FootNotes In Time

~ Second Reactualized Life ~

Virgula, Wife of Celadus The Breadmaker
52 AD - 79 AD

Life 2

My second successful reactualization, like Nahknet, turned out to be a heterosexual female. (All of my actualizations so far have been female.) Like Nahknet, she was married with children, interested in music and writing, fond of jewelry and cats. Like Nahknet, she worked outside of her home -- in this case, designing and selling sandals -- and enjoyed an independent income of her own.

Unlike Nahknet, she left behind no husband or children. They perished with her in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Virgula lived and died in first century Pompeii. The daughter of a local merchant, she lived a comfortable upper-middle-class existence. She received a modest education and learned to read and write.  Later in life, she became a prolific letter-writer and journaler: some of her written correspondence still exists, preserved in ash, and is currently on display at The Smithsonian.

Mostly she wrote about herself. There is very little mention of politics or current events in her writings. Some accused her of being cranky and self-absorbed; "I write what I know," was always her reply.

Virgula married at age 15. Her husband Celadus, a baker, was celebrated throughout the region for his Sweet Honey and Olive Loaves. ("Your tongue will fall in love at first bite!" read the sign on his bakery door.) The marriage, arranged by her parents, was not a particularly happy one. Celadus was nearly ten years older than Virgula, and fond of wine and other spirits. He was never abusive, but he was often insensitive and spent much of his time away from home, either at work or at the local pub. Virgula daydreamed about leaving her husband, but once her oldest son was born (followed by a daughter, then another son) she abandoned the idea. The secret dream of her heart was that once her children had grown and were on their own, she could end her marriage and look for a more suitable lifemate.

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius ended that dream. As toxic ash rained down on her, in the final moments of our shared carnate existence, Virgula buried her head in her arms and wept.

The thing I find most interesting about my life as Virgula -- besides the obvious parallels to my first marriage, and to the fact that she had her own issues with alcohol, towards the end of her life -- is that Pompeii has always been of special fascination to me during my current incarnation. It's similar to the way I've always felt about Ancient Egypt, or about the court of King Henry VIII, or about the Civil War: I have felt drawn to these specific periods in history without understanding why. Fleeta tells me that this isn't uncommon: that we are often pulled, in our current incarnations, to historical places/people/events that were important to us in previous actualizations. It is only when we are finally able to reactualize our carnate lives from those periods in history that we understand what drew us to them in the first place.

I guess it's a good thing I've never been much of a Titanic buff, huh? 


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~ in life, hope: in memory, truth ~