Old Monterey dream— Heidi Elizabeth McGurrin Artist

Old Monterey

Two days in Big Sur

I dreamt I was going to a movie that wasn't there.

So I left, walking over open land in ancient Monterey,

seeing old deep beauty in the distance of an old Adobe in golden light

surrounded by a green forest of trees.

I recognize my uncle Gallatin's place,

from years before. 

Passing crumbled walls,

darkness wandering, crosses,

old cemeteries, darkness huddled people going about their work, 

realizing I had been there before. 

Beauty of shells of old houses, walls, blues of sky 

heavy green grasses and 


Golden light holding the old adobe walls

centered in the Forest.

I am near the Altar. 

High up in front of the Altar piled up piles of old lace with beaded pearls sparkling like candlelight along endless edges of tears sewn and barely hidden under materials laying upon one another, shades of white cloth near very very tall golden candlestick and a priest reciting a mass. Light was streaming in from high above the adobe walls from Spaniard times, down onto this high table with the open coffin which didn't quite cover what I saw underneath where legs hemispheric and arms stretched and appeared like the body of someone. I didn't realize anybody was laying there until after a little while when I started to become hot watching from the front hard wooden bench and was getting restless. Suddenly the priest walked over and pulled up the cloth that was covering the legs and the arms supposedly hidden underneath perhaps in an open casket and suddenly when he lifted up the cloth I saw more legs more arms and somebody’s face that I recognized laying there sleeping. Altogether there were four people laying more or less on top of each other pot pie on this altar table, all seemed to be sleeping except for one.

Out in the old Monterey Street I rushed out seeing people in the twilight wandering around and across the street I saw what looked like a goat, a black goat with very long curls, very wild jumping and leaping around. At first I thought she was a wild goat… or a dog with very long curls and then I realized this creature that I couldn't quite identify was lost. Nobody was paying attention to her and she needed me. So there I was with this beautiful wild creature in hand.

Then I found myself wandering for the longest time in the dark, and I couldn't find my car. I knew my little white car was somewhere but I didn't know if it was on a side street I had no idea where it was now. I have an animal with me and no car. A couple of men came to my help but they couldn't help me either because they had no idea so I wandered around wondering on an old Monterey Street. I went back to the big old Adobe walls of the hollowed out inner courtyard garden where the service was being held for the woman and three mysterious people who were on top of the heap in the open casket. People were starting to pour out of the doorway quite happily like they had been to a happier occasion not something sad like a funeral. Lots of energy in the air and I felt completely bewildered.

Thoughts of some time ago on Chiapas when I had looked down on a hillside covered with crosses dark blue crosses white crosses small crosses tall crosses, all surrounded by flowers. Bunches of flowers and white lilies, pink flowers standing proud and laying loosely in an old cemetery near the walls of a hollowed out ceremonial built of rocks.

Indigenas were huddled in small gatherings there in the silent places around the graves and sounds of their love poured from their voices and violins hummed squeaks of bird sounds. I saw a women cuddling bromeliad flowers as if they were babies close to her breasts, other families held each other and swayed to the violins and their own voices.

I was told the women saved their hair from their combs to put into their graves when they die and the men have a special pair of shoes for their afterlife and a bottle of posh, their sacred drink. Ribbons of many colors were attached to the men's hats and fluttered down over their deep strong black wool ponchos, with their large silver necklaces shining on their chests.


© Heidi McGurrin 5/2016

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