I’ve been reading the book “Clan of the Cave Bear” for a bit now. Bit of a slow start but it is the tale of a human girl who comes to live with a clan of Neanderthals in the Eurasian Steppe area. There is a scene where she, having a body which can swim far better than the Neanderthals she lives with, swims out into a raging river to save a young clan girl who had been swept out and was headed out to sea.
When she gets back, she is told that one carries part of the spirit of someone they have saved from death with them, forever and vise versa. I love the idea… Once, a long time ago, when swimming in a lake with Jen (my late-ex-wife) and her mother / my step-nephew, the young boy (JC) gets scared and tries to climb onto Jo Anne (Jen’s mom), he had such a grip on her that she was choking and about to go under. I swam out as fast as I could, and as she was about to pass out I got the boy off of her. I saved her life that day. Many occasions I saved Jen too, taking her to the hospital when we couldn’t wake her up or when she’d tried to hurt herself.
I really like the idea that now I carry a piece of them both with him. In fact, since JC has passed and gone now too, I would like to think that perhaps I carry a piece of him with me too from that day.
I know it’s a fictional book but it is not an unreasonable idea, animism makes some amount of sense for spirituality. My chosen branch of paganism (Norse / Asatru) has animistic tendencies, talking often in the Porse Edda about how the gods spoke to all the spirits of everything, people, leaves, rocks, trees, etc… It is not an unreasonable thing to believe.
Perhaps the is why I struggle with depression so hard, Jen had a dark, dark life and personality. Her very essence could be seen as a very dark thing, yet immensely powerful. Perhaps I carry a piece of that darkness with me now, and I must figure out how to live with it. Perhaps I must cleanse it, I don’t know. Maybe I’m insane. My friend Mick would say I am, but somehow that feels right.
Don’t we all carry pieces of those who were in our hearts with us, even after they are gone?
It is nice to think that some bit of them are not dead. Not forgotten.