When I was nine, my paternal grandmother died of cancer. She and I were close, so I dreaded the open-casket funeral. As it turned out, the experience was quite different from what I expected. I studied her made-up face with more curiosity than sorrow.
That’s not Grandma in the coffin, I thought. It’s just a shell.
The air was heavy with whispers, sobs, and the scent of flowers, but I sensed my grandmother hovering at the back of the room, watching us all. When my grandfather broke down in front of the casket, she rushed to his side, faster than those of flesh and blood could. This awareness of her continued presence made the whole event seem like a bizarre play. Unsure of my role in it, I said nothing of my impressions.
The next time I saw my grandmother was months later in a dream. She looked much the same as she had in life, though bliss appeared to have smoothed the minimal lines on her face. We sat together in a well-appointed bungalow, into which drifted the sound of waves crashing on a shore. We played cards and marble solitaire, and while we didn’t speak, our hearts communicated volumes. Love and peace enveloped me, but I knew our time together was brief.
Suddenly, she smiled at me, and I heard her thoughts. Come. I want to show you something.
We stepped outside where the sky glowed with the rosy hue of twilight. I followed her along a path of stones to a beach that seemed to stretch into infinity. Then I noticed the ocean and did a double take.
The water was golden and full of light. The waves crested, but instead of curving over, they extended–as though over a box–before colliding with the sand. My mind registered the image of a square, then a cube, and finally something like a hypercube (or tesseract) rotating on a single axis.
Abruptly, I awoke. I leapt out of bed, snatched a pen from my desk, and wrote in my dream journal: Grandma in a cottage at the beach. Square waves. Fourth dimension. In a daze, I climbed back into bed, burrowed under the covers, and fell asleep.
At nine years of age, I had no formal knowledge of geometry or physics. When I observed what I’d written the next day, the idea of a fourth dimension was foreign. But in the moment I emerged from the dream, it made perfect sense.
The fourth dimension holds meaning for mathematicians and metaphysicians alike. In geometry, a tesseract (made, in principle, by combining two cubes) is the four-dimensional analog of the cube, just as the cube is the three-dimensional analog of the square. In spiritual studies, the fourth dimension is linked to a higher frequency or vibration of energy, interpreted as the astral plane (the realm we enter during astral travel and at physical death). Apparently, we become conscious of it when beings from higher dimensions intersect with our three-dimensional reality.
Maybe my grandmother paid me a visit. Maybe I traveled via the astral plane to visit her. All I know is our first reunion was as beautiful and as deep as the shining waters she revealed.
This experience and others like it inevitably find their way into my writing. In The Novels of Ravenwood series, some of the characters are aware of other dimensions. They receive information through visions or dreams, sometimes from a loved one who’s crossed over. It’s historical romance with a dash of magical realism. Medievals with a hint of the mystical. I hope you enjoy Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf (soon to be released). I’m currently writing the third in the series, Shadow of the Swan.
Flight of the Raven is available now on Amazon. Click here!