In some ways it's easier to communicate when you're alive. You have a voice, for instance. Hand gestures, facial expressions, these things lend themselves to relaying what you're trying to say, inasmuch as people are willing to listen.
There's the key. That's where you can really take advantage of having passed from human life. I always told everybody that I would come back as a dragonfly. Who knew that would really be an option? So, I make an appearance occasionally to remind the ones I love of who I am. This is SO much more effective. I could talk until I was blue in the face and my friends wouldn't listen. Let me die, and suddenly everything I say is golden. Why? Who knows? Who cares, really? I just take advantage of it.
At first it was ridiculous. For instance, I love Johnny Depp so they had to go rent every Pirates of the Caribbean movie ever produced. And, then cry. Who gives a rat's ass about that now?! Move on. I didn't even like them that much. Or if I did, I stopped once I crossed over. (Okay, maybe I liked Chocolat that much.)
A dear friend of mine has been struggling. I know it; he knows it. The world of fine arts has been turned on its ear and he couldn't navigate the new currents. The internet creeped into every aspect of the art world and suddenly anybody could be an artist at a minimal initial cost. We used to have to have several sets of slides created of our work, to send to galleries and festival promoters - professional slides. Nowadays, everything is submitted online, images are tweaked and the general expectation is much lower. The promoters are making money hand over fist on application fees alone with thousands of applicants. Why should they care any more about how the show runs? Suddenly, all loyalty to the artists who they had worked with for decades was gone, and a new generation of promoters and curators emerged. A somewhat colder, less involved group. We used to be a family of artists, all traveling on a circuit of festivals and galleries, running into each other periodically. Little by little my friends complained that they didn't know anybody any more; that the people they knew weren't there any more. I wasn't alive to see that shift happening; I could only watch from a distance.
I really wanted my dear friend to get in front of the change, though, and take advantage of the new opportunities. They were there, just in different places. The people who were familiar with the new world were the ones who would succeed. But, I had to start slow with him, at his level. He was at a street festival, so as a dragonfly I flew around his jewelry case, then popped out and landed on his foot. I sat there on his foot, slowly fanning my wings. He didn't seem startled or curious, even. He just watched me as I sat there. Eventually, he talked to me. He asked how I was doing, how I liked his art and his new designs. He gave me updates on some of our friends. Me talking to him was the challenge. I wanted to say, "I'm with you. We're going to make it through this together." Just to comfort him at first, then to kick him in the ass to get him moving.
Later, I had to move coins and such to get his attention. I would time my dragonfly appearances when I felt his thoughts were heading the right direction. Just, nudge him into facing the future - turn his head, little by little. Open up his mind to what he could do now, to the possibilities. For a long time he focused on what I had said before, back when we talked about the art world and how to make it. When I was alive, I would encourage him, but I would try to push him as well, to apply to more festivals and galleries. To pay the extra amount for the professional photography because that made all the difference. All of that may have been true then, but times have changed and it's not all true any more. It's difficult to make people change, to see things from a new perspective – especially when they've been doing something so long. In some ways it's easier for me now, though. (Now that I'm no longer among the physically alive.) Why the hell people listen to the dead more than the living is beyond me. I know that's the way it is though, so when I can communicate with him now, everything I say has that much more value.
I don't know how much longer I can do this. I've used twenty dragonflies to channel me so far. I'm a little tired – a spirit kind of tired, not a physical one. I feel like I need to stay around to see my friend through just a little more, but part of me feels like I need to move on. Like, maybe I'm the one who is trying to cling to the past. I keep getting the feeling that I've almost broken through, like I've almost made him hear me... and then I'm back to where I started. Maybe I'll try a wasp. To sting him. Just to take my frustrations out, and for no other reason. I might do that, but no, I won't go anywhere. I'm with him... still with him.