Every Day of Remembrance – Speaking with the dead

Once, I lost a person very close to me; so close, that she was part of me: my best friend and my mate and lover. It happened thirteen years ago (but it could have been yesterday; or even today, because I’m still losing her every day of my life), and she is not in any list or in any memorial out of those that I keep in my own heart.

She speaks to me sometimes in my dreams. She comes when I sleep, and we talk and we still hold hands and make love. Now, that I am ill, she comes more often than ever. I know that her spirit is truly alive and has never parted from me. And I mean it literally, neither as some poetic expression of mourning, nor as an illusion or fantasy of my mind.

Anyway, poetry has inspired this post, and is the main reason why I am writing it today -which is a Transgender Day of Remembrance as much as November the 20th-: to share a fragment of a poem by T.S. Eliot.

‘Little Gidding’, from ‘Four Quartets’, has been a favourite of mine since the very moment I read it for the first time, years ago. In fact, it seems addressed to Laia and me and to any other transgender individual of this world, be she/he/they physically alive or dead; be they killed by somebody or by their own desperation or ruined will:

“If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”

[T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding, Part I, 39-52]

A warm hug to all my unknown and far-away trans* peers!

 

El Masnou (àngel de Josep Llimona) ret
Comforting Angel – Statue by Josep Llimona on a grave in the cemetery of El Masnou (Catalunya)

 

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