I’ve been speaking to and with and about the dead, or should I call them spirits? I’ve been given messages. And of the living, I’ve asked questions and usually I am met with silence. It has gotten to where I feel like I’m knocking on the door of a vault, locked solid from the inside, no oxygen left. It is as though the living has died even though they still draw breath and I hear the dead sigh quietly, for they are the ones who suffer this loss.

It hurts. And it’s strange how it hurts. Because it’s not my life and it’s not my death and it’s not my family and I don’t have any reason to feel pain and yet…

I’ve kept an open mind and an open heart and I think I understand why the vault is shut. But damn if that ain’t a loss for which there are no words. And damn if there’s nothing I can do. Nothing at all…

And yet. I found out it is not always this way. And I don’t know why but I believe in signs so I listen carefully. And now, finally, ohh, finally, I obey. Submit. Surrender. Give it up. It’s out of my hands. And yet it holds me close.

I’m sitting with Mr. Johnson and I’m speaking on things, mostly this awe and admiration and gratitude to share in his energy. Because it is Wu Wei. It is The Way. And it is so effortless that it reminds me that it can always be this way.

And we’re talking art and photography and book and stories and life and death and… I speak on it. I tell him how it appears to me and he sits there and nods and finally, ohh finally I am being heard.

I’m saying that when I first saw the photo it was as though she took me by the hand and was reaching out to me and I could feel it and embrace it and that was enough. But she’s bigger than this, because she came back or drew me back or did something because it was she who breathed in my ear, “This is a book.”

She brought me back to me. To a part of me that is everything and had been silent for so long that I had simply decided it was over, that part of my soul was gone. But she knew. How does she know? Maybe because she’s dead. And she’s telling me to tell her grandson and I am telling him and he is nodding, totally open.

There’s no vault and there’s no door and there’s no fear. And I’m telling Mr. Johnson things I didn’t even know I saw. I told him that I’m thinking of Calvin and I’m wondering why Calvin doesn’t speak to me and then I understand it is because he is fragmented and that is how he appears. In life and in death and now, he would be 55, and he is speaking to Mr. Johnson and he is telling him things but he is not using words. And still…

He is heard.