When was my father died, I seated beside his coffin and watched that the dead blood cell gradually broken down and his skin is converting to white. He looks like an angel on that moment. I gently touched him. My hand was slowly moving to his forehead and desperately wanted to keep the feelings of silence by touching the dead body. His face was stagnant and turbid to me, which was unable to respond anything live.
My father died years ago, but my eyes are still hanging on to the silhouette. A son is sitting beside the coffin and the father is going nowhere. Is it? Is it true that he is going nowhere? I dreamed him a few days earlier. His face was foggy to me from the remote distance, and he was telling me:
… true is that I’m new with a new flesh and body… but the memories are old as it was before. I’m living now in a new shell, contained by old memories.
“My son, it’s difficult to explain my existence. I’m living in death now, and be the life too. I clearly see you here and everybody is familiar to me, and be “you everybody” is far remote to me. When you buried me in the graveyard, I felt pain never to see you again. You were in then there, sadly doing the rituals, and I was lying in a dark cave for the rest of my life. Yes, my son, life doesn’t end by death, a new life of permanent solitude then begins.
That means, life is not true and if you think the opposite… you cannot deny that it’s false, because you’re living it now.
I’m now resting in solitude in a dark cave-hole, from where I clearly see the life-and-death of everything, and all these are far remote to me. I can see but cannot touch that I see. Many times I wanted to touch your face, many times my heart ardently tried to embrace you, many times my eyes silently fill by tears to see you’re in pain… and many times I just turned my face back to you… because I wanted to forget you for the rest.
Death is not a relief my son. In the moment of death I was foolish, cause, I thought, now I’ll relive and free from the surface where I passed my living life such a long day, and now the journey ends forever. I was wrong my son. Death did not release me yet. The new flesh, where I can breathe and be thinking, now chains me. I’m now hanging on the dilemma of new-and-old.
Memory is a silent killer. It can awake you from the sleep and be killed you to the sleep.
I can fly now anywhere I wished to fly, can see anything I wished to see and be memorized of anything I wished to memorize, but despite all these new, yet I memorized every detail of past, —I had left here. Look, my son, look at to me, have you seen anything that’s new… Oh! You not seen anything new… but truth is that I’m new with a new flesh and body… but the memories are old as it was before. I’m living now in a new shell, contained by old memories. My new memories help me to travel elsewhere I like, and old memories pushed me to remember which I left here before death.
I’m now hang on the dilemma of new-and-old.
My son, come near to me and touch me. Probably this is my last visit to you because I wanted to forget everything I left behind. Now, come on and touch my face, as you touched me when I was lying in the coffin.”
I stir up from the bed and try to near him, but don’t know why my footsteps were stuck to the floor at that moment. It was late midnight. The sky was dark but not too dark at all. My ear was just waiting to hear the first alarm of cock crowed, because, the dark slowly washed out from the sky to call the crimson dawn.
I waited for the dawn and be too eagerly tried to near my deathless father. Suddenly I felt that he is far remote to me that even if I’m running endlessly nevertheless I cannot reach near him. The feeling was painful for me. I bent to the ground bursting into grievous pain and laughter. Yes, I was laughing and equally lamenting for the love that he is calling me but I couldn’t go near to him.
… because I wanted to forget you for the rest
My deathless father then raised his voice again, “My son, don’t lament for this. Instead, remember this that, death and life are identical. Life commences here for death and death is commencing to the life again. They are identical twins. You could never cut off the relation.
The dark cave where I abide now and the home I lived before, both are equal to truth-and-false. I was in the home before and it was true, now I’m in the cave, the new Adobe replaced the old home false, but the memories are not false that once I lived in this home, where you’re staying now yet. That means, life is not true and if you think the opposite… you cannot deny that it’s false, since, you’re living it now.
Truth and false also identical in spite of the differences they have. I’m truly dead before and now truly alive in the cave-hole to travel the ever unknown places you yet even inept to imagine. My boy Never laments for anything. You live the living life now and I also travel like a nomad to see the rest. A day will come when you experienced the same I have now, and we will meet there hopefully.”
life doesn’t end by death, a new life of permanent solitude then begins.
His consolation gave me some relief, instead of this I asked him, “Do you met God? Have you had faced the lethal and fretful experience to him? Is there somebody has whom you met, and who has now waited to reward or punished you?”
My father answered me, “You forget that I’m yet not dead. He appeared only to “the resurrect being”, whom He resurrected after the period. My earthly life is over and deathless life just begins here, yet I not sure about the end. Perhaps it will continue forever and perhaps not, but I enjoy the traveling and everything I see and feel here, except the pain that, yet I ain’t able to erase the memory of earthly life. It pained me. My memories reminded me to the faces whom I truly loved at once but can never embrace them as it was before.
Dear son, we are living on memories, if it is omitted, everything would omit. You are then “nothing” despite the existence, because, you do not know that you’re alive, whilst it’s not false that you born here to live. Means, you lived the life without knowing it. I tried to erase my past so that it could never be pained me to see you, since, I cannot back to the past again. If you cannot back then what’s the benefit to carrying it! It gives pain and now I wanted to free myself to this. Pray for me that I could erase all memories to live the current endless present.
My son, we’re nothing except the memories. Memory is a silent killer. It can awake you from the sleep and be killed you to the sleep. Now time’s up to back to my cave. Goodbye my son and keeps well before close your eyes, and tried to forget everything before entered to the dark cave.”
I’m living in death now, and be the life too.
My dream was suddenly broken hears the prayer calling to the nearest mosque. Everything looked obscured to me at this moment. Later I tried to remember the whole dream again-and-again. Yes, it’s still alive in my mind to remind that, everything is washed over to the surface and everything is not washed, everything is returned here and everything is not returned, sans the feeling that nothing could return as it same until you memorized or think that this everything “is what it always was.”
Dedicated to the memory of my father and to remember the memorable reading of T. S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, especially the second part of the poem “The Dry Salvages” and unforgettable experience of watching Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece “The Seventh Seal”. Here I included the memorable second part of the poem for readers…
The Dry Salvages (second part of the poem)
by T. S Eliot
(No. 3 of ‘Four Quartets’)
Where is there an end of it, the soundless wailing,
The silent withering of autumn flowers
Dropping their petals and remaining motionless;
Where is there an end to the drifting wreckage,
The prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
Prayer at the calamitous annunciation?
There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable—
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.
There is the final addition, the failing
Pride or resentment at failing powers,
The unattached devotion which might pass for devotionless,
In a drifting boat with a slow leakage,
The silent listening to the undeniable
Clamour of the bell of the last annunciation.
Where is the end of them, the fishermen sailing
Into the wind’s tail, where the fog cowers?
We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
Or of an ocean not littered with wastage
Or of a future that is not liable
Like the past, to have no destination.
We have to think of them as forever bailing,
Setting and hauling, while the North East lowers
Over shallow banks unchanging and erosionless
Or drawing their money, drying sails at dockage;
Not as making a trip that will be unpayable
For a haul that will not bear examination.
There is no end of it, the voiceless wailing,
No end to the withering of withered flowers,
To the movement of pain that is painless and motionless,
To the drift of the sea and the drifting wreckage,
The bone’s prayer to Death its God. Only the hardly, barely prayable
Prayer of the one Annunciation.
It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern, and ceases to be a mere sequence—
Or even development: the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution,
Which becomes, in the popular mind, a means of disowning the past.
The moments of happiness—not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfilment, security or affection,
Or even a very good dinner, but the sudden illumination—
We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness. I have said before
That the past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations—not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable:
The backward look behind the assurance
Of recorded history, the backward half-look
Over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror.
Now, we come to discover that the moments of agony
(Whether, or not, due to misunderstanding,
Having hoped for the wrong things or dreaded the wrong things,
Is not in question) are likewise permanent
With such permanence as time has. We appreciate this better
In the agony of others, nearly experienced,
Involving ourselves, than in our own.
For our own past is covered by the currents of action,
But the torment of others remains an experience
Unqualified, unworn by subsequent attrition.
People change, and smile: but the agony abides.
Time the destroyer is time the preserver,
Like the river with its cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops,
The bitter apple, and the bite in the apple.
And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.
Click here to read the whole poem…
Photo Credit: experimental photoarts; Théodore Géricault, After Death, A Study, 1818-19; way on clouds; wikimedia of the film: The Seventh Seal, Directed by Ingmar Bergman;