choosing life in death at nautilus teachings


1960’s-My tongue feels like it is choking me. It feels as if I have crammed creamy peanut butter on soft white bread in my mouth and it is stuck-immovable. I cannot breathe and I am crying. I want someone to breathe life into me, to give me a cold glass of milk.
My dad is not here; he is off in one of the boring business suites working. I think about my dad and I can hear my mom. The firemen from just down the hill are looking down at me. I see their blurry yellow brown coats with red hats reflecting the sun coming through the window.
I am in
the lavender room
on a long,
skinny stretcher
The fireman is fuzzy
I see his brown eyes
He is framed
in the black shadow
of the day
Colors are becoming muted
and I can hear nothing
accept my mother crying
I can see blinding light
in fluorescent hues
and am floating
above my body
I am looking down
at everyone
I do not have wings
I just have a feeling
of being above them
I can see
my tiny body
lying there
My mother is crying
and I can see
her big dark chocolate eyes
dripping puddles
of midnight black streaks
down her cheeks
Her lipstick is smudged
and one fireman
is keeping her out of the room
by standing in the doorway
She has on her turquoise and black top
and her turquoise skirt
Her hair is short and brown
She has on black closed toes shoes
I can read her lips,
“Sheri, Sheri…”
there are two other firemen
over my body
I can see one listening
to my heart
with a stethoscope
I can see another
doing something to my mouth
but I cannot make it out
I still cannot breathe
I am being pulled toward warmth
toward the bright sunlight
I feel calm
I feel safe
I can see another body floating, too
This body is old
and emanates the color
of molding sea grass
I am not afraid
It is a woman
The body has on a long
white flannel nightgown
The hair is gray, long
and looks like dried grass
Her eyes are closed
I know is it is stronger than me
and unafraid
Is this me years from now?
Is God telling me
not to fear
for I will live a long, healthy life?
The peaceful welcoming colors
are muted pinks
yellows and blue
it is a place I want to stay
It is the love of my mother
the warmth of the sun
and safety of the ocean
Above my young and old body I
sense another power
I don’t know what it is
because I cannot see it
but I can feel it
I can feel its strength
I feel a set of large hands
floating over both of our bodies
My mind flickers
like the lens of a camera
back to our family room bookcase
Upon the top shelf
is a set of gold painted praying hands
They are Jesus’ hands
and are a thank you gift
to my mother from the church
These are the hands
I rub each day with mine
I place my tiny pale pink fingers
atop the great hands and pray
These hands are similar in size
but the color is a honey brown
and appears to crisscross
like they are transferring life
from one to another
All I know is I am safe and warm
Bright sea blues
grass greens
lemon yellows
and myriads of translucent
sharp glass edges
come hurling back at me
I can hear mumbling and laughter
I leave the security and warmth
of up above
and I feel my “self”
being squeezed
and dissected
into tiny pieces of color
each one encapsulated
in the familiar black edging of my life
I begin to hear my mother’s sweet voice again
My brown eyes are open
My mother is beside me
She is a messy
beautiful watercolor
and my dull, dreary father
Now here, is crying
and full of prisms and white, blinding light
I can now see his yellow shirt
and his polka dot tie
I can see the thread
of blue and green
running through his muddy jacket
All these happy faces
all of these tears
and the best part is
I am still in the lavender room
with polka dot wallpaper
I am sobbing
They put a mask on my face
and I fall asleep
and dream
of skipping through the long
tickly grass
I pretend I am Thumbelina
and I am walking
amongst the bells
of the Lily of the Valley flowers
The bells are chiming beautiful music
The music soothes me
I am safe and warm
I am home
and my mother and father are here
They love me
This I know
This I feel
through my sleepy daze
of contentment.

i still miss you mom
i still miss you mom