The dwelling was beautiful; the living space opulent with a multitude of bright cushions and lush vegetation everywhere. There was no roof as outside and inside formed a symbiotic space for my home; areas were designated by low stone walls overhung with flowering vines. I was surrounded by a group of young women who came together with me and my mother to celebrate the new life I was carrying. I did not recognize any of these women, yet I knew them all with their smiling faces, striking jeweled toned clothing and headdresses. Women whose hair, eyes and skin were as differentiated and as exotic as the décor and vegetation. It all formed a perfect symphony of life. Amid all the laughter and exclamations of joy I felt connected. I felt at home – yet down in my heart I knew this was temporary and alone out of this happy group of women I was touched with sadness.
After the celebration of new life gathering, my mother escorted me into the tiny village. A hodgepodge of ancient stone structures lining narrow cobblestones streets. The vegetation grew wild alongside the lanes and each edifice be it business or domicile was merrily decorated in deep colored tapestries and banners that hung or flew from every available doorway, balcony or spire. As in my own house, the land and buildings wove together a connectedness. There was no demarcation of where one ended and another began; trees grew inside sleeping places, streams sang through cooking spaces and flowers grew rampant.
Along one narrow byway a thin strip of sidewalk wound past several shops, every few feet an intimate booth or table with chairs was placed. It was an outdoor restaurant. My mother motioned me to a booth at one end while she went to chat with friends. As I sat myself down, I noticed the light was fading and a myriad of lampposts bloomed into life. Their warm glow cheerily reminiscent of another street I struggled to remember. I ordered a beverage – and idly wondered if in this place what an alcoholic drink would do to the life I carried. Again, I was touched with a sorrow I could not put into words yet somehow, I understood the temporariness of my life here. This kind of sadness was unknown in this place with these people. This life I carried was somehow doomed.
Unexpectedly my father sat down next to me and I knew it was me that out of place here. But I was grateful for the few moments I would be given with him. We spoke of the pandemic in my reality. I spoke of the cases, deaths and new norms across the world. My father spoke of how it was affecting his world and how ‘the living’ aren’t getting where they need to be. I suddenly saw a map of a place/world I did not recognize yet somehow, I knew. My father went on to say that the new influx of ‘living’ are not gaining entrance; they are being bottlenecked ‘outside’. Before I could ask him what he meant, my mother sat opposite us and I awoke in terrible sadness.
Messages from the dead? Such a curious word – dead: meaning no longer alive. I too shall start calling them the living for I believe it is we who are dead here in this mad world.
I dreamed I spoke with my father last night and he had a message for the dead.