|The name Susan (She-shen?) came to us from ancient Egypt|
“Do you remember her?”
“I remember something.”
Scenes like projections on a wall flickered into life in my thoughts, of love-illumined moments of intimacy sitting hand in hand with a female presence, who was like the breath of my being, the unattainable one that I had been searching for all my life.
Now, here, in the middle of chaos and disaster?
Maybe she had always been there.
Was this the one who had always been there like a view glimpsed from the corner of my eye, who vanished when I looked for her? Was this the woman in my mind - or at least the abstraction of femininity - whom I wished into scenes of sunsets and sunrises? The one who haunted my fantasies, the heart-catching image of Egyptian femalehood that I imagined framed in every darkened doorway to a temple, tomb or pylon? The one whose eyes I had seen in painted frescoes of ancient Egyptian beauties, especially the owner of this tomb?
In a sense this woman in the shadows of my mind was a more familiar companion than the dark-eyed wife who shared my everyday life because she was still there when I closed my eyes at night.
Was this intimation of a female essence an actual memory of someone I once knew, loved - a past wife?