“Guilt — if there was any guilt — spread out and diffused itself over everybody and everything. . . . Perhaps at some point in time, at some spot in the world, a moment of responsibility existed.”Philip K. Dick
I did not visit my ancestors with a guide, for no guide was needed;
but there was a suggestion of the soul of my soon to be ex-husband
who was releasing me to my family from where he originally found me
so that I might walk through them, many of whom had reluctantly passed;
for only those who watched life badly want never-ending eternity,
and these, it seemed, failed to achieve even ignominy in their life;
thus, my living heart and mind had no memory of their names or eyes.
Even they themselves had easily forgotten their true and honest faces.
But I knew I must review them, if I am going to continue on my own way
for my old marriage never prevented their destiny but held them at bay
and now was the time for me to choose between being free or being bound,
between eternal hunger or abundance, between misery or sweeter sound;
How simple this choice seems in a mind too hasty towards the skies;
but for most upon earth that is exactly where dreams begin to die,
for old feet are stubborn and their invisible wings never seem to fly
how deep are their hopeful lies, divinity they believe they recognize.
My ancestors remembered well all their life longings and their loses,
and so they were pleased when I had arrived in their sad vicinity;
for I had landed there with the many gifts I received on my journey
and as I walked through, I heard them singing the song of hunger aching,
so heavy and deformed were the shapes they call beautiful in their making,
especially the old man who would have been younger if not for neglect,
his despair and mistreatment were too deep for his heart to protect
for light has little hope in he who is buried in comfortable torments.
And that is when my heart spoke from within the wisdom of my soul:
“Be cautious of the things and the people who make themselves known,
for they carry either messages of gods or messages of dreadful woe;
which is which is hidden by those who don’t want you to really know.”
And so, confused as to who this old man was, I did not dare go near him,
but passed him averting my eyes away from his desire back into my own;
for each person is allotted one deep love, but many are the distractions,
the devils who steal from hearts to replace what from them was stolen.
At that point, my urge to quickly pass through this place was strong,
for though I felt compelled to look, I wasn’t feeling bound for long
until I felt a presence besides me and then finally right in front,
she was as golden as tinsel; as bright as a reflection of the light;
for she was heavy with artifice, exhausted from its demanding device
and she asked me thrice if I would stay here if only three more days
to show them more of what I’d brought them from the sunnier ways.
Certainly, I must so kind as to give this just and precious pleasure.
For look at these poor souls, she directed me: they need you and your help
and you can come and go as you will, for three is greater than eternity.
And as the shame of begging and the guilt of refusing fell upon my heart,
I considered her offer with a slight repugnance that she herself perceived.
It was then they she knew that she had lost control of her falsified ease
and so all her world fell back into the two who dreamed her restless pain.
My parents’ shadows dwelt in a room in fear without support of their gait;
for the fearful neglect what they can and have no faith in what they can’t.
I saw them. My light illuminated the dust streaming from the window,
and I learned that they no longer subsist on food since anger fills them
for they had poured all of their desires and their pain into their children,
that they might carry them into the world and free them from their prison
to save the entire family from the fate that they themselves had chosen
“For we cannot heal ourselves,” they said. “We need you to be our savior.
So will you please remove your cruelty to redeem us from our behavior?”
I could barely hear my guilt, for so many ancestors and devils were speaking.
At that moment, I knew I was presented with a choice: to return to them
or to continue on my journey; to give them all to lose, or lose them to give;
for the angry dead and dying will never return the magic of gifts given.
“No,” I said. “No. I must continue on my way to the living who want to sing,
for they are also, like me, trapped in dreams of an ancient spirits’ making.
These are the souls who, when light is given, don’t want it as their own,
but carry it within so that they might shine it on others trapped and alone.
For Love is found in refusal to be where justice lies and begs in her dream.”
And so my eyes were opened and all the shadows had fallen far away;
the sun was bright, and even though I did not know which way to go,
I had faith that love would find my way.