My uroma took a drag from the cigarette in her gnarled hand and then pointed its smoldering bud towards me. Evil men come, she said in the same manner as she might tell me to fold laundry, and all you can do is have strength. Evil men. Böse Menschen. The smoke from her cigarette curled around us, twisting like hair caught in the wind. She handed me the cigarette and told me to drink a beer for her later. I inhaled the tobacco into my lungs and returned to Charon’s river.
Böse Menschen. Evil men.
Uroma lived through two world wars and the Russian occupation of Berlin, she survived an alcoholic husband and raised three children. The woman I met in her life was frail and old, broken by a disease that ravaged her mind and body, but the woman I have come to know is a dragon. She is the iron fisted matriarch who ruled my family for years and she is the woman whose guidance I often seek.
Within our genes and DNA live our ancestors; they are the foundation that built us from the first single celled creatures on our world to our grandparents. They swim through our blood and call to us in our bones and if we listen we can hear their songs. Some like my uroma speak bluntly, while others move around my consciousness as instincts and intuition; communicating to me and to us all in their own way.
I was discussing my ancestors recently and was asked if I was communicating with ghosts. This actually seemed silly. Why would I need to try to reach out to a ghost? I’m talking to the parts of my ancestors that exist inside me. I don’t need to look outside myself and quite frankly neither do you.
When the “evil men” crash through my life I seek guidance from those who have come before me and I have strength. I drink a beer for Uroma and whisper thanks to my disir and they sing to me: do not fear, you have strength within yourself.