In between lives
A ray of sunshine tickled my eyelids. A wake-up call. Back to Earth, back to reality. It was a lovely spring day; one of those days you dream about all winter long. The sun, clouds, a lovely breeze, birds chirping, flowers growing… Yet, my heart wasn’t singing in harmony with the elements. Had it ever? I had ended up again on one of the hills near Arthur’s Seat, my feet carrying, guiding me, tears and thoughts intertwining in the chaos of my soul. I was lost. If not physically, metaphorically. Spikes from low bushes were piercing my jeans. They might as well have punctured my brain, my heart, my veins. Who was I? Where was I going? What was the point of all this? And every day, the same questions, the same angst, the same worries. Over and over again. It was exhausting to be me. I wish all these thoughts would disappear, flow out of me in a tidal wave, leaving me empty, numb, but finally at peace.
There was no one around. I could see tiny silhouettes of joggers, hikers and tourists on other hills and summits, but these grounds were always empty. It was less exciting, less “landmarky”, less picturesque. A few bushes and hills, high grasses and spiky weeds. A mirror of my life, a reflection of the wasteland narrowing in on me. I had a favourite spot where I liked to sit, read, write and watch the world and sun go by. My feet were headed there. Like most days. A rock was creating a makeshift chair and the grass made for a comfortable pillow when it was time for a nap. As I arrived to the spot, I found a notebook, abandoned, lying in a pool of grass, waiting to be read and plundered. The little black book was inconspicuous, looking both old and new, full of possibilities and stories, as if filled with blank pages and poetic words. I leafed quickly through it, looking for some sort of writing, a name, an address, something, anything to bring it back to its rightful owner. I would go mad if one of mine were to disappear. But there was no name, no writing, nothing. Blank pages. A pen and an enveloppe as bookmarks. The enveloppe was small, but full… full of cash. A lot of cash… a lot of hundreds… dollars!!!???
I looked around, for a sign of the owner. No one. If I were really honest, I would admit I was looking to see if anyone had seen me flip through this pile of money. No one was around. I stashed the enveloppe and pen in my pocket and flipped once more through the little black book. I had missed an inscription on the cover page…
“Hannah, this is for you. We’ve been here before. It’s for YOU! Make a choice. The right one.”
My heart stopped. Hannah?! My name is Hannah. What a coincidence! I slumped myself on the ground, taking a breather, gathering my thoughts. But there was no gathering to be done. My thoughts were like rogue fireworks, racing in directions they had never been before, in directions and brain spaces that didn’t exist. Should I keep the money? Should I leave the notebook? What an incredible coincidence this all was! Was it a sign? Synchronicity? Isn’t it the current buzzword? My hands suddenly took a life of their own. After all, my brain was having a firework display, so my hands could just as well do something else. I found myself counting the bills. And counting them again. And again. Making sure the wind or an undesirable witness wouldn’t take them away. $20,000. 20,000. 20,000! I never ever had so much money in my life. This could change everything. My hands kept acting of their own volition, separate from my will and brain. And there I was, writing in the little notebook, answering to the mysterious writer, connected to a lifeline I never could have imagined.
“For me? What’s the choice then? What should I do?”
I waited. For an embarrassingly long time. As if I was expecting an answer to drop from the sky, to write itself in ink or blood. After all , it was that sort of day. But it didn’t come or appeared or dropped down from anywhere. Even less so from the sky. The page remained desperately blank. No saviour, no magic, no miracle. Just me, an enveloppe full of cash and a little black book. And a pen. So I came down the hill, carried by my disembodied feet and self. I was rich. Anything was possible. I could be anything I wanted. I could pay my rent. I could quit my soul-sucking job. I could become whoever I wanted to be. Everything had changed. And nothing had.
Back at home, I dropped notebook, money and pen on my desk. I started cooking and singing, pretending not to glimpse a little too often towards the foreign objects. It was a little weird to cook a basic meal of spaghetti and tomato sauce, when I could have splurged on anything, but something had prevented me to spend even just a little bit of the pot. Maybe I should give it back? Find the owner? Give it to a cause? Buy luscious gifts for Mom? Buy a gift for myself? Invest? Launch a business? Save for that sabbatical? Finance medical or climate change research? Possibilities were endless and I had no idea what to do. I drank a few too many glasses of wine. Just to take the edge off. At least my despair was gone, hidden under layers upon layers of questions, problems to solve, booze and concrete quandaries. I flipped back to that first page… Words, sentences had magically appeared right under my clumsy handwriting. Was I going mad? Dissociating? Was I dreaming? Hallucinating?
“We’ve been here before. It will happen again and again. Until you listen.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Do you mean this whole thing already happened? Am I losing my mind?”
“Yes and no. It happened. In your other lives. In past lives. In future lives. In parallel lives.”
“I’m an atheist. I don’t…”
“Trust me, you’re not! Listen to the whispers.”
“ Show me. Prove it to me…”
“I thought you’d never ask!”
I can’t remember what happened next. My mind was blank and it wasn’t. The pen tightly anchored to the page and to my hand, visions were pouring through. Images. Mirages. Delusions. Other lives. I never knew wine could be so strong. And yet, it all felt so real. To the heart of my soul, to the core of my bones, to the tip of my skin, to the touch of my fingertips… I felt all of them as if I was living them. Being them. Breathing them.
I am finding the notebook, again and again. Same spot, always. Sometimes in winter, sometimes in summer. Sometimes under pouring rain, notebook and money completely dry. Sometimes a robin, a butterfly, a dragonfly, a ladybird lead the way. I am older, I am younger, I am the same and I am not. I’m excited, I’m scared. I leave the money where I found it. I spend it all on empty dreams and plastic endeavours. I save it cautiously, almost religiously. I invest in crypto, in secure investments, in corrupted banks, in savings accounts. I shower my friends and family with gifts and pipe dreams. I spend it on rent and food. I travel the world. I give it to a homeless man. To a women’s shelter. To an animal rescue centre. To charities. I become a scrooge. I become generous. I live it all. Yet, something is amiss. I am still empty. Here I am again, back on the hills, tears and despair keeping me warm and cold at the same time. Over and over again. The same pattern seeps out of sights. I am. I am. I am.
I landed back on my chair, pen straight in between my fingers, tip resting on the page, no words written. I wanted to let it go, I wanted to scream, to destroy it all, to get rid of it, to burn notes and pages to ashes, in a cleansing and hellish ritual. But I couldn’t. I had already done that. In another life. So I wrote and wrote, letting my hands, my body, my soul take charge, decide, write my present, my history, my future. Words were rushing faster than I could think them. A dialogue splashed onto the page. I was aware and unaware. This was me and it wasn’t. I believed it all. I doubted everything.
“Who are you?”
“I’m no more different than you.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“And yet it is.”
“What should I do with the money and this notebook?”
“You know what to do. Listen.”
“Tune in. Let yourself disappear. Let yourself become the pen and the book, the hand and the void. Dance with your writing. Be your words. It will become clear.”
“I think the wine is blurring my mind…”
“No, your mind is blurring your soul, your heart, your breath.”
I took a deep breath in. And I exhaled. And again. I felt as if I was back in yoga class. Without the mats, incense or convoluted mantras. And there it was, in a dark corner of my brain, deeply buried in my subconscious, between traumatic events and long-forgotten memories. A thread, a thought, a feeling, a golden cloud waiting to be unravelled. I pulled it softly, afraid to lose it, to let go. My eyes shut tight, knots were coming undone. And then a murmur, a knowing, metaphors dancing in my gut, visions coming into words, into beings, a murmur I’d heard before. The water was still. And it was flowing. I was riding the wave. I was loving it. Alive. I knew. I had always known. I was just terrified of diving into the darkness.
The pen dropped. I was back in my body. I had always been. The murmur was still there, all encompassing, all knowing. My dark thoughts and insecurities had gone amiss into corners of my brain. It was getting late, but I found a bookshop still open. With one of the $100 bill, I bought a little black book. Identical to the one I had found a few hours before. I bought a brand new pen too. And in the twinkling sunset, I climbed the hill, back to my spot.
My mind was clear. My feet were leading me. A smile had replaced my tears. I sat down and started writing in the little black book, writing this book I had always wanted to write, but never could. Words were pouring out of me. I was the words. I was the breeze. I was it all, in complete flow and ecstasy. I was a writer. As I had always been. As the night settled in, I took out the new little black book and wrote a couple of lines on the cover page. I put the remaining money and the new pen as bookmarks and I left it there on the spot, knowing that it would be found, by the right person at the right time, in this lifetime or another one.
My morning run was so fun. Something quite crazy happened! I found a little black book, a pen and an enveloppe full of cash. Precisely $19,888. Yes, dollars! So weird! And then, on the first page of the notebook, there was this message:
“Hi. My name is Hannah. I’m a writer. This is meant for you. You just have to decide what to do and life will flow. With all my joy and imagination, enjoy the path and your many lives!”
So yeah, I’m taking that as a sign. I’m rich! And I’m quitting my job. I have a one-way ticket to Bali. This is gonna rock!
About the Creator
French and English writer and screenwriter, I let words flow through me, stories unravel and creative intuition lead me.
Sci-Fi, supernatural, political, spiritual, magical realism, travel, poetry, channeled writing, stream of consciousness.
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