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Conversations With D(e)ad

14 years ago today my father died.

We went to the cemetery as is customary on any of the anniversary days. I like the graveyard. There is peace there. And I like being there alone despite my grandmother's continuing unease because she saw a flasher there once in 1971;

mother and grandmother left, i stayed behind to sit and think a while. found a stemless red flower on the path and put it on my father's grave. It lay there above his name like a tiny heart.

The colour of luck and life and blood and wine and his own star sign, Aries.

I leaned against the tree, closed my eyes let my mind wander a little. The tree is old and comfortingly grounding. Its roots reach down deeper than the bones of my ancestors.

Attempted to empty my mind and listen to the companionable silence of the dead. The tree sighed and accumulated birds. Spirits wondered in flashes out of the corner of my eyes shaping themselves of shadow and pines and slanting light. A short stout woman in a black coat with grey stockings and sturdy sensible shoes, dead some three decades and a bit snipy about the carelessness of her grandchildren on the grave-maintenance front. A child a boy, running through the cemetery in passing died long ago but not buried here. Chasing what looks like a wheel with a stick. An old soldier. In a flash they announce themselves and are as quickly gone.

I sense my ancestors there too at first the ones i did not know but whose energies and presences are familar to me, to my bones. An old man who is thin and stern and who thought you should be as hard on others as you were on yourself. My grandfather, a quiet man with a mischievous wit and a quick smile. A child, all glittering static and bounciness, delightful and delighted.

And then, the fourth one. The one who hides in the wingspans of ravens and owls, who whispers in dreams, whose presence and footsteps I still listen for. The one I spent years of my life trying to cross the veil to find, looking for him in the ending of the world.

I cried a little, though I hadnt expected to, because I am struck by the sorrow of a grave of four men named George (the traditional name given to the firstborn son of the Goergian line). My father was the second son but he was a replacement when the first one died so he took both his name and his long shadow.

I was reading a book by Amy Tan, called the Hundred Secret Senses and intution is a little bit as described there. The sense that is ephemeral and yet common to us all. The feelers of a butterfly, the breath of flowers, the fingers of leaves.

And with my hundred secret senses that are all those and more, and yet not that secret, not if you know to look for them, I felt my father. His presence, unmistakable, his voice in my head which is not really a voice so much as communication of thoughts, feelings, ideas, an image, like an inspiration, that comes to mind quite suddenly.

My dad said:
*Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am not there, I did not die. The flower is pretty though*
I said:
*When did you start reading poetry? And are you the thousand winds that blow and diamond glints on snow too?*
He replied:
*I am anything you will acknowledge me as. Form is meaningless. I will be anything that speaks to you. I am your father and I am love.*

The conversation was pleasant and lasted a while. I hear him whenever my mind is still enough, whenever my heart is not doing sommersaults to protect itself.

I feel him. It is a gentle feeling, and comforting. I know he is around me whenever I want him to be.

Walking home I was thinking of one of my stories in which catastrophe strikes and I felt his mind touch again, and the question:
*Why do you so often write sadness?*
*Because every story is tragic, Dad.*
*Wrong. There is not a single story that does not have a happy end. Just sometimes what you think is an ending is merely a pause.*

then the thouhgts, or what I feel are his thoughts acquire a certain wry quality. The energy shifts slightly.
*i was beautiful wasnt i?*
*yes, you were. and I loved you very much*
a smile then, like a flash of sunlight across the forest floor
*i still love you daughter*

There will be people who will say that I am deluding myself, or delusional and that is fair enough. I can understand why that might be a seemingly logical conclusion.

I on the other hand can only trust what my heart, my instict is saying and what feels real and true to me.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
livemeat
Oct. 17th, 2003 11:28 am (UTC)
i really have nothing i could possibly say,
but i wanted you to know i read.
67threnody
Oct. 17th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC)
Wow... beautiful.

Graveyards can be peaceful but they often move me to tears, even if I don't know any of the people buried there. With family plots, in particular, I end up imagining all of their lives and wondering how accurate I am.

I am glad that you found solace in sensing your father's presence.
rainsinger
Oct. 18th, 2003 08:41 am (UTC)
Thank you muchly, both of you :)
(Anonymous)
Oct. 21st, 2003 02:54 am (UTC)
Hi Dearest One,

I stumbled in at 4AM, so glad I did. Your words always touch my heart, as does your soul.

I love you!
Your "Soul Mom"
(Anonymous)
Oct. 28th, 2003 10:39 pm (UTC)
Everything is and nothing matters
No, not delusional at all - and you know that I would tell you !!
There is not enough abstraction "indigo thinking" going on in the world. Your exchange is demonstrative of an opening. As a fellow writer-someone who has experienced inspiration, I can picture things like your experience as being like the top of your head being open and the energy flowing backwards and forwards in FOCUSED way - unlike with most people where it operates in an unfocused, random way. Having felt that quite a bit I find that the levels of energy that you manipulate can become as great as you choose but when you become able to handle larger quantities of it you need to take in more and more of the small everyday stuff to begin to feel as alive as "high" as when you are inspired (i.e. perhaps when you write).

Love, as always.

N* (aka : "the other one"!)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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