The Ghost in the Cathedral


“Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One.”

A dream on April 15th………

“It is well” my dad whispers as he sketches the Cathedral, the details designed from the nape to the great stone that shelters the moving shadows in the Roman portico. “Are there ghost here”, I whisper, thinking the answer I might receive might not be kind. “They are here” he whispers back, continuing to manipulate the pencil on his long white draught tablet, his face the color of angels, that of peace, that moves rough rivers to find a better course. My dad, the dad I know no more, a spirit, a moving light in darkness, moves his right hand with flourish finishing the left arch that covers the holy of holies.

“I will put daemons on the outside of this sanctuary,” he says, his now inhuman glowing blue eyes giving the appearance of a shelter, he was unable to offer while yet he was breathing. “Why”, I ask, the question knowing the answer to come. Still, the inquiry helps me hear my own voice. It sounds passive, and echoing, as if in a great hall. “They help us to know possibilities”, my dad mutters, turning drawing rapidly something that stands still, noticeable only to his eyes. His immortal eyes.

“It is well”, my dad whispers, baring the image of something alien upon his arms. They are moving images of creatures, alien beast that move to guard a sanctuary. Perhaps it is they guard a throne, a host, or a plan sketched of what is to come. “What of the ghost” I ask the spirit that speaks as my father. “They are here”, my dad laughs suddenly, as his eyes turn a cobalt cold, color of ethereal energy that moves between worlds.

He draws them then, with quickness, a suddenness that interrupts the troubled thoughts I have. They sit in silence, in quiet death, their bodies in sanctuary, their souls’ deep wells, not troubled by belief or ideology. “They rest”, my dad says, his voice moving to other places. Perhaps mysterious places where bleeding stops. Perchance that place “John Lennon” imagined, with no religion too.

“I would go there, also” I whisper to my dad, this dad who roughs great divine basilicas. “I would climb past these ghosts, I would Passover“, I say, as the night moves in and out of that consciousness that is my soul. “I cannot make it so”, my dad smiles, the same unavailability suddenly present within him, as it was in life. He moves then his pencil moving furiously over the pad he carries with him, and I understand. I know without worry, and I am concerned no more. My life passes beyond cathedrals, celestial and even divinity. It spins so often out of control. Nevertheless, they are there, ghost sketched in great cathedrals, daemons of awe sculpted by my dad’s awl, that help me know deep possibilities. Thoughts that are not bound to past or future. Still it is well, oh Hashem it is well with my soul.

“It is well”, my dad whispers.

For Notre Dame That still smolders this night.
– 04.18.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

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77 thoughts on “The Ghost in the Cathedral

  1. Dear Daniel,
    How proud your father must be reading this from beyond. It is truly genius in its concept, your words reaching far beyond common emotion and touching the very soul. Mine included. As you have written it is well.
    ❤ Ruby

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Daniel, you are full of wonderful surprises this April, and “That Which I Might See” is no exception. The conversation with your Dad is genius, both a tribute to his own and yours. There are many under lying threads in this piece that I relate to. The bottom line is through it all both in this life and that to come, “it is well”. Much admiration, Wang

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dearest Daniel, There was so many times I came to tears reading this piece, and many of the reasons I understand, some I do not. Suffice to say the connections between the design of a cathedral where ghost inhabit and a soul where something greater inhabits, did not go missing on me. Thank you. Heather ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a deep amazing piece of writing Daniel. I read so many themes throughout it, and for some reason it touches me emotionally, perhaps thinking of my own father who was an artist. The soul as the central point and its creation and how it in itself is a sanctuary guarded by daemons, is genius. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lynette for sharing this piece on your father being an artist. I am happy this piece related to you. My father was not an artist or an architect for that matter but he did love to sketch and for some reason one of his hobby’s was designing and sketching churches. I do believe if we pay attention to what guards are soul we might be surprised. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brother, the depths you have reached in this wonderful post identifies understanding, that few have ever reached. The temple when raised will identify the soul that you speak of here in each of us, and it truly will have been guarded by the daemons of judgement so that we might know our possibilities. This was brilliant. Shalom, Den

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Daniel, I have little to add to what others have said here. Your writing here is inspired, and it brings me joy to be a part of your journey. Your wisdom might rub off on me. Bill

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed this piece very much Daniel. The many threads you weave throughout a minimum of words is incredible. We should all be so fortunate to have such confidence that all is well with our soul. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • The honest part I appreciate. A world of so called enlightenment has brought on too many gray areas I am afraid. I appreciate those who stick to solid colors, and look into the unknown to define it better. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Daniel, “That Which I Might See” is a wonderful piece, that I can identify especially during the holy week of this year. The references to the soul are something that those of any faith can relate too. Thank you. A

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Daniel, I absolutely adored this. There is so much going on here but my favorite is your swipe at those who would build what they think is a religion based on ideology. My favorite of many favorite quotes. ““They rest”, my dad says, his voice moving to other places. Perhaps mysterious places where bleeding stops. Perchance that place “John Lennon” imagined, with no religion too.” ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Daniel, this is such a moving and brilliant piece, a bit unnerving, yet I find the truth of things often is unsettling for a period. Don’t you find the continuum between light and dark allows for all possibilities as it does choices? It seems that the ghosts of the past, present and future are always with us, especially as time folds over on itself. Thank you for sharing this chilling and telling tale. Wishing you well. Shalom, Mia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mia, Thank you for your thought provoking comment. I think what you said opened up a whole new realm for me. The continuum between light and dark I have explored with much gusto knowing the possibilities. It was the choices I have written of many times but not actually understood. Thank you for the insight my friend. Shalom, Daniel

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Daniel, thank you for a lovely reply. Maybe the understanding is revealed when we return to our own writings and view the words with new eyes or even different eyes, you know the ones we haven’t used in a long, long time. 😉 Wishing you and your family well and a good close to Yom HaShoah. Shalom, Mia

        Liked by 1 person

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