Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mark Twain vs. Abe Lincoln

       Mark Twain (Sameul Langhorne Clemens -1835-1910), the American humorists, writer, lecturer and steamboat Captain on the Mississippi River and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) shared something in common.  Both were plagued with bad dreams about impending tragedies.
      Mark Twain always kept pen and paper on the table next to his bed.  Often he woke in the middle of the night to jot down something in his dreams.  His best ideas for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin originated from bed, but his dreams carried messages that were not always pleasant, but still he wrote one down in particular.  You could say he had a  prophetic dream one night that caused him great anxiety and concern.
      In the dream he saw the body of his brother Henry Clemens laid out in a burial casket with white flowers on his breast with a single red rose in the center.  Mark was terrified and was convinced that he was dead, but reality struck with great relief. 
     He had a dream he couldn't shake - something wasn't right.  It wasn't.  Had he a premonition in his sleep about an impending tragedy about to happen.
     Twain the following day received a telegram that said his brother was killed inside the boiler room of a steamboat near Memphis, Tennessee.  Twain traveled to Memphis and found where his brother reposed.  He stood in front of the casket and to his relief there were no flowers.  He sighed, the dream was only half true.  Suddenly a woman appeared at the door and walked towards the casket carrying a bouquet of white flowers with one red rose at the center and laid it on Henry's breast.
     Was his dream a warning about his brother's destiny.  Was he visited by an angel in his dream to prepare him for the imminent loss of a family member.  Was this prophecy or just coincidence.  He wasn't sure.
     When Twain was born in November 1835 Halley's comet streaked across the dark night sky.  His dreams suggested he would die when Halley's comet returned in April 1910.  As the comet with a 500-mile long tail blazed across the night sky Mark Twain did indeed die in April 1910.  Did he have a premonition when he would die?
     Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865) experienced the same.  Although born in a log cabin he self educated himself and became a backwoods lawyer and at age 36 (1847) entered Congress as a Representative from Illinois. Fourteen years later (1861) he became President in one of the most turbulent and violent Civil War - state against states to abolish slavery once and for all.  Like many before him who walked the halls of the White House he couldn't escape bad dreams, the emotional feelings that something bad might happen.  His destiny was being written in his sleep and he talked about the dream he had to several others.
     In his dream he was walking through the silent White House toward the sounds of sobbing.  As he walked into the East Room he was confronted by the sight of a catafalque (coffin) covered in black.     He as if in Spirit form asked the guard on duty who was dead? 
    "The President," said the soldier.
     Lincoln and Twain had premonitions about their destiny.  They didn't alter their lives.  They stayed on track, but it is sometimes difficult to stay on that path and not change course when thinking about our demise.  Premonitions are warnings about the destinies of ourselves and others.  When tragedy strikes - we don't know, but we should pay heed to the perils of man.
     Yesterday I had just finished my blogs on Bigfoot;  Living Legends in North America when a premonition struck.  Looking at all the sticky notes taped to the bottom of my iMac I stared at a blank screen.  Lots of names and telephone numbers, but one in particular seemed to have a heart beat and I had a premonition earlier that morning he would call when I finished my blog, the phone would ring.  It did.  Almost instantaneous the caller ID confirmed it. This was my first contact with the man.  Premonitions come and we can't escape.  The emotions and feelings are real.
     Prophecy, coincidences, forewarnings or destiny?
     We all share a common destiny whether good or bad, saved or sinner, religious or evil.  We are responsible for our own ultimate destiny.
     When was the last time you had a bad dream?  Think about the premonitions in life.  We can't escape bad dreams.  They are an part of our living destiny. 


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