"Dead, is what they are! It's for the ancestors to be comfortable in
heaven, or where-ever they are now. so we wrote down these prayers for
them. As if there were something there, to still suffer from. I can't
really see how this is a good thing. It's just to reassure ourselves,
that they are somehow all right, even though we can't see them any more."
This was the comment heard most often in the museum where these
intricate funeral scrolls were displayed. It seems that north Americans
do not revere their ancestors the same way that the ancient orientals
did. Perhaps they still do feel this way about their dead forbears!
Well, there wasn't anything that the rest of the population could or
would do to change this point of view, so we moved on, to other things.
The nature of the language itself seemed fascinating to me.
Communicating in pictographs instead of letter symbols is beautiful
art. I thought, it should be possible to create a whole new system of
images to write with, invent new languages! What a remarkable idea.
Could we explore this possibility further? Is there a relationship or
link between the heiroglifs of Egypt, and the oriental writings? Could
they be combined to make a crossover language? Had someone done it
already? These questions trickled through my thoughts, as I stared at
the signs. Could I intuit what they meant?
There was no way to tell, without having someone translate the symbols
for me. Where could I find such a person?
Just as I was about to walk away, a person presented herself to me. I
was surprised I hadn't seen her standing there before. She wore a white
diaphanous gown, that seemed to float around her legs and feet. She wore
no sandals, or anything else for that matter on her feet. Her hair was
blue-black, cut straight across her forehead in a haphazard way. Her
eyes shone with a purplish hue. She gazed at me, while sitting atop the
funerary crypt of stone. How she had gotten up there, I could not
fathom. Then it drew in upon me, she was a ghost from a past time.
Should I find out if anyone else could see her?
Suddenly, two young slovenly dressed children ran out from the enclosing
stones of the funeral pile, and distracted her gaze from me. A cold
shiver ran down my back. They were walking right through solid matter
as if it were air!
Perhaps they were ghosts or spirits of the dead, I began to consider.
But like the writing on the manuscripts, there was no way of knowing
what they were. I brought up the camera I was carrying and snapped a
picture. This would show whether they existed here, or were figments of
my imagination. I hardly dared to review, what the camera had captured
an image of.
Later that evening, in the comfort of my house, I carefully reviewed the
pictures. There in blazing colour, without any eery white outlines, sat
three childlike beings who were alive, but were not human. They were
not from this planet. They had blue wings attached to their feet, and
were flying through my image, even as I stared at it.
No wonder these ancestors, were worshipped! I thought, as I pondered ow
to store a film with moving images in it.
Writing by Regina Stemberger