Heidi Catherine is Australian and okay with light mocking. She’s a talented author and a cool human being.
That was the new author bio I wrote to celebrate her upcoming debut novel The Soulweaver. But for some reason she turned it down, and wrote this piece for my website instead. Whatever…
Here it is!
Where did I come from? by Heidi Catherine
I’m fascinated by past lives and idea that they could affect how we feel about the life we are living now. I was once told that in a past life I was a miner trapped underground and this may translate in this life to a feeling of wanting to have the freedom to stretch and grow. I can’t deny this is true. It makes me wonder…
Then I hear people say offhanded things like “I can’t stand the heat. I’m sure I was an Eskimo in my past life,” or “I love being on the water. I’m sure I was a sailor in my past life,” or “I prefer my own company. I’m sure I was a hermit in my past life.” And I wonder…
And once I heard a story about a boy who spoke constantly about being in the air force in the war. He could recite his name, his rank and other details he couldn’t possibly have known. And yep, that makes me wonder too.
As kooky as it sounds, all this wondering has led me to one big question… What if past lives are real and that’s why sometimes we feel so instantly comfortable in a situation and other times we want to run from away as fast as we can. Could this explain why sometimes we feel like we belong and at other times we clearly don’t?
In my novel, The Soulweaver, one of my characters, Lin, feels like she doesn’t belong in the world she lives in. She dreams of faces she doesn’t recognise and a forest she’s never seen. She doesn’t realise that she’s having memories of her past life, living in Australia on the edge of a forest – a far cry from her life in the crowded city of Hong Kong. Here’s an excerpt:
As a young girl, she thought of her city as a forest. The buildings were her trees. The colourful clothes on the washing lines that ringed the buildings were her flowers. The horns from the traffic were birds calling to each other, and she imagined the people below to be possums or wombats or wallabies. Her imagination supplied her with the view she longed to see and she’d spend hours staring out, lost in a world of her own creation.
She tried to share this world with her father, but where she saw a forest he saw the land for what it was – a city studded with concrete columns of life, stretching high into the sky.
As she grew older, her legs grew longer and she no longer needed a stool to stand on. She’d press her nose to the window and stare at her city. She noticed how people’s eyes remained focused on life at ground level, yet most of it was happening above their heads. Through the thin walls of her family’s apartment she could hear talking, laughing, crying and shouting. All evidence of lives being lived, relationships being forged and people growing and changing.
She watched the people go about their day, and she’d wonder why she felt she didn’t belong. The pages of her sketchpad were filled with drawings of a forest she’d never seen and faces of people she’d never met. When she slept, she dreamt of bright lights, dark skies and a woman with golden hair. She’d wake, confused and sad. Did everyone dream like this?
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong in the world you live in? Have you ever wondered if this was because in your past life you were an Eskimo, a deep sea diver or the Queen of England? Or is there a more simple explanation than this?
Heidi Catherine can be found on Facebook, Twitter or on her website. Her debut novel, The Soulweaver, is available for order now. She also has a free prequel novelette called The Moonchild, which introduces you to two of the main characters from The Soulweaver in the lifetime they lived before the book takes place.