Harella da Braga, my mother, and I never enjoyed good relations. However, I have never borne her a grudge for the failure in our relations. I am reposting this dream because it speaks to who my mother was. Harella was a woman of great strength, inner beauty and she was, without a doubt, nine parts intellect and you can’t get any better than that in my books.
One of my favourite memories of my mother, Harella, was of her dancing: lips pursed, head held high, lids collapsed and flying-without-moving to this Diana Ross and the Supremes gem. I felt her beauty of spirit as she danced and weaved her magic about our Crab Hill, Sandy Point, St. Kitts living room. She had been very sick and bedridden in August, 1974 and on her recovery, there was something different about her; it was as though she was intent on doing all the things she had never done before. Definitely, dancing to a ‘worldly’ song like, Someday We’ll Be Together, counted among her newfound departure from the norm.
Harella was a fantastic cook whose sauces were always rich, soulful and gloriously sweet like that sexy wobble she affected when in high heels going to church. There was no bigger showoff than Harella come Sunday in her faux fur hats and matching leather handbags and high heels; no one sexier strolled the streets of Sandy Point on Sundays because no one was more confident than her that she looked damn good… and did.
What I love about this Nina Simone gem is how beautifully it captures the essence of my relationship with my mother, Harella. As the house in which we lived was said to be haunted by jumbies (ghosts) I slept in bed with this enigmatic woman who was not the least bit fond of me each night well into the tumescent-craze dawn of pubescence. Chiefly, I relished sleeping with her because I was ever fascinated by the fact that my mother could come to the dinner table hours after having awakened and casually start recalling her dreams in lucid detail. In the cover of dark West Indian nights, being enveloped by my mother, Harella’s, warm rich voice as she reanimated the magic of her dreams, was being mentored into finding my own bounty of dreams. I just knew that regardless of the fact that she was not especially fond of me, somehow, for sleeping with her, I would grow into a dream shaman in my own right.
Thank you, Harella, for having so richly gifted me with this immense love of yours.
This dream, set in dynastic Egypt, deftly betrays what a powerfully focussed and strong woman Harella was. The dream was first that day.
I was seated on a wonderful divan in a beautifully opulent place. Instinctively, I knew that this was in Egypt. It was during the height of pharaonic Egypt.
There were two stout women here with me who were light-skinned. Hard to tell whether they were Mitanni or light-skinned Blacks. They were cooks and were fussing over me asking me to eat up.
I ate from a plate which had these different shoots on it. One of them was papyrus shoots, some bamboo shoots and a wild Nile delta mushroom. It was strictly vegetarian fare.
As well, there was a purplish tuber like baby eggplants. I ate with a fork which was very heavy-looking. Clearly, I did possess some rank at birth. I would point out the items I wanted to eat next and would then have it fed to me by either woman.
At one point, I was told by one of the women,
“Yes, you even remember what your favourites were last time.”
At this point, into the room walked a tall Black woman of Ethiopian features and complexion but who was not too dark. Definitely, she was from the Upper Nile region.
I can’t quite do justice here as to how supremely regal this woman was. She was quite simply the most regal and powerful creature imaginable.
The two eyes that this woman wore were large, brown and soulful. You felt her soul itself looking out and into you.
I did not think of her as having been Merlin in a past life. However, it is quite possible that this woman’s soul I knew quite recently as Merlin during its last incarnation.
When she entered the room, the women looked at each other and one of them said in a sotto voce,
“Ah yes, she’s brought him with her.”
There was a Black man, who was a little darker-complected, there with her. Seemingly a relation or priest, perhaps, he might even have been a eunuch.
He remained in an outer room. She was quite simply the Queen, the Pharaoh’s wife.
On entering, she began walking around us and speaking. She was very stylised in her movements. She wore a tunic of gold thread and strips of gold filigree.
In places, her dress looked metallic. In its sparse, linear, understated opulence, it seemed not unlike something that Cynthia McFadden would design.
The dress throughout was festooned with the designs, all in gold, of open papyrus leaves. They were very tiny and sat inside of little squares.
In one square there would be a papyrus applied, such that it would be very iridescent, whilst on the next square it was very dull with a matte finish look to it. The resulting effect was one of row after row, square after square, of papyruses.
Each square was exactly half an inch square. The detail on this dress was absolutely golden. It was supported by half-inch-wide straps which, of course, had the same square papyrus design.
Next to her flawless complexion, she was simply statuesque. Her neck was easily six to ten inches longer than the infamously long neck of Ann Cokossi, Princess of Togo – the regal lady’s neck was longer than Iman’s. Iman was clearly descended from the same stock.
It was not Iman. She did have long hair that was finely braided in the fashion of a Maasai male’s. The hair was swept up off her face and into a very intricate arrangement.
There were several beads throughout her stylised hair and some of them were cowrie beads. There were other shells and some precious stones as well.
Her makeup was exquisitely applied and clearly was a several-hour affair. The eyes, of course, were the most detailed.
I really did not get a sense of it being the famous Nefertiti Akhenaten. However, the man that she was with was undesirable and totally untrustworthy.
I got the sense that it was someone related to me, as in myself, in a past life. He never did enter the room.
Whilst speaking with the woman who sat there on the chair feeding me, the queen kept on slowly gliding about the room. This woman was like the Queen Mother or, perhaps, the dowager.
Whilst she spoke, I was beginning to become refamiliarised with the palace intrigue.
Throughout the salon, where we sat, there were a whole series of spies. Soon enough, I could discern the holes throughout the walls so that the spies could get a good command of what was going down.
There was a great deal of subterfuge here. There was a whole caste of spies. There were spies who were in the service of the priesthood. Spies of the Queen’s and still there were spies of the Pharaoh’s.
Still there were spies of the harem among which were a subclass and more powerful caste of spies for the eunuchs. In addition, all the different levels of the royals had their own battery of spies.
All about the room, every one of those holes had a designated spy who reported back to his dynastic figurehead in the hierarchy.
This was a very brief dream, I must add here. However, it was very lucid, real and totally lived-in a dream.
I had a sense of being there in time. It was not just an observer dream. I was really in the body of that royal child who could have been no more than six years old.
This occurred at nighttime and it was somewhat damp in the room though simultaneously briny from the arid desert air. The whole language was about intonation and innuendo.
As a matter of fact, the whole language was so ritualised and stylised that it was more slow and subtle than is movement in the Noh theatre of Japan. This was all about gestures and the myriad gestures that could be implied from the relations of one gesture juxtapose to another.
It took me awhile to get the knack of it. However, I became totally lucid as to what was going down.
It all came back to me. Indeed, even at the age of six, I was already quite proficient in the nuances of this very complex court language.
As she spoke, the Queen’s arms and other parts of her body would be perpetually in motion. It was danced – this language. The whole language was codified and layered beyond anything wildly imaginable in this day and age of superficiality.
This was deception on the order of high art. What was spoken was mere camouflage. The spoken word was not even an nth of the layered language.
Along with it, what her body was doing and the subtlety of movements indicated what was really implied by what was said. More to the point, it was what was not implied by what was not said.
By comparison, the most sophisticated Parisienne would be considered a primitive communicator.
This was all very complex court politics, indeed. Then, at one point, the Queen went and stood thereby freezing her movement and this is what one had to try and discern.
This was because the every placement of every limb and muscle, on her body, carried great impact by way of what was being communicated. This was very much so an African tongue being spoken here.
At times, it was slow whilst at other times dizzyingly sped up and rapid fire.
*It seemed more closely to resemble Jazz vocalesing à la Betty Carter sophistication though, truth be told, even Betty Carter’s skills were primitive by comparison. I can’t impress enough how truly complex was this language and mode of communicating. END.
Yet I got the complete picture of what she was communicating. The Queen was speaking of the child – my six-year-old former self. I feigned ignorance at the time though it was obvious that I was the subject of discussion.
This had to do with the care of the child.
“How was the child coming along?” she had inquired.
I could very well have been her child. It was obviously the custom for royal children to be separated, from their mothers at birth, the higher placed they were at birth.
I was here in this dream, of a past life experience, in the care of two women who were as if wet-nurses/governesses to me.
At another point, the Queen had produced this papyrus fan from beneath the delicate folds of the heavy-looking dress.
It was a plain fan made of papyrus. However, it was covered in hieroglyphs. This was also a very ancient fan which she had inherited.
The fan was being strategically used, as part of the deceptive code, to foil the spies all about the room. When coming closer to us, the Queen had smiled a very bland smile in my direction.
This was, of course, so that nothing whatsoever could be read into it by any of the spying factions. The Queen slowly leaned in to look at the food that I ate.
Inspecting it, she offered the gesture of showing her trust in the cooks by taking a piece of shoot from the plate to eat.
This was all theatre for as she had slipped the food to her mouth she waved the fan over her mouth whilst saying, in rapid-fire sotto voce, a couple of very strategic sentences. It was absolutely sublime.
It was directed at the dowager Queen Mother who, for being more practised in the art, feigned utter ignorance of anything so paranoid as subterfuge. It was priceless!
This was clearly the height of late young soul to early mature soul intrigue. Though she could never have been overheard in saying what she had, the fan was placed to prevent the visiting Queen being lip-read.
These spies, after all, were very expert. I do recall one man having been seated across from me earlier. He was a spy and basically he was visiting to learn the every minutia of my mouth mechanics during speech.
It was all very subtle, though very archly shrewd and deadly, the way in which he came to do his job and record my mouth’s every idiosyncrasy during speech.
The queen had performed, in that one gesture, such a winning sleight of hand. She was letting the Queen Mother know that she trusted her by actually tasting the food that she was feeding the child – me, in that past life.
It seemed, after all, to be an impromptu visit which means that the food could well have been laced with poison for unsuspecting me. I suppose that if it were necessary, I could have been eliminated by the dowager Queen Mother or the Queen herself.
When she had directly stood in the centre of the room, earlier, the Queen had picked up her right foot off the floor. She had very subtly managed not to have shifted her weight or allowed for any movement whatsoever in her upper body.
The Queen then began doing what seemed a predecessor of the frappé and began horizontally waving her foot from the ankle. The movement betrayed a gesture akin to ‘no’. This, of course, did not in the least betray everything that was going on elsewhere in her body.
As there were so many items of furniture about the room, it was obvious that from where the holes were placed in the walls that one could not make out the codified foot movements.
This was so mind-bogglingly delicious. The foot being incorporated, in the language, was a most clever invention.
The moment at which she picked up her foot, it was as though I had sat up awake in bed. It was that vividly recalled from past life experience.
‘Yes!’ I thought to myself and laughed a small breath which the dowager Queen Mother, to my side, immediately stifled with a sharp intake of breath.
One clearly did not laugh in the Queen’s presence. The subtleties of the language here, in this point in dynastic Egypt, were phenomenally stratospheric.
This was communication taken to heights unheard of since, in any court life, on this planet.
There were times as she slowly moved about the room that the Queen had ritually placed the fan to her beguiling face, to fan herself, whilst letting out little phrases for us to hear.
On one occasion, her back was to us and her arm in back made a series of quick gestures that were not unlike sign language. Meanwhile, the fan was to her face giving us a double stream of code to simultaneously decipher.
To the point of being frightening, the Queen was very deceptive. It was hard to ever see her eyes. The Queen used language such that the eyes could never have been seen.
More could be read from her eyes adding to what she was saying. For this reason, she almost exclusively kept her lids such that it kept her gaze cast out and down to the floor.
Her head, of course, was never lowered and the rapid eye movements which she employed were also very strategic. When she spoke, one was never to make eye contact with her.
It would imply too much simply because we were being spied on. This was indeed a very restrictive existence.
There we were, in a fish bowl of sorts, being spied on by sharks who completely surrounded us waiting their turn to hungrily make prey of us. Since she was the Queen, one could never look at her eyes.
However, I was possessed of more than my six-year-old self making me a very probing and curious soul. The Queen picked up on this and was acutely made uncomfortable by it.
It was as though there was now some new development in my maturation which spelt trouble. Naturally, you just knew that there was any number of long discussions to come as to what to do with this ‘one’ meaning my poor, possessed self.
It was as though, for having stepped into my former self’s six-year-old body, I could have spelt his very untimely and not accidental death. Regardless, this woman and I were deeply connected.
I could sense from her a real familial, maternal even, bond. The Queen was very much so in tune with me. There was an element of this communication which was low-level telepathic.
Indeed, there were times when she had thusly engaged me. It was chiefly done for putting me at ease. It was also how she had to stay bonded to me for having had me taken from her, of custom, at birth.
What was really interesting here was that the concept of reincarnation was definitely fully accepted and religiously incorporated in the schemata of dynastic life. The dowager Queen Mother and governess, too, were both convinced that I was someone in the royal family who had reincarnated.
My choice of food favourites were validation enough for them. I was very much so favoured by the Queen. She was warm towards me.
However, she never physically expressed this. There was always, however, a very strong psychic fusion between us with most of the energies coming from her to me.
She was connected to me – this much was unmistakable. I never did see the eunuch who had accompanied her, however, he was very powerful an influence in their lives.
For this reason, more so than the placement of the spies, the Queen never once was demonstrative of her feelings towards me. She did let up on reaching towards the plate of food.
One had the sense, of the eunuch who had accompanied her, that he was the one person who had connections to all the spying factions within the inner royal circle. He waited outside in the antechamber and his presence was more closely being paid attention to, than even the Queen’s, at times.
There had also been musicians about the room playing music. This was simply to drown out the conversation being heard by the battery of spies.
The musicians were placed along all four walls to really drown out the conversation. This then precluded conversation from making it to the periphery of the room and the spies just beyond its walls.
This was a very palatial suite. It was dimly lit and sparsely decorated yet in the finest style. A very comfortable and socially elevated milieu it was. A most elevated dream experience.
*As it is the forty-fifth anniversary of Merlin’s birth, I had asked prior to sleep in a lengthy meditation, to become opened up to experiencing aspects of a past life experience between Merlin and me.
I asked only that it be of a positive nature and that it be in no way an unpleasant experience. The last thing that I wanted was to have some dream which mirrored the less pleasant aspects of Merlin’s end-of-life experience.
Voilà, there it was – a most vivid, awakened dream experience. I have no idea which person here could have been Merlin.
I fully identified with the six-year-old and, indeed, I was experiencing the dream inside his body and, at times, from a detached perspective. Then, too, I did identify with the much-feared eunuch outside the door.
So I don’t know if he was me or, perhaps, even Merlin. The very loving energies of the Queen Mother could more easily have been Merlin, in a past life, than the Queen herself.
**The musicians about the room, against the far walls, were all distinctly Nubian. They were exquisitely beautiful and the quirk that they each had was that they were, for obvious reasons, each of them both blind and deaf.
This, of course, did not detract from their stellar musicianship; at times they did sing. However, for being both blind and deaf they could not be expected to be picking up on any of the codified language and body signals that formed this most layered of spied-on, palace intrigues in dynastic Egypt.
I should think, too, that this was at the heights of the Middle Kingdom before the advent of Akhenaten’s ascension. This sort of intrigue, and frankly rut, is precisely what he was likely sick of and seeking to escape when initiating his monotheistic religion.
Of course, with so much centuries-old intrigue, clearly he would have been seen as the ultimate obstruction – a heretic who had to be annihilated at all costs and things righted in his demise. This, of course, is precisely what did take place.
Again, despite the vogue since the nineteenth century to make a truly African civilisation anything but, everyone one and everything here was distinctly African: the music, the looks, the sense of fashion, styles and hair styles.
The Queen’s eyes were not only phenomenally powerful but her head had that distinctly African/Black high-foreheaded look. The Queen’s neck was almost giraffe-like.
She made Iman look no-necked by comparison.
Photo: Supermodel Iman.
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