I call them human ghosts.
What I mean is...they always look human to me, and they are ghosts.
Most of them seem like ordinary people you'd meet anywhere.
I see them at night in bed.
Most of them look as real as you do right now.
Chapter Eight
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ive thousand feet above the sea, Kewe somber, pensive, begins a downward journey.
On the drive, high ridges for as far as the eye can see, the mountain views are absolutely stunning.
Here in this perfect blue sky Kewe asks if it could be true, if perhaps ‘beings,’ some inner grouping, had seen a moment of Earth time where an eruption is about to take place.
He is sure they in their domains, those who reside in other space-life energy fields, if they seek to have knowledge, they will have it of the time-lines of Earth, and all of the varied consequences.
In this knowledge, did they decided to take action, to dissipate an inner weakness brought about by the plates that move. Brought about by the spirit Gaia as some call Earth’s life-force.
Is this more than Kewe wants to believe?
It is the thought of Gaia that came to him out on the ledge. Gaia balancing all that occurs on this planet.
Kewe stares at the snow jewels standing out in the sky. Tac’homa, the name given to Mount Rainier by the people who have been here long before the Europeans came across the seas, she seems to rest quietly.
In the crystal clear sunlight, he thinks of the beauty that is the symmetry of forces.
He thinks of the energy available, plates to move, slabs to dissolve, gases, magma forced through conduits, mountains to rise.
The vast cosmic oceans an inestimable source of power. Itwould be little for an inner domain to focus the light, the energy needed to seal a mountain.
Could he really have been the catalyst that connected the two mighty powers?
Himself between the two forces without any effect upon himself, is that likely?.
Looking across the snowbanks, light that is dazzling, light reflected from the sun, might he have been picked because of the energy spiral he’s been absorbing.
He’s sure a force, some intelligence has been guiding him these past few days. Has he been brought to the mountain, a representative of his Earth physical human species, intelligence that is upon Earth, to act as an instrument for this force!
Him to acknowledge the desire to prevent all that would take place when magma and gas is freed, layers of conduits unsealed, and all that would result!
By agreeing for light energy, or that which Gaia could use for her need, and so allow this huge surrounding area that is the Northwest mountains and lands around them, to remain stable!
As he heads down the steep, curving road, he thinks of the creatures who live on these high ridges.
Bearded, shaggy goats who wander over the outcrops of rock, with their white coats, their long, dense hair, scrambling to eat what is of grass and plant. He thinks of one or should it be a family out by the debris-covered terminus of Emmons, the treeless toe where the White River merges.
It used to be that you could enter ice caves here, extraordinary caves. Sunlight would pass through the walls turn the icy surfaces into a glowing blue. For a period the ice has been gone. Is it due to return?
The hoary marmots who sun themselves on the rocks. The snow bed buttercups, and white-star, glacier lilies that melt their path through the snowy blankets, all this is Rainier and the varied mountains along the chain.
Kewe thinks of the wind moving across the ice, fluffing over snowshoe hares hiding in the protection of Alaska cedar, of the rising of the many areas of mountain hemlock.
In the alpine wildness, patches of rosy spirea, a magenta paintbrush mixing with blue and orange and white. Lush fields flourishing in summer, meadows of red and white heather, of aster, saxifrage, phlox, lupine.
Where centuries old twisted Krummholz has survived, only a few feet tall.
Welcome to a wonderland of green that will become yellow, or a thick carpet of white.
As he drives, Kewe thinks of the mighty vast swamps that used to be around in times passed.
In geologic time it is less than a day since this region was warm swamp.
A million years past, palm trees grew here. Rainier not the first volcano that rose upon the land.
Before Rainier an ancestral volcano, its name used by those who lived here then, unknown to us. This volcano shot its crown hundreds of miles to the east.
Twenty five million years ago volcanic peaks were islands as the sea crept in.
Opening the car window, air fans his face.
Now instead of lava pouring across, yellow march and marigold span the fields. White-bark pine, alpine fir, growing on the mountain slopes. Where a tree has fallen, a dogwood flower taking root.
Near a pond, marsh marigold.
Alaskan yellow cedar, western white pine, lodgepole pine, silver fir, western hemlock, all of these grow well in the cool of the montane, the covering by trees of the land, forest that slowly creeps around him.
Kewe thinks of the cougar, the black bear, the bobcats, the mule deer, of the hare and elk.
Of beaver that make their home here. Vaux’s owl and spotted owl will be perched out on the snags this night giving their haunting call.
Woodpeckers right now will somewhere be chipping away.
Among the wet woodlands, inside the dry shrubs and bushes, swallows, jays, robins, and hermit thrush, and nuthatch and Pacific-slope flycatchers, will have a home.
Many hundred of thousands of birds in their many species will visit.
Up ahead, peering through the car window, he sees a flagman. Kewe stops the car. A road crew is widening the road.
The engine off, winds whisper through the leaves.
From the forest a squirrel jumps up onto his hood, stares for seconds into Kewe’s eyes then scampers off. For the flagman, it is time to wave him through.
The road becomes more like a long, straight highway. A hawk flies off into the distance.
Memory of a conversation he had with Rick comes into his mind. Rick had told him before leaving for Kansas that Sue has a special entity she talks to — someone called David.
She hears his voice, Rick had said. He’ll ask Sue if he can talk to David.
With the afternoon wearing thin, he passes plantings of second-and-third-generation trees much of the old-growth, the enormous plenty of ancient trees having been cut down.
A forest cover that during winter the deep canopy could support the snow, allowing life as normal underneath all year because of the canopy. Bats and flying squirrels would flit through the trees. Chipmunks and squirrels running up trees, foraging in the undergrowth.
The tree tops so thick that lightning had much less chance to strike through to the ground.
The unbroken canopy providing shelter for an unbelievable number of forest creatures.
Scampering along the forest floor raccoons and weasels, still. Spotted skunk and striped skunk nosing along. Pacific giant salamander crawling among the branches.
Pocket gophers and deer mice and voles and wood rats and porcupines scurry. Black-tailed deer and foxes living among these tall, dark-green trees. Lynx cruising through.
When through a patch, sun does shine down, due to an old fallen tree, wood fern and oak fern will grow, as undergrowth that allows for new life. In the backwoods Oregon grape can be found near a stream, together with sedge and hazel. So the creeping little pipsissewa, the four-foot tall western skunk cabbage.
Ladyfern, deerfern, swordfern, brackenfern, and many huckleberry, blue-leaf, thin-leaf, oval leaf, red-leaf all flourish together.
Salmon berries for those who like something sweet, also western thimble raspberry, grouse whortleberry, sticky currant, wood strawberry.
In the low valleys, herbs like American vetch, kinnnikinnick, devil’s club, brooklime, how the spreading phlox will spread.
Dandelion some mix with swordfern some with bracken fern and rusty menziesia.
Vanilla leaf will be seen, and yount-on-age, and salal and slender hawkweed and ox-eye daisy and goldenrod and roses and azalea and rhododendron.
Blue-violet cusicks, bleeding hearts, shinleaf and one-sided pyrola, red berry beadruby with their shiny leaves, all part of this scenery.
Along side the streams and ponds, varileaf cinquefoi, stonecrop.
Snakes, water frogs and toads, varied small amphibian life of the region, will be sliding and jumping.
Poisonous green false hellebore, and if you look, toxic wildginger are here too, with fool’s huckleberry that give off the meanest skunk odor when crushed.
Out on the forest floor waves of mushrooms and toadstools, and in the dead and down logs, plying along, and carrying and eating through the decaying vegetation and moss, beetles and earwigs, termites...a trillion insects.
Ants and daddy-longlegs. walking sticks and wasps, bumblebees, yellow jackets....
The volume of cars increase.
The day is getting late in the lowlands, sun rays falling far aslant on the road.
Kewe has been noticing a milky white river running alongside. As the river turns suddenly dirt lanes, sloping-roofed beams, skylights.
A-framed houses more and more filling the gaps. Reaching the outskirts of the town, all around new development.
How much this part has changed since last he was here.
Cars inch their way through the intersections.
He has to wait minutes at the new signal in town.
So near the National Forest, Kewe wonders how long the edge will hold.
And inside the edge, the hills and valleys that surround the mountain.
He flashes again on the comment Rick made about Sue. “There’s a spirit-force we call David who talks to her. Sue listens. She can hear.”
He’s going to ask Sue if he can talk to David, see what he thinks.
It is close to eight when into the cul-de-sac where Sue has a house he rolls. Pulling into the drive, Sue waves to him from the window. “Glad you made it,” she says as the door is opened. She hugs him closely.
. . .
“Sorry I’m late,” Kewe makes an apologetic smile. “Stopped off at the crest, and of course the traffic has increased. The town’s is much busier than I remember. You wouldn’t believe the time it takes to get through the lights.”
“Oh, I would.” Sue laughs. “Trust me – I know.”
Kewe looks around for anything new as he follows Sue into the house. A high, sloping ceiling above the stairs, part of the living room, making the thickly carpeted room, open, airy.
Plants and small indoor fountains that gurgle away. “It’s been too long,” Kewe says.
“It has,” Sue replies. “The boys are upstairs working on school projects. We went ahead with dinner. I hope you don’t mind.”
“No, of course not,” Kewe follows into the kitchen. A large bowl of salad taken from the refrigerator is plonked onto the dining room table adjoining.
“Everything’s all ready,” a chair is pulled out for him to sit. “Lasagna is on a low heat in the oven.” Kewe begins to chomp on the fresh, leafy vegetables.
“So why Yakima?” Sue asks
“It’s a long story,” Kewe responds between bites. “I had this crazy idea I had to get out of town. All week a weird feeling of something about to take place, an earthquake would you believe. Then I dream a volcano is erupting. I even dream a young boy is building a sand mountain, building it without a top. I was in the middle of the volcano with magma.”
Sue brings the lasagna from the oven. “Did you know Steve when he was little would build Rainier in sand? ‘There she goes,’ he would say as he wiped off the top.” She looks at him with a bemused look.
“He did?” Kewe stares at her surprised. “You think Mount St. Helens he was thinking?”
“I don’t know,” Sue says, bringing out a large glass of iced tea from the refrigerator. “He said he was building Rainier.”
“The dream happened at the motel,” Kewe ponders on this last piece of information. “It came after a bunch of stuff, but don’t ask me if I understand. I haven’t figured any of it. There is a full moon and the tide is the highest it’s been and....”
Sue sits at the table across from him. “I’m glad you came,” she says. “I wish I’d been there to answer your call. We haven’t talked for months you know.”
“I’m glad I called you from Yakima!” Kewe pushes the empty plate aside. “Thank you.
There is something that came to me as I was driving here,” he hesitates. “Recently Rick told me about a David, I think he said. That you talk to David. All the time I’ve known you I never knew you did that.”
Kewe adds nervously, “I have never heard you mentioned it.”
“It’s true about David,” Sue acknowledges.”
Kewe gives her a look before he speaks. “Do you talk often?”
“Not as much,” she answers regretfully. “Not at all like we once did.”
“You hear him in your thoughts,” Kewe asks.
“At the retreat center I went to I was talking to the Director who had died. I was too excited.
Do you hear as thoughts or words?”
Sue wrinkles her brow. “Gosh, you know I never really thought about how I hear David.
How do I hear him? I hear words. I hear his voice. I do hear him as thoughts at times.” Sue squints as if she’s straining to see. “He has an accent, a manner. When I hear thoughts it’s the same pattern as when I hear words. He seems to be choosing the right words...that’s what I think he does.
“David chooses some expression that I will be able to understand. It’s as if he’s putting thoughts he wants me to have into a phrase or phrases that I can recognize.”
She laughs. “That’s how it comes to me the thoughts or words...in little phrases. I’d say I get the thoughts more often, you know, the thoughts that speak in your mind but are not words, then I hear actual words as I’m hearing you. He has these inflections that don’t change even with the thoughts. How about dessert? Are you ready for dessert?”
. . .
Kewe finishing a bowl of fruit and ice cream, a pastry on the side, they go into the garden.
Sue points to a grove of trees.
“I’ve always had great trust in David. When things are quieter, David comes to me here.” She looks back at the house. “It’s never that quiet.”
Kewe laughs. “When you started hearing David. When was it? Can you remember?”
“David has been around as long... I didn’t even think there was anything unusual about who he was when I was little. He was always there. The one thing about David is how he is, gentle. There were others I spoke to when I was a child, beings I thought of as ordinary people, but David has always been closest. He has always been the supportive one. He is like an additional parent.”
Strolling along the deck, Kewe is intrigued with her story. He asks if she remembers when she first began to call David by name.
“Funny you should ask that,” Sue responds. “I never called him by any name for a long time. We didn’t talk that way. I would just think of him and he would be there. It was only after I married that I began to give him a name.
“We met a couple, West and Lara, when Rick and I were visiting his sister. One time Lara told me about a spirit presence she channeled. She said it was a soul she’d known before. She called him David.’
“I knew Laura channeled,” Kewe says. “I didn’t know it was someone named David, and that you also had contact.”
Sue nods. “When West was performing at a nightspot in town and we met you at Rick’s apartment and went to the club because it was Lara’s birthday, there were other things to talk about. Lara channels a number of guides. It took me some time to grasp Lara spoke with the same person I was hearing.”
Kewe gets closer as her voice has dropped. “These talks with West and Lara became like doing research. All four of us would bring a different perspective on how each of us viewed David.”
Her voice becomes even quieter. “Families are not locked in. Rick has sort of pulled away.”
“Families?” Kewe asks.
Sue smiles. “To us families are places many of us go to when we leave here. Families mean all kinds of things, different lives, lives where we have lived with each other. We would talk about lifetimes, and there were many where we figured at least parts of ourselves had had previous existences with each other.’
“It is an inner family. In the family, David has the title of, ‘The head of the household.”’
“When I was little,” Sue continues, “David would come to me and say, you know, sort of pushing, ‘Oh, go in that direction.’ It was his love saying that. The love I understood most. David still comes but less often. One of the trees when we first moved here. That’s why I brought you out here. It was years ago, but I remember all of these thoughts starting.
“I could hear David talking, about the tree and about growth and the life that leads from growing, and suddenly there were insights that were flowing into me.”
Dan the oldest boy steps out onto the deck while she’s talking. He says he’s trying to find his shirt for the game. Tomorrow he needs it and no way is it upstairs.
Sue says she’s sure she washed it. “Talk to Kewe,” she orders, walking double-quick into the house. “I know I put it somewhere.”
Dan in high school is lanky and growing. Kewe and he seldom get a chance to talk. “We should go inside?” Kewe says. “We might catch a shirt!”
Dan laughs. “Okay.”
The deck leads into a sunken family room.
“Sorry about dinner. I was up for waiting until you arrived, but Steve had much more to do than me.”
“High school busy for both of you?” Kewe sits on a couch. “Finishing up the projects?”
Dan nods as he perches on the arm of one of the chairs.
“When we talked last time, Dan, I remember you mentioned you had another name. It was a name you are called as your inner being. You were telling me yours is Aunn...something. I wanted to ask how you found out your name. I never did get the chance.”
Dan shrugs. “It was Dad. Dad talking to Mom, saying his name, and I’m thinking what is mine. All of a sudden I get this name. It just pops into my head.”
Dan like most high school kids is not that comfortable with adults. But you can have a conversation if he’s in the mood.
“That’s the way these things seem to me at least to happen!”
Dan nods.
Kewe says sort of jokingly, “You meet people from the other side?”
“I know there are people not in the human physical body,” Dan says with a straight face. “I know because when I was younger I could see them.”
Kewe, totally at a loss as to how to proceed, stares at him.
“I call them human ghosts,” Dan says with a laugh. “What I mean is... they always looked human to me, and they were ghosts. Most of them seemed like ordinary people you’d meet anywhere. I’d see them at night in bed. Most of them would look as real as you do.”
Sue returns with the shirt. “I found it,” she says, chuckling. “Guess where? Behind the computer. I thought the most obvious place would be to leave it on top, for you to see. It had slipped behind the screen.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Shirt around his waist. “You remember I used to see ghosts when I was a young kid? Remember how some of them seemed happy and others bothered me. There were some who were just freaky.”
Sue nods and glances at Kewe. “He told me that some were like fuzzy lights.” She looks back at her son. “Most were regular but there were some who were strange, weren’t they?”
Dan adds, emphatically, “Some sent energy I wasn’t comfortable with. I’m not sure if it was my age or what.”
“The freaky ones,” Kewe says, locked into Dan’s confiding. “You think those might be dead linga sarira.”
“Linga sarira?”
Kewe searches for an explanation.
“It’s a name used in ancient scripture. Linga sarira is an inner sheaf of energy. We all have it. Frequency body energy remains of a person now at a lighter, for a name, frequency.
“The ghost body for whatever reason, often because of some horror, some great emotional energy stored, keeps in a sense alive. If taken and used by a spirit without a ghost body, the energy molds to the new owner’s shape, and that makes the body look like a zombie, like in the movies, misshapen, grotesque. You think you might have seen anything like that?”
“I don’t think so.” Dan stares at him. “I’m sure most of the people I could see were real people. It always struck me that they didn’t know how to talk to me and I didn’t know how to talk to them. Confusing!”
“Did they just leave your room?” Kewe asks.
Dan has to think before he answers. “One time I remember seeing a woman at the foot of the bed. I actually got out of bed so I could see her clearer. ‘Who are you?’ I asked. All I got was this look of surprise. I asked her two more times who she was but she never answered.
“She disappeared. She was no longer there.”
Sue leans over to Dan. “You remember last Christmas all the ornaments of your aunt’s tree became unhooked. She called me and told me to come over.”
Sue looks at Kewe. “My sister was having these attacks from her tree, which when she told me sounded so funny. Every time she got close she kept getting her hair caught in the tree. She had no idea if it was her, or somehow the tree, or perhaps a mischievous spirit.
“She called me because she knows I sense spirits and sometimes see them. When I went over to her house I could see there was a little boy under the tree. He looked so sad. He was sitting right at the bottom of the tree. He was looking so lonely. We figure the boy must have come in to the house when she brought the tree. He was attaching my sister’s hair to the tree to get her attention.”
“They say more children ghosts than adults,” Kewe responds “They won’t go when they are beckoned. They want to be independent. Did you help him Sue? It was Christmas and he was under the tree. The damnedest thing! How do you see it, Dan?”
“I think if you’re the boy under the tree,” Dan says, “it is like you’re dreaming. The boy can see us, people in the physical world, but to him it is more as if he is dreaming. Once you go beyond that, it’s different . It becomes more about where you want to be. You’re not just hanging around.”
He continues, surprising Kewe once again, “A person I know is sometimes with me. I feel his presence... my uncle... who died a few years ago. I feel his thoughts. I think that once we are beyond the ghost state there are different places we go. Sometimes we make contact, as my uncle does, in his thoughts.”
“Something else I never talk about,” Dan is very serious. “I was in the war in Vietnam.”
Kewe is astonished at this opening up. “You were? How do you figure you were in the war? Do you see...pictures, images?”
“Yeah, I was a soldier,” Dan answers. “There are some things that I remember very clearly... like my dying, for instance. I know how I was killed. It was by fighting, by gunfire.” He nods.
Kewe asks, “Why do you think you came back so quickly this time. It’s not that long since the war.”
Dan takes his time answering. “The life was shorter than I wanted it to be. I didn’t get to live long.”
“I know you’re a great kite flyer,” Kewe says. “How about that? You do kite flying in the past?”
Dan laughs. “I remember that I was once a sword fighter. Kite flying is great. I love the way the kite dances.” He picks up the shirt he came for. “Thanks Mom,” he says. Already inches taller than his mother, he pats her on top of the head. “Good Job.”
Dashing upstairs, he yells from the top. “Hey, I think I wanted to try something new with the kites. I already did the sword fights.”
. . .
Sue is in the kitchen fixing coffee. Kewe is perusing dolls she has displayed on a cherry-wood table. All have fairy wings. There’s furry panda bears in one corner. A bear on all fours, a bear seated with its fore limbs raised, a bear playing roly-poly.
Above one of the windows, a wind chime is shaped like a wolf. Underneath clay wolves.
Sue has not yet turned on the lights, and in the shadowy dimness Kewe is looking at a small glass orb set on the table. Stooping to get a closer view, a moon glows inside.
At the base surrounded by little trees, a tiny wolf bays at its moon. “These wolves,” Kewe calls. “Scary in these shadows. Not who you’d like to meet on a dark moor night.”
Sue pops her head around the counter. “Turn on the light. Did you notice the crystal I’ve got hanging on all the windows? In the daytime when the sun catches them, the room fills with rainbows.”
Emerging from the kitchen carrying a tray with two steaming cups, the other son, Steve, shouts some inaudible words from the top of the landing. The tray on the coffee table, Sue goes to look up the stairs. “Serves you right,” she shouts back at him.
Flicking a switch that turns on a sidelight, she removes the cups from the tray. “I don’t have any cream,” she says. “I know you like cream. I brought some milk.”
She pats the sofa cushion, sits waiting for Kewe to come and drink the coffee beside her.
“Thanks,” Kewe grins as he sits down, adds the milk. He’s nervous because he wants to ask Sue if he can talk to David. He’s never spoken through an intermediary to a spirit.
The clock ticks. He says nothing. Sue says nothing.
Kewe, getting ever more nervous, broods.
He looks across at Sue. She smiles at him.
Progressively more agitated, curiosity, and more, energy, is pushing him to ask. He has to ask. He blurts out, “Sue...any chance...I could talk to David?”
There’s a look of surprise. “I don’t know,” she begins to say. “I haven’t....” Then a most peculiar expression, part shock. “Oh! Yes!” she says. “It’s okay. David’s here talking to me.”
“David is talking to you now?”
Sue nods. “Yes. David asks me to tell you it is he. He is telling me that he doesn’t mind speaking with you. He says he would not wish to be bothered with anyone, but with you he expects the effort will prove worthy.”
“David, can you ask him. Sorry. Thank you David,” Kewe responds incredulously.
Kewe is fumbling. “David you are here,” he starts, ‘I mean.... Excuse me David, but can you tell me if you are one of the twenty-four-hour guys? I mean, excuse me, are one of the high Spiritual Beings?”
“That is correct.” Sue looks at him. “You are not understanding exactly what that means though.”
The atmosphere has become so charged, so thick with the sense of energy, Kewe is more than struggling. “Please forgive me David,” he says. “I’m forgetting everything I wanted to ask.”
Sue’s unruffled voice responds gently, “You have an interest in earth movements.”
“Of course,” Kewe says, remembering. “At the motel doing a meditation Iwanted to know if there would be an earth change. Mt. Rainier and movement in the Cascade volcanic chain followed. It sat there in my mind. I couldn’t clear it.”
Kewe can tell that Sue is checking with the inner presence. She wants to say exactly the correct words. “It is likely,” Sue responds, “Mt. Rainier will erupt. We do not have a time for you exactly, but be assured knowledge of this event will be available as it begins to happen.
Your scientists will know. For those who wish to leave, there will be time to do so when the mountain becomes active. Most should leave.”
“It is not your need to be overwhelmed with this concern,” Sue’s voice continues. “What takes place will be dealt with by others.”
Listening, Kewe has an image of a young, tall, slim man, dressed in a modern suit. The man is smiling.
Kewe mumbles, “You can imagine how I feel thinking....”
Sue leaning close whispers in his ear, “We all think we do stupid things.”
The sense Kewe receives is how open and sincere David is. David is treating him as a friend.
Sue takes Kewe’s hand. A wave of energy sweeps through the top of his head. With any remaining clarity he can muster, Kewe cries out, “Can I be in contact with youa gain David?
Is that possible?”
Sue looks confused at this request. He can see her cocking her head to one side to make sure she’s hearing correctly.
At last she speaks the words very carefully. “Use the computer.”
She’s looking at Kewe trying to verify from him that this might be the answer.
“Use the computer.” He’s blank. He has no idea which computer she is talking about. Then suddenly as if a switch is thrown, he gasps, “I’m to use the word processor?”
Sue gives him a big smile. She nods.
Kewe laughs. “Thank you David. I will. I will use the computer.
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