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Monday, November 4, 2013


I dedicate this blog entry to Serena Sutherland, who died on Halloween Day, and who was the first person to identify Finbar's special relationship with gravity. May her soul be at peace.

A few years ago I consulted with a so called Shaman, a modern day energy healer named Sudama.  I wrote about this (click here to read).   Two things that Sudama told me made a lasting impression.  Every Halloween I am reminded of these two things and the change in perspective it gives me.  He said:

1) That Finbar had died a very traumatic death in his previous life, which was recent.  Sudama likened it to a World War II pilot being shot out of the sky and falling to his death, all the way knowing that his death was coming, that he was heading toward earth.  He said his body was smashed into the smallest particles of matter that exist, such was the impact. His soul apparently still was (is?) traumatized from this death. 

2) Sudama said that upon seeing Finbar enter our living room, that he kept hearing the words "Space Shuttle Pilot" repeated in his head.  He said that he didn't know what this meant.

Sudama's message to me was that I could choose to believe my son had a "disease" or "condition" that had a label (autism). Or I could change the story and choose to believe something else, such as what he was telling me - that all this odd behavior was the result of a traumatized soul. To this day, when I have the presence of mind to be able to change my story about Finbar, thinking of him as a Space Shuttle Pilot brings me peace. Wouldn't an astronaut who commands a space shuttle have to be an exceptional human being?  You only have to watch Sandra Bullock in the new movie Gravity to find out ;)

Ten years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia was just 16 minutes from landing at Kennedy Space Center when disaster struck.
Parts of Columbia fall to earth
A few days after this encounter, by coincidence, or perhaps not,  Finbar went to the library and randomly checked out many books on the space shuttle.  While I was reading one of these books to him, we came to a page about the tiles. It explained how they protect the shuttle from burning up upon reentry into the earth's atmosphere.  Finbar pointedly asked me what would happen if the tiles fell off, which I thought was an interesting question from a four year old.  In the moment that I told him that the Space Shuttle would burn up and that that very thing had happened a decade ago, I was overcome with a feeling that Finbar had been on the Space Shuttle Columbia that blew up when the tiles flew off.  This event occurred in 2003. Finbar was born in 2004. Recent. Certainly his body would have been smashed to the smallest possible particle with such an impact.

Since then, on the Halloweens that Finbar does dress up for, he has dressed up twice as a pilot, and this Halloween, as a Space Shuttle Commander.  This Halloween, I was once again reminded of Sudama's "mythopoetic" space shuttle pilot story.  I wonder, is it possible that Finbar's old soul "comes out" on all Hallows' Eve?   And thus he chooses these costumes and speaks like a pilot or shuttle commander?  All Hallows' Eve (Halloween) is the beginning of a liturgical time for remembering saints (Hallows), martyrs and all the departed.  All Saints Day is the day after Halloween, and All Soul's Day is Nov. 2.  These are days during which Christians pray for the departed who have not yet been purified and so have not yet reached Heaven.  These souls who are in "purgatory" are there only temporarily until they have been wiped clean of  sin.  Prayer is meant to help wipe them clean and move these souls along to Heaven.

Seeing Finbar dressed up as a shuttle pilot and proclaiming to all that he would become a modern day version of an astronaut pilot someday,  I wondered if I should change my story again and simply pray for his soul to be at peace.   Maybe this life on earth is his soul's purgatory?  But then I ask myself do I want my little space shuttle pilot to go away? Not really. Sorry dude, you're stuck here on earth with me, at least until I go to purgatory. And maybe you just have autism after all...

Recently, I have been listening to an Eddie Vedder tune from the Into the Wild soundtrack. It is called Guaranteed, a beautifully poetic song that always brings my son to mind.  There are a couple of lines that are simply, Finbar...

Got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul   - his past life soul perhaps?

 Owning me like gravity are place that pull -  Sudama, Finbar's former occupational therapist, Serena, who coincidentally died this Halloween, and Finbar himself all declared at different times that Finbar had a special relationship with gravity...Sudama said it was because of his falling to earth. Finbar said that gravity was his friend. It meant that people weren't actually pushing him down...

The entire last verse is just, Finbar truly living Life on the Fringe...

Here is the link to the song and the lyrics. I hope you think of my little space shuttle pilot whenever you hear it :)

On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
That all my destinations will accept the one that's me
So I can breathe

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they'll never know
Got a mind full of questions and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Owning me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you

Everyone I come across in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering but I'm never what they thought
Got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive

Wind in my hair I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees they're singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite forever orbiting
I know all the rules but the rules did not know me