O soul thou pleasest me, I thee,
Sailing these seas or on the hills, or waking in the night,
Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time and Space and Death …
Passage to India
If we really do survive after this life, I’m already making plans; I hope to throw a dinner party on my arrival. Today, as I cleaned the rescue kennels and scrubbed the splashity green stuff (algae) out of the horses’ water buckets, (that smells like spearmint), my mind went over and over the guest list like a tongue-tip over a missing tooth. Let’s see.
God, of course, and Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, (pronounced doll-eye, not doll-ee), all incarnations. (How could you really pick and choose?) Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus, who’ll bring the fish, salt and wine between them, Ranier Maria Rilke, Jelaluddin Rumi and Rabindranath Tagore, who will give a pre-dinner poetry reading that will take our breath away. (Not that we’d need it any longer).
Anne Frank, Princess Diana, (a vision in white), and Mother Teresa, perhaps even being the same person in three different incarnations. Hemingway and Emily Dickinson, (both at the same table), Sylvia Plath, too, (perhaps it might lift her spirits), and Anne Sexton (with a designated driver, of course).
All my dead friends. All my animals, too. The dogs will eat steak, medium-rare, without one cow being harmed. The cats will catch magical fish and clean whiskers and paws on catnip carpets. The horses will run and buck for carrots, alfalfa and ginger snaps, without a tangle in their long, flowing tails, and have all the sugar cubes they desire, balancing them on their noses first, showing off.
Cherubs eating corn on the cob, with butter dripping off their elbows like real children, St. Nick, (the original), Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, and I know this is a guest list that will continue to come to me, even as I fall asleep. Abraham Lincoln, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Beatrix Potter, Winston Churchill. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and the amazing Houdini, who could entertain everyone after dinner. Edgar Cayce, who could answer all our burning questions when Houdini was through and the night had substantially darkened, to make for that extra thrill.
Donna Reed and James Dean, Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton playing through the cocktail hour, until Judy Garland takes over, belting it out from the smoking section. All the women in the finest gowns and the men in smart tuxedos. Flowers growing everywhere, and happy, shining faces.