Two surprises this morning.
Firstly, just before waking, I met two alive-dead people in a dream. One was the vice principal of the art school I attended in Dún Laoghaire (now the IADT), Trevor Scott. Trevor later became a friend, then he died prematurely from cancer in the early noughties, at 58, a year older than I am now.
In my dream Trevor was judging some kind of exhibition/show. I expected to get a prize and was disappointed when Trevor awarded the prize to someone else without mentioning my work (whatever that may have been, a photograph?). Then I was talking to Trevor and somehow my mother came into the conversation. Trevor spoke warmly about her. I think he said she was a very kind person. Then, as happens in dreams, my mother was there in the room, in a wheelchair I think, with a shawl over her knees, as she would have been in her last years if she were out and about. I went to her and I think she told me she loved me, and I began to weep and told her that I would always love her, and we embraced. Though I have been aware of mum's shadowy presence the odd time, this is the first time I recall actually speaking to her in a dream since she died two years ago. When I woke I wondered about this, then remembered it was my birthday.
Getting out of bed, I was led into the kitchen by our son, to be presented with a birthday gift, a chocolate cake and other goodies, and a big happy birthday hug from him and my wife (and he later made me a lovely little birthday card in school).
The photo above was taken from outside, looking through the window, and shows mum in her chair, among the evening reflections. Here's a poem I wrote some months after she died. I am not religious and it isn't a prayer. But if it was, I'd say it is now partially answered.
Going on two months after you’re dead
and I am still saying ‘good morning mum’
and before closing the door on what was your room
(dark at first and now full of the lingering
spring evenings) ‘good night’.
Presumably death is where time stops
so an afterlife might see past and present locked
in the same room. I ache to see you again
but what will we do with our selves
and the rest of our loved ones floating in the ether?
Beam eternal love at each other
while the cosmos falls apart and flickers out?
From here, it seems rather more likely that what-
will spare us all that. No matter. Drop
the odd hint if you can –– a song, a smile
in a passing dream –– and when I begin to die
fool me, be there waving furiously
door-framed inside that light-flooded
telescopic tunnel at the end
of the last fizzling neuron. See you then.