Wanna talk about something I just figured out yesterday while talking to Dave.

Believe it was on Tuesday the 20th, couple days after Dad died. I was sitting in the living room with my new (made Sunday the 18th, but before I got the news) burn CD and Jeff Buckley's performance of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah came on. I know Dad loved Leonard Cohen, and the words and emotions in song just resonated so powerfully that I had an outpouring of emotional response. Sitting there with my head in my hands, I felt wave upon wave of mana, emotion, power or whatever you want to call it, flowing not just from me but through me. It gathered up somewhere in front of or above me--not in spatial directions exactly, though that's how my inner ear located it. When the song started to wrap up I felt an ironic little thought (expressed in words it'd read something like, "You take this have damn fine vacation old man!"), and flung the massive something made of something out towards wherever he was at, where I visualized him at, among the stars for a time. 'Cause he'd made a point of telling me he was going to visit the gates of dawn (a star birth nebula) and the angel with the flaming sword (Ross-154) before he came back to plug into Maat (his name for the nascent personality of planet Earth) and get back to work.

A wave of emotion is an expectable thing, when one's father has just died and one hears a song that moved him greatly. But this was a different thing, or rather, there was more in those waves than just my emotions. I do not emote loudly enough, even when in extreme distress, to disrupt the signal of a cellphone call being made in the room next to me. Also I tend to emote in pointy spikes rather than in big clouds or waves. 'S a side effect of all the poetry and rhetoric; it makes my whatever-it-is very scalpelesque.

So I've been turning the experience over and over in my mind, trying to find a theory that fits what I observed. And it was actually something Lois Bujold put in the latest Sharing Knife book that gave me a possible answer. Bit of a spoiler on the series, but I promise it doesn't give away plot, just magic-tech from the storyverse.

In the Sharing Knife books, there are two major social groups, the Lakewalkers and the farmers. Lakewalkers have the ability to do that world's type of magic, by being able to work with the magical energy inherent in all things, which they call ground. They use their abilities (for the most part) to fight uncanny evil creatures called malices. Farmers lack the ability to perceive or manipulate ground but are still regular people with all the variety and quirks. It is known that if a Lakewalker uses their abilities on a farmer, the farmer sometimes becomes beguiled--weirdly obsessed or even hypnotized, depending on the type of magic use. Lakewalker superstition has it that such things are unavoidable because stupid farmers just can't help reacting to groundwork that way.

But in this third book, the main characters discover something more subtle is going on. Every time one person gives away some of their ground--for example, in a healing work--they receive an "echo" back from the recipient, completing the circuit. Either people hadn't noticed this before the main characters tried to figure it out, or they hadn't wanted to notice. So the farmer only becomes beguiled if the Lakewalker doesn't, or won't, accept the echo ground back from them. The beguilement, in this system, comes from the imbalance caused in the receiving person when they are unable to give back that echo, when they cannot complete the circuit. They become obsessed with the giver because they need to give back something, but have no way to even perceive what it is that they need.

I came up with this as a metaphor while talking to Dave yesterday, about this and several other things. It can be used, I think, to explain what was happening that day with the waves of mana-whatever.

Dad's personality was very open in many ways, but in some ways he was completely closed. He could accept the bad that the world gave back to him, but for whatever reasons, didn't seem able or willing to accept the good on an emotional level. He could appreciate good being done him in tangible or intellectual ways but could not accept comfort or help or gratitude emotionally. And this was a man who devoted the bulk of the latter part of his life, at least, and a massive chunk of the former, to helping people and empowering them and protecting them from harm. In other words, sending a lot of pieces of himself out into the universe without accepting back quite as many pieces of the universe in return.

So my hypothesis on that experience is this. That Dad had built up a massive backlog of good karma (or whatever, however it really works) because he had started up a bunch of spiritual exchanges and then not allowed them to complete. That when he left this side of the world all that stuff was still out there, pending, waiting for him to come and take it up. That what I did was accidentally, or to be more accurate, blindly, gather up all of it I could hold and fling it at him.

Too generous even in retreat, old man. Tut, tut! Whoever heard of a bank robber who had to have the sacks of money flung at his back as he fled the premises?

Though I suppose, given the above, it's really more like a fellow who goes to the bank to make a legitimate withdrawal, waffles around in the lobby not daring to go up to the confused and impatient teller, then has to have the sacks of money flung at him as he's sneaking off towards the door. Still. Glad I was in a position to fling, whatever the case.