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Based my denial of Hell upon its ubiquity here on earth. Holocaust, war, famine, corruption of power, & the entire chain of subtler, personal circles further diagnosed by Dante. The belief that Hell is so much with us, there’s no need to extend it after life. The recent dream, however, presented a different possibility. A woman propped up at the edge of a precipice, offering two bottles of wine, & then in a magic slight-of-hand hid one, possibly behind her back. When I got closer to the abyss to check around to see, I tottered in vertigo looking over the edge, suddenly entranced by the performance going on below.

The Beijing Opera Company (the dream said Peking) performing The Wandering of Souls! Stage set magnificent with trails & snow-topped peaks, valleys, lakes, & a huge, stone-carved fish (scales of the Carp of Good Fortune)? All, I assumed, constructed out of papier-mâché, or some other other-worldly material. The vastness of the cavern below accentuated by a lone Soul, head bowed, draped in a long, black cloak. Ancient poet wandering around the stage over the same winding paths composing interminably, (the only reason ever to want to wander again), what he’d wished to have accomplished during his Time allotted here on Earth.


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