Gerhardie, William - Resurrection 09 - 2nd OBE
Type of spiritual experience
Bonzo has just died, but Gerhardie does not know this
A description of the experience
William Gerhardie - Resurrection
Faces at the bottom of the hill as I came wafting down. Whither, homing bird ? And who are you ?
I am the wind a-roving. So late. So light. I am the wind, the roving, the unsteady wind. O trees ! O woods ! Nature . . And so we'll go no more a-roving, so late into the night . Windy sunshine. An aeroplane buzzing up in the sky. Flying family. Flying nurse. Flying fools.
I tripped on all alone into the open field. Not a soul in sight. Such a lovely morning. I felt someone behind rne. I looked round. It was Bonzo. This implied insistence was somewhat frightening.
Whither, homing bird ? Why ' homing bird ' ? Because, he said, you are tied and we're free. He had a radiant look in his face, One of those looks he had when riding out on Dartmoor. Bonzo walked by my side. He said very little. But he led me as he was wont to do when we went out walking together, because Bonzo ' knew.' Even in an unfamiliar locality Bonzo claimed to know his way, and if not, based his deductions on some anterior knowledge. So I let myself be led. In the sunshine, in the grip of the outdoor spring, in the complete emancipation of my body, and untroubled by scepticism, it did not occur to me to regard Bonzo's sudden appearance as other than completely natural. We had each proected ourselves from our natural bodies, we let the facts speak for themselves, and said nothing. Only when turning a corner I noticed the thin ray of light which extended from me, fading away into bright dayligrht, I also noticed that Bonzo had no such little tail of light.
He seemed none the worse without it. He either knew about it, in which case my question was tactless, o the shock might frighten him, in which case it was not for me to tell him. Bonzo walked steadily at my side in the diffident, unpushful, mildly persevering way in which a man entertaining a celebrity walks home with him after lunch to introduce the celebrity to his tiresome family, to keep his promise to them. Thus we came to Bonzo's house in Woburn Square.
We neither rang nor opened the door. We walked straight in, walked up the steps to Bonzo's bedroom, and there we stood. There I stood by his side and together we looked down at Bonzo's body on the bed.
The man on the bed was not breathing. His eyes were closed, except for one lid which showed a fraction of the white of the eye. His lip was faintly curved baring his upper teeth. His hair was abundant and rather gold in the sun which looked in through the window and reminded me again that Bonzo had neglected to have it cut for some time.
The face on the pillows-looked little rnore than asleep, but it was a portion of his naked arm uncovered by the blanket which looked lifeless and told the truth.
The Bonzo at my side who looked at his double with an air of fastidious, almost quizzical dismay was the living Bonzo who would not insist on exposing rne to a harassing sight, and who as I expected touched me reassuringly on the shoulder and took me away. Upstairs on the bed lay the other Bonzo, solemn, his mouth tinged by suffering, whose spirit disported himself out of reach of that broken and abandoned wrist to which he would not return.