The woman tells me: “My cousin recently died in a car accident. Afterwards, I found her diary and read that she had had a dream that suggested she might die soon. She had been the daughter of a single mother, and when she was just five years old, her mother died. She herself was a single mother of a five–year–old daughter, who now lives with my cousin’s grandparents. She had expressed this wish in her diary ~ that should she die, her daughter would live with them.
We are Mayans. We watch and listen to our dreams. My grandfather is especially good at interpreting them. After we had buried my cousin , grandfather asked everybody to watch their dreams carefully. A week later we all got together and my grandfather asked for extraordinary dreams. Somebody had dreamt of a pot in which to cook tamales. The pot had screamed, “Use me! Use me!”
My grandfather asked around and discovered that a few days before her death, my cousin had bought a tamale cooking pot. She had not had time, though, to use it.
The question the family now discussed was: should we bury this pot with my cousin or not?
My grandfather examined the pot carefully. It was beautiful and expensive. Finally, he decided that a dead person had no need of a pot to cook tamales . . . .my grandmother should better use it!
Art by Kiki