Synchronicity pops up often in my life, as it did a few days ago. A friend handed me a book, Portrait of a Past Life Skeptic by Robert L. Snow that her daughter told her to give to me. I was pleasantly surprised as I recognized the title and author’s name. In 2012 he spoke at the A.R.E. in Virginia Beach, VA where I was attending a past-life regression seminar. I was impressed with his story but had limited funds for buying books, so I didn’t get his that day.
As I read his story it brought his appearance back to me. He was a police captain for 30 years in Indianapolis, IN who, on a dare, experienced a past life regression with Dr. Griffith. As his career must suggest, he believed in facts, only facts; the here and now, certainly no New-Age stuff, even after his session.
It was difficult for him to accept that he once lived in the 1800s as an extremely successful artist, J. Carroll Beckwith. Yet the experience rolled around in the back of his mind until he started doing some research to disprove what happened to him once and for all. Except that it didn’t disprove it. Instead it proved that he once lived as the artist.
Being an artist, I had been impressed by his story enough to do some research of my own and found a few of his paintings online. His most famous portrait of The Lady in Red was featured in one of my art books. Even though I had learned some bits about reincarnation when I heard him speak, I learned even more by reading his full story in the book. I especially enjoyed his wrap-up at the end where he says how the experience has opened his mind to learn so much more about life and the afterlife.
I loved his book! Taking the day off from a computer who was sassing back at me in the way of not doing what I wanted it to do, I finished reading the book in one day. When I emailed Lisa, thanking her, not knowing why she chose to send it to me, but happy that she did.
Well, she didn’t. She sent it to my friend Arlene and it got to me by mistake! Or by synchronicity!
Waiting so long to write about the strange things that happened to me was a natural decision. I first spoke about seeing a ghost while I was working in my bookshop in Bordentown, New Jersey. This came freely because I was conducting an annual ghost walk as a fund raiser for my business group. There were other houses on the tour that also had true stories of hauntings. There is a comfort and freedom when you are among your own kind. And people who lived with ghosts in their houses were my kind.
Once word got out that I lived with a little girl ghost in my house, others came to me with their stories. They, too, had not spoken of their experiences for the same reasons. One, who would believe them? Two, how many people would ridicule and make fun of them? Three, would the value of their homes drop? And more reasons followed.
Once houses were placed on the tour, they became, if any change at all, higher in value. People sought haunted houses to live in because they wanted that experience. It became cool.
Remember, Bordentown was settled in 1682, adding much Revolutionary War history to its stories. The earlier residents were practically still living to the present-day residents. We kept their personalities alive and familiar through the Historical Society and through fund raisers. One of which was a Friday evening garden party at the DeSantis house. Several of us dressed in our chosen Bordentown “hero/shero.” We had many to choose from.
The first year I wore all white as was the custom of Quaker Patience Lovell Wright. She was America’s first woman sculptor (mostly in wax) who spied in the court of King George in England, sending all the information she discovered to Benjamin Franklin. He was living in France at the time.
Once we entered the garden in costume, we became that person, staying in character, answering questions as that person would have done. It was great fun and imbedded history into our bones. I’m not quite sure about Ms. Wright drinking wine, tho she could have. No wonder ghosts came out of the woodwork!
Filed under American History, books, Bordentown, Ghost Walk, hauntings, living with ghosts, Memoir, New book release, New Jersey history, paranormal, psychic phenomena
While tending bar is a lot of work, although good bartenders don’t appear to be working hard, if you like the study of people, it is grand. I love people; our differences, our sameness, and our stories. For as many as we are on this earth, we each have a personal story that is unique. We have reasons, whys, and wherefores that mold us into who we are today.
While Stanley Dancer was a great horseman with a good reputation as an individual, I had met him, but did not know him on a personal level. I did come to know many of the people who worked for him and for other horse trainers in the Plumsted Township area. They were teachers about their professions to me. Working with and around horses was a daily chore; no taking off sick days, or Christmas. The animals must be fed and tended to and these people chose a life style that did not afford them luxuries. I admired them greatly; came to love them for who they were, what they were willing to sacrifice to be where they were, and what jobs they did.
Please enjoy an excerpt from THE HORSEY SET
they came with bruised, calloused hands
coarser than sandpaper
to lift a shot of whiskey chased by a
cold mug of beer,
for hard work done out in the elements,
thanks not given
what they gave themselves;
not a lot of time
to linger; even on
horses had regular schedules
workers were there
to keep ‘em
on my neck
that sends chills
running up my spine
and raises the hairs on my arms
softly in my ear
reminding me of life
after death is a true thing
a spirit without a body not to
be forgotten because it is not seen
in front of me
as a misty curvy wave
a haint to be an image of terror
to some but not by others who know
and accept it with the joy of a past love
comfort by touch
because never does
warmth come out of a spirit
from the middle world it inhabits
yet the sight brings memories of passion
© Arlene S. Bice, 2012