Ghost of the Younger Me

There’s something about visiting Victoria that always seems to push me moderately out of whack with the rest of the world – or I should say the rest of MY world.  I’m shifted somewhat out of phase, like in the gap between here and then but not quite in the now.  It’s slightly unnerving and I spend much of the time trying to figure out what’s going on.  Trying to find the experience on the tip of my tongue but never quite grasping it.

It happens most vividly while driving down Quadra street, the ghost of my memories coalescing so strongly into a whisper of my younger self that my entire being seems at once to vibrate and separate so that I’m living two life lines at the same time. The string of my life is cat cradling together & I’m neither here nor there. Now is my past and my future as the gossamer strings touch together in science fiction truth.

Me, being me, I try to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning, what I’m supposed to be hearing.  Who is the teacher, who the student?  There walks my nineteen-year old self along Quadra, there she is riding her white ten-speed bike in the days before helmets.  Alone, always alone.  Where am I headed? Away from home or towards home?  Am I leaving or going?  I am a ghost, yet I am here.

Ghost Bike in New York - art installation. Image found on the web.

I’m driving in the car with my 21-year old son beside me while my 19-year old self appears and disappears in front of me.  I’m here to visit my youngest-by-seven-minutes son who is nearing the end of his third year at the University of Victoria, my alma mater.  His UVIC experience is different in so many ways than mine was another lifetime ago.  Is this why I haunt myself?  Because I can see the possibility of what could have been or might have been?  A shimmering glimpse into the road not travelled, the path not taken?

I’m filled with a quiet sadness.  The sun shines but doesn’t quite burn away the melancholy that has settled into me.  I need to sink within this sea of sorrow and swim down into the dark depths and see what is pulling at me with such strength.  I feel strongly that it’s related to my life work right now, in fact I know it is.  That I’m encountering the vibrational energy imprint of my much younger self here in Victoria is not surprising.  I’ve been much on my mind of late.

It is here in Victoria where I started my life with the man who is still technically my husband.  The man with whom I shared my life for almost 30 years.  The man who is the father of my four children.  The man who was my Knight in Shining Armour who took my hand and rescued from a world of confusion and then eventually catapulted me into the dark abyss of rebirth. Knights in Shining Armour can sometimes wear nefarious disguises.

I’m sitting on my son’s sagging, stained, blue couch nestled between him and his seven-minutes older mirror image brother.  My feet propped up on the found in the alley coffee table, six empty beer cans pushed to the side along with the jar of ashes from the communally owned houka.  My two nephews, who share the house with Braden, plop down on the other couch beside us.  All four boys are simultaneously watching the Whitecaps first away game on TV while reading and typing on their laptops.  This is most obviously a resident of young males.

I push the worrying mother voice aside, “Are they drinking too much beer? What are they doing contaminating their young lungs with smoke…..” and try to find the small speck of a girl buried under years of fear.  It’s her words that need to be voiced, her voice I need to hear.

And so that is the part of the work that lies in front of me – to breath life back into this young girl, to give her the strength I now have to hear the words she unconsciously feared.

Forgiveness begins with compassion directed inwards.

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