9 January 2019. Day of Mercury, Hour of Moon
I travel as a snake through Hemlock and arrive on the clearing, which is covered with frosted grass. White Tiger is there. I don’t what to do, so I just say what is on my mind. I’m a tiger too now. I give up any plan and run, straight into a bramble of white thorns. I’m scratched and bleeding. White Tiger comes and sits next to me and licks my wounds.
We are running very fast through clouds now. I’m not sure what’s up ahead – a palace of cloud? But suddenly there is gravel underfoot and we are at the place of the ancestors. We haven’t gone even through the little hut, we’re just there, standing in front of the stone fountain. Water sprays from the center. Mist is everywhere. It’s raining.
My habit is to turn toward the left, towards Mommy and the Pu family, but this time I turn toward the right to look for Nya Nya. She is there and Dya Dya is in the background. We are there together, and then Dad is too, many ages at first, but then just as a little boy, no more than 7. He runs into Nya Nya’s arms. They are joyful, seeing each other. I am sobbing. I feel the innocence and purity of Dad, and I have to say goodbye to that, his presence in my life. It is hard. But it’s also good to see him loved and cared for, free.
Nya Nya is holding Dad and she looks over at me. I don’t know what to say. It’s not really about me. I give her back her blue suede shoes from LL Bean that she let me have because I loved them so much when I was a kid. Maybe she thinks that’s funny. I’m not sure.
I have to go, though I don’t really want to. It’s not my place here. I watch Dad and Nya Nya for a moment more – maybe he looks back at me for just a sec – and I turn back with White Tiger. At least I’m not alone.
Back in the clearing I can’t stop crying. I curl up in a ball and White Tiger curls up around me like a mother cat around a kitten. “It was well done,” says White Tiger. “It was well done.”
And then I go home.
[Rattle Journey, Frauke Rotwein]