The Ibsen Factor I – a reincarnation post, because it’s an important part of being here 

Roughly 127 years ago, my best friend and I lived on a farm “somewhere up north, where it was cold.” This may or may not sound like vague information, but it’s the kind of info I like. Because it lets me play around with the matter, lets me guess and just be creative with it. What we know is very little. If you don’t believe in reincarnation and past life theory, feel free to play along anyway. If it scares you, my next post will be something light and fluffy, I’m sure. Well, sometimes I lie. But back to the subject at hand.

We know – and this is detective work to my liking – what we do based on how we pieced it together. One of us gets an idea, and the other will fill in the blanks. Except that it’s usually yours truly who gets the ideas, and my friend fills in the blanks. She’s a little bit younger than I am in this life, which is interesting, because in the last she was just a little bit older. And a guy. When we met in this life, I was all ready and eager to explore each and every past life connection, and she very gently but firmly shot down most of my theories. I loved her to bits, already then. But I would never take her (very healthy, it had to be said) skepticism as gospel. Reincarnation existed, because there were just too many weird things happening, that simply could not be explained. Reincarnation made sense of it all, because why else would I react to the Skagen Painters so strongly as to stand mesmerized before each and every painting, ditto the Ishtar Gate in Berlin. In both cases a friend had to drag me away. In Århus it was a Spanish friend, in Berlin that friend was Danish. After a few more such adventures, my best friend – who’d remained largely unaware of them because she wasn’t around me when they happened – told me one day when we were chatting, that she was totally on board with the whole reincarnation thing. What’s more, we found out that, providing she’d been there as well, she could actually channel. Me, I might get little ideas and glimpses, a thought running through my mind, my friend sees a whole, entire movie.
Even so, this mission is tough. We know we were maids at an inn that was, to quote my friend, “pretty far off the beaten track.” We were young and our master, a man in his thirties – to put it extremely mildly – was battling his own demons. We know that the inn had enough guests to keep us employed, though something tells me that our master – displeased with us, and myself in particular as he was – would have kept us on regardless. Again, gently put, he needed an outlet. According to my friend it was also very cold there, we didn’t speak the language, our master was foreign himself, and there were horses, or at the very least, a gray one that threw me so viciously and violently off its back that I ended up with a concussion. That fact alone would explain my reserve around horses, my reluctance to get on one, and why when I saw our old master on the streets in this life, less than ten minutes later, I  had a violent headache that could only be cured by curling up into a ball and watching TV to distract myself.
We also know that the inn / farmhouse was green, and that we slept in adjacent servants’ quarters. And that the man our master had bought the land from was part of the landed gentry / nobility and was responsible for much conflict when he came by the house, though his feelings towards me were benevolent and kind, or so my friend tells me. I believe her, I really do, but there’s a lot of bad blood between us, even in this life.  In all honesty I was not at all surprised at him being there, given how I jumped up and helped another friend clear the tables when I saw him walk in a few years back, in his present incarnation. My friend was working that night, I was just keeping her company. The farm also explains why I’m very afraid of dripping candles.
Because of my fascination – though really obsession – with Skagen and its painters, I want to say we at least passed through there one time. Of course in my mind we lived there, but then there’s that fascination with Henrik Ibsen, even though his is not my favorite first name of choice. From the first time I saw an Ibsen play in my teens, I was hooked. The logical thing would be to go see a play in Swedish while I’m still living here (Third Culture Syndrome – always thinking about possibly moving away). Though I think Ibsen deserves his own post a little while later. The Ibsen factor would also explain why, the minute it was mentioned to me – by the old master in his present incarnation no less – Pietarsaari / Jakobstad exerted such a strong fascination. I still haven’t been there, and I’m not sure when I’ll make it, but I’m sure whatever I find in that city, will no doubt be fascinating. Until then, I’ll continue to look for Ibsen in my surroundings and idly search for the green farm house that may or may not have been here in Finland (or Denmark, or Sweden).


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