Madame d’Esperance - Shadow Land - 25 Anna
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
SHADOW LAND OR LIGHT FROM THE OTHER SIDE by Elisabeth d’Esperance(1897)
Now comes another figure, shorter, slenderer, and with out-stretched arms. Somebody rises up at the far end of the circle and comes forward and the two are clasped in each others arms. Then inarticulate cries of Anna! Oh, Anna! My child! My loved one!
Then somebody else gets up and puts her arms round the figure; then sobs, cries, and blessings get mixed up. I feel my body swayed to and fro and all gets dark before my eyes. I feel somebody's arms round me although I sit on my chair alone. I feel somebody's heart beating against my breast. I feel that something is happening. No one is near me except the two children.
No one is taking any notice of me. All eyes and thoughts seem concentrated on the white slender figure standing there with the arms of the two black-robed women around it.
It must be my own heart I feel beating so distinctly. Yet those arms round me? Surely never did I feel a touch so plainly.
I begin to wonder which is I. Am I the white figure or am I the one on the chair? Are they my hands round the old lady's neck, or are these mine that are lying on the knees of me, or on the knees of the figure if it be not I, on the chair?
Certainly they are my lips that are being kissed. It is my face that is wet with the tears which these good women are shedding so plentifully. Yet how can it be? It is a horrible feeling, thus losing hold of one's identity. I long to put out one of these hands that are lying so helplessly, and touch some one just to know if I am myself or only a dream-if Anna be I, and I am lost as it were, in her identity.
I feel the old lady's trembling arms, the kisses, the tears, the blessings and caresses of the sister, and I wonder in an agony of suspense and bewilderment, how long can it last? How long will there be two of us? Which will it be in the end? Shall I be Anna or Anna 'be I?
Then I feel two little hands slip themselves into my nerveless ones and they give me a fresh hold of myself as it were, and with a feeling of exultation I find I am myself, and that little Jonte, tired of being hidden behind the three figures, feels lonely and grasps my hands for company and comfort.
How glad I am of a touch, even from the hand of a child.
My doubts as to who I am and where I am, are gone. While I am feeling thus the white figure of ‘Anna 'disappears in the cabinet, and the two ladies return to their seats, excited and tearful but overcome with happiness.