Maria Isabel Pita – Asking My Father About His Life on the Other Side in Lucid Dreaming
It’s a lovely day and I’ve walked halfway down our long curving black driveway, which is surrounded by trees in full summer leaf. After I take care of some private ritual business off to the side in the grass, I begin walking slowly back up the driveway toward the house. Everything feels absolutely real, more vividly sensual than normal; even the slightly rough texture of the black asphalt beneath my bare feet tempts me to lie down on it and experience its unique sensation more intimately.
I dismiss this urge and for a few moments the world goes dark, but not completely, because to the right of one of our tallest tulip trees there is still the luminous sky, and the edge of the darkness is defined by the shape of this beloved tree I look at every single day. Relaxed, I continue walking, simply waiting for my full vision to return, which it does.
Once again I’m walking on a lovely sunny day. I’m thinking about, feeling deeply grateful for, how much I love my home as I round the final curve in the driveway. The house comes into view and immediately I see a man walking toward me. Behind him, an intimate group of people is gathered at the top of the driveway where it merges with the brick courtyard. My heart literally seems to expand in my chest when I realize the visitor is Papi!
He strides across the grass toward me, smiling his beloved smile. Above ‘normal’ clothes he’s wearing a flesh-colored fur cape, long and affluentlooking but light enough to billow around and behind him. I hurry to meet him, staring joyfully at his face and into his eyes. ‘Papi! I didn’t expect you!’ I see that his third wife Adela (who is still alive) is part of his retinue as she shoots me a look that clearly says they need to be on their way.
Papi lets me know without actually telling me so that he only dropped by to say hello, he can’t stay; already he’s turning toward the big car around which the others are gathering. I suffer the sinking feeling I am all too familiar with—it’s obvious I want to spend more time with him than he does with me, which makes me really sad. I protest, ‘You can’t just stop by for five minutes, Papi! You have to stay! Please, Papi!’ I will NOT let him leave so soon…
Abruptly, we are all inside a small rectangular room I know is part of my house (not in waking reality). I instantly grasp that this is an antechamber of sorts where guests can congregate, as they do now, some sitting, others standing and talking in the even light. There are no lamps, no furnishings at all, but a man with dark hair, his back to me (my brother?) is loudly and passionately playing a piano.
Papi is standing a few feet away from me, smiling and saying something to someone. He looks good, healthy, and this makes me happy but also confuses me. Can it be his leukemia is in remission? He has been sick for years, and yet not only is he still alive, he looks as though he might actually be getting better?
A dark transition I can’t remember… The next thing I know, I’m sitting in a bigger and darker room, and Papi is seated in the center of a couch diagonally across from me. Keeping my focus on him, I somehow manage to pull myself up and over to him, where I look intently down into his eyes and say, ‘It’s okay, I’m lucid now. I wasn’t lucid before. I understand that you’re dead.’ Smiling he replies, ‘Of course I’m dead.’ Still standing over him, I declare, ‘I haven’t been lucid like this with you since the night on top of that building in Coral Gables, when we were going to go down and eat together.’ He responds to this but all I remember of what he says is, ‘Of course you would.’
I sit down beside him on the couch to his left. As we talk, I look directly into his dark eyes, which appear bloodshot… or is it that his pupils and irises are wider than in physical life and obscuring the whites? I ask him many questions, and our positions relative to each other occasionally shift as we converse. I wish I could remember everything we talked about word-for-word, but I know for a fact that I was perceiving the Other Side as he is experiencing it. At the beginning of our long conversation, I clearly sensed from him that life-after-death wasn’t what he had expected it to be; it is much like physical life but infinitely more dynamic, a ‘process’ he is actively, profoundly engaged in.
At one point, while we’re both standing, he tells me about a female acquaintance who really wants this particular golden mausoleum. I realize he’s making a joke about dead people tomb-hunting just like living people house hunt. I exclaim, ‘You don’t really live in mausoleums here!’ and he smiles at me the way I remember him doing when he was pulling my leg.
Well into our conversation, I ask him, ‘Is there an infrastructure here?’ He looks away, and the wonder in his voice is shadowed by fear as he answers, ‘Maria, it’s as if the center of the city is alive…’ This makes wonderful sense to me and I tell him, ‘It must be the heart’ as in the Sacred Heart. The image that flashes in my mind when he says this is of an open city square filled with a misty dark-blue light manifesting between the buildings and joining earth and sky, jutting out slightly almost like a breast subtly pulsing, profoundly, unfathomably alive and yet only one small intimate connection—like a private bay adjoining an unimaginably vast ocean—to an absolute supreme awareness, all-knowing, allnurturing, all-giving, unending Life.
It is nearly impossible for me to describe what I felt in that vision, but I instantly grasp that the world Papi is living in now constantly manifests his innermost thoughts and feelings. Excited, I tell him, ‘I have a theory, Papi, that we are all like cells in a single body, so here (the Other Side) individual souls might be like cells bringing this world to life.’ I seem to comprehend that the activity of ‘day-to-day’ life here centers on experiencing and ‘working’ with your soul which is effectively turned inside-out.
Perhaps before the above exchange Papi and I are facing each other, only now I’m lying on my back with him straddling me. Studying his appearance, I observe, ‘You don’t look like yourself right now, Papi,’ because I’m seeing an attractive, dark-haired, naked young woman with a pale chest as flat as a boy’s. He tells me, ‘This is what I want to look like… this is me…’ I understand. Years before he died, he once confided to me, ‘Whatever else might be true of me, there is no doubt I love beauty,’ as he gazed at a woman who had just entered the restaurant where we were eating. In the dream he tells me, ‘I have all I want right now, to look like this, and to be with you, Maria,’ which makes me very happy.
We’re sitting up facing each other while also somehow embracing. I say, ‘I’ve asked you a lot of questions, Papi, and I’ve been dreaming for a long time. It’s going to be hard for me to remember everything you said. Can you go back to looking like Papi now?’ At once he does so and I suggest, ‘Let’s go over the points we covered. First, the infrastructure here is alive…’ I phase out of the dream.