He was a good teacher: as long as the individual equals the whole.
Something like putting together a still life with carnations and candles above the portrait with deeply closed eyes in the middle of a landscape with sad faces
Verticals on the Other Side of the Grave
The soul remains standing, said the sign at the entrance to the graveyard.
After All Souls’ Day, with so many souls standing, the graveyard was like a full bus. Of standing souls. God was a specialist for short lights and he has powerful cleaners. We ran after the bus, we he never opened the doors for us. The children understand the roads in a different way. If a passenger in a winter night is my grandfather, who died in a February.
I asked him what it meant that the soul remained standing. When you bury, you only have the power of the body, you lay it lying, he said, but the soul remains standing. I thought it was the opposite at school. They would put us in line in the yard, we would sing songs, another time we marched. They often laid our souls laying, and our bodies remained standing. Those that did not stand would go to a correction facility.
It must have been made so mixed up on purpose. Sometimes at the graveyard you learn more about life. Sometimes at school they bury you irrevocably. Everything here is mixed and twisted. Except for the standing souls, there. If we remember.
I think of my grandmother’s and my grandfather’s standing souls. As fertile trees, growing inside, with their roots under the ground and their roots above. The roots have names and visiting hours, when we bring them boiled wheat. For the underground birds, picking from the underground branches. As the body remains lying, and the soul standing, they would always make a cross. One cross next to another. Maybe it is their Cross Forest. Or not. These ra horizontal interpretations of verticals from the other side of the grave, I interpret the standing souls.
On the funeral day they enter the special insides of the soil. They root in well. They grow. Three days later, nine days later, twenty days later, forty days later. Cells divide after death, After the third month, if you run your hand along the grave, or hold your palm on it, you can feel them kicking. They will kick long, but we will wait in vain for them to come out. Sometimes we will have dreams like contractions. The spasms just show that the counting on the other side of the grave has started. Value added counting. The losses are presence, the present have lost somebody. This mathematics changes the holidays. One above the ground, four underneath. If they ever come closer, will they match.
The twenty fourth birthday in the world of the living and the first birthday under ground. A neighboring kid. He has not walked yet for his first birthday. He has a name, a crib and his first words. Next year he will run somewhere under the plots. When he is old enough, he can remember where he was and stand deep under the terrace of his parents.
Uncle is thirty, but his wife barely three. One of their children is older than them. My classmate has not started school yet, my other classmate is in the first grade. Grandfather is in the barracks, grandmother is nine, she has learned to write, she can answer his letters. She can even read the obituaries I put on electricity polls for her herself. As I put them, we remain standing.
Will there be anybody to love us when we stand up?