At the time, I was writing a series of poetry called “Poetess and Prophetess”. It was autobiographical, a daily report of my emotional journey with someone for whom I cared a great deal. It’s not that I considered myself a prophetess, really. But my name is Miriam, the same as that of the sister of the Biblical Moses who was, in her own right, a poet and prophetess. I had been called this by my friends. I had been called worse. I liked it.
One morning, I awoke from a dream with only the remnants of an image and a word that was whispered into my ear. In this dream, I was holding my friend’s open hand in mine, studying his palm. Our heads were bowed close together. It was a gentle moment ~ one hand in another. Then I heard a whisper close into my ear which came from outside the dream, it seemed. And I awoke. I was left with only one haunting moment and a deep sadness. And a word: morissimo.
I held his hand in a foreign land but woke and watched it go
A whispered word I don’t understand: morissimo.
But what was this word? Who spoke it? Who slipped up along side my dream and whispered me awake? It seemed like an Angel, but I don’t believe in those. Silly prophetess!
I carried the word with me all day. I heard it over and over again, whispered in my mind. It seemed strangely beautiful yet sad. But it was in a language I had never heard before and I had little hope of finding out its meaning. But ~ yes of course ~ the internet has all our answers!
Morissimo ~ First-person plural imperfect subjunctive of morire from the Latin “mori” ~ death.
We are dyeing.
It is true that I was left a little unsettled by this. I was not pleased that my dreams would come in a foreign language ~ especially a language I did not know delivering messages I did want to hear from Angels I did not believe in.
The next night, I dreamed again. I was gathered with others around the face of a steep, tall mountain. In the side of the mountain hung a thick rope ~ as plain as any rope could be. The kind one might tie a tire to in order to make a swing. I felt very odd, as though I had been taken out of the dream I was supposed to be dreaming and dropped into this one. I seemed to be the only one puzzled by what was happening here. I asked someone why we were here, waiting at this mountain. “The angels are going to sing”, she said. And lo, the angels at the top hummed into this rope and it began to glow. It shone so brightly, it was as if it were on fire ~ except the fire was white. It was a stream of magnificent mercury.
Amazingly I thought, “this is no big deal” as if I were disappointed I had not witnessed something more spectacular than Angels lighting up a mountain rope with their voices!
I decided to listen closer, so pressed my ear against the rope and then … the whisper: Altissimo. And I awoke.
Poetess and Prophetess, your dreams are all unraveled
You hear words, but not your own in lands you’ve never traveled.
This time, I awoke with the dream in tact and the word, again, stayed with me all day. I tumbled it over in my mind and eventually, courageously, investigated its meaning.
Altissimo: the uppermost register on woodwind instruments. Italian for “very high”.
That it was Italian was only a slight surprise this time, but it made me tingle. Yet, what a disappointment! I was looking for a message about this dyeing relationship and all I got was some musical term which meant nothing to me at all. (Only now as I write this do I chuckle, realizing, of course, the voice is an instrument, and certainly one played by breath ~ or wind. But to the story that unfolded at the time.)
Yes, I was disappointed. But I did dream some poetry about my life beginning as a C chord and moving into D minors and other diminished sadnesses. Poetry I have forgotten and lost.
Unsatisfied with having angels sing for me only to talk about music, I decided to look again for a meaning behind altissimo. I found something about harmonics vibrating at a higher octave. Bah! Still music. Still nothing . Still no meaning. Then, as I watched the eclectic river of messages that float by in the stream that is Twitter, I read “Thank you so much for making me vibrate at a higher octave”.
I kid you not.
…making me vibrate at a higher octave….
There is nothing like serendipity to make one search for something deeper. So I continued with altissimo. I discovered it is also a Latin word which means highest. And found a sweeping phrase written by the Roman Philosopher Marcus Cicero (106- 43 BC) which was written in Latin ~ the language of angels. It said, roughly translated, that when the “angelus” speak they vibrate at highest frequencies. He also said this: onorate altissimo poeta
Honor highest the poet
Of course, it was not completely lost on me at the time that I was seeking a meaning in a message rather than being satisfied that I had been delivered one at all. I mean, I was dreaming in unknown languages, being visited by angels, who reminded me of their presence through tiny mysteries throughout my waking hours. In fact, my waking hours were now tripping over themselves in small moments of coincidences left over from my dream hours. And I’m not sure that when Angels come, they travel alone. Some of the dreams became horrifying.
Poetess and Prophetess, you don’t listen to your dreams
When angry spirits come to call it’s as dangerous as it seems!
Dreams have their own set of logic and physics which, as it turns out, is that anything is possible and nothing is illogical. It rarely occurs to a dreamer to say “Whoa! Look at the floating starfish tree! That doesn’t make any sense.” Or “Hey, what are we all doing here at this mountain?” It is with precisely this logic that I decided perhaps my visitors were Angels. I sensed a “Hey. What are you doing here? “ kind of feeling.
Poetess and Prophetess, the Angel begs you heed
The warning that she whispered when you thought that you were freed
But … I wanted it to stop.
This prophetess was not ready to be connected, for to be connected to something higher, we must also be connected to something deeper: that buried part of us that crawls beneath our skin always threatening to seep out through our pores and show the world ~ and ourselves ~ our pain. No. I was not ready for such unearthing ~ as above so below. The thought of slipping into the bottomless pool that is my soul was a journey I would postpone, if I could.
Poetess & Prophetess, still waters are revealing
The deepness of the shallow and the maelstrom it’s concealing
So I asked the angels not to return. I did simply that. Before falling asleep, I said “Please don’t come to me anymore. You frighten me. I am not ready”
But I am ready now. In fact, I told the angel that visited me last night in my dream just that! I was busy decorating a small space in which I was to display all the my art and writing I had ever created. An angel came and said “You have to leave here now. I need this space.”
“No”, I said. “I’m not done here yet. You and I are gong to have to compromise and share this space.”
And the Angel smiled knowingly. And I awoke.
Poetess and Prophetess, now you know your power
You’re not the castle captive but the bird above the bower.