Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chapter 32 - The Silver Cord

December 1, 1948

Solomon didn’t need an alarm clock at Jerry’s. He woke to the sound of the woodpecker pecking for bugs in the cabin’s logs. Solomon rolled over and looked at Becky. He loved sleeping with her, but it was definitely an exercise in self-restraint. Solomon occasionally relieved his sexual tensions in the bathroom. He had cautioned Becky not to masturbate lest the influx of hormones start uterine contractions.

Becky stirred and stretched. Solomon moved closer and kissed her on the cheek. She opened her eyes and smiled, “Good morning.”

He rose up on his elbow so he could see her better. He eased his hand under the covers and rested it on her belly where tiny legs were curled up. A foot kicked at his palm. He smiled, “I love to feel that.”

“Grrrr,” she said climbing out of bed, “a kick on the hand might be nice, but he’s kicking my bladder.”

Solomon knew that he had three patients to see this morning. Women had been coming all the way from Black Fort since the near-drowning incident at the church last Christmas. Word had spread that Solomon, the midwife, was better than any obstetrician east of Knoxville, and consequently the patient load had more than doubled. Because of that, Ma and Solomon encouraged their mothers to plan to have their babies at the office instead of a home delivery. That decision was made the night of the full moon when three patients went into labor at the same time.

Ma felt that she was too old to drive outside Rooster Cove at night; so most night time deliveries fell to Solomon. And although he appreciated the value of midwifery and home deliveries, he had been trained in obstetrics and gynecology by Dr. Wall. He felt better having access to his medical and surgical equipment just in case.

Alice Moriah was still doing a great job for the community’s health care system. She managed somehow to keep an inventory of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals that Solomon needed to treat patients just like any doctor who’d gone to medical school. She had also pre-paid his tuition at the University in Knoxville for next fall, and she assured him that she’d have a doctor to replace him by then.

While Solomon was waking up with Becky, Wally Watson had been up for hours. He planned to bring home enough squirrels for a pot of stew. He’d staked out his position in a thicket in Mortimer Hollow. Suddenly the hair stood up on the back of his neck. The ham biscuit he was eating dropped to the ground and fell apart. His mouth had been open for the last bite when a low growl caused him to drop it. Wally was the sixteen-year-old son of Grady and Bertha Watson. They lived at the foot of Hog’s Head Mountain about a mile into the hollow.

Wally cocked his twenty-two caliber rifle and froze. Oh God, he thought, I’ve brought a squirrel rifle to a bear hunt. Heavy breathing interrupted by wet snorts sounded like the bear was only a few feet from his head. His heart pounded so loud that it almost drowned out the sounds of the creature. He slowly turned his head to look behind him. Wally knew that any quick movements could bring it down on him. Had he stumbled into a bear’s den?

The sound of twigs breaking behind him jerked Wally out of his slow motion. Oh God! He tightened the muscles of his shoulders and neck and ducked his head. Nothing happened. Ease on down the hill, he thought. If I move nice and easy, I might get away. Don’t run, he thought, don’t run. Runnin’ will bring it down on me for sure.

Wally caught movement out of the corner of his eye. He stopped, and it stopped. He moved forward. It moved forward. He estimated that it was about a hundred yards to his right. He could tell it was over six-feet tall, but it didn’t look like any bear he’d ever seen. It wasn’t a mountain lion or a wild boar because it was moving on two legs, and when it moved the branches, it moved them with what looked like human hands!

Wally’s overload of adrenaline took over his ability to reason, and he ran...nothing but heels and elbow showing. The creature followed keeping only a few feet between them. Wally saw that it was bounding on all fours like a mountain lion, but when it stopped, it stood up on two legs again. It’s had plenty of time to catch up to me, he thought. It’s playin’ with me jest like a cat plays with its prey until it’s ready for the kill.

Suddenly the creature let out a blood-curdling scream. Wally saw its head. Huge fangs glistened in the sunlight. Red eyes pierced through the bushes. Its low forehead indicated a small brain. Sparse hair on its head gave way to a sprinkling of body hair, except in the groin area where it had matted dingle berries. Its crinkled brown skin was thick like tanned rawhide. Its form was almost human except for the snout. It had a wolf’s snout.

When Wally got within earshot of the house, he started hollering, “Paw! Help! Shotgun! Shotgun!”

Grady sprang to his feet and grabbed it on the way out the door.

Wally slid into Grady’s feet in a cloud of dirt and dust. He turned around on his hands and knees. The creature had disappeared. “I swear to God, Pa, it was after me!” Wally was so out of breath that he was barely able to tell him what had happened. Grady sat quietly listening. He spit his chaw of tobacco on the ground. That demon had left its mark on his other son, Jake. Now it wuz after Wally too.

Jerry sat in his tree stand. Since he’d met Servant, he couldn’t imagine ever shooting a living creature again. Now it was just for observation. Servant had showed Jerry how all life is connected. If one person was spiritually sick, he spread the sickness to everyone he came in contact with. It spread like an infectious disease. One spiritually sick person could make the whole society sick just like a sick heart could sicken the whole body.

As depressing as that fact might be, Servant said that the opposite was even more powerful. He’d said that spiritual health was contagious. It spread its healing powers to all that it touched. To do good for another was to do good for oneself. A river of life flowed through everyone connecting all souls in the universe.

Tonight, Jerry had invited Solomon to sit with him in the tree stand while the sun set. Servant had taught Jerry to look at the world of nature with his spiritual eyes. Jerry wanted to compare notes with Solomon.

Jerry asked, “Does the world look slightly transparent to you when you use your spiritual eyes?”

“Yes,” Solomon said, “and I see particles rolling like a pot of boiling water turns over and over. Did Servant tell you to stare at something and then let your eyes go out of focus?”

“Yeah, that’s what he told me to do,” Jerry said. “He said it’s like when you start to cross your eyes, but you don’t let them go all the way crossed…just out of focus. Is that how you do it too?”

“Yes,” Solomon said leaning back against the tree trunk. He appeared to be lost in his thoughts. He said, “The range of our five senses is so narrow. We’re able to see and hear so little of what’s going on around us. We have no way of visualizing or comprehending the unseen world. We don’t have the sensory organs or the concepts that would enable us to understand it.”

Jerry said, “I know. It’s like trying to describe to an embryo how a rose smells, or it’s like trying to describe the color of the sky to a fetus. In its dark womb-world, the fetus can’t comprehend any of that. And in the same way, we can’t comprehend the stuff going on around us in the Light World.” He thought for a minute, and then he said, “I wonder if anyone can see what we see. I mean, could Becky see it if she wanted to?”

“She could if she wanted to,” Solomon said. “It’s just a matter of wanting to see it and taking the leap of faith to do it. The only physical action is letting your eyes go out of focus.”

“Okay now,” Jerry said squinting, “when I see Servant, I’m not really seeing his spirit body, right?”

“Right,” Solomon answered, “what you see comes out of your mind.” He looked off into the distance to concentrate. “But...the physical realm is a reflection of the spirit realm,” he said, “so it’s probably similar to what his spirit body looks like considering that we only have five senses to work with. I guess you could say that we see the partial spirit body. Or you could say that what we see has the simplicity of a cartoon compared to a Rembrandt Light World. Like the Bible says, we see through a glass darkly.”

“That brings up something else I’ve wondered,” said Jerry. “Where’s my soul? Is it in my body?”

Solomon said, “No, it’s not in your body. It’s just attached to your body by something that looks like a silver cord. Your soul is in the Light World. It never actually enters the physical world. It’s more like a command center for the physical body.”

Solomon heard the now familiar voice of the Pure One saying, “Solomon, you are listening to my voice with your soul.”

Solomon turned quickly to Jerry and said, “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” Jerry asked.

The Pure One continued, “You think with your soul. Your memories are stored in your soul. The consciousness that you experience is your soul.”

Solomon repeated to Jerry what he was hearing.

Jerry said, “What are you talking about?”

“I hear the voice of the Pure One,” Solomon said, “I’m telling you what he’s saying.”

Jerry was puzzled. “Who is the Pure One? What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know who he is,” Solomon said, “Sarah told me that’s his name.” Solomon gazed off into space as he listened to the words of the Pure One. He repeated the words for Jerry. “The silver cord is not part of the physical world, and it’s not part of the spirit world. It interfaces between these two worlds. And when your body dies, the tunnel that you see is the inside of the silver cord.”

Solomon’s eyes darted around without focusing on anything. He turned his head as if to hear better. “Oh wow!” he said standing up on the tree stand’s platform, “this is amazing!” He steadied himself with the limb above his head.

“Careful, man,” Jerry said. “What are you doing?”

“The Pure One says that the soul controls the autonomic nervous system,” Solomon said. “Do you know what that means?”

“No, I can’t say that I do,” Jerry said, “but I do wish you’d sit down.”

Solomon wasn’t paying attention to Jerry. “The Pure One says it interfaces with the central nervous system at the base of the skull. He says that’s where the soul attaches to the body.”

"What are you talking about? What’s the autonomic nervous system,” Jerry asked.

“That’s the fifth key, the location of the soul in a Light World that’s timeless and placeless,” Solomon kept repeating the words of the Pure One.

“The Light World is not a destination for us, Jerry. Our souls already exist in it right now.” Solomon put his hand on Jerry’s shoulder and said, “The part of me that’s looking at you and talking to you right now is in the Light World already, and it’s the command center for this gradually decomposing bag of bones and blood that I think of as my body.” Solomon laughed so hard at the thought that he teeter-tottered on the platform as if he were drunk.

Jerry grabbed him by the arm. “That’s enough of this! Ma Patsy already told me that. We’re gettin’ off this tree stand right now!

Wally Watson couldn’t sleep. Like a lone sentry, he stared out of his bedroom window holding on to the muzzle of Pa’s shotgun. He knew it would only be good at close range. At a long distance, the scatter pattern meant lots of little pellets spread over a wide range. At close range it would go in like a shotgun shell, but it would come out like a cannon. That’s what he planned for the creature if it dared to get close enough.

Wally watched his little brothers in the bed next to his. He was worn out from the adrenaline rush when the creature chased him out of the woods. His head bobbed a few times as he tried to keep his eyes focused out the window. Finally he dozed off. As his neck stretched back against the wall, he snored through an open mouth.

In the middle of the night, a ruckus in the hen house startled him awake. At about the same time he heard his Pa holler, “Brang the shotgun, Wally.”

Chickens clucked and squawked and scattered as dogs barked from under the house. Wally and his dad ran into each other on the stairs. Wearing the red flannels they slept in, both Wally and Grady hit the front porch ready for a fight. They got to the chicken coop in time to see the creature jump over the fence with a laying hen in one hand. Wally shot at it, but it never stopped. It stuck the chicken in its mouth and ran away on all fours. It moved like greased lightening on all fours.

Wally asked, “What we gonna do?” He bent over with the shotgun on his knees trying to catch his breath.

Grady fastened the door to the chicken coop again. “We can’t handle this alone, son.”

Copyright © 2008 by Robbin Renee Bridges
Coping with Grief through Afterlife Communication

No comments: