Angels & Eagles

The most enlightened among us say that once you’re in existence, you cannot, not exist, and just like you cannot be awake for the rest of time, you cannot sleep for eternity either. Simply put, there is no death, only waking up.

I had a dream last night that I was in the kind of slumber that people do not wake up from. I was in the line of fire and my body was sprayed full of holes. I felt the energy drain from my human avatar to the point where I fell on the ground and curled into a fetal position and then the lights went off.

The religious among us say that at this moment I would go to one of two places. If I were bad, Angel Lucifer would be awaiting with glee, adding fuel to my already blazing Valhalla. But if I were good, Angel Gabriel would come calling with praise and worship. I did not feel, nor think while the lights were off but I could hear a fire crackling. Damn it! I shouldn’t have stayed that long without going to church.

The lights of my consciousness were switched on without preamble. I felt again. Only, I wasn’t in my human body. There was strength in the creature that I now inhabited. Its legs were muscled and hairy and its heart pumped with vigor. I struggled to open my eyes to see the beast I had become—was I a horse, a big cat, a reptile perhaps? My eyelids finally fluttered open and there I was, an eagle in the sky.

At that moment I would have given anything to be a human being again. All the worries about what it meant to be human faded: politics, quarrels, discrimination, they were all insignificant. I just wanted to be back in my body because no matter how magnificent the animal I now occupied was, nothing beats being able to think, express yourself, and create. Enjoy a home-cooked meal, share stories, and connect.

The eagle swooped down, and down and before it hit the ground, I woke up restless: checking if I had claws, a beak, or feathers. I was happy that where claws should have been, there were hands, a mouth instead of a beak, and skin instead of feathers. For the first time in a long time, I realized what a gift this body I occupied was. Something crackled. Was I still dreaming, or was Angel Lucifer calling? I breathed a sigh, it was just the Nairobi rain hitting my roof.


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image credit: alex zeng

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