This blog is copied from The Journal of Dreams. One of seven journals to be published after the painting’s release. The Journal of Dreams begins in July 1998 after awakening from deep sleep July 13Th, 1998 and realizing night was filled with dreams of The Revelation Painting.
July 12Th, 1998
Today is my mother, Mary Ann’s birthday. She seemed somewhat sad earlier on the telephone talking about a project she was working on and asked for my help. I obliged knowing it would be a futile effort this time as it had been for the past 10 years. She had been tied up working feverishly on Spindletop, Texas and her belief our family was the original owner of that land. Although we had been down the road to Spindletop many times in the past, I felt obligated to help her, to give her hope in her desolate life deep in the West Virginia mountains.
She is a very skillful, self-taught painter but has lost her desire to paint in the past years becoming consumed by isolation and depression. I remembered her telling me once that when my youngest sister left home, she would have no reason to continue life. My sister had moved out some time before. When my mother said that, I gazed deeply into her blue eyes for any sign of untruth and it was not there. She was telling me that she would die of loneliness whether from a broken heart or suicide, it was clear that she was serious.
Whether the Spindletop endeavor was a delusion or not, Mary Ann was my mother and not only did I know what she meant by stating she would have no reason to continue life, I knew that making Spindletop would create a kind of child in the house she so longed for and it would ultimately save her life. Nearly everyday I called her and talked about Spindletop and the information I had found in the libraries, Internet, and other sources. I kept her busy and that kept her alive.
There were three things that would fire up passion in my mother; Spindletop, talking about her paintings, and asking her to relive the story of her death when she was twelve years old. We had talked about Spindletop for months, then months became years, and for some reason, perhaps because it was her birthday, today the topic was shifted to “the story” of her death at twelve. Although I had heard the story many times growing up, each time it was retold and relived was like the first time.
This is the seed of The Revelation Painting and I am convinced of that beyond any doubt. When Mary Ann told the story of her death in such artistic detail and emotion it was like I had been beside her and saw every detail. I asked my mother to tell me the story and she eagerly agreed. Her voice softened as she began to remember, like the humble and respect of being given another chance at life. Her voice was as it had been when I was a child and she was about to tell me something about life that demanded full attention. She began to speak.
“It happened when I was twelve years old. I was laying beside my mom in the bed when all the sudden I felt like I couldn’t breathe. No air would move in or out, I was suffocating! I tried to move and I couldn’t, I tried to yell out to my mother and I couldn’t. I was going to die and I knew it. I was afraid and began to panic. My heart was pounding, my eyes were wide open and just when I thought I could not take it anymore a feeling of calm came over me. My eyes closed and I didn’t have to breathe any longer.
The room became bright. I sat up and I looked for the source of the light to find shiny, golden stairs at the foot of the bed, illuminated and so clean. The stairs were long, so long that I couldn’t see the top of them. Something made me go to them, I had to see where they went and I knew I was supposed to walk up them. Upon stepping on them and walking up it was like I didn’t have to try, almost like floating. My feet touched them but I didn’t breathe hard, I don’t think I had to breathe anymore.
When I got to the top, there was a man dressed all in white standing before a beautiful pearl gate. His skin was golden. Not a white man, not a black man but something between like golden brown. He had piercing green eyes but his face was friendly, I knew he would not hurt me, he glowed of love and peace. The gate was closed but I could see through. The floor was shiny like glass and the glare of the shine was so brilliant I could not see if it was translucent or any color, it was just so shiny clean like the glare on glass.
All of the sudden the man said: “Where have you been?” in a startling voice! I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what he meant, I hadn’t been anywhere. I didn’t answer, he opened the gate and said in a hurried voice: “Hurry up, he’s been waiting for you!” I felt as though I had to hurry and stepped through the gate. He said: “You shouldn’t keep him waiting.” I remember thinking: “Who?”, but then my attention was drawn to so many people to my right side dressed all in white. A feeling of love, warmth and happiness overwhelmed me.
I tried to see their faces and although I knew them, I couldn’t see their faces. I knew that they loved me and were happy to see me. Hundreds of people and I could feel their love. I don’t know how long I stood there when the man said: “Come this way, he is waiting.” We walked to a door which I was compelled to push open and when I did, the brightest light I had ever seen nearly blinded me. I knew that if I wasn’t supposed to be there the light would have blinded me and I wasn’t afraid.
There was a man…something like a man I think. The light was so bright I was unable to make him out. His face was so bright it was impossible to see his eyes, or nose or mouth. Suddenly he began to speak and it was like thunder! I still was not scared though. His voice spoke every language at the same time but I was able to hear my language. It sounded like a creek flowing, like bubbles on the rocks…ploop, plop, doop, doop. He said: “Where have you been, I have been waiting for you?”
I told him I was with my family, my mother and he said it was my time now, I had to come with him. Feeling afraid I told him I wanted to go back to my mother and he said I had been bad. It was time for me to come with him. I tried to think how I had been bad and couldn’t think of what I had done but somehow know I had done something. I started to cry and pleaded with him to let me go back to my family. He said: “I will let you go but remember I will come for you like a thief in the night, you will not know when!”
He continued to say not to tell anyone about this until I was 18 years old. He said: “You will have three chances.” I started to ask what he meant by “three chances” and his voice became very loud and he said: “Run, run now before I change my mind!” All I thought was to run and run fast! As I was running through the door he said: “You will have three chances” and started to laugh. I continued to run through the door, past all the people and down the stairs back to the bed lying beside my mother and I didn’t tell anyone what happened.
When I try to remember back to what happened after I made it back to the bed I can’t remember anything. You are the first I told about it and I was much older than 18 before I told the story. When you were a baby and I looked in your eyes, I knew you were different. Your eyes scared me, but I don’t know why, like a bottomless pit. I don’t know what the dream meant but I know that you are different and you always have been. I knew it since the day you were born and I looked at your eyes.”
In West Virginia millions of stars light the sky at night. Within them lives imagination and something comforting. Oddly enough Mary Ann lives where a creek babbles the words only she can hear. She doesn’t talk about what she hears at night in those dark, dark mountains of West Virginia where the absolute sounds of silence are often times as loud as thunder and the thunder drowns out the sounds of life and the living. Sometimes when I visit, in the middle of the night she says: “Let’s go outside and lay on the picnic table and look at the stars.”
Mary Ann is changing, or maybe she changed long ago. When a child leaves home for a time and returns everything is different. I never realized that during star-gazing with my mother there are voices within a creek flowing less than 20 feet away. West Virginia is known as “almost heaven” oddly enough. I can’t say that I have ever heard the voice of God talking to me in all languages through the bubbling and babbling crystal clear waters or that I ever realized it was just us three; Mary Ann, me and God.
Little do I know why my mother fears my eyes, it is disturbing. Her cracking voice of memory tells me that the fear of God she has within her is tied to the piercing, green eyes of the gatekeeper at the top of the stairs the day she almost lost her life. It makes perfect sense to me. I have a feeling my eyes remind her of him and she struggles with mixed emotions of fear and love. Somewhere along the line I realized that I am one of the three chances she was offered in lieu of life, and that this painting is what she molded me my entire life for through the story of heaven and God, art and imagination.
Could it be that my mother was spared to become the messenger and her destiny was changed for the greater good of the world? Everyone ponders existence, especially their own and when trying to see what my mother’s existence was for, I see The Revelation Painting. When I ponder my own existence, I see the massive painting, and feel the warmth of light and energy, and know that I am one of the “three chances”. Although still unsure of the three chances and what it truly means, I am sure that I am a valuable part of it. There are five children, 3 sisters and 1 brother. Three of us were born one year apart, the others some time later. Could it be that the 3 born a year apart are the chances? Time will tell.
July 13Th, 1998 …to be continued…
Addendum: Mary Ann died in 2006. She walked the stairs and once again met the Gatekeeper and this time she did not come back.