[a dream by ~burning woman~ ]
In the midst of all my writing activity… I fell asleep outside at my back yard computer “desk” while listening to Ana Vidovic playing “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” by Francisco Tarrega. I had a dream, almost a lucid dream.
In this timeless dream I stood in an old Middle Eastern or Turkish city square – the ground surface was of beige stone, as were the houses and walls surrounding this square. There were many people around but deathly silence. I was a tall blonde woman wearing a long white cotton robe draped from the shoulders down to my ankles with the neck carefully and deliberately exposed. I wore long blonde hair down to my waist and I had large, bright blue eyes. What had I been before this ordeal? A captured royal princess? A slave?
My wrists were tied with ropes at my back. Two swarthy men stood at each side of me and in front was an execution scaffold with a depression for a human neck. A very large bald headed man holding an over-sized scimitar stood by the bench, looking down, waiting. All so well staged, I would have smiled had it been a play.
I looked over the crowd and they were all staring at me. The overall impression I was getting was, I was trying very hard to decide how my situation should make me feel. Frightened? Angry? Desperate? Hopeless? Distant? I wanted a feeling to hang on to but each feeling flitted across my mind and none would stick. Should I again try to beg for my life, to argue my innocence? But I already knew it had nothing to do with justice, or innocence, but with religion and politics; with machinations I could not begin to understand. I wasn’t a human being, I was a tool, perhaps a weapon of state craft. My death was necessary to make a point. To whom? I had no idea. It occurred to me then that I did not understand the language being spoken, and no one had ever translated anything for me. But could they understand me?
I would not beg; I would not speak a word. I could not speak.
I realized then I was already dead, so prepared for this inevitability that I had gone past my physical body and was looking at myself from the other side of the ordeal. I could already see my head on the ground and the blood gushing out of my severed neck, over the ground and what had been a pristine white dress and in my mind it was all over. That’s death, I thought.
What does it mean, then, to die like that? I thought about it as I walked slowly to the place of execution, and as I knelt down to put my neck in the curved mold. It means to be utterly alone; it means being just yourself for the first time since the day of birth. It means a new birth, however frightening, however painful, however devastatingly stripped of everything that your life, your beauty, your dreams or everything else that ever meant anything to you or anyone. This is it. One life’s, however brief, final crossroads. Did I see a friend, a lover, a possible “knight in shining armour” to save me in the crowd? Honestly it would not have mattered, I no longer desired to be known, loved, or saved. I no longer belonged here. My feelings were dead.