Sunday, November 21, 2010
Have I been here before?
Déjà vu (French pronunciation: [deʒa vy] (meaning "already seen") is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (1851–1917) in his book L'Avenir des sciences psychiques ("The Future of Psychic Sciences"), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness," "strangeness," "weirdness," or what Sigmund Freud calls "the uncanny." The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.
Some people believe in it. Some don’t. I guess that’s normal for anything unexplainable. I’ve always kept an open mind about such things. My family used to give me the collective eye roll when I’d wink and explain that the reason I couldn’t wear turtlenecks was because, in a past life, someone must’ve strangled me. Imagine their expressions, when we discovered that one of my poor ancestors suffered hanging and then burning after accusations of witchcraft. Now, I’m not saying that she was me...or I’m her…but who knows?
The air-splitting caw of a solitary crow shouted these words across the wind. This crow kept pace with us while we enjoyed the lovely cliffs. I wondered if he was trying to remind me that I’d been there before. What do you think? Have we walked these paths before?