The Gift of Dreams by Deimantas Steponavicius

Reflections on dreams and time.
  “Integration” Blog     at Institute of Spiritual Sciences     “Regular Articles” Department  

Beyond the clouds and beyond time itself, live my dreams of the spirit talker Mae dos Santos Glorinha, and of summer gardens and teas spent with the black cat Raminho and the literature loving owl Fyodor.

The Gift of Dreams
by Deimantas Steponavicius

“You are all born with the gift of dreams which, like a wind, could take you beyond the clouds and beyond the time itself.”

It was the spirit talker, Mae dos Santos Glorinha, who had said that before she left three years ago.

Out on the terrace, I dream about a different world...

I am in a place I don't recognize. The light is aged by grey, time-worn headstones. It's a graveyard. Frangipani trees, clotted with white flowers, lean low into the path.

Most graves are inscribed in Portuguese. My feet crush blossoms strewn over the ground. I pick up one. It's perfect, but its white petals are already brown at the edges, seared by the humid and hot air. While we are alive, the air sustains us, but when we die, the same air, destroys us.

I come across an ancient banyan tree, and I half-expect to see a monk meditating under its canopy, traveling through space and time, searching for the secrets of Eternity.

And here's the grave. Although most letters are gone, I can read the name, “Mae dos Santos Glorinha”, and two epitaphs.

The top one says: “Her sun has gone down while it was yet day.”

Below it: “The world I left belonged to the Stupid's. The right to succeed in it was solely earned with mania of grandeur, absolute lack of morals and total absence of common sense.”

All that remains of her life… fading lines with missing words.

A cemetery isn't the place where the dead are remembered, but where they are forgotten. Watched over only by the blind eyes of a stone angel, I walk back to the gates. The graveyard keeper locks the rusted iron padlock and walks to his hut under the giant raintree.

There's not the slightest stir of wind. The world is so quiescent, that I wonder if it has stopped turning.

But then, high above the land, I see a tremor in the air. I want to believe that it's a cloud, but of course it never is. My eyes follow a lone Brahminy kite as it drifts on the majestic span of its wings, writing circle over circle on the empty page of sky…

The sun is retreating behind the hills when I go out onto the verandah, I sit in my rattan armchair, and pour myself a cup of tea. And, as I have done since Mae dos Santos Glorinha left, I fill her cup as well.

Summer is the time when I feel her absence most keenly, when I remember how we'd sit here long into the night and talk about everything under the sun. But more than our conversations, I miss our shared silences.

The garden is receding into twilight, trailing the fragrance of jasmine. I switch on the lights. Moths are flaking around the lamps, hurling themselves again and again at the tiny suns sealed inside the glass.

I remember times when Mae dos Santos Glorinha, the black cat Raminho, and the literature loving owl Fyodor, lived here; when the only illumination after sunset came from the oil-lamps.

I am flooded with the yearning to sit in the shadows again, like some Buddha in an abandoned Temple in the dusk of a nightfall, remembered only by the flame of a candle lit by a passing ghost.

Painting: ‘Cats Paradise', 1955 by Remedios Varo Uranga (1908–1963).

Deimantas (Daanish) Steponavicius
Civil Servant at His Majesty's King Charles III Government
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom.

Text used by author's permission; May, 2023.
Deimantas Steponavicius on Linkedin

Edited for the Institute of Spiritual Sciences (ISS), 2023.

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Tags: prose and poetry

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