There are a lot of dead people in my past, not just people who died of AIDS, but a large number of these beautiful souls did. I was searching for a way to contact them that was universal, and I do not mean through a kind of portal in the sense of organized religion, but something secular we had all shared or visited. There was no location I was certain everyone had visited, no restaurant or park or beach. Then I thought about The Wizard of Oz as the place all of us had visited at some point in our lives. Everyone I ever knew saw this film. I am calling this (Soma)tic ritual The Wizard of Oz Portal.
I have also been thinking a lot about hypogea in ancient Greece. Hypogeum was circular burial chambers, and pregnant women would visit the remains of their dead ancestors to invite them to inhabit the bodies of their unborn babies. I hope I was a pregnant woman who performed this ritual in a past life. It sounds terrifying at first, seeing the bones of the dead, but it is exciting thinking of such an experience coursing through my electrical circuitry and nervous system, my blood pumping into the heart of my unborn child and ancestor simultaneously.
Do you remember the scene in the film where the wicked witch puts Dorothy into an opium-induced trance in the poppy field? It is an essential part of the story because after Dorothy is pulled out of the trance by the good witch Glenda she can finally see the solutions for the way out of fear and suffering. But when she is asleep in the poppies, this is when I freeze the frame, then sit across the room with binoculars, studying Dorothy while quietly invoking the name of a dead lover or friend.
After doing this recently I had a dream that I walked past a church and singing poured onto the street. When I walked inside the church it was filled with everyone I knew who had died of AIDS. They were fantastic and laughing and happy to see me and I was happy to see them. There has never been a dream as good as that one for me. Even my next best dream was only half as overwhelming with beauty, hugging and talking with these friends. If I could get pregnant, I would want to be in a hypogeum with these friends and lovers and invite them to visit the physicality of Earth again through the life of my baby. Without hesitation I would do it and write poems with my baby, a true collaboration. I do enjoy visiting The Wizard of Oz Portal. It is a way to be present for an examination of what parts of my life are beautiful because of each of these people and what each of them taught me. My life is what it is because of these people, and all of it, the horror and drama and being sick and me trying to convince everyone to come to macrobiotic cooking class with me.