I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.


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A Dream


In my dream we all knew we were going to die. Everyone in the world was going to die. A cloud of air bearing very fine, sharp particles was slowly encircling the earth; when people inhaled, it would infiltrate the lungs and destroy them. This cloud was gradually covering the entire world and would eventually reach us.

Everyone in our community knew this was going to happen. But somehow my husband and I knew it was coming sooner than they expected, very soon. We were calm and resolute.

 I can remember four scenes.

 + One, there was a naturally-occurring oil that could alleviate the pain, though not delay death, and it happened to be found in our area. A male friend was showing me that he had a source for it on his property, and was planning to ship it all over the world, charging high prices. I pitied him because I saw that, when word got out that this was found in our area, people would start flocking here and taking it for themselves. I said to my friend, “But don’t you think they will all just move here?”

 + Two, some kind of public worship service was being held in an attractive, traditional-looking Anglican or Episcopal church. There weren’t a lot of people at the service; maybe it was just for the leaders of the community. My husband had been invited to participate, and I noticed that some of the prayers he had written made reference to the need to prepare, since the time might could shorter than they think. But they did this in an oblique way, to not confront and frighten attendees.

 + Three, there were two children living in our house, though they weren’t our children (not children I know in real life). Our house had become mostly empty of furnishings, perhaps because we were selling our possessions to live. The girl and boy were playing on the bare floor with their last two remaining toys. We had prepared the children that the time would come when they would need to give up even these last toys, and put them outside for other children to find and play with.

My husband and I knew that this was the last night. In the course of the next day, the cloud would arrive and we would all breathe it in and die.

I asked the children if they thought the time was right, to go ahead and leave the toys outside for other children. They begged to keep them one more night, and we said yes.

 + Four, I was going to bed that night. I opened the window and looked out at the black sky. The night was breathing, warm and alive. The stars seemed closer than usual. I began to realize in a deeper way that my body is part of the same material universe as those stars, that they and I are composed of molecules from the common store shared by all things. I knew that my body would soon be disintegrating back into that vast collection of molecules. I felt that it was right that this happen, that it was the right next thing to happen to me (or at least to my body). I thought, That’s why the stars feel closer.

I considered leaving the window open for the night, because the fragrance of the air was so warm and comforting. But the fine particles were already creeping in. I kept having short, soft coughing spells. If I left it open I would die overnight, but I needed to be there the next day for my husband and children.

I decided to wait till the next day to die. I closed the window and lay down, and began the prayers I say before sleep.


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