As the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is right around the corner, I’m glad this year in-person gathering outdoors is open, and Tim and I have booked a few concerts including two on July 1. Last year due to the pandemic, there was no physical gathering for the festival. Coastal Jazz organized an online celebration by collecting some stories. How Tim and I met was showcased their page from 2020. You can find it at this link.
Here’s us, in 2019 on the blanket where we met, as the story told in Chapter 2 of Carol’s Lives: Blanket Speaks.
An excerpt from Page 20 – 21:
The band finished. The emcee was announcing the next show, which was due in about 40 minutes. People in the crowd started to get up and move around. But I was ready to sit down after all my Canada Day window shopping. Wouldn’t it be nice if I had a blanket like those lying there, so that I could sit and enjoy the sun with my book? As if through magic, to my right I spotted an unoccupied, big, light purple and white checked blanket lain out on the grass. It looked so inviting; lovely and lonely, just waiting for me to take my seat on it in the sun. I found it hard to resist its pull. But I was resisting.
– No. This must be someone else’s blanket.
But nobody is there now. And my feet are tired. I need to sit on something just like that.
– You don’t really want to steal a blanket, do you?
If I don’t take it away, it’s not stealing. It’s borrowing.
– But how can you call it borrowing without the owner’s permission?
Maybe the owner has already abandoned the blanket. Maybe someone just didn’t bother to take it back home after that last act.
– What if the owners just left for a while and they will come back? That would be really embarrassing.
If they come back … then … maybe, I will make a friend or two!
Strangely, the prospect of making new friends excited me more than sitting on the blanket itself. To date, I had not made friends with strangers in Canada easily. Or, so I thought. I still cannot explain why the idea of making new friends thrilled me so much that sunny Canada Day in David Lam Park.
Three weeks after I came back from my most recent trip to New York City, and two nights after I saw my client Thomas for our third session, I received an email from him, followed by a black and white photo of Wall Street with an accompanying Wikipedia link.
Look what I found! I had absolutely no idea that such an event had ever happened. I never studied American history, nor was I interested in history enough to read and retain much on my own. I did see or sense what seemed like an explosion but did not believe it during the session. I had a similar experience with a map of Europe when I mentioned accurate details that I would have never known on my own. Very interesting because I still can’t say that I believe 100% in past lives, but I almost don’t really care to have an opinion.
(Note: I briefly mentioned this email on Simon’s podcast interview that you can find here.)
Thomas is a medical doctor and a gay man. His email was referring to our previous session. We had been reviewing some entanglements of his relationship when he spontaneously went to the life of a young woman in New York City.
“New York in the twenties,” this statement came out of nowhere in hypnosis. He continued on, “I was there.”
I was surprised. That day when Thomas came for his appointment, we started talking about relationships. His heart seemed to be longing for a relationship. But he kept telling himself, “I don’t have to search for one.” He did this to such a degree that he was somewhat guarded in talking to me. I felt he was not even allowing himself to have the desire for one, just because he “didn’t need to look for it”. I told Thomas about how I came across the ocean from another country miles and miles away, and my partner Tim moved miles and miles, and then at a particular moment in a particular park, we met, in this lifetime. I was hoping to illustrate to Thomas that just because we don’t have to look for something, doesn’t mean we can’t be open to welcoming it.
Thomas expressed an interest in the story of how Tim and I met, so I filled him in by briefly telling him that we met each other in another life, in New York City, in the 1920s.
So later, to hear him say in his hypnotic trance, “New York in the twenties, I was there,” was a little bit surreal for me.
“Floor… black and white tiles… It’s like a coffee shop.” His soft voice as a young woman continued, “There is a lot of wood, maybe a wooden bar, or a wooden fireplace? I go through one door, then I go through another door, then to the left, and into the place… There is red. I don’t know what. There’s something red. And I see the floor. The floor is old tiles. There is wood. It’s dark. But it’s very bright outside. It’s during the day. There is smoke. People are smoking. I see feet. And I see women’s shoes.”
I like it when information flows like that. “How are you feeling?” I asked.
“Feeling good,” she said in a satisfied tone.
“Are you there as a customer?”
“Yeah,” she replied, before urgently adding, “I need to go back.”
“Go back to…?”
“New York!” It took me a while to realize that it was Thomas speaking, not the young woman, and he needed to go back to New York. “I left him behind, in that lifetime. Something happened. It was beyond our control. I went on, left the place. Then something happened and he died.”
“Like an accident?”
“Yeah, something happened… the building. I see the roads… I don’t know what happened. I see the building down then he was gone. I left and he died. I don’t know what happened. But I blame myself.”
“Blame yourself for?”
“I wanted to stay and die with him… It was the twenties. And I decided that life. Ended. For me. I lived in grief and sorrow till the day I died, in the ’50s. He was 32 when he died. I was 28.”
“Has this being reincarnated in this time?”
“I think he’s waiting. He’s waiting somewhere, but I don’t want to meet him.”
“Because you feel you can’t handle the pain?” Now I know why Thomas didn’t want to look for someone. What a stubborn soul, as if 30-years grief as that woman in New York was not enough!
“But I’m not ready.” The grief was so strong that I didn’t know how many lifetimes Thomas needed to have before he would be ready to meet that man he tragically lost in New York again. “I just decided I don’t want to meet him.”
I had a sense Thomas needed to go back to New York someday, to resolve that past life’s emotional pain. On one level, he realized the direction that he needed to go— forgiveness—and “to start to see someone and move on with my own life”, as he put it in his intake form. But then he just “decided” he’s not ready to meet him. It’s as if the gentle tenderness of the soul is used against himself.
I marvelled at how the stories could be so intertwined. I had just shared with him Rick and Carol’s lifetimes in New York during the twenties. I wondered if Rick had ever rubbed elbows with the woman who Thomas was those years ago on Wall Street?
When I first read Thomas’s email, I smiled at his last comment, “I almost don’t really care to have an opinion”. I don’t either actually. Even though I facilitate past life regressions on an almost daily basis, I don’t have much of an opinion about them. So, I responded to Thomas, “Well, opinions are too cheap to be cared for. People change them all the time without paying a dime. But thank you for sharing. I was just sitting on those stairs of The Federal Hall shown in that old Wall Street photo three weeks ago!”
In May 2018, I came up with this fancy idea, that was to have Tim write a note, or a preface for my book, without him reading it first.
I thought the entire book is about him, in and out of this life, it just made sense for him to have a say, at the beginning of the book. And without being too much influenced by my points of view, which are the tone of the book, it would be a great idea to put his original points of view into the book.
Tim gracefully cooperated and wrote the following piece. When you read the book, you will find, this “note” or the “preface” is not actually included in the book. After this note was written, we discovered most of his “points of view” were already covered in my “points of view”. What a coincidence! (wink)
Kemila told me about her idea for this book and asked me if I was okay with it. I am a private person and this book talks about events of my life, contains expressions of my personal feelings, and portrays experiences that I had while in a hypnotic trance. So this request made me deeply uncomfortable.
But then there is the story that the book would tell. At its core that is a story about love. And the person wanting to write it is the love of my life. So of course I gave her my blessing and encouragement and helped in any way that I could.
A core facet of the book involves my experiences while in a hypnotic trance and regressed (or progressed) to different points in time. What are those experiences? I certainly visualize events when guided through a regression process. Some events are easier than others to visualize and some questions easier to answer. Often, although not always, events become more clear and the experience becomes more tangible as the regression progresses. Feelings and emotions are almost always easier to identify than concrete details though sometimes those details are extremely vivid.
And afterward, coming out of a trance, opening my eyes, and re-joining the world that I generally inhabit, I feel a sense of dislocation much more pronounced than when waking from a powerful dream.
But did those things I experienced while in trance actually happen? Or are they instead an invention of my imagination, a fantasy? My professional background is computer science and science and logic ground my thinking. To my knowledge, there is no scientific basis to believe in reincarnation. Yet of all the world’s great belief systems, Buddhism makes the most sense to me. So even though it is almost impossible to prove a negative, I am skeptical that what I experienced in trance was a manifestation of actual past events.
I am inclined to think of those trance experiences as originating from my imagination. This makes sharing them with the world seem more troubling to me than if they had actually occurred. Why did my imagination take those specific forms? What, if anything, do those trance experiences say about me as a real person?
I try and content myself in the thought that giving light to my trance experiences says no more about me than creative works say about their creators. Authors write fiction, and although their stories and novels may be informed by their life experiences, we generally do not think the stories reflect on the authors. Yet my experiences differ in that they were not shaped by conscious thought and hence are more like dreams. So I wonder, what do these “dreams” say about me?
It took me a while to find an editor for the book, but after I found Melanie Christian, I’m very glad that she is my editor. She does predominantly a line-by-line edit of each chapter, making amendments to follow The Canadian Press Stylebook, as she told me, it’s required formatting guide for published works. Editing the book this way must be tedious work but Melanie has taken it so diligently.
Adding her intuition to her dedication, Melanie sends me a few chapters at a time, and I found her work establishes a more clear and fluid narrative. I know I will look and sound better because of her.
Continue to do what you love with the peace of mind that your content needs are inspired & running smoothly!
The sweet thing about Melanie is that she always inserts positive energies in each editing note she sends me.
And am so enjoying this story and your journey. You are an engaging storyteller!
Thank you again for your patience with my process. I hope you enjoy reading my revisions? And look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments. It really is wonderful. Believe me, I recognize that you have entrusted me with something precious. So, I’m handling with great care 🙂
Thank you again for such a fun opportunity of editing your book. You and Tim truly do have such a sweet story. And there are wonderful moments when I laugh out loud, because your sense of humour shines through. I hope you are happy with my revisions? And look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.
I must say, I am really appreciating how you’ve chosen to divide up the chapters of Carol’s Lives. And the chapter titles are very captivating.
There’s a photo of Tim and I benching on our book cover Carol’s Lives.
Summer 2018, our photographer Silmara found us this bench in Kitsilano in Vancouver and took this picture to be used in the book cover. Of course, looking from Vancouver, to the direction of Manhattan; or looking from this life, to the direction of that life.
I consider myself a Shaumbra. If you don’t know that word, that’s okay. It is not an English word. If you happen to know what I mean, it would put a smile on my face. It probably means we had a dream together, long ago, like Adamus would say, “an Atlantian Dream”.
And Adamus would say, “Masters bench”. So I bench.
Everywhere I go, I take some time benching. Even my book cover, I felt I had to do something about benching. Like Memoir of Masterswould do.
I did a quick photo search, and here are some of my benching photos…
A few days ago, Simon Bown from the UK – a fellow hypnotherapist, and the Past Lives Hypnosis Podcast host – interviewed me for an hour. He is an amazing interviewer in the subject, as he knows when to ask the right question at the right time.
In the interview, I mentioned this work in progress, my second book. I know there’ll be a day I’ll have another chat with Simon on Carol’s Lives.
I really tried not to sound too nervous… But you can always take it as “Kemila’s being too passionate”.
I have long learned not to wear mascara during a flight, for the convenience. A recent 11-hour flight saw me watching three movies. And one of them was Ladies in Lavender.
I can’t believe someone would make such an exquisitely beautiful movie!
We don’t know where that young man Andrea came from when he washed up on the beach. He could be a sailor, a prisoner, a passenger who had been swept off an ocean liner on the way to America, or a spy observing coastal activities – according to the local authority. But it doesn’t matter, does it?
The interest of the landscape painter, beautiful young lady Olga in him could lead to a typical romantic story. The audience expected that. She withdrew when he advanced. We don’t know that part of her story, why she would “lead on” but then withdraw. But it doesn’t matter, does it?
Ursula’s instant affection towards a stranger young man the age of her son could easily lead us to a past-life connection. Or at least, if you do that many past life regression sessions with people like I do. But no. It was not it. A strange love. The movie shows, but it doesn’t tell, and it doesn’t explain, because truly it doesn’t matter, does it?
A random music genius washed up to a random shore on a random after-storm morning saved by random old ladies…
I wept and wept, with other passengers closely around. I didn’t care. This is an other-worldly story with worldly music – beautiful violin! In the not so remotely 1930’s, watched by me from 11585m height at the speed of 705kmh.
Oh love. It hurts so much! And it needs no rescue.
Looking back, I truly couldn’t have asked for a better place to finish off the first draft of the book Carol’s Lives.
It was in late May, 2018, invited by Lorraine and Daniel, I went to a small riverside community called Saint-Paul-de-L’île-aux-Noix in Quebec for two weeks, a perfect place and length of time to finish the book that had taken me too long to finish.
On the shore of the Richelieu River, 45 minutes away from Montreal, I got up every morning, settled in the screened gazebo, and opened my laptop. It felt like a boathouse, with an enchanted canal and the Richelieu River all around me. Here I was 10 kilometers away from U.S border and 500 kilometers away from New York, writing about that hectic and sentimental life in Manhattan, in a peaceful and quiet setting. It felt surreal. A lifetime had come to an end. Here I was again.
For two weeks I did nothing else but write. My body and mind felt quite relaxed sitting and writing by the riverside everyday, yet my heart could ache with the darkness and hardship in the life of Carol and Rick. Like the wide river itself, peaceful and calm in the morning and evening, often full of waves following the whims of the wind in the afternoon, yet never giving any indication of the direction it flowed.
The act of writing was very smooth and inspirational. Words flew onto my computer screen as I watched the ever-changing sunlight drifting over the water and the procession of boats going in and out of the canal and down the river.
Across the river I could see Fort Lennox on the island called Ile-aux-Noix, a fortification still standing on a structure that was completed in 1829. History must have witnessed battles here. But right now, it has all come back into this single moment of peace where my finger hit the last key on the first draft of my book.