Sunday, August 13, 2017

Haji Thexeira

Source: Reader's Digest Indonesia
- Haji Thexeira, do you remember my son, do you sing his song through all the land?
- Mother, I will sing of my Lord, my Saviour, all my life. Aye, I have seen the Garden Rock that has received his blood, I have traced his footsteps to the cross at Yerushalayim, and I have smelled the fragrance of his open tomb. Mother, I do not forget these things.

Neither do I forget when my enemies dragged me out from the thresh and were about to hang me from a bough with my own lyre-strings. Praise be to Jesus, I am alive now. I was ready to atone for my sins right then, as they had been so grave, so numerous... like so many fatal wounds on the soul, accumulated through my long life. And my Lord had voided it, dispatched of it like so much garbage, and let me walk free from the clutches of the komitadjis -- Alive, in the flesh! And here I live on borrowed time.

I am bathed in warmth in this dream, not the blazing heat of the summer of Canaan, but the balmy warmth of an island in the Torrid Climes. And the Lady -- My Lord, she is beautiful! Her radiance could dwarf the sun! Her serene aspect belies the sight of ten thousand demons defeated, perished at her feet. And there she sits, at a rock at the promontory out on a sandy beach, watching the clouds on the horizon as if the next moment her son -- my Lord -- would return at any moment. I have learned that there is a place of refuge in this country where anyone who fell asleep would dream of her, even if they do not know her story or who she is. Perhaps, we are close to the Mother's House now, nearing the end of our flight. We shall reach safety and be among friends soon.

Presently, three indistinct figures have emerged on the shallows below the Lady's rock. Taking a closer look, I can make out a woman in a soiled, tattered dress. This is Elena, daughter of Mihalis Simoglou. Her children Nikos and Chrysanti follow closely behind her, hand in hand. A wave of joy washes over me; these are people whom I know well and who have welcomed me many times to their home, where I delighted them with songs from my pilgrimages. They are safe from harm, welcomed into the Mother's House. And now the Lady greets Elena with a tight embrace, and now she kisses the children on their foreheads.

Now, I am awake. Dawn has broken and the campfire has become a heap of warm embers. My friend, the boy Galumjan, is still asleep, but he has kicked away his blanket and is shivering violently now. I pull the rug over him again, and hear him mutter: Tuamma, you have killed my brother at Parmiakert. How will I go home now? Who will look after me, who will stand up to my father for me? His arms start to flail violently again; I can only guess that he is trying to flee the lady in his dream. With a heavy heart and a sigh, I tuck the rug securely under his body. I pray to find the people who have fled the raid with us, but how will they forgive Galumjan, since he was one of those who were sent to kill them? But as for me, I shall try to keep him alive for as long as I can.

References and Sources of Brainwaves
  1. Indonesian Catholic folk legend from Larantuka, East Nusa Tenggara Province
  2. The opening of Jesus's Tomb at Jerusalem, October 2016

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