“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go”–Jamie Anderson
It has been said that the best ghost stories are the ones written with psychological twists and unexpected turns. I suppose that means the ghost story I am going to share isn’t a good one. In fact, it seems more of a love story than a ghost story at all. And yet, despite that, it is the most tangible evidence that I have ever experienced of there being proof of afterlife. More so than anything else I’ve witnessed on this earth, and I say that having previously lived in a very psychically active house. Perhaps this is why it has taken me over two years to finally share this story. As odd as it is, it is every bit the truth of what happened that night, and for that reason I have struggled with how to write it. There is much justice that I must serve to this ghost story in its first retelling since it happened.
So no, this tale won’t be full of eerie moans and footsteps. There will be no things that go bump in the night. Instead, this is a story of life and death, of love and grief. Of the people left behind, and those who didn’t want to leave. The proof of love everlasting and how we never truly leave the ones we love. And I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I believe that Marvel’s Vision said it best when he stated: “What is grief, if not love persevering?”
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What a strange thing it
is to mourn an ending that
never once began.
“If eternal existence is altered, then it must become more beautiful; and if it disappears, it must return with more sublime image; and if it sleeps, it must dream of a better awakening, for it is ever greater upon its rebirth.”–Khalil Gibran
Life has been busy, a pell-mell dash through seasons as summer is now fall, and I have neglected my writing for over 2 months somehow. My full-time career asked much of me over the last few months, and a breakdown of leadership above me lead to some very stressful moments and tense situations. We overcame, but it was touch and go for a moment. On the positive, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write and design for something truly special, and to meet some wondrously creative folks. I only hope it’s something I can continue with as it’s a true passion for me. All the while, I’ve balanced the regular needs that go into motherhood of both human and furry children.
I’ve been a little blocked, too, to be honest. A little gun shy on writing, and feeling unworthy. But I’m finally determined to break that spell as my friend Edwin told me a few days ago: “if you’re a writer you’re never blocked, you just need to write through it”. So I suppose I have no more excuses, and better out than in. This dream came to me weeks ago and I have waffled on posting it, but for the spirit of writing, I present it, warts and all.
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“He who has not been bitten by the serpents of light and snapped at by the wolves of darkness, will always be deceived by the days and the nights.”–Khalil Gibran, The Broken Wings
Wild dreams, dark dreams, bright dreams. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There’s so much to say, so much to write about, and yet I find nothing in words that can truly describe what has happened over the last few months. Some of it I can’t write about as it’s not mine to tell just yet, though perhaps one day I will. Lovely moments, wondrous and bright, and then heartbreaking ones, too. For a long time, I felt like I was holding onto threads and praying they wouldn’t fray too soon. Just a little longer, to hold onto so much. But good news has come now, and we’re taking it all day by day, driving miles and miles while the world seems to unravel around us. In the end, it will all have been worth it, if dreams can be believed. That’s why I even began writing this blog to begin with: because someone believed in my dreams.
So tonight, as I sit on my porch surrounded by beautiful strands of hammered-copper lights, I write of a few dreams I’ve had lately. Though they were all dreamt on different nights, they seemed to blur together over days into one message.
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Soyez comme l’oiseau, posé pour un instant
Sur des rameaux trop frêles,
Qui sent ployer la branche et qui chante pourtant,
Sachant qu’il a des ailes!
(Be like the bird who / pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight / feels them give way beneath her /and yet sings / knowing she hath wings)–Victor Hugo
When I was a young girl, I spent many summers abroad in France, my grandmother’s country. I remember how exciting it was to count down the days until the trip every year. I would wish for time to speed up, even through Christmas, just to get there! Each summer, we would spend a few weeks in Paris, then Is-en-Bassigny, and then finally, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, which was my favorite. Built into the mountainside just off of the French Riviera, Roquebrune offered beautiful views of the Provence from its great heights.
My most favorite part about the townhome we owned in Roquebrune was my bedroom window. Situated at one of the higher points in town, I could see for miles out of that window, and I spent untold hours in the evenings sitting on its thick ledge of the 300 year old house. This was a nightly occurrence for me, because I loved to greet the starlings as they danced their murmuration across the sky in the evenings. Appearing over the horizon like a great, black ribbon, they would dive and turn, undulating through the twilight to an erratic dance of birdsong as the sunset burned orange and ember behind them. Eventually they would come closer overhead and completely dominate the sky with the moon rising behind them. Then as gracefully as they came, they flew beyond our town and out of sight. I was entranced each time, as if every night was completely new to behold.
It has been 16 years since I last sat in that window and watched the birds dance their nightfall ballet. I think back to those memories often though, despite the time. Some people imagine a pristine beach as their happy place, and I imagine the starlings at my window, and I can seem the just as vividly as they looked so long ago. It’s no surprise that I should then dream of them, from time to time…
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The body of man has in itself blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile; these make up the nature of this body, and through these he feels pain or enjoys health. Now he enjoys the most perfect health when these elements are duly proportioned to one another in respect of compounding, power and bulk, and when they are perfectly mingled.–Hippocrates
It is with some apprehension that I write tonight, as I don’t really want to write about this dream. I don’t want to shine a light on such darkness, or let it out. And yet, I keep having the dream. As if keeping it in somehow empowers the thought and drives me to dream it again and again and again. So tonight: a catharsis in hopes that I should rid myself of this recurring unpleasantry, and to clear out the black bile of melancholy that visits nightly.
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“I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.”–Khalil Gibran
Lately I have found myself quite often turning to the works of Khalil Gibran. There is something in his writing, the way he experienced life and emotion, that speaks to me and pulls at my heart. I find understanding and comfort in his poetry. A kindredness in how he felt and saw things through a similar lens in, even if he was far more talented than I could hope to be. Whatever it is about him, I love nothing more than to disappear in the beauty of his work. Some days I feel very Gibran in so many ways.
Given the Gibran saturation, it’s no surprise that he should creep into my dreams. This dream is a little more “out there” even for me, but I would feel remiss not sharing it. So it was, the other night, I found myself roaming a limitless white space when I came upon a single red thread…
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“The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.”–Percy Bysshe Shelley
Founded in 1852, Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington was the first planned, rural cemetery in North Carolina. Much like its sister cemeteries of Magnolia in Charleston, and Bonaventure in Savannah, Oakdale is a winding necropolis full of Spanish moss, alluring angels, and gorgeous flowering trees and shrubs that just begs to be explored and adored. Meant to be both garden and graveyard, this large, rural cemetery mixes the beauty of life with that of death and mourning. In the era of its conception, Victorian North Carolinians often spent many an afternoon relaxing in Oakdale with loved ones living and long gone, picnicking and reminiscing, and the cemetery became so popular that families paid to have their long-deceased loved ones relocated to its beautiful grounds.
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“When he shall die,–William Shakespeare
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
It has been a while, hasn’t it? For months now I’ve battled with writing, battled with dreaming. I feel stuck in slow motion, and in many ways stagnated. Given all that is going on in the world, I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling. It’s almost like running in a dream or screaming under water; fighting so hard and getting nowhere.
So many nights I lay down and hope to sleep, to dream, only to fall into a fitful darkness that feels like sleep, yet still leaves me exhausted in the morning. Dark flashes of scenes, some good, some bad, dance before my eyes, but it’s nothing like the dreams I’m used to. After my surgery in December, my dreams had gone nearly completely, and I worried that they were gone for good.
But here and there I see breakthroughs. Here and there I see the light on the other side. And that’s enough to keep me pushing forward. And even though this dream wasn’t the happiest? It felt good to truly dream again.
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“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”-Carl Sagan
I thought I would take some time off from being the romantic dreamer to satisfy the medical side of my mind that has found much to chew on with the news as of late. Those who know me well know that epidemiology has always been a fascinating subject for me, and I have often dreamed of eventually procuring a PhD in Epidemiology. The Spanish Flu is also one of my favorite historical subjects, as it is a perfect marriage of my love of American history and epidemiology. Unknown futures aside, the COVID-19 situation currently gripping the world has held my attention since the Chinese announced its discovery on December 31st, 2019.
Indeed, this situation has not only tickled my epidemiological funny bone but has also struck a chord with my boundless interest in conspiracy and the occult as well. It might seem odd for someone with a scientific and medical background to also consider alternative and controversial topics, but I do find that in certain cases, the truth often lies in places that many people may not be willing to look, and rarely is the truth presented in full light, especially by those in power.
As such, in this series of posts, I am going to attempt to cover as much ground on both the published and peer-reviewed, scientific side of COVID-19, as well as the top alternative theories on the disease in order to a full view into the current state of the world, how we got here, and where we may be going. Throughout this series, it is my mission to provide high quality and unbiased sources as possible, to give you, the reader, the ability to come to an informed conclusion. I feel that this is extremely important given the inherently misleading nature of both mainstream and alternative news sources.
This first part of the series will focus on the origins of COVID-19, and the most widely accepted theory on the disease, which is the virus theory. Subsequent posts will delve into origins of the virus, and alternative causalities to COVID-19.
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