Thursday, January 08, 2009

I walk in the graveyard in the evenings, hoping to spot a ghost. I must admit that it is difficult to picture ghosts sitting on those gravestones, cracked and broken though some of them are. Why they would show themselves, anyway, I reason. Would they not rather be back in their homes trying to make themselves visible to their families?

Many of the graves are very well maintained. Shiny granite surrounded by flower beds. Most are cracked though,faded and forgotten, surrounded by dry mud that was once a bower.

My mind, gleefully morbid, estimates the various stages of decay the bodies must be in. The boy who was buried last month must have begun to lose his youthful suppleness by now. Perhaps the old lady buried in the far end of the graveyard, five years ago, is a heap of bones. And what of the graves that are a hundred years old?Are their occupants truly dust to dust returned?

Why do people visit the graves of their dead after the burial? Why heap candles, flowers and so much more,decorating them as if for some festival?.Perhaps the physical proximity is comforting. Perhaps it is to show the dead that they are still loved and remembered. Or perhaps it is so that the living heal themselves.Then one day the grave is forgotten and it begins to die.

I look at the seemingly endless graveyard and i think to myself,the only thing haunting it is the silence.I no longer remember if I am dead or alive. There is a well aged and forgotten grave that has on it my name. I feel absolutely alive though. I am the ghost hunter. Sometimes when I wave at visitors they, hesitatingly wave back, sometimes they don’t. Most of the time no one notices me, not even the caretaker. I wait, perched on the grave that is supposed to be mine. The ghosts will come.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I am walking on a beach. I walk slowly, my toes play with the sand. I let my feet sink in this soft, relenting, glistening mica. It is a lovely warm feeling. Like snuggling into a blanket with hot chocolate, buttery toast and a favourite book. The sea is rhythmic, sleep inducing. It is a very hot day. Blue sky, brown beach, blue-green water, a school child’s drawing.

In the distance I see a rock formation where the sea forms a small shallow pool. It is brilliant blue, still, calm. Two children are playing in the pool. They see me and ask me to come over. One of them throws water on me. It is cold as ice. I shiver. They ask me to play with them and I, shy, sit among the rocks and dip my feet into the pool.

They are wearing school uniforms. White with a grey and white striped belt. They point out to a building not very far away from the pool. ‘That is our school, the SEA SCHOOL’, says the girl. I see that the school has two buildings that are connected by a glass fronted passage on one of the top floors. There is, I think, a tower that is a part of the building on the right. I cannot be sure.

The bell rings. Not a school bell, more a maniacal tolling. ‘What is that?’ I ask. ‘Oh, that is the drill bell”, says the boy. ‘Practice drill for us in case of tidal waves’, says the girl. ‘We have to run into the building on the right and run all the way to the highest floor, can you see that floor that has a lot of glass windows?’ she asks. ‘Yes,’ I said, I could. ‘We have to reach there, hurry’ she said.

They took my hands, one on each side and ran. All around me the sky and the sea was changing. Clouds; black, gray, angry, hungry, filled the sky. I shivered. The sea ran after us, full of fury. Big arms of water broke away chunks of beach. The pool was gone.

‘Run, run’, they said. I ran with them towards the building. All the while the sea ran behind us. I felt a spray of water. Then the rain came down, the sun died, the world went black. Up, up up the stairs we ran. The waves rammed against the glass. The rain and the wind tried to shatter it. Then the wave came. First there was a sky, an angry black sky, there was rain, and then there was no difference between the two. Then the wave that ate the sky drank the rain and swallowed the building.

When I opened my eyes, I saw a room full of school children in white uniform. Some were crying, some sleeping, some playing some and singing songs. It was a gray dull room so full of sorrow I wanted to cry.

I saw my two friends from the beach sitting quietly. They looked very peaceful. ‘Aren’t you sacred?’ I asked. ‘Oh no’, said the girl. ‘This wave came one day, long ago, when we were playing, and took us all away, we had no time to reach the building, we are happy we saved you, we are already dead, nothing can happen to us’.

This was a dream I had many years ago, in 2004 perhaps.