roughly $5 on something I don’t need for classes. Damn. Still, I think this one only contains troop movements and the like. The log I’m really looking for- the one likely to tell what actually happened to John the night he died (and I’m almost certain it was at night)- may not exist any more, or maybe it will surface as Europe continues to mark the Centenary of WWI until 2018.
This really is a remarkable time to find myself alive. It’s an age where I can finally start putting the pieces together in such a way that now, pretty much everything from 1877 to the present fits a tight narrative that flows neatly with no gaps of more than 15 years between documentable lives. I can look back in time now and watch myself evolve in a multimedia slide show of the highs and lows of the Twentieth Century and see how I rode them, all the way.
I’m posting this for the benefit of anyone who has had experiences similar to mine, namely that of having had possible memories of a past life as a soldier in the First World War.
I want to get as many of us together as we can (doesn’t matter what side you were on) to attend the Last Post at Ypres on the 100th anniversary of the first battle there.
I don’t want to have any sort of flag or banner or anything like that to identify us. I don’t want to make it a spectacle because that would be considered disrespectful. Maybe at most wear a poppy. The important thing isn’t that the world knows we’re there, but that we know why we’re there. I think it may be a healing experience for a lot of us who still feel the scars of what happened.
I certainly don’t want to be the only one at the Last Post. I couldn’t handle that alone, not when I know there are others out there who remember because they died out there too.
If I can’t get at least three of us, I don’t plan to go. But wouldn’t it be grand to have us all muster into The Last Division to answer the post and finally get some closure?