One of my most strongly verified past-life memories, appears to have been matched to a specific event which took place on Jan. 26, 1861 in Congress Square, Portland, Maine. But before I moved here to Portland, it occurred to me that while I did remember men wearing black coats, I didn't remember any snow. Wouldn't there have been snow on that date? I couldn't find any records for Portland on Jan. 26, but I did learn that it had rained heavily in Rochester, New York on the 24th; and that it had been snowing heavily in New England, in general, that winter. I wasn't very familiar with the way snow behaves, having lived all my adult life in the South.
This year, 2019, it rained heavily about a week ago, and hasn't snowed since. Knowing that snow tends to be removed by foot and car traffic in a busy area, I thought perhaps I'd better travel to Congress Square again. I really wanted a photograph from the second floor of the pie-shaped "Hay Building," anyway, which still stands (it was only two stories in the mid-19th century). That way, it would match a historical etching I was using in my sequel, by way of comparison.
So I parked near the Square, and was able to get permission from the owners of the tatoo parlor which now occupies the second floor of the Hay Building, and I got my shot. There is no snow visible in the image (a few small piles can be seen, on foot, here and there along the curb). So my memory is plausible in this regard.
I did feel a sense of excitement and power--I can't describe it, and it isn't useful as proof, but I will simply report it. It was stronger than the last time I was there. I don't know why, except that I was in a building which I had, presumably, been inside as Mathew (the Hay building was the pharmacy); or, perhaps, it's because I have kept somewhat aloof from the project for a couple of weeks now. Maybe exposing myself to a past-life stimulus had a greater effect, when I had not been immersed in Mathew's published writing.
But I had looked at the map, and I realized that it is a short walk from Congress Square (now just called "Congress Square Park," for the little public area, there), to 130/132 Pleasant Street, where I believe Mathew and Abby rented when they first came to Portland in the Fall of 1838. It's a typical salt-box design, but apparently it was built--along with Pleasant Street--in the 1790's, to look like the traditional salt-box style. Anyway, I decided to walk down there, and it only took about five minutes, very close.
There was a sign by the door on the right, for three psychologists and a massage parlor. It said to walk upstairs and sit in their common waiting room. So on impulse, I walked up. In the upstairs room on the left, a greying psychologist sat, alone, in a chair in the middle of the room, reading. He seemed a bit alarmed, and asked me if he could help me with something, in that tone which always says, "Who are you and what are you doing here, I hope you're not a thief or a vagabond." I hurriedly explained that this house had figured in a historical study, that I thought the person I was studying may have rented there in 1839, and could I look at the waiting room? Of course, I did not mention reincarnation.
I was given permission, and entered the waiting room, which was in the back, on the left-hand side of the house. It is my feeling that Mathew and Abby may have rented the apartment directly below this room. Their apartment may have included this one, but I think they were downstairs (where it would have been easier to bring in a piano). The ceiling is low, as one would expect with an 18th-century structure. But what did I feel, if anything?
Now, this is where it gets difficult. I didn't try to record any audio on-site, as I have done, previously, so I have to go from memory. It was what I had just felt at Congress Square, but stronger. There was excitement, and a sense of foreboding. A sense of power. A sense that it was "close." But again, no cognitive memories I could check against the historical record, as evidence. So what I report as a subjective experience, is simply grist for the mill, and I am dating it, here, accordingly.
Later, when I got home, thinking about the sense of foreboding, I remembered that, as near as I can determine, this was where Abby first developed the symptoms of consumption. They probably moved, in the winter of 1839/40, with Abby going somewhere (probaby her family's native Guadeloupe) to convalesce in a warmer climate, and Mathew taking a small, less expensive flat somewhere. So the mix I was feeling would be correct; but of course the question is whether I unknowingly manufactured them, according to what I knew of their history. I don't think so. I don't think that one manufactures feelings to fit with forgotten facts. But I could be wrong.
So I have actually been inside the house that I think Mathew and Abby first lived in, here in Portland. For the record, where you see "purple curtains" mentioned in "The Raven," those were originally a wall hanging in this house--if my research holds. Something Abby used for decorating, perhaps to hide the unsightly interior walls. Because in 1838, it was already roughly 45 years old.
My feeling of remembering my 19th-century lifetime was quite a bit stronger, today, when I placed myself in these old locations, which contain at least a few elements left over from that period. Congress Square has the bending shape of the street, and the Hay Building, remaining. And while I'm not sure what has been done to the interior of that house, with its staircases leading up from the two side doors, the house itself is definitely from even before Mathew and Abby's time. But I would say the feeling was not altogether pleasant. I am trying to get my own life together, these days, and my health. I'm trying to adjust to the almost total lack of interest in a project that I poured everything I had into for almost 10 years. I'm trying to adjust to the fact that you can be successful beyond your wildest dreams, and yet not be believed, understood, or appreciated.
I am not sure I want to get that close to Mathew's life again, right now. There was a time when I was straining to feel it--now I feel it all too powerfully, and would rather back off it, a bit.
After all, that was normal life, at the time. We must have walked from that house, down Danforth Street, to what is called the "Western Promenade"--going the other way, we must have walked up Park Street to Congress, and hence over to Congress Square. Perhaps there were concerts (I seem to remember that there were). It was normal life until she came down with consumption; and then it was a living hell, of worry, and separation, and daring to hope, and finally losing her.
Just as young couples sometimes experience, today.
I'm not sure I want to immerse myself back into that tragedy. Since nobody wants to read my books, or even takes me seriously, as I gather, I would rather put my energy into consolidating my situation, today; and into learning how to communicate even better with Abby in the astral world.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "Baba O'Riley," by The Who,
from the album, "Who's Next"