Category Archives: Remembering

A World’s Tale

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ ]

I’m going to tell a story and I want you to remember that it is a story. As far as anybody knows, it’s a fairy tale, or perhaps science fiction or fantasy. The point is, it isn’t supposed to be true at all, none of it.

That is called a disclaimer.

Once upon a time at the far edge of a galaxy far far away there was a small world no one paid any attention to. Although it was chock full of interesting life, no one in its neighbourhood cared about that. Better things to do, bigger fish to fry. The world carried on as worlds are wont to do when left to their own devices, and until they are interfered with. Which is predictably what happened.

Eventually, that small world was noticed by people aboard a passing space ship. They probed and finding it rather inviting they landed advance missions on it to have a look around. Probing and exploring, they discovered the world was rich in resources lacking on their mother ship and on their home world where such resources would be worth fortunes. With no one to challenge them they established bases from which to proceeded with exploitation.

Among the rich number of sentient life, they had hoped to find some life forms suitable to serve as slaves but after experimentation and trials, nothing. That wasn’t going to stop them however. They had the technology; they cloned suitable worker slaves by mixing local DNA with their own. They made themselves quasi-intelligent slaves and set them to work in mines, fields, construction, maintenance, bureaucratic support and entertainment. As the creatures increased in numbers the work of exploitation also increased and as to be expected, there developed major conflicts among the invaders as to who owned which parts of the planet and their rights to exploitation.

Diplomacy having failed, the aliens resorted to warring with each other. The cloned slaves were trained and armed to fight for their masters. Much bloodshed and destruction followed these internecine conflicts particularly in areas where weapons of mass destruction, chemical and nuclear, were used. The results of these conflicts would have been predictable but hubris and greed ruled the day. The world was rendered uninhabitable for the aliens and they left after removing as much of their technology as they could find. They had already learned to fear their cloned slaves.

The slaves, who were beginning to develop a greater sense of selfhood and independence had suffered many horrible deaths from the wars. The worst part was the mutations and the new diseases they were saddled with and prone to exhibit. Some mutations however proved successful. Powerful leaders of giant stature arose among the slave people and predictably the old enmity reasserted itself. Certain races claimed superiority and certain places for themselves and closed themselves away from others. The cloned females who had been designed as slaves of the males were enslaved within these new mutant societies although the constant border clashes and wars decimated so many males that in some areas the women were able to claim a share of equality, ownership and eventual leadership.

Climate change and diseases spread from proximity, caused a great die back among the slave races and as their numbers dwindled they moved away from each other in their quest for basic survival. For many years there was relative peace on the world as there were not enough survivors to launch any effective wars, nor could they imagine any need for such since there was more than enough space and food to accommodate all of them. They had stopped mining and collecting the “resources” they had been programmed to find having no more use for any of them. During those hunter-gatherer times as they are called, the masters were remembered as creator gods and any remembrance of their technology became the stuff of legends and tales of great magic.

The naturally imposed peace among the mutants wasn’t to last. The ancient hubris of the gods reasserted itself among certain groups of mutants. They also re-discovered some of their masters’ skills with metals and that turned to weaponry. That began an age of rampaging conquests that changed the face of the world forever.

That is where the tale ends for today.

“Does this world have a name?” asked a bright-eyed child.

“All worlds have names, child. This one, you give a name to.”

“How does the story really end?” asked another.

“That is up to you, isn’t it.” replied the story teller.


The Day After


[a poem by   ~burning woman~]

It was a day long after
what happened didn’t happen:
denial was in full force then,
it made everything work,
and work was the order of the day.

There were warnings,
there always are warnings.
The planet was upset
sending signs of distress
in skies and seas and lands.

Birds, bees and butterflies
were less to be seen.
Fish left rotting carcasses
strewn across sandy beaches;
floating among the flotsam.

Violent storms, deadly droughts
succeeded chemtrails
and incessant burning of trees.
Smoke filled the valleys;
children choked in gun-smoke.

It would come, of course:
everybody knew it, everybody.
But promises and hope ruled the day
Larger bandaids were handed out
with flu shots and plastic smiles.

The day came, it was inevitable:
everybody had known the truth of it,
the inescapability of it.
Oh, it would have been a day
to be remembered.

Had there been anyone
to remember.



The Sword, the Bow and the Staff

(The continuing saga, in which is introduced the ancient mythological belief in lycanthropy.  Enjoy)

Part I The Calling
Start section 14 (fourteen)

“What are the names of the Betrayers, Nal? I need to know to begin my own search for them.”

“If you feel you can do such a thing, do be careful. There is a tall and very powerful wizard called Gehandor the White because of his pale skin, white hair and eyes so pale they seemed almost white. He is not so much cruel as power-mad. He will use any and all means to gain the power and adulation he craves. Fear is his greatest weapon against men.

The other is Tel’Madan. He is of average height with features commonly associated with people called Mongols or of those from Cathay, with similar eyes but rounder face than mine. From what I remember and Lo tells me, nothing on this world exceeds the cruelty  of this false Alay. Not only did he torture me to death in the most horrible ways, he did so to his own wife.

“Those of course were their ancient names, they would probably have changed those many times since as they moved through the lands and man’s history. Today, they could call themselves Thomas or Paulus, any common and acceptable name, for they serve worldly powers and would carry Christian names. Their last names serve no purpose for our quest since they would take whatever common family name exists in whatever territory they would be serving in. There is also the strong possibility that they found ways to change their physiognomy although Lo tells me he has not been able to alter his.

“No, what we must do is focus on their characteristics, not their names. What we need to discover is where there are major wars being fought and which side is accompanied by a wizard which would usually be the winning side. The mainland seems beset with endless battles and many were being fought there when my mother’s master left Iberia for the city of London. What a dreary and smelly place that is. The fogs are what finally killed my mother, not just the mistreatment she got at the hands of the master when he got drunk, or angry. They would have killed me too if I hadn’t escaped when I did. So many people die in that city. Horrible, Donna, a simply horrible place!

“Come, we need to work with the staff again. Tomorrow if Lo hasn’t returned we will test your skills with the bow. As to searching for our enemies, I leave that entirely to your discretion as long as you remember to be very, very discrete.”

After cutting out a staff of suitable length for Donna from a young ash shoot and hardening the ends in their fire, they began sparring again. This time the advantage clearly went to Donna. She was a swift and fierce antagonist and Nal noted that when Donna moved with her staff she was dancing, not really fighting. She whirled and turned, jumped and ducked as if there was music playing in her ears. Nal, though quite accurate and fast with a staff, lacked the size, weight and reach of her opponent. Twice Donna knocked the staff from her hands and held her down. Finally Nal called it.

Without bitterness or envy, Nal said, “There’s no point continuing this. You and Lo can spar with the staffs, I’m no match for either of you ‘giants’! I hardly ever use my staff except in self defence anyway, usually against animals which are more my height! This one goes to you!”

“Thank you Nal. I was thinking while we were sparring if it were possible to combine our illusion making powers with energy transfer… I’m not sure what I mean but I can visualize it if you want to look.”

“You were thinking – while we were sparring??? It was that easy for you? Hm… but good news for you that is. Let me ‘see’ about this energy transfer. Oh, I see what you want to do here. Never heard of that possibility. So you would extend your hand as if to create an illusion but instead you would shoot off a strand of energy to knock down an opponent, or clear an obstacle from your path? You think that is possible? I don’t remember such in my deepest awakened memories. It certainly would come in handy when outnumbered. We must try that.”

Holding her staff in one hand and planting it solidly in the soil, Donna stood on a firm footing and sighted a small stone at a distance of about ten yards. She focused her mind, gathered energy and thrust her arm with hand wide open in the direction of the stone. In three seconds the stone shattered.

“I just wanted to push it!” exclaimed a distraught Donna. If I did that to someone it would kill them horribly!”

“Perhaps why we never used it, but more likely this is a combined power of the new Earth-based Alaya, the good and the evil blending, more of those strange mutations that arise on this world. You will learn to control it. Do you think you could share this with me so I and Lo could have it also?”

“If it is an Earth-based and combined Alaya power, then you perhaps may be able to absorb it, but would Lo? There is no human in him, except for that which infects him, but that’s different, is it not? This could probably hurt him.”

“Truthfully, I don’t know what our boundaries are. We represent new creatures on this world and there are no rules that govern our thoughts or movements unless we make them. We can only experiment, learn and remember anything new that we discover. Know this Donna: we are very complex creatures now. But if he couldn’t absorb it it wouldn’t hurt him, his system would simply reject it. He wouldn’t notice anything except when he went to test it and there was nothing there.”

“Why didn’t you make new earth-based Alay’s and Alaya’s before me?”

“It wasn’t possible before you, Donna. There is something in you that allows, that gives you, an affinity with us that is not of the natural order of this world. Perhaps, thinking about your question a bit deeper, there has been some change in the human mind, some small piece of evolution that allows some of our powers to transfer to humans. It has, after all, been tens of millennia since we stopped being full Alas.

“I’m curious though, what do you know of your parents, your ancestry?”

“Not much. My father was a woodsman and I was told he died young. My mother is a servant in Torglynn. I have two brothers, both older, and a younger sister who is lame and cannot walk. I have never been close to my older siblings. My brothers despise me for asking too many questions and debating the values of many traditions with them and also because I am taller and fairer of skin than they. My little sister whose father is different than mine is too young to understand much, only five springs to her. She is sweet. She can only drag herself about but she likes to sit in the sun, rock and sing to herself. She wraps sticks or vegetables in pieces of cloth and holds them to herself, singing to them. She has large blue eyes that look deep into you when you talk to her. I worry what will come of her if mother dies. I should like to return one day, heal her and take her away from there. I think I could do that now.”

There was a period of silence between them, both reminiscing.

“Oh the stories we create with our lives, Donna. If we wrote everything down, the books would cover this world. Instead we have bodies and they carry our hopes and dreams and memories and keep us going. To what end though? If there is no heaven or hell, then what is there? I’m an Alaya, or a reincarnation of one. Where did we come from? From the gods, Lo said to me a long time ago it seems. What does that mean? I don’t know. Do we return to the gods? Is there an accounting of the work we’ve done, or failed to do? If we return, then how, when? Where are the rules? I may have been much mocked for breaking many rules in my endless run from slavery but still, there has to be some basic rules, doesn’t it?

“Lo said that we were sent here to basically shepherd the young races long long ago. That’s a purpose but what about all the people? What’s their purpose if they have one, and how are they to discover it? From us? There are hundreds of millions of people here, my mother explained to me, and so I remember now, and there’s but the three of us at this point counting you, and we’re hiding from two powerfully evil ones?

“My life, small though it was and insignificant, probably meaningless, made more sense to me six months ago than it does today.”

Nal began to cry and Donna dropped her staff and came over to hold her, saying nothing. Behind the darkening clouds the sun moved fast, driven to fall behind the horizon. A flash of lightning was followed by rolling thunder. The two women slipped into the cave, re-built their fire and realized they were very hungry but all they had was left over bread crusts and the mouldy cheese that was not improving with time.

“If nothing else happens to change everything again, we need to go hunting tomorrow. Perhaps an opportunity to find out if the bow is also your weapon, Donna?”

“But if I miss, we’ll lose a sure game.”

“No matter, it will be worth the try. If you miss I’ll go out alone and bring something down. You can stay and gather more wood and kindling, or make us another water basket? Yesterday’s is drying up and starting to leak.”

They sat on the sandy soil by the fire. Darkness fell, lit up regularly by more lightning flashes. After the thunder rolls their wolf companion howled forlornly from the darkness. Nal began to worry about Lo, wondering where he was, if he was safe, if he was on the trail, or in a cozy shelter awaiting daylight. She dared not use her thought-form energy to contact him, not sure if she could do the blending, giving it the misdirection he’d instructed to do.

The rain began and it fell in torrents driven by a tremendously powerful gale-force wind. Soon the hills became alive with the noise of flash streams and the crash of stones eroding from their beds and tumbling down. Water began to trickle into the cave from the base of the entrance, the flow increasing with the rain’s intensity. They watched with growing dismay as the water flowed into their shelter, threatening to soak their bedding and put out their fire.

“Guess what, Donna. We now know why this cave has such a smooth sandy floor: it’s stream bed! That also explains the hole at the back of the cave, it’s were the water flows out. So by morning there could be up to two feet of water here. We’d better try to find some place to hang the pack and our bedding, and quickly.”

“No! Wait! I have an idea, Nal. Let me try something first.”

She quickly stripped her clothes off to keep them dry and slipped out into the torrent and rising gale and disappeared. Some moments later a sound as of the earth shooting up was heard around the cave and she felt the ground shaking as in a mild earthquake. The water stopped entering the cave and Donna slipped back in shivering and reaching for her clothes. Nal helped her dry and dress and held her near the fire.

“You had me frightened for you. What did you do out there?”

“So simple Nal. I focused my illusion and projection energy on the front of the cave and blew up the ground all around, creating a trough for the water to by-pass our shelter and a small dike behind it. I did them deep enough and high enough to hold until this storm is over. But we have to think bigger, much bigger Nal. Something strange is happening to my mind and now I know things I should not. I know this country well and I can assure you this is not a natural storm. Do you think your Betrayers have found us and this is round one?”

“I can’t possibly know that! We need Lo here! If it is Betrayer power that could mean they fear us and dare not confront us directly. If they have found us, they know about this cave. They could be trying to force us out into the storm to confuse and weaken us, perhaps even get us separated. Sounds like crazy wild imagination but all things are possible. But if they can move such forces as this storm how can we hope to confront them successfully? We’re surely doomed!”

“You’re allowing your fear of the unknown to distress you, Nal. Stop it! Stop it at once! They are afraid of us! We are the unknown to them. They can’t attack us directly either. If this is their doing, they just showed us their first weakness: as you guessed, they fear a direct encounter. If they use so much energy to create this storm, that will also weaken them. Let them rage and storm at a distance: we are the strong ones now. We also outnumber them and we are creating new forces that may render theirs obsolete.”

“Donna! How can you know such things? Who, what are you? Where does all that come from? How can there be so much power inside an ordinary human girl? There can’t be, I’ve known humans since they first learned to use language. They don’t possess the ability to project mental powers except perhaps in rare ones and those are weak things.”

“Ever since this afternoon I have felt a huge increase of my powers of awareness and discernment. It’s like a bubbling in my mind and my heart. I have doubted and feared this after defeating you with the staff and destroying that stone. This storm, however, has changed everything. I recognize this energy of mine. I know it. Hah! Listen to me. I too have a story! Now I remember, listen to me!

“It is I whose father is a faerie lord or to be precise, an Elven lord of the ancient worlds. More, he is not dead, he lives. As a tiny infant I was stolen from my creche and then lost when the thieves who were faeries crossed the barrier between our worlds and this one. My earth mother in Torglynn didn’t give birth to me, she found me while gathering roots and adopted me but never told me why I was fairer and taller than all the others.

“Oh, if only I had known what I was, I would never have allowed myself to be captured like a dumb heifer, so stupidly, by those murderous invaders, and yes, Nal, I remember all of it, that you saved my life and blocked my memories to help me heal. It is good, what you did but no longer necessary. Thanks to your gifts of Alaya power and my own heritage I now have power even I cannot fathom, but I will bring it out and I will use it without fear.

“I can see far, far away right now, listen. Your Betrayers are far away Nal. There is a war to the south, across a narrow sea and they are both there. They located us because you spoke the inner thought-form language but the storm was sent from a long distance away. We are safe here this night. We can sleep together but now I realize something else I must do. When Wolf returns and calls for me I will go to him and share some of my powers with him. I will transform him into a werewolf: it is what he desires for he’s already told me and I will give him the gift of human words. He will follow me then until our quest is complete, for it is now our quest, as you wished it, not just yours and Lo. I and Wolf will stand by you and help you to the end. Then I shall leave and take him with me. I will go and heal my earth sister and bring her with me and Wolf. As a werewolf he will be able to cross the barrier with me and she will ride him. I and Wolf will train her to become a “Wolf Rider” who possess the power and skills to cross between worlds. Oh yes, I will find my father and perhaps my real mother and will take my proper place among my own people. But fear not, I shall tell them of your mighty deeds and entertain for long evenings at our gatherings. There will be much cheering at the names of Nal and Lo.”

“You can foretell our victory, then?”

“No Nal, not directly. I’m cheering you up, lifting up your sagging spirit and helping you see that evil need not be the winner this time. Nothing is ever sure until done and even then tricks can be played. The real game, it never ends but goes ever on. One victory leads to another war, another defeat, another war, another victory. This must be until all is accomplished and everything is changed, nothing of the old remaining, not for Earth people and not for the Elves. We but travel through space and time until both space and time are destroyed, never to be again. Only the faeries and ghosts who live between worlds can escape our doom but who’d want their kind of lives?”

“Oh Donna… I don’t know what to say. I’m truly shocked to discover who you are. I thought… but never mind, who cares now what I thought? You are…”

“I’m definitely not a “Donna” or such meek earth creature. Call me Deanna for the time being and know that my fate is to become a leader among my people. My mate is Wolf. Tonight I will do my first shape-shifting of this life or at least attempt it. Wolf will help me, he’s so madly in love with me and he wants to have me as his mate, his She-Wolf. Before sunrise I will return in human form and be your human companion but tonight Wolf and I will run together wild and free as befits both, Elves and Wolves. We’ll go down the trail and find Lo to ascertain that all is well with him. When we find him I won’t reveal anything to him, that will be your task. He will not know we were there.”

“Deanna? My earth name is Beanna! Can such be but coincidences or do we have other connections to one another? Tell me if you know, please!”

“I don’t know but it seems of little importance to me now, these earth name details. If there be a deeper connection, it will reveal itself soon enough but unless I can assess that it is of some value beyond mere information, I will pay it no mind. Come, let us be together, make love, dream. I feel an animal energy rising in me, the rising of the snake, the Kundalini.”

“The what?”

“Among the Elves and some earth people, if memory serves here, it is called the Kundalini. The living snake you were telling me about! The real power of love. Tonight I love as a trio of beingness within my self: a living bridge made up of the female energies of a human woman, an Elven warrior and a She Wolf. Tonight, thanks to you, Nal, I begin a new life of power.”

When Wolf called and whined at the cave entrance Deanna was already wide awake, following his movements with her mind, her heart athrob with anticipation. She kissed Nal gently and slipped out. Although naked in the cold, damp night now awash with billions of brilliant stars in the clearest of skies possible, she only felt the heat of her body and that of Wolf. They stepped away together then laid down in the cold sand far enough away from the cave that should she emit cries of passion or pain, Nal would not be awakened.

There were sharp cries but mostly of passion and surprise. Wolf changed and grew, becoming twice as large and darker, with longer hair and much more powerful teeth. His eyes glowed in the dark. Then he turned to Deanna and watched eagerly as she transformed herself into the light grey She-Wolf form she had dreamed for herself, also much larger in size than a normal wolf. They saw each other as their nature intended and howled their mutual joy into the night sky and nipped at one another. Wolf bayed the deeper call of the werewolf and spoke clearly to his mate.

“Run, we run!” And they went chasing off into the night to experience their animal freedom in an open country entirely devoid of human presence but the small Nal sleeping alone in her cave. The smell of small game was strong but they ignored it. The stars, it seemed, looked approvingly upon them as they chased old dreams, jumping from rock to rock and down game trails as they found them.

In that moment for the two of them all was as it should be.

End section 14 (fourteen)

Is the Owl Calling my Name?

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

Moon and stars vie for splendor
in a night sky of long ago.
It was the open prairies then,
icy snow glistening for miles around
echoing the cold crackles of ice sheets
sinking under relentless cold.

Out by the frozen pond
a skeletal cottonwood stands,
stark against the wan moonlight,
the great horned owl on a top branch
repeating his “Who? Who-who? Who!
keeping the answer to himself.

Smoke lazily rises, then settles
losing heat, mantling a straw stack
where the cattle have burrowed
to find their proximate warmth
knowing the late morning sun
will have none to give.

Far away, on the coulee trestle
the coal-fired NAR train rumbles
then lets out its eerie call:
a dinosaur knowing its time
is past and its death near,
a couple of coyotes join in,
“Yap, yap-yap-yap, Aoooo!”

These memories of mine,
what stirs them tonight?
What does my mind know
that it feels so restless?
Is the owl calling my name
beyond the woods, the river
this night? “Who, who-who?”

Is the answer: it is I?
And if it is, is the call
A welcome one? A reprieve?
All those days I have wondered,
Are they coming to their end
As things of earth must?
Do I long for such an end?


(NAR: Northern Alberta Railway)
(There is a belief among the central coast people of British Columbia who call themselves the ‘Kwakwaka’wakw nation, that there is a time when you can hear the owl call your name. When that happens, you are about to die. Margaret Craven wrote a fiction novel, “I Heard the Owl Call my Name” on this belief in the 1960’s – Wikepedia link:


The Shared Mind

a vision, by Sha’Tara]

It is difficult at times to determine if a vision is good or bad. I suppose it can be argued that it’s all on how it makes you feel, or the effect the memory of it has. In any case you may find the following entertaining, interesting, perhaps even intriguing. Perhaps you even know what this is all about.  Perhaps this is also a part of your reality.

There was a girl on the street. A quite ordinary looking girl in scuffed runners, faded jeans and an oversized blue sweat shirt. Her dark hair was tied in a loose pony tail. How old was she? You don’t ask a woman her age.

She was kneeling by a broken vase someone had heaved out of an open window.  It’s possible it had simply fallen. There were stems of dried, long dead flowers scattered all around, and some spots of rust coloured liquid spattered the cement under the broken pieces.   Water or blood?

I watched this girl very carefully, though she could not see me. I was using a wide power pole to hide behind so I could observe the scene without disturbing anything, neither her thoughts nor her movements.

She picked up the broken vase, and carefully held it as she arranged the pieces so it would look as if it was still in one piece. It had been painted over with a cheap imitation of mother-of-pearl. So, rule out the possibility that it had been either a fancy or expensive item.  She picked up the dried flower stems and put them in the vase. Then she stared at it, unmoving for several minutes.

I waited and wondered. What was the girl thinking?  Doing?

You know those balloon things you see over the heads of people in cartoons?  I saw one of those over her head.  I saw what she was thinking.  She wasn’t thinking in words, or perhaps I didn’t know her language, but what I saw did surprise me.

There was an image in the balloon.  It was of the vase she had so carefully reassembled.  A man in an outlandish uniform was holding the vase, and it was filled with the most beautiful bunch of red roses.  He was handing it to a woman.  The woman was veiled, her face hidden behind a white lace and her hands, as she reached for the vase, were covered by white lace gloves. In contrast, she wore a floor-length black dress with a high collar. They were standing in a large room and I could tell from the man’s uniform, the woman’s dress, the curtains and pictures on the walls, that this was of another time, and of another part of the world.

What kind of past life memory had I come upon?  What old love story was being brought forth from the nether worlds by this strange and unexpected vision?

The girl on the sidewalk slowly let the broken vase slip from her hands and its pieces spread out as before.  The balloon image vanished.  She got up, holding her right hand over her eyes, found her balance and looked around.  I had stepped out from behind my hiding place and when our eyes met, I saw her eyes welling with tears, and more running down her face.

Her lips made a surprised “O” and she turned abruptly, running away from me down the street.  I looked down and there was nothing on the sidewalk, just the dirty, old, cracked cement. No broken vase, no dried up flower stems, no rust-coloured stains. Down the street, no woman running.

I knew instinctively that I had no need to go running after her and try to glean the story from her.  In my mind I knew I had seen her thoughts because I was one of her “partials” as my people explain it.  A piece of her mind linked to mine.

I will find her again and I will get the story (if I want it), whether in a restaurant, in a dream, in a vision, in a walk by a lake, in a memory, even in another life, in a lovers’ embrace, none of those particulars matters.  We are linked in a shared mind, that’s what matters. It’s what I needed corroboration for: the shared mind theory.

I Lived and Died, Then

Remembrances of a young French woman

by Sha’Tara

The resurgence of Fascism, or Neo Nazism is not something I could easily ignore. This past life piece of an autobiography will explain why that is such an important issue for me. At least that’s what I mean to happen. I have to put heavy restraints on my feelings in order to get this written in some proper chronology. The following is difficult, and painful, to recall and to recount here, even now, at this time and in this life.

Let me take you back to those years of which so much history, so many stories and movies have been written and made, beginning in 1940, and for me, ending in 1943.

In 1940 I was living in eastern France, on the border with Belgium near Mont St. Martin. I was 23 years old, married to a heavy set, tall, abusive drunkard and had no children. My name was Helene Matthieu, nee DuPre. For me the draft had been a God-send as it had taken Henri away from me. What happened to him subsequent to his going to war against Germany I cannot say. I never saw him again, nor heard from him. It may sound callous but I never regretted his disappearance. But then as you will read, those were strange times.

Suddenly though not unexpectedly my small world was invaded by the Germans. I was out on the street of our town to watch the Panzers rolling through, as were just about everybody else in town. The pretty girls were noticed, as I was. Before I knew it I had made the acquaintance of some very handsome, gorgeous German soldiers. One thing to another and I was introduced to the general staff, and promised that I’d be in Paris within the month. I had nothing; there were refugees everywhere. The future looked bleak and Paris was a powerful attractant for someone like myself. I needed this event to disappear from Mont St. Martin. How could someone like me have any idea what living under the Wermacht-SS coalition was going to devolve into?

Subsequently, with my Wermacht contacts I did make my way to Paris after the cessation of overt hostilities. It was a breath of fresh air. Full of their superiority and success, the Germans were gallant to a fault though some were pushy – men are men, whatever they wear, whatever language they speak. I didn’t mind, none of the other girls did either or we would have found ways to return where we came from – though I would never call it home. Paris became my home.

My luck kept up with me. I knew how to drive, even recklessly, so I was trained and hired as a driver for the general staff, mostly to run errands, sometimes to deliver messages. Some of those drives took me to areas bordering the Channel – which we call “La Manche” as you probably know. Though the war raged across the Channel and I heard about it, the horror of what the English, especially in London, had to sustain didn’t come down to us. Our news were carefully filtered, you can imagine. Still for me, the rest of 1940 and to the Summer of 1941 were a good year.

Though I could not know it however, my own black clouds were gathering and these good years were to become the sort of good year you experience reading a romance novel, not in a real life.

Things, strange and troubling, were happening around me. My German friends remained friendly but my mood changed. I saw people taken out of their homes, beaten and taken prisoner. They were Jews and those who had harboured them. Then I saw ordinary French people, including women and children, rounded up and summarily shot. My fear and anger grew day by day though I did not show it. I was beginning to think of a way I could help some of these people being taken away. I had passes and access to Wermacht vehicles. And often enough I was sent to the coast where the great defenses against a sea invasion were being built. The vehicles I drove were large with lots of room inside where a couple of people could hide. My passes meant I’d never be searched.

It was late in 1941, early Winter, when a young man with a bicycle was standing near the entrance to the flat I shared with another woman. He watched me as I unlocked the door to enter, then rushed up, grabbed me, pushed me inside and closed the door – so quickly I had no time to even think of screaming. I fell to the floor, he on top of me. He held me in a stranglehold and had one hand on my mouth. “Shhh!” he said and made the throat cutting gesture. I went limp, waiting, petrified, sure he was going to kill me.

Je suis avec la Resistance” he said. That was enough. Already several women who “collaborated” with the Germans had disappeared. We had one chance to remain alive: join the Resistance and work to defeat the Reich. When he allowed me to speak I told him I had already decided to do that. He knew all about me and what I did so he was cautiously relieved. “Je ne voulais pas the couper la gorge, tu es trop belle.” (I didn’t want to slit your throat, you’re too pretty.)

And so began a terrible cat and mouse game. I was able to carry documents to the coast along with a few terrified Jews and Gypsies, mostly children. There were contact points and small boats came in the dead of night under fog to pick up escapees and survivors. I have to say, as memory serves here, that the English people who came thus to help were probably the bravest and most honourable people imaginable. What a contrast with my swaggering “hosts” in Paris. From today, from another life, once again: Thank you, English water folks.

Such serendipity cannot last. Predictably my clandestine operations were discovered. I was stopped, searched, arrested by the SS only three months (give or take) into my new life as a “Resistante.”

I will not, cannot, describe the sort of tortures they did to me. I’ll tell you the rest from a different viewpoint, from this life.

It is common for children to have terribly frightening nightmares. The most common is the kind where you try to run away from someone, or something terrible and you cannot get up to speed. Something always holds you back, forces you to just drag along. I had those, and another kind where I was walking in a gloomy landscape bathed in greenish light. All around me were those gaping round holes. I had to try to escape by walking around them or jumping a cross them over very narrow ledges. Each step threatened death. But as a child I had a third kind of recurring nightmare, one I could not share with anyone, it was just too hellish and I didn’t, couldn’t, understand why I could see such a thing.

In this repetitive nightmare I saw a young woman chained to a cement wall, spreadeagled. She was naked and there was blood on her skin. Her hair was matted and she either screamed, or moaned. The wall was part of a small, squarish cement room and in the middle was a table. There were usually three men in the room. Two were soldiers in uniforms and oh yes, I did recognize those! The third man, quite older, sat at the table and spoke to the woman. If she answered, she was beaten by one of the other two. If she did not answer, she was beaten, sometimes savagely whipped with a sort of belt.

Years passed and I grew up. The usual nightmares stopped, but not this one. It only became more real, with more details as I could now reason why this woman was being tortured and what they were doing to her, including raping her time and again.

In the late eighties, while under the instructions of “The Teachers” as I call them, the one called “El Issa” – a small woman with a keen interest in all the things of earth – asked me about my nightmare. “Do you know yet what that is all about?” I said no, no idea, but it is very personal and poignant. What does it mean?

She said, I waited to tell you because I wanted you to understand the meaning of true forgiveness. Now I will tell you who the woman is and what happened to her. Her name is (not was) Helene Matthieu. You have been looking at a few scenes of your immediate past life, that’s why I say “is” – for you, all these events exist in real time. You are here, but you are there also. And in many other places, as you will now discover with your power to delve into past lives and perhaps if you are diligent, into future lives as well.

I will finish this story for you. The SS tortured you mercilessly because to them you were the ultimate traitor. They had taken you in and you betrayed the hand that fed you. So you had to pay a heavier price, you see? They raped you in that cell and you became pregnant. They watched as you grew, then they systematically beat you until you aborted. They made you watch that dead child. They burned it in front of you. There were more tortures. Eventually they didn’t even want your answers, they’d gotten all they’d get from you and got nowhere. You were and are, a very stubborn individual. They just continued to torture you until late in the Summer of 1943 you finally gave up fighting to stay alive and died. You were then twenty six years old and you joined millions of other young women who died in similar circumstances: the costs of war; collateral damage.

There is much more to this story; this past life remembrance that is so vivid it may as well be of this life. There is the whole aspect of forgiveness which the event was used by El Issa to stamp into my consciousness. I have written about this here and there, and probably will again. But it’s got to be for another time, this is already so long. And as always when I delve into that time, I feel extremely wiped, mind tired. Thank you for reading. I’m not asking that you accept the reality of other lives – that’s a personal awareness.  Sha’Tara, aka, ~burning woman~

Confessions on War Day

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Have you ever had those moments in time when you just can’t get out of your own mind?  It’s like those dreadful days at the corporation they call “stock taking” where the business is literally shut down and everybody is expected to become, if not an accountant, at least a counting machine.  The word “boring” doesn’t even begin to describe it.  Fortunately for some of us, we were the “cutting edge” of techie support, always on call and if Lady Luck was in the mood for granting us a boon, we’d get an emergency call, preferably from some McDonald restaurant with a problem that would take at least a day or so to resolve.  We’d make sure to call in the reserves on that day, make friends all around… I digress…

In the many pigeon holes that make up the mind, there’s one large one, generally and thankfully covered over with cobwebs where we file personal information we’re not so fond of, memories of less than scintillating performances among kin, clan, fellow and fellowette students, co-workers, and drib-drabs of conversations held after mass on the church porch while our priest walked around the disappearing crowd shaking hands and soaking up congrats on his sermon.

Taking a huge leap here: I’m in one of those “stock-taking” phases, so I may as well clear the cobwebs and start pulling out the scrolls, rolls and polls.  If you already know even just a little bit about me, you know I’m inclined to tell stories.  I’ve always been able to do that and convince myself that a well told story passed off as truth isn’t a lie, it’s a skill.  It’s art.  I figure that as long as I’m not using it to suck money from the unsuspecting, no one’s hurt.  Mostly it makes it easier to live with myself, whoever that is, I’m still looking for whomever stands behind the mirror.  I don’t like surprises so I cling to my stories so that I never realize that the character behind my mirror is a crazily grinning rattling skeleton.

Be that as it may, if I have to be honest here, after scanning through some of the memory rolls I have to admit that for about half of my life I was an insufferable egotist.  I enjoyed being “in charge” and calling other people short on their performance.  I’m being truthful now, the stories will resume again later.  For the second part of my life unto this day, well, despite a lot of life changing moves, I remain a driving bitch.  I get an idea, see?  I put it through the meat grinder, observe what’s left and woe unto my immediate world if anything remains that shows it’s a valid thought.  I say what I mean and mean what I say.

I did learn this though, and that is to not impose a “new idea” upon the world until I’ve fully tested it.  If it’s going to blow anyone up, it should after all be me, not some poor unsuspecting victim.  So, you’ll ask with bated (baited?  Nah, let’s stick with the other spelling), what’s the new idea then?

I’m going to close off the memory hole now, having taken stock and looking a bit green, and let’s talk about that new idea.

In keeping with the “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God” here, this isn’t a story.  The new idea isn’t new at all.  I’ve already been bashing all and sundry with for quite some time, and I call it compassion.  “Oh yeah… (yawn) don’t we know it.  All that stuff about compassion being the great idea to save the world, and how it is incompatible with love.  Can’t you talk about something else?”

I suppose I could but remember I said, “No story: the straight goods this time.”  Yes, I am being annoying.  Yes, I am proposing a world-changing concept that people in general will do all in their power to deny, refuse outright or insist on mixing with a whole lot of sugar so it tastes basically the same as any other world changing concept ever presented to be played with and dog-fought over and thankfully amount to nothing more than establishing another money-sucking group or collective with a colourful title and great mission statement.

The sugar in this case is called love.  A cornucopia of beautiful white granules that can be spread over, or melted in, just about any other idea confection to make it palatable or even a delicacy.  Love, man’s greatest of all feel-good drug.  A spoon-full before sex legitimizes a terribly taboo performance and makes it feel even better.  A meal or two of it just before plunging in the battle of the Somme or the Gallipoli campaign.

Yes, of course love is the great sweetener of war.  No one goes to war just to kill an enemy, or just to be killed.  There aren’t that many outright psychopaths out there, or assisted suicide hopefuls.  Of course not.  And we have, at least in the West, November 11 to be reminded that our wars were and remain wars of love.  Love is what made those “fools” rush in where angels would never tread.  Love in defense of the home land and to keep our loved ones safe from a barbaric enemy.  Does it matter if your commanders, your leaders, are themselves obvious psychos and often the real aggressors?  Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die.  We do it for love.  Then we die in love, in heaps and heaps of love.  What I don’t understand is, why are these heroes of love mourned when they should be cheered while we do all that we can to ensure we too get to embark upon another warring love adventure and die for love?  Could it be there’s something not quite right with the picture?

My father, for all his faults, was a veteran of WWII.  He participated in the complete defeat of the French army in 1940, was finally captured and sent to a German prisoner of war camp.  There, despite unbelievable conditions and near starvation, he survived, met people from all over the conquered world and interacted also with German soldiers.  Surprise: they were no different than he was, if only better fed and better educated.  He rubbed shoulders with other Third Reich slaves: gypsies, not yet slated for the slaughter, communists, homosexuals, writers, philosophers, any sort the Reich saw as dangerous enemies and would squeeze to death in the war effort.  Dad, being a great communicator, made friends where it mattered and basically talked his way out of the camp and returned to Brittany to work the fields growing food for the German army holding the coast.  From there into the underground (tracer bullets, he said, are really scary shit) and from there to become a landless and penniless recently married family man forced to emigrate to Canada to try and make a living.  Love was in short supply in the real war and post-war world so maybe I learned to function without much of it myself.

So you see, I’m not the one who’s spreading bullshit stories by proposing we give “love” a break, cast it adrift, and look for something a bit more realistic upon which to build a future.  We’ve already spent all the love we could through our endless wars, and we’re expending a whole lot of that sugary nonsense in the Middle East right now.  We’re eager to cover North Korea with war-love sugar and those crazies don’t understand and want none of it.  Can’t they see how well our love has worked to this day?  Can’t they marvel at how our love wars have made the world a wonderful, humane, free, clean, safe, world where no one need ever again worry about waking up starving, to be blown up or on the wrong side of some great big beautiful wall?

Assuming I’m being just a tad sarcastic, do you see why I would propose we look at something else, something other than, something we’ve never, ever tried in its unadulterated state?  It’s so simple.
a) stop defending love as a legitimate form of interrelationship.  Admit it doesn’t work.  Let it go.  Don’t worry, it won’t go far.  It will keep braying at the barn door day after day to be re-admitted and fed in the hope of engendering new conflicts.
b) just think about compassion, nothing else, as the means to change the world.   Define it for yourself without, just this once, throwing a pinch of it in the mixing bowl amongst a heaping pile of sugary love and calling it compassion.  Try it raw, show your mettle.

That’s the challenge from this honest certifiable bitch.

The alternative is simple: find another means of change that can accomplish the same thing without all the bother of self empowerment, detachment and willingness to give to all who ask; or declare that it is preferable to stick with the tried and failed because, well, it’s what you’re used to and it’s comfortable this way.