The history of my minds eye
I had driven to New Orleans to visit a friend that I haven’t seen since my high school days. I spent a few days there with him and his wife, and we resumed our friendship like it was yesterday. During my stay, he took me around to see the historical sights and places. He told me he had a special place that he wanted me to see. One day we got in the car and drove to an out of the way part of the bayous down a long dirt road, and pulled up in front of a very large, old and decrepit building that was grown over with cypress and moss amid the swamp. Before we entered he mentioned that this visit would change my view of life. He made it sound very mysterious, and I was excited to see what he meant...
We entered the building through the front door and down a long dark hall. There was no electricity but there was shadowy candle lighting to see by. An older Cajun man and woman who were the caretakers greeted my friend, and he introduced me. My eyes were getting used to the dark and I began to notice a lot of various items laid out on the many tables and walls. Each room had doors to adjoining rooms and it looked something like a museum of sorts. There were paintings, and stones, along with a myriad of mysterious objects. My friend told me to walk around and look at everything while he stayed with the caretakers to visit. I began by looking at a table with a large smooth stone, and other smaller stones placed carefully in their spots. At first glance, they looked like nothing more than regular river rocks. I walked by unimpressed and wondering what was so special about them.
Next I came to a table that had short pieces of chains, ropes and strings. that were only a foot or so long. What, I wondered, was so interesting about them, but I moved on. Next I saw a painting of a new home built in the 1850′s. It looked like a home that someone had built and had its image captured on canvas. as I walked by and passed the painting, I was startled as it suddenly changed before my eyes into an age worn broken down building. The transformation freaked me out and I stepped back and again viewed the picture as it once was, and by stepping forward it again appeared broken and rotted, like before and after pictures. The old painting made me feel the hair on the back of my head stand up when I realized it was of the building I was standing in.
There were many other paintings in each room I visited and they all had the same before and after effects when I viewed them in passing. They were like watching time passing before my eyes. I returned to the table with the stones, wondering what I had missed as I had done with the paintings. Impulsively I placed my hands on the stone and suddenly, I could view the rushing waters that polished them smooth over the centuries, I could see the fish and multitudes of critters that were swept by in wet times and drought. I was astounded and made my way around the tables caressing all the other stones and watched their history play out in my minds eye. I went to the table with the strings and rope and held them up. I noticed that when I gently tested their short length, they appeared to be getting longer, first a few feet, then ten and then fifty, and on. They kept lengthening as I stretched them out. I realized each had memories of their original length...every object I viewed would display its history to me.
There were ceramic pots that demonstrated their birth on some long forgotten potters wheel. Ancient weapons that were shown from the forge through the battles they were made for. Wooden pieces that were hewn from some great forests of the past. It was the living history of each and every article and piece. I saw old maps that progressively updated as I watched, then ending in nothing, the end of the world, it seemed. The last item I saw was a large mirror hanging alone on the last wall. I gazed into the reflection and as I passed, I saw a slideshow of my life, starting at my birth, and then to my death, played out like some fantastic horror movie. It was then I realized I was drenched in sweat. Not knowing if it was from the heat of the day, or the amazement and fear I felt at the same time..
I went back to see the couple visiting with my friend and expressed my amazement, and asked them what was happening. I asked if I was hallucinating or if I had somehow been drugged. They gazed at me for a moment, smiling, then replied that these possessions were just that,.. possessed! They assembled the collection piece by piece, over the span of a hundred plus years, from many different voodoo witch doctors each of whom had their specialties in the voodoo arts and black magics. After this visit my old friend had passed away. I wanted to take my new friends to see this phenomenal place and those terrifying objects, but despite numerous tries, I have been unable to locate this building again. I cannot explain to my friends, and they think I am exaggerating or hallucinating or just plain fibbing, so I no longer tell this story to anyone. I know what I saw was real, and to this day I am haunted by those visions.
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