An Invitation to El Dorado

At a Cemetery Wall

Sharing stories through the walls during one of several Christmas visits, niches decorated for the season.

People take stories to their graves. And probably not just one story, but many.

I would invite you to sit with me on a bench at the base of the cemetery wall – its niches crammed with lives that were cut short, thin concrete walls separating those short lives from the cruel ones and the ones that were long and exotic – and just contemplate the silence.

Consider that it might be possible to slip in beside the souls who lie there and ask them to whisper what they wouldn’t reveal when they were alive.

Tales emerge from behind the walls. They creep into your consciousness, encouraging you to take events from someone’s life and weave them into stories. Real or imagined, you might never know but they’re treasures just the same. Perhaps the elusive El Dorado really lies in the cemeteries of South America.

So I ask for permission to take the stories and use them as I see fit; maybe there’s some truth to the tales, maybe not. In any case, I rationalise that the souls have unburdened themselves.

But information doesn’t just travel in one direction. The South American cemetery is a place of exchange, where conversations penetrate tomb walls to enter the realm beyond. Deep secrets from the living are entrusted to the souls who exist on the other side. And these silent souls, happy for your visit, starved for your information, remain intent on your words. They act like psycholgists scribbling crazy notes behind the couch as bits of your own life are, with permission, deposited into an eternal vault.

These deposits mingle with the lives of souls who have passed on, and stories from the dead and the living merge into marvelous, twisted tales.