Sunday, April 4

All life's a stage

Sitting on my balcony, a body covered in a white sheet is removed from my building into the parking garage. On a wheeled stretcher, the blanket it wrapped as a gift, tied in a neat bow at the bottom.

Over thirty people crowd. Silent. Women's heads are covered as they grip onto the ends of their ornas. Men place their hands on their hips, looking around nervously and impatiently. No one stands too close. The buildings guards place plastic white chairs for all neighbors, as if someone will perform.

An old woman in white screams, "Baba!" Her deep nasal voice cuts through the air and starts the symphony of sudden sounds. A dozen women sob, wailing and yowling. Women engulf the body, men start shouting and directing people where to go. Children dance and jump around the crowd, trying to catch a glimpse. Someone gently unfolds the cloth that covers the head. In his tomb, the face is shown. Big nose with a mustache underneath. A woman almost faints from the heat stimulated by both weather and the irrupting onlookers. Hand fans are brought out. No one moves.

The crowd turns into seventy bodies. Four video cameras filming the whole thing.

A religious leader comes out to say prayers. The old woman continues to bawl and rock her body. An green electric fan is brought out. New people arrive and I feel the heat rise to my balcony. One man continues to remove the head covering, waving his hand over the bare, dead face as if he's some magician. Perhaps he is a magician. He will cover the body, say the magic words and PRESTO, he breathes.

It's Easter Sunday-- but no rebirth today.


  1. Wow this was very touching!! I have no other words. Mommy xoxoxox

  2. I was catching up on your blogs and read your April 4 entry. It was sad for me, especially your last sentence. You said there was no re-birth of the dead person. I believe you are mistaken. I believe there was resurrection. But thre word does not mean resuscitation like Lazzarus in the bible was brought back to this life. Resurrection infers re-birth into a new and different life. It's s amll but important distinction that is commonly misundwerstood about Easter, even by msnay Christians. It's nature is different and to a large extent unknown. It is nothing like this life we live here but it is a re-birth. It's nature is a mystery to us. We only know it is a wonderful, better way to be alive. So you said a man came out and was saying prayers and waving his hands over the body. It did not resuscitate. Of course. That would be unnatural. But I think there was a resurrection that day for that person, into a new life which is beyond the natural. So we can't see or detect it with our feeble senses. Your blog title was right I think. All of life is a stage. Death, which is a part of life, is a stage leading to a new type of life.
    Anyway, I just felt compelled to try to give yoyu my nuanced perspective about this.
    Hope eveything is going well for you. Keep writing.
    Love ya'