Second entry of the day--I write when I find things, in the spirit of sharing with God-knows-who. Currently, I'm relaxing on the second day of my mid-week weekend, at lunch...
Recently, I've been sharing some strong evidence. Now, I want to step to the other side of this research process--the part which sometimes has very little objective evidence, but which I have paranormal indications for. I like doing this, because it might be imagination, and then again, it might not, which is great fun.
Great fun, that is, if the entire premise isn't riding on one clue, or one memory. Which it no longer is, for me. I'm long past proving that the past-life case, itself, is genuine.
So here's something interesting. Many years ago--I think it was 2013--I had a third, exploratory past-life hypnotic regression. I was just looking for more evidence, and trying to generate more clues. One of the things I wanted to try to access, was the period just after Mathew and Abby had eloped from East Haverhill, Mass., across the state line to Dover, New Hampshire. The elopement, itself, is a bit tricky to prove, but there's little question the marriage wasn't approved by either family, and that the couple did, in fact, end up in Dover. I know from Mathew's correspondence with his sister, that they first roomed in a boarding house; and that Mathew opened a store, and then moved it closer in to Franklin Square.
That's where past-life memory kicks in. I remembered them renting an apartment in the upstairs-right of a four-apartment building. I also remembered that Abby would gaze out a bay window* in the living room, watching for Mathew to return home (it would have been within walking distance).
When I moved here to New England, I went to Dover, and stood on the steps of the First Parish Church, which they would have attended. From my regression, I felt that they would have lived a block or two away from the church. Mathew's route home would have taken him past it. From the steps of the church, I could look down the street they may have lived on. So I stood on those steps, and videotaped myself as I related any feelings I was getting, in real time.
That video can be seen here. It will take several minutes to load--you can get a glass of juice or go to the bathroom, and when you come back, it will be about ready to play. Or you can click on the low-res version. (Sorry, I was using a free video editing program I'd just figured out how to use--the Mac I used to edit on is long dead.)
You will see that what kept coming to me, was that Mathew would get done whatever he needed to get done, hurry home, and they would make love. Well, this is a no-brainer, given that they were newlyweds, she was already pregnant, and they had been kept apart for many years. But I don't always choose those memories which would stand as the strongest proof. Sometimes I just want to explore whatever I seem to be remembering.
Today, I found an unsigned poem, in Mathew's accustomed style, in the March 31, 1849 edition of the Boston "Weekly Museum"--a paper which I know Mathew was contributing to (mostly, travelogue letters at this time). It's a popular style which other people also wrote it. So we don't have strong objective proof on this; and because the subject of the poem is so generic, we may never have it.
Now for the paranormal side. I recognize this poem, and I recognize the writing style. I feel Mathew's higher mind--my own higher mind--behind it. I'm saying this is his. (I checked online, and an interior line didn't show up in a search.)
Before I share it with you, I'll tell you what I think this is. Mathew is hearkening back to those days when he would walk back from his shop in the evenings, looking for Abby in the window. What I remember is that she was somewhat coy about it. She would peek through the curtains, and when she saw him coming, she would jump to her housework or busywork of some kind, which she would be employed in when he arrived at the door. It wasn't until later that I put two and two together, and realized why she was doing that--of course she would be embarrassed to appear to be too eager!
This was the 1830's, and Abby was a card-carrying Victorian. Which did not necessarily mean prudish, as we think of it, today. But a lady did not appear too eager. (Even if she was.)
Mathew has left in just a hint of that--but what he has done, is to reverse Fate, and have him die before her. I don't know when this poem was written. Young couples think about such things, i.e., who will go first. It might have been written while both were still alive, and Mathew pulled it out and published it, anonymously, in 1849. Or, he might have been musing, "What if things had been different," and pulled in their newlywed experience. It's even possible, of course, that he wrote it about a widow; or that it was written by someone else. But intuitively, I'm going with Mathew's authorship, musing about what might have been.
So here, you will see only a hint of what was really taking place, inasmuch as when she sees him approaching, her face is flushed. It is not simply that she is glad to see him--she is excited to see him. But that is all we will be told about that. It is a secret memory, for him. Everyone else can believe she is pleased to see him, and the "flushing" is poetic license. You also see that in the poem is waving to him in plain sight--perhaps because if he had her peeking out, he would have to explain that, and he doesn't want to go there.** Oh, and you will note she is at a second-floor window, because she is seeing the leaves of the trees in front of her--also, he is looking "upward." I had an earlier, powerful memory of walking along the tree-lined streets hand-in-hand with her, years before I knew that such streets are typical of New England. It doesn't seem to me that a small town like this would be so crowded (although there was a large cotton mill nearby, which might have let out at the same time)--so that may indicate another author, or, perhaps this (like the storm) is poetic license.
I want to add, on re-read, that sometimes I have gotten the feeling that Mathew had made a commitment to record every important incident in their relationship, in scattered across hundreds of published pieces, so that they might be retrieved someday by someone who looked into his life and figured out his "code." But when it came to these very sensitive, personal memories--which he was obligated to include--he was extremely circumspect, as he never wanted Abby to be identified by people of his era. Therefore, he decided to swap their deaths, so no-one would ever suspect it was about them. Then, he left in just enough sexual references, in the third stanza, that it could be decoded in the future. This, of course, is also why the poem appears without any signature, whatsoever. I find that past-life intuitive memory is indispensible in decoding some of these pieces properly.
Again, I don't think this can ever be proved. That doesn't mean it doesn't have its own significance. At least, it certainly has a deep poignancy, for me.
Softly fades the misty twilight
O'er the thronged and noisy town;
Storms are gathered in the distance,
And the clouds above it frown.
Yet before her, leaves swayed lightly
In the hushed and drowsy air,
And the trees reclothed in verdure
Had no murmur of despair.
She had gazed into the darkness,
Seeking through the busy crowd
For a form once pressing onward,
With a step as firm and proud,
For a face upturned in gladness
To the window where she leaned—
Smiling with an eager welcome,
Though a step but intervened.
Even now her cheek is flushing
With the rapture of that gaze;
And her heart as then beats wildly—
Oh! the memory of those days!
As a dear, dear dream, it cometh,
Swiftly as a dream it flies;
No one springeth now toward her,
Smiling with such earnest eyes.
No one hastens home at twilight,
Watching for her hand to wave;
For the form she seeks so vainly,
Sleeps within the silent grave;
And the eyes have smiled in dying,
Blessing her with latest life;
Smiled in closing o'er the discord
Of the last wild, earthly strife.
I have to open this up again (rather than write a third entry, today), because I just found a piece of evidence that I'd forgotten. This is very strong, but you have to know the background.
To recap very, very briefly, in 1849, Mathew was based in Boston, traveling the New England states, and visiting his children in Portland. He had been writing travel letters to the Boston "Weekly Museum" as several different personas, each with his own signature. Apparently, it worked for the paper, because they needed good copy; and it worked for Mathew, as he could hide his itinerary from his pro-slavery enemies, and earn more income. However, he was also submitting a series of his late wife's short stories. He had had to edit some of them, chiefly by providing an introduction and a closing. I have speculated that these might have been plays, which he had now converted into short stories. He converted them by "sandwiching" them in a man's letters to his niece. "Otis Homer" was writing to his niece "Avis," and then launching into a story, so that the letter was Mathew's invention, but the story was Abby's. The very first in this series, entitled "Mary Mahony," was signed with Abby's maiden initials, "A.P.," for Abby Poyen. Thereafter, they were designated "by the author of Mary Mahony."
Now, the other piece of background you need, is Mathew's lifelong habit of sending in multiple pieces to the editor in one envelope. Sometimes, apparently, they just ended up together on the page, but other times it is clear that he requested certain groupings. Often, these pieces were all penned by himself, under different pseudonyms; but sometimes he would request that a work by someone else appear in juxtaposition with his own. Very often, these groupings were meaningful, such that one reinforced the other, or enhanced the other. I ran across so many instances of Mathew doing this, that I abandoned the explanation of "chance" long ago. This was definitely one of his methods. Most often, as in this instance, they were intended as private tributes to Abby.
Here's an example from the last of Abby's stories in this series, which appears in the Aug. 31, 1850 edition. Directly below the ending of that story, appears an anonymous poem on death, purportedly written just before the author's own passing. I don't think, by content, that Abby would have written this. (I actually found a poem written by her just before her death, and it's nothing like this.) It would have been something Mathew found, which he resonated with; and he would have arranged to have it placed here, in tribute to her.
In the Oct. 29, 1849 edition of the "Weekly Museum," appears one of Abby's stories in this series, entitled "Nora." She had written about a genteel girl whose family fell on hard times, so that she had to move in with another family, and work as a seamstress. She was looked down upon in that family, but her upbringing, and in particular her musical abilities with piano and voice, brought her to the attention of a wealthy couple, who took her in. She was then able to give piano lessons, stop sewing, and was restored to her accustomed position in society. Not only that, but the family who had treated her so harshly, themselves fell on hard times, and met her in her new situation, so that the tables were turned. Nora forgave the women who had once been so condescending to her.
It's very Victorian. This is 1849, but this story was written perhaps 15 or 20 years earlier, in a different era, and it looks it. I've gone to great lengths to establish that this is indeed Abby's work, submitted posthumously by Mathew.
Directly below this story, appears "Annabel Lee," by Edgar Allan Poe. Actually, I am convinced that was a tribute poem to Abby, written by Mathew after her death. Originally, it would have been written to "Abigail P----. Mathew must have written it, say, on the first anniversary of her death. Later, when he met Poe, this must have been one of the poems he shared with him. It was, as I understand, published after Poe's death. Why he never published it during his lifetime, I don't know. Perhaps he knew he couldn't get away with plagiarizing Mathew a second time, as Mathew had warned him and put some safeguards into place.
A copied eulogy of Poe in this same edition, tells us that the editor thought very highly of him. Therefore, if Mathew requested that these two pieces be printed together, he would not have revealed his purpose. Perhaps he worked directly through a typesetter; or perhaps, as I've speculated, he may have actually worked in the paper's office during layovers, in Boston.
This might not be proof to you--but I know Mathew's MO, and it's rock-solid proof, to me. Clearly, the poem is placed there in tribute to Abby. Clearly, if Poe had actually written it, Mathew would not have used it, because as you will have seen, if you have been reading my recent entries, Mathew had little use for Poe. It's there because Mathew wrote it, and of course he cannot publish the original with Abby's name, so he publishes this one--without anyone being the wiser.
If I were to show you all the instances in which Mathew has sent a private message, by juxtaposing different pieces together on the page, I think I would have an essay running to 50 or 60 pages. I have shared one instance with you recently--Mathew's story about "Libbeyville," followed immediately by an on-target quote by Francis Quarles. This is another example.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*The bay window seems, from what I could find about period architecture online, to be unlikely for 1836. I can only go with what I remembered; and what I remembered was, it was a bay window and we were really pleased to get one.
**I also remembered that on one occasion, seeing that she was doing this, he played a trick on her by going the back way and softly coming up the stairs to surprise her. She squealed, he tickled her on the cabinet beneath the window where she knelt to look out, and they made love right there.
Music opening this page: "One Last Kiss,"
by Billy Goodrum, from the album, "Weightless"