You may remember me describing a dream I had. I was standing in Nan and Grandad’s kitchen – this was after they had died – and Grandad pushed past me, muttering to himself. It was as if I wasn’t there – as if I had become the ghost.
It started me wondering. Is it possible that when you die you go on existing, but in some sort of alternative reality? You are not aware you have died. As far as you are concerned things are going along as normal, but you are in fact living a different version of your life. The people you once knew remain in the original life – close by, perhaps, but impossible now to touch.
And that made me think of the saying spiritualists use for people who have died – beyond the veil. What veil? I thought. Looking it up I discovered the veil was originally the one in Solomon’s temple – the same veil said to have been split from top to bottom during the crucifixion, and the final barrier between the Ark of the Covenant and the rest of the temple.
Why am I suffering a fit of ontological insecurity? It’s just that for the past 24 hours I’ve had no stats at all in connection with this blog. No little lit-up countries, no national flags, no ‘likes’, no visitors, no comments – nothing. Furthermore, I have had no emails; not even the one to say my cat litter will be delivered on Thursday, or the one offering to sign me up for a course in Journalism, or the one about Viagra. Have I disappeared? Has everybody in the world vanished? There’s nobody out in the street. I mean, I can hear a few things: somebody’s singing drunkenly further down the hill, the ice-cream van is playing a tinny version of Teddy Bear’s Picnic, one cat is threatening another cat – but nothing is moving. Well, maybe that tree waggled a bit, at the top. Hard to tell without the glasses…
Halloooo? Is there anybody there?