Ailish's memories

Discussion in 'Member's Memories - Archive' started by Ailish, Oct 10, 2004.

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  1. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Artefacts - Cultural Expressions


    As humans, we create and express ourselves in many different forms – and have since the beginning of time. Culturally, there are specific items which are unique to each country and/or region. Some of those have changed considerably as their creators migrated and brought their crafts with them to new lands. Some have remained within their country of origin – an important part of the country’s customs even today.


    As a child – I had memories of being a girl named Yanna. I remembered the process of making bowls with my mother and aunt. Each bowl had very specific symbols inscribed inside. It was only recently that I learned that what I was making were called incantation bowls. The symbols were Jewish-Aramaic in origin.


    Ailish


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  2. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    I remember being sick in my life as Elisha in the Monastery during the 1300's - I was dying and the Abbess was "letting my blood" - trying to rid my body of illness. It was not a very pleasant experience.


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  3. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Scotland - memories of music and mother


    In October of last year I started piecing together a Scottish life. My name was Caitlin (pronounced Kat-leen). I was the only child of a judge named Alasdair and his wife Caitriona (pronounced Ka-tree-na).


    Recently during a meditation I asked to see my connection to violins – as I’ve always held a deep attraction to this beautiful, mystical, sorrowful instrument. My whole life I’ve felt like I should be able to just pick up and play. I finally bought one just before Christmas – and the first time I picked it up – I had perfect stance and created some lovely sounding notes. But something has been holding me back from picking it up again – despite my love for the instrument. The recent work I’ve done surrounding this lifetime has given me a greater understanding.


    What I’ve learned so far has been a beautiful discovery – a life filled with love – with music – with dancing. Both of my parents were incredible people who fostered a love of music within me – something that remains with me even now. I had an especially close bond with my mother, Caitriona.


    I admired her greatly – for the work she did for the neighbors, for the poor – and for the “coal children” that worked in the mines. She was funny and loving – and full of joy and life. Everything was an adventure with her – and there was always laughter.


    My mother had a beautiful voice – and played the violin in the evenings. Many of my memories involve sitting in front of the big stone fireplace listening to her play and sing.

    There were many friendly gatherings where music and dance were the prominent activities. Our family was very well-off, and we attended many events. It was a truly charmed life.

    My mother became ill – the smiling, sunshiny woman of my childhood became frail and wasted away – but she never lost the sparkle in her eye. Nor her love of music.

    She died not long after that – and it was within the memory that I understand now why I cannot pick up that violin…

    As far as I know – I have never touched it again in any life – until now. Thinking of that life brings me much joy – which at times is tinged with an element of sorrow – an ache in my heart and a twisting in my solar plexus. A child’s grief for her mother.


    Aili


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  4. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    I’ll share a few memories of my father during my life on the American Frontier - my name was Hope.


    My father was very peaceable man - he and my mother had come from England to settle some land. I was born after they had been in America a few years and had built a small cabin and established themselves; becoming close friends with the Indians. The white men who said they were his friends were trying to get him to run the Indians from their land – but he wouldn’t. He was my hero – and even though he was gruff at times, he was very gentle with me.


    Here are a couple of snippets from my journal:

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  5. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Epilepsy in the 19th Century


    When my mom was here we did a couple of shared meditations. During one of them I saw a flash of a young girl with dark hair, laid out for a funeral. She was a beautiful child – beautifully dressed, long dark hair, pale skin. She looked about 9 or 10 – and my main emotion was relief. I was relieved she was dead. Looking at her made me sad and uncomfortable. At the time – I didn’t recognize her as being ME.


    That one incident triggered dreams – of being a child locked in a room and having my hair cut off:

    I later found validation from several sources online that hair ‘taking strength’ from a person was a common misconception in the Victorian era. ;)


    It wasn’t until I went back through my journals that I realized this child – was the same girl I had been seeing as an epileptic in previous memories.

    Individuals with epilepsy were (and still are in certain cultures) considered to be "possessed by the devil," "mentally lacking" or "insane" and they were treated with no respect - no one understood, and so it was feared. It was a stigma that caused great embarrassment for families. Often when the family could not make a decision - a board was called in. They removed epileptics from their families and put them into medical facilites ranging from specific epileptic colonies to lunatic asylums.


    Now those feelings of relief at seeing the dead girl make complete sense. As a little girl, she was taken from her family and placed in an asylum for being epileptic; death was a relief:

    That also led to another validation – in the late 1800’s, water therapy was used in asylums. I knew it was the late 1800’s, not just by the clothing styles I wore, but also by the nurse’s uniforms I had described (late 19th century England), and also by my description of what they made me drink and how it made me feel:

    After some research and help from a friend, I discovered that Bromide was used in the treatment of epileptics in the late 1800’s. Because of the adverse effect it had on people, it was stopped and is now used to control animals’ seizures.


    I went for about three weeks straight dreaming about Alissia's life - and I would wake up in the middle of her seizure to find my present body contorting into some very bizarre positions.


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  6. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Noemi - Daughter of Freed Slaves


    I did a meditation last weekend with my mom. I'd really been looking forward to it -it had been a while for both of us and unfortunately she got interrupted! Usually we have interesting experiences together - cross-overs and shared memories...but we haven't had a good one together for a very long time.


    Near the end I gravitated towards my life as Noemi, the daughter of freed slaves. As Noemi, I never experienced slavery myself, but I saw the scars it left upon my mother and father - emotionally and physically. My mother never wanted me or my brother to know what it meant to be a slave; she tried to hide it from us, rarely speaking about her life before freedom. My sister Carrie knew, but she was much older than Teddy and I. She was close to our mother in a different way than us younger kids were.


    Teddy and I may have been "born free," but that freedom was still limited at the time. The town was segregated - there was a definite white/black area. I remember walking through the trees along a path to the white side where my mother worked, and how the people treated her. She didn't let it bother her - at least not in front of me. But at some point, she stopped taking me to work with her when things got a little rough. I know she worried for us all.


    I found great joy in the little things in life - and my great passion was singing. I was plenty fussed over by the little old ladies in the community that gathered around in the afternoons to chat and share their stories. My special friend was "Miss Ella," and to me she was a very wise old woman who knew a lot about music - and life!


    Here's what I wrote in my journal from last weekend:

    The next day I googled the "blood of the lamb and negro spirituals" and found reference in Questia to a song from 1764 called "Been wash'd in the blood of the Lamb." There is a similar reference in an 1800's hymnal - dunno if it's the same song, but I'm betting on an adaptation of the original. I looked on youtube and although there are similarities between the songs, the current versions lack the "soul" I remember experiencing during my meditation.


    One thing that stays with me very strongly from Noemi's memories - is the joy of song. Worshiping in church was a whole different experience; it wasn't a bunch of people sitting all proper and quiet and reciting back things, and fire and brimstone sermons. It was joy - pure joy. Being thankful - and being together in Spirit. The preaching made people rise up together in joy - not be knocked down by fear of damnation. The congregation would sing back, hands clapping, feet stomping...it was beautiful!


    I have many vivid memories of Noemi, her life and her family, recorded in journals, both old and new. Many of the validations have to do with music. Eventually I may share some more of her life here on the forum :)


    Aili


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  7. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    There was no other family besides my parents, brother, sister and my sister's husband (and eventually their baby). I don't recall if my parents ever spoke of their own parents or siblings; perhaps they didn't know their origins. I don't feel that we missed out on not having grandparents or aunts and uncles, though. It was a very close, very loving community and there were always people around. They all felt like family to me - they were all I knew. :)


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  8. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    HI :D

    I was named for a friend of my mother's I never met. Momma wouldn't talk about her (that I remember), except to say she was "joy in a dark place." My name was pronounced No-emmy. My family called me No-no.

    My brother and I were raised knowing we were born free. I explained that my parents didn't talk much about the past, but my mother bore the scars of many whippings on her back. She tried desperately to hide the physical scars from us - it was not something she wanted us to see. Here's a memory from my journal I know some of you have read:

    Sometimes she talked about her friends and the old ways. Not often, but when she did Teddy and I were horrified and transfixed by her words. Sometimes, we'd catch all the ladies reminsicing over cold sweet tea (a treat!) and pick up some details here and there, until someone noticed us and shooed us away. We knew we were free but still living in difficult times. From my journal:

    Teddy and I knew we were different from the rest of our family - that we had opportunities they'd only dreamed of, such as education. Getting an education was important to my parents - and they were extremely proud of us when we learned to read and write so young. My sister knew the basics, but she was married young and had her own baby to care for. She wasn't much into learning anyway; she just wanted her own space and her own family to care for.


    As far as I know - I only lived in one home. It was owned by my parents and they were so very proud of it. It was small, but cozy and well taken care of. Here's how I described it in my journal:

    My Momma worked for the white people on "their side" and I actually loved helping her. I was fascinated by all of their "fine things" - and yes, a little ashamed of our tiny home at times and wishing to have their riches. I was pretty jealous of a white girl named Amelia...she was a brat, but oh how I envied her at times. From my journal:

    What's that? If you feel like sharing. :)


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  9. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Hi Aili,


    I came across this. Perhaps I have the spelling (pronunciation) wrong. Perhaps it was another girl. Who knows - but it did get my attention. ;)

    Thanks for sharing more! :)


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  10. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Thank you for reading, and for your comments everyone! It was a happy, joyful life despite the hardships. There was so much love - it overshadowed everything else ;)


    Mom - That's very interesting about the name Naomi and my Noemi. And the fact that they both sang. Perhaps we'll have to do a meditation soon ;) For those of you who haven't read Deborah's memories of her slave lifetime, please check out the following link in our Archives: Clara's Story


    Aili


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