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On the cusp of a new year

Silhouettes by Harry Finder
Silhouettes  by Harry Finder 

So here we are, on the eve of a new year. I have a tendency to go a bit blue while contemplating the year that is about to end, mainly because it has just swished by. Tempus fugit, as the old Romans would say. And time does fly, doesn’t it? Somehow, just how fast the years pile up becomes very apparent when we are about to enter a new year…

My father once said that he felt it was rather cruel of God to make us poor humans so aware of our own mortality. He was sceptical to the whole idea of heaven and eternal life (but not to the concept of God. At least not entirely) and would now and then sigh and say that it was too bad our time on earth was so very, very short.

But what if it we had more than one try at this life-business? Would that be good or bad?

I find the notion of reincarnation very intriguing. Imagine being given an opportunity to try again, rectify past mistakes. Assuming, of course, that the reincarnated person remembered what their mistakes were the first time round.

This was the premise for my latest release, A Torch in his Heart. Unfortunately for my male MC, he remembers every single fruitless life he’d led, desperate to find the woman he loved, betrayed and lost in that very distant first life. I wonder what that would do to a person—to have memories of so many existences one doesn’t quite know which are valid for which life. I imagine it takes a person of great spiritual strength to not go crazy under that pressure.

Argo Lorenzo_Costa_001
A Renaissance version of the Jason of the Argo, for whom my hero is named

Now Jason progresses upwards with each life, learning the hard way to become a better person. His antagonist—a soul as old as Jason is, just as burdened with the memories of multiple lives—has rather gone the opposite way. Where Jason wants to make amends, Sam wants revenge for the wrongs he perceives Jason has done him. What Sam wants, Sam usually gets. If it comes at a spiritual cost, Sam chooses to turn a blind eye on it.

Personally, I believe that if there are people who leap from life to life, they are mostly unaware of their previous existences—precisely for the reason that otherwise they’d probably have spent their lives in an institution somewhere, their mental equilibrium shattered by unwanted and confusing memories. Accordingly, my female MC has no memories of Jason or Sam or of the little place on the southern coast of the Black Sea where she lived out her very first (and far too short) life. But Helle has dreams, recurring vivid images that have her sitting up in bed as she tries to understand why her heart is breaking with grief, a yawning sensation of loss engulfing her as she whispers “Jason”. Not that Helle has any idea who this Jason might be…

When I was younger, I was fascinated by the stories of people who one day woke up and insisted they were someone else. Boys who purportedly began speaking ancient Persian, women who wept as they named the children they’d seen die in plagues and famines. I suspect there is little truth in most of these stories, but I can’t help wondering if some of them aren’t genuine. I especially remember one of these stories (as I recall, I read it in Reader’s Digest, and yes, I know this does not qualify as a verified source, but I loved those booklets, inhaled my way through them). A young man living in a modern Brooklyn woke up one day and insisted he had to travel to the Middle East. In fluent Arabic, he explained he had to go and find his wife, assure her he was still alive, still here. His present-day parents were desperate. In a twist of ironic fate, they were Jewish and knew for a fact that no one had ever spoken Arabic to their son. And yet, here he was, word-perfect in a language no one had ever taught him. Creepy stuff, hey?

The story obviously left an indirect impact on me. My Jason refers to one life as a minority Greek living in Smyrna (present day Izmir) just as the Ottoman empire crumbles and is replaced by nationalistic Turkish state ruled by Atatürk. In that life, Jason sees his Greek family destroyed by the uncontrolled Turkish soldiers. In his first life, however, Jason detested the Greek colonists who made their way along the Black Sea coast. I suppose my take on reincarnation is that, if it is possible, it has as its purpose to broaden our human experience and allow us to experience life from various points of view. Just like Hinduism and Buddhism teaches, with each life a person would acquire more wisdom and better karma until achieving a state of spiritual purity that allows for eternal peace as part of the brilliant whole. I rather like that.

Tomorrow, we welcome a new year. A year in which humanity as a whole take one more step towards irreversible climate change. A year when we will continue stressing this wonderful planet of ours, this unique biosphere. While it could be possible for a soul to crash and burn in one life and be reborn to try again in a new life, planets do not get second chances. There is only one world like ours. Only one. Best keep that in mind!

On that rather serious note, this my last post for 2018 comes to an end. I wish you all, dear readers, a Happy New Year, a year in which at least some of your hopes and wishes come true, a year in which you all experience moments of absolute joy at being alive, with the sun in your face and the sky an endless blue above you. And while I love the concept of reincarnation, I would urge all of you not to count on it. Instead, make the best of the life you have!


A Torch in His Heart, by Anna Belfrage, coverA Torch in His Heart is a steamy, contemporary romance with paranormal ingredients and a lot of action. But at its core lies a genuine interest in what makes us human, how we evolve as spiritual beings and whether or not we do, in fact, get more than one shot at this marvellous business called life. I hope some readers will discover those deeper depths and be as titillated by the notion of reincarnation as I am.

About A Torch in His Heart:

In the long lost ancient past, two men fought over the girl with eyes like the Bosporus under a summer sky. It ended badly. She died. They died.

Since then, they have all tumbled through time, reborn over and over again. Now they are all here, in the same place, the same time and what began so long ago must finally come to an end.

Ask Helle Madsen what she thinks about reincarnation and she’ll laugh in your face. Besides, Helle has other stuff to handle, what with her new, exciting job in London and her drop-dead but seriously sinister boss, Sam Woolf. And then one day Jason Morris walks into her life and despite never having clapped eyes on him before, she recognises him immediately. Very weird. Even more weird is the fact that Sam and Jason clearly hate each other’s guts. Helle’s life is about to become extremely complicated and far too exciting.

Find it on Amazon!


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