Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Dead Can See Everything

Cemeteries have always relaxed me and last Christmas Eve, I visited my friend Hank's grave. It's a pretty fair hike from my deceased parents' house, right off of a road named Joy. That's the thing about Christmas in Texas -- it's almost always warm enough for outdoor activities. I stood there for a good bit and tried to think happy thoughts about the year. It wasn't easy. The proverbial attitude of gratitude usually pales in front of tombstones. There were Christmas flowers by his stone and decorations in the chain-link fence blowing in the wind as if placed by central casting. But they weren't -- I suspect his lovely mother put them there and perhaps some other visitors as well. The place had a beautiful forlorn quality, and I found myself warming to it and was grateful for the time and the peace. I thought about how every time Hank would pass a cemetery, he'd yell "Hi, dead people" out the window in a gleeful way, happy to acknowledge their presence.

My parents urns rest in their old bedroom on top of the dresser they shared for as long as I can remember. The dresser holds old clothes and bathing suits, their wedding cake topper, some stray jewelry. I don't mind having them close even though it gives some people the creeps. Hell, our house always did. As a child, I'd bring my friends over only to have my mother say, You want to see a snake? None of them believed her when she said she had a live one in the kitchen. They learned when the rattlesnake struck the top of its container, usually a diaper pail. Or she'd show them the frozen ones in the freezer. I think it's safe to say that she wasn't like all the other mothers. The kids soon found out that spending time with my dad was far safer and might include a short plane ride or two. Now I sleep in their old room and can wake up and tell them anything I want, although I suspect they know far too much already if that whole the dead can see everything holds true. My friend Angela always joked that she hoped God was doing some big-time editing for her grandparents, and I can only hope for the same in my case. The years have passed and everything changes and nothing changes, and I find myself saying, How can it be another Christmas Eve? In this way, I know I have grown up because when you're a child, it can never come fast enough.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:14-16

Cocktail Hour

Christmas Eve drink suggestion: Combine champagne with a tiny splash of scotch and sugar. It's a lovely combination and perfect for opening presents.

Benedictions and Maledictions

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! The picture idea was stolen from the cover of Paris Match featuring Monica Belluci. I love her and love that someone over the age of 25 is featured in such a beautiful provocative way! Thanks to my wonderful sister Beth for shooting the picture -- she's always pushing me to be brave. Society often encourages women to shut down all their sexuality at a certain age. One of my women students once said to me, I've learned about writing, but I also have watched what you wear and your jewelery and I have decided not to cut my hair just because I have recently turned forty and that's what everyone says you should do. Alas, liberation comes in all forms!


The Walking Man said...

The dead can see everything, oh Michelle have we not gotten beyond that yet. Even though in one regard it is true, the part of them that have seperated return to whence they came and for the spirit within that would be God and the body to dust (faster if we didn't use so many preservatives in our food.)

But it is the soul that constitutes the individual and as long as we are refering to the Christian text It was written to the church "Noe concerning them which sleep bretheren i would not have you to be ignorant..." I Thessalonians 4:13 I believe it is. And then way back in Revelations 22 i believe that it says them not of the tribes of God will rise and be judged according to their wirks.

So in the regard that God sees everything then yes the dead also see everything for God is the conciousness of the Dharma as the Bhuddists say and that which is of God returns to God at death where that Diety holds it in loving secruity until the reunification of body and soul in an eternal body.

The Walking Man has walked among the dead and has walked some of the living to the place of rest and it is comfort for them who rest. When they wake they will remember all that they have learned and be at peace with all of the creation.

I have not in a long time mourned the dead, I miss some of them especially my mother, who was not as crazy as yours sounds like, but I have yet to mourn for her. What i miss is her beautiful life and I know that she earned her rest from worldly cares. Just as all of them who from the beginning of time had earned their rest no matter the manner of their seperation.

My wife is like Hank, we pass a cemetary and she always says out the window "Hello you all." I don't think she knows the wy of it but it does set up a dream state for them temporarily at rest, a blanket to comfort them that they donot feel physically but get a cetain sleeping peace from it. Hank may ave understood this in his gleeful remark to them.

Both f my parents are gone now as well, my father two dacades plus ago and my mother this year but except for a few trnkets neither of them has urns or graves or ashes. they did in death what they did in life and gave the mortal flesh to schools of medicine for them to do what they do with the caveat that nothing was for harvest all was for study and students to learn their craft.
So if the dead see everything it is through God's eyes and through your eyes because you hold the memory of them so dear.

Peace to you one of my only true dear associates, and thank you because i know that as long as one of us is alive neither of us will ever be alone, even though we both have others that we can say that about as well.

Much love

The Walking Man

and look a long post without any motherfuckers in it what the fuck happened. God knows i hate that when the words flow without fucking swearing. and just in case meryfucking christmas to the rest of you.

The Walking Man said...

no I didn't bother to check spelling forgive me and take a half point off my next grade if you ever have the pleasure of me in one of your classes again.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey there walking man, didn't you know there's "a rat" in the word separate? Let Michelle's Spell help you with that. Interesting pose, Michelle. Incidentally, one of Steward's disciples didn't like my criticism of her 1,000 word story and wanted my definition of a short story. Can you believe that? Oh well.

The walkin Man one last time said...

Oh yeah the picture would have more effect if you taught high school sophmores....aht the struggle to sneak the hand cream out of the bathroom with out mom finding out and asking what they needed it for hhhhhhahahaahahah....a womans sexuality is in her self esteem not in her body, but it is a great pic even though the pose is stolen...does that make you a posure in your film life?

God said...

RIP Hank and all of Michelle's relatives and dead friends.

Tim said...

It sounds like both your parents were wonderful, interesting people. I'm sorry they aren't with you in person anymore, especially this time of year, but I'm sure their spirits are watching over you, as I'm sure your friend Hank's is also.
I also find peace in cemeteries, especially when visiting relatives. Oddly perhaps, I always remember the good times of my life with them and rarely all the pain and sorrow at the time of their passing, when standing in front of their grave.
Marvelous picture, as usual...I don't think you will ever have to worry about not looking great as you get older, especially with those beautiful, expressive eyes.
Have a very Merry Christmas!!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, such a lovely Christmas Eve attire enough to bring joy and goodwill to all. You are the Catholic poster girl extraordinaire and you deserve many champagne toasts and a big Bravo! To all you have lost and all you have yet to gain, God Bless You and Marry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Yes the dead can truely see everything. Great post. I hope you have a nice Christmas Michelle. Wow, what a picture! Happy new year too! :o)

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Michelle!

I don't know why people are so damned critical of your photos... You're just sharing some personal moments of your life and weirdos are all jumping down your throat about it.

I hope that you enjoy your holiday with the people that you care about most. =D

Anonymous said...

Michelle, I find cemeteries very relaxing and sobering as well.

Merry Christmas! Thanks so much for your very kind words. And also for being a blogger pal of mine in 2006. Your writing is wonderful. Love, Dan

paul said...

Cajun Queen, DoubleShazammmmmmmmm!
R2 C2!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Holiday Wishes!