It was Peggy who made an interesting comment on the blog I wrote about past lives...sorry, everyone made interesting comments, I ought to have worded that differently...but it was Peggy who says she has felt the resonance from a drum long after it's been played...perhaps the skin of the animal used to cover it, and the wood with which it is made from, still contains the essence of the materials used in the drums construction.
This is so close to the sensation I sometimes get while my hand is resting on an ancient tombstone...or the much ruined wall of an old castle...sometimes from one of the stone walls which surround most of the fields here in the West of Ireland.
It is a vague and, I suppose, diluted essence of something...a long lost memory of the stone mason maybe, which is encased in the stones he worked with...or is it a distant brief glimpse of another's life or death which seeps from old stones in castle walls or from the tombstone marking their earthly burial...
There are some tombstones I simply don't touch at all...and that is also slightly odd in itself because there is no rhyme nor reason to avoid some yet physically reach out to others. I'm not influenced by the name, the age, or the sex of whoever is laid there...it's just that I pass some by with a glance and others I'm drawn to for whatever reason that may be.
In that higgly-piggly graveyard we often visit way out in the country miles away from anywhere where the graves are so crammed together and there are the remains of a tiny early Christian church...there are two graves side by side of brothers who died within a year of each other. Those are old...late 17th c. which is old for marked graves in an Irish burial ground...I love to look at those stones and read their names inexpertly hacked out by someone with a sharp implement rather than a chap who was skilled...but I've never touched them. Not once have I laid a hand on those burial markers. And I've not the faintest idea why. Just haven't and never will.
They don't give off peculiar 'vibes'...they don't look odd or strange...they're just there, along with hundreds more graves and markers all squashed into a relatively small area.
But there are some I linger by...a few I touch with something approaching awe I suppose because I can sense or feel a lingering presence.
It isn't anything terribly profound...I mean I don't go into a trance or anything daft like that...don't see orbs or halos either...it's just a gentle nudge perhaps of the person who lies beneath the earth.
Now there are places which I loathe...one is right on the shores of a local Lough and it seriously creeps me out...it just plain gives me the willies. But it's a neat and tidy graveyard and a neat and tidy ruined church and there is a wealth of history...not all bad...attached to it. I couldn't wait to leave the place... and certainly didn't fancy touching anything. One feature you can access is the remains of the original monks dormitory...not much to see actually and you'd have to know it was the dormitory otherwise you'd be none the wiser...I hated it. Hated walking along it...didn't feel creepy or odd...it just gave off something or other which made me seriously uneasy and uncomfortable.
We can quite easily allow ourselves to feel uneasy of course, especially when visiting a place with a known miserable history...we've been forewarned after all...Glen Coe in Scotland isn't pleasant and other battle fields which had huge loss of life are the same. But in those cases we know much of the original history and it's at the back of our minds that something dreadful happened there. So when we visit, it's natural enough for your foreknowledge to influence how you respond.
Oddly enough though there is the site of a battle not far from where we live...an ancient battle between some of the old Irish kings who are buried nearby. That is a beautiful meadowland now filled with bright yellow Marsh Marigolds in spring followed by Wild Flags and those gorgeous Ox-Eye Daisies later on...it's such a quiet and lovely a place without so much as the briefest hint of the bloodshed which took place in the late 900's.
Whenever we've visited there is a fat, comfortable Tabby cat fast asleep in the sunshine on the old burial ground wall...and such a sense of peace and gentleness around those thousand year old graves...marked by simple slabs of prostrate stone.
Stones are believed to hold memory...but I haven't even the faintest idea of how I can somehow feel the vibrations of the past. I've never seen a ghost...never seen a UFO...never lived in a house with a resident poltergeist...I laugh at photos taken of a so-called ghost with an orb over its head or circling round it...and giggle inanely at stories of headless horsemen and such-like.
So I'm not really the ideal candidate for receiving the sometimes uncomfortable sensation of hidden or long forgotten nameless horrors or for the rather gentle and comforting connection I get when my hand rests awhile on an old tombstone or an ancient stone wall.