Remembering Other Planets and Times

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Truth.

The second visual flash I had, the one after the past life image of the falcon on my wrist, occurred in the late 90’s. Back then, that was an anomaly. If they happened at all, they tended to be away from home and work, usually when I was at a writers’  conference or with very open- minded friends. But while the first flash happened during self-hypnosis to lessen severe back pain and came with the  force  of  memory  while  I was  alone  with  my  eyes closed, the  second  struck me in a crowded room, eyes wide open, and scared the bejeezus out of me.

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It was in the late 90’s, and finally a great writers’ conference (NINC) was within driving distance and I could get there in a day. One of the editors I was interested in selling to, though my style of writing was on the ebb and romantic  comedy  was the new big thing that year,  was Claire Zion, who was then at Warner. We were allowed to sign up for breakfast with various editors or agents, so I signed up as one of about 12 writers who sat with her over muffins and juice. She sat next to me, and we got to chat a little about our affections for Alexander the Great.

I never sent a manuscript to Claire. I didn’t have anything to fit what her publishing  house was looking  for then. But that  was one of the most enjoyable meetings I’ve ever had with an editor.

Claire did something  I’d never seen another publishing professional  do. Instead of sitting there while people around the table grabbed the spotlight from anyone else and steered the whole brunch toward their Great American Novels,  she  played  word  games  with  us  to get  to know us better.

The first question was something like: “What is your favorite  animal?”  We  went  around  the  room  and  the women  gave  answers  like  dog,  giraffe,  elephant,  monkey…badger. My response?  “A stag.” I didn’t say deer. I said, “A stag.” The insights? The animal we  named embodied qualities  of our ideal lover. And that would be what?  The Horned God? Funny that I picked a stag at that time.

The next question was for each of us to choose two bodies of water  and give two adjectives  that described them.  This  one  was  hard  for  me.  Other  people  mentioned the ocean because it was so big or a river that just went on forever. My answer? “A waterfall and a lake, in- tense and deep.” The insight? Something to the effect of this is how you prefer your sexual experiences.

The question that left me visibly jolted was a description. We were to imagine that each of us was alone in a small room with no windows or exits, a diffuse light that we couldn’t see the source of, and give two adjectives for how we felt. The other women’s answers? Mostly frightened, claustrophobic,  and a couple of quiets. There were few exceptions.

Not  me.  I  got  a  full-fledged,  eyes-open  vision  of something—somewhere and somewhen—I haven’t experienced in this lifetime, but I was there in an instant and felt all the emotions of being there. It was incredible.

I was suddenly in a room within a room—a temple, I think. There was a sense of otherworldliness,  maybe an- other planet, definitely another time.

I was in the center of a raised round dais of stone. Two steps up, I think. Bluish-gray stone that was cool to my feet. Very present, grounded, firm, real. On top of the dais  were  three,  maybe  four  pillars  that  supported  a round dome also made of stone.

Beyond the dais was open area. No furniture or people. I was alone. More of the same stone all around me. Walls of that stone. No windows. No doors. And in the stone were markings. Like no language I have ever seen. Cuneiform is the closest.

There was a diffuse light that Claire had spoken of.

Only it wasn’t coming from the ceiling or the walls. It seemed to be coming from…within me.

The emotional surge through me was one of extreme power and tranquility.  I knew the walls around me were thick stone, but it didn’t matter that there was no door or window or opening to let me out. If I chose to be on the other side of the stone, I would simply pass through the walls. My energy would simply pass right through. Nothing could stop me.

It was a beautiful moment and place, and I did not want to leave. There was contentment,  peace, power, an outflowing of love and a zing of energy.

“So what are your adjectives?”  I heard Claire ask the woman next to me.

I barely  registered  the  woman’s  emphatic  response: “Scared and claustrophobic!”

I was still blinking when Claire turned to me. “And you?”

I took a deep breath. The extreme emotion from the sudden flash was still with me. “Serene and powerful.”

Claire seemed surprised. The women around the table, most  of  them,  frowned  at me, especially  the ones who were still shivering  at the scenario they’d been presented with.

“That’s interesting,”  Claire said. “The room with no windows or  exits is an analogy for how you feel about death.”


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