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It’s an interesting thing.

All the energy that is expelled out into the atmosphere on New Year’s Eve, with all the whooping and hollering. All the jumping around and kissing and hugging…

The spirits calm down for a day or two.

They’ll be back to normal by the end of the week, but the reduction in activity is marked. The energy in the air is palpably different for a few days.

The weather we were supposed to have here never arrived either, and that reminded me of how the energies of the newly dead seem to influence weather patterns.

Few years back, we had one of the worst years for hurricanes. And then Pope John Paul II died. The next year, and for at least one more year, we had almost nothing for hurricanes the entire season.

Then the US Military found and killed Osama Bin Laden. And we had hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

Visitor for a Month

One of the best visitations I’ve ever had lasted a month.

Every night, this entity would appear in my bedroom curtains. I could see him clear as day. He would try to show me different images that he thought would frighten me. Demons and monsters from movies. Once it even tried to scare me with Darth Vader.

He was completely perplexed as to why I was not frightened by any of these things; why I would smile and say hello. Or laugh.

He didn’t understand why I was completely accepting of his presence in my home.

Well, he wasn’t really harmful. He was just curious. I could sense his emotions. I could read his body language. He didn’t pose any thread. I had chosen to indulge his curiosity.

One day, near the end of that month, my then 3 year old daughter asked if she could take pictures around her room. I gave her the digital camera, told her to have fun.

Amid all the perfect pictures of her toys, her bed, her stuffed animals in nets on the wall, all the things precious and important to her…was this:

Visitor

I very clearly see a face with glowing eyes and the shape of the head with the mouth. I see a heart in the roundness of a chest. I see the chi center at the pit of the belly.

Those things in the background look nothing like anything in her room. The camera never did anything like this ever again, and I had it for at least another three years.

For whatever reason, the Visitor showed himself to my 3 year old.

And then he went away. He’s not been back since.

 

David Bowie

One night early last year, I had a very vivid dream that I met David Bowie and we made love two or three times. Wow what a lover! I felt everything, including every orgasm I had.

I felt from him a deep affection, a love like I’ve rarely known in my life.

I woke up that morning to learn he had died.

It was in that moment that I learned just how much I love him. I have known of him and his music pretty much all my life. I grew up with Major Tom on the radio. I was among that first generation of MTV kids and he had remade his image and persona once again for Let’s Dance, China Girl, Modern Love.

He was remade again into the Goblin King, and that is where my real love lay. I was completely in love with his creation. As the World Falls Down is one of the most touching, delicate songs ever written.

Now and then, as I’m lying down to sleep, I will think of him. I will let myself miss him as much as my heart needs to miss him. I actually feel lonely inside, still to this day feeling that empty space where he used to stand.

Now and then, as I’m drifting to sleep thinking of him, I feel him spoon in behind me. I feel his energy wrapping around me from behind.

I don’t know when or where we met before, but apparently our energies have known each other a very long time.

Being empathetic, sensitive to the energies around me, it’s not all exhausting and sadness.

Sometimes there are mischievous spirits around. Now and then, one will “borrow” something. I can’t find it for a day or so. Then, usually when I say out loud “Okay, will the spirit who borrowed my ________ please put it back now? I need it more than you do.”

Within a few hours, the item is found. Where? Someplace that’s been looked at a hundred times, right out in the open.

I just had one of those that started yesterday. Right as I was ready to leave to go someplace, my keys were missing. I looked all over the places where they were likely to be. Everyone in the house looked all over those very same areas. Nothing.

Today, after coming home from an early supper, there they were, on the floor next to a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner I had pulled out from its place at least three times.

Thank you for giving them back. I appreciate it.

But I think tonight I shall have to call in the various deceased shepherds to clear some tricky spirits from the place.

 

Here I am, in my own home, watching television, and I paused in my work a moment to watch a documentary about Pompeii. It’s a newer analysis of the site, including extensive excavations and a new look at the figures that have been cast from the places where people died.

For anyone no familiar with the history of Pompeii beyond the fact that a volcano erupted and people died…some of those people were completely encased in the hot, burning ash of the pyroclastic flow. They were incinerated, leaving behind empty spots in the hardened ash. Those cavities were used as a mold, filled with plaster to take a casting of that person.

Those castings show the position of an actual person, their facial expressions the instant they died, reaching with an arm to crawl away and escape the inescapable. They are all bald and naked. Because hair and clothing would have burned off their bodies, probably before they died.

This is the moment of death for every single person a cast was made of.

Two of them seem to be clutched/huddled together. Who they were is the subject of much speculation. Were they a mother and daughter? Friends? Or did one fall and die and the other tripped to her own death beside the first and they were relative strangers? We can never know.

I had to turn to another station. I cannot ever watch this particular documentary.

Why?

Because I don’t enjoy feeling the anguish, the fear, the confusion, the desperation…helplessness and hopelessness…of a person in their last moment before being overtaken by a violent death. I don’t enjoy seeing through their eyes as it happens. It’s exhausting because I see it over and over and over again, and will for the rest of my life.

Being empathetic means being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and live their life for a moment. It means never forgetting those sensations because they’re imprinted on me like my own memories. They are my own memories now.

I will always remember what I felt and saw when I saw those two women who died next to one another. I don’t need to know their life story to see the story of their deaths.

The last moments of life for the people of Pompeii are beyond horrific.

But yeah…tell me again how tired you were after going to brunch with friends.

So many things I see assigned to people who think they are empathetic, when they are the meres surface of what “empathetic” really means.

“Empaths are tired after socializing and need quiet to recharge.”

Being tired from being in a crowd and needing to recover from that has nothing to do with feeling the emotions of others. It has to do with the fact that you are a person, and socializing is a darned difficult thing that uses up physical and mental energy.

Everyone is tired after a party. Everyone is tired after a long night socializing. Everyone needs to rest in the quiet. You’re not special.

“Oh all those emotions are soooooo hard to cope with.”

What emotions do you think you’ve experienced? Laughter and humor when someone told a joke? You think you’ve experienced the emotions that person did, experience it through them? No, you experienced laughter because you found the joke funny.

You didn’t shed a tear during the sad story because you’re empathetic, but because tears are like yawns. One person does it and those who see it also have the urge to do it. We don’t call it being empathetic when someone yawns after another person has yawned.

In my experience, most everything ascribed to people who think they are empathetic is easily explained away simply by being human and experiencing the human condition. It is explained away by a lack of emotional and mental maturity, recognizing boundaries, and an inability to control one’s self and impulses.

If you want to discuss the draining and exhausting experiencing of the emotions of others, feel the tidal wave of grief, fear, confusion, panic, horror, terror that slapped me the instant I saw the image of an 8 year old girl who died in Manchester. She brought with her everything from everyone in that stadium, brought it to me many thousands of miles away in another country. It happened in a split second and I experienced it all in that split second. Sensations that cannot be unfelt. Thoughts that cannot be unthought. Sounds that cannot be unheard. Bewilderment of the masses.

I feel the sadness of the nursing staff who knows that her unconscious mother does not yet know her daughter is dead.

Be unable to watch even a single minute of news stories about it because you can feel surges in the waves of those same emotions all around you when it comes on the news.

Or look at it in your Facebook feed, because it connects all those same souls who died once more and they return in that instant.

Talk to me when seeing those images connects you to those dead and that night your ceiling is full of orbs floating around and they continually wake you through the night.

“As if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

Those who are empathetic really do deal with that.

Every

Single

Day

But you go on talking about how hard it is to have a relationship with a single person and go out with friends.

WC

Some days ago, seven children died in a house fire caused by a hot plate that was left on and malfunctioned.

First and foremost, my heart goes out to the mother. At some point, if she doesn’t die, she’s going to wake up and learn that her children are dead and she will carry that guilt for the rest of her life. In her mind, she killed her children. That’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

For the last week, I keep waking up to shapes moving in the curtains and the things that are sitting on the window sill.

The children are playing in my curtains like they are a jungle gym.

It’s exhausting, because they wake me frequently through the night.

But I don’t have the heart to send them away.