Reincarnation – Tell me about past lives…

Dewa and I had a long conversation about reincarnation yesterday. I was carrying those thoughts with me as I went about my day and suddenly one line appeared on a mental blank page.  “Tell me about past lives,” it said. I was near a familiar Warung (local restaurant) so I removed my sandals, stepped up to the spotlessly clean white tiled floor, took a seat on a bamboo stool by a bamboo table, pulled my notebook out of my backpack, requested a pineapple juice, and began. Half an hour and a chicken curry dish later I closed my notebook, returned it to my backpack, paid for my $3.00 lunch, retrieved my sandals, and strolled slowly home. Back in my sweet little room I took myself,  my laptop, and my notebook to the balcony and translated the scribbles. The result is this poem.

Journey’s End

.

Was I here before? I want to know.

Tell me about past lives.

Was I a temple prostitute

Or one of the sultans’ wives?

.

Did my cries ring out on a battlefield?

Did I dance to pagan drums?

Was I burned at the stake for my witching ways?

Sometimes a memory comes…

.

Not clear like a snapshot photograph

But wrapped in a cloudy haze

Hinting at something long ago

Reminiscent of ancient days.

.

I seek to know myself, and yet

Can I plumb the depths of these wells

When my soul spans ages of lifetimes

And old knowledge resides in my cells?

.

When the sound of a Celtic fiddle

Makes my feet do an unknown dance

And I already know the Sanskrit words

That the kirtan leader chants.

.

I am trapped in Scandinavian skin

With a penchant for curries and heat.

A crucifix haunts me from behind

While I kneel at Shakti’s feet.

.

The teacher smiled with a knowing

And quietly said, “My friend…

The questions are the journey

The answers are journey’s end.”

.

Sherry Bronson

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