cave of forgotten dreams

Dear great-great granddaughter,

Slipping out of bed in the early morning to be in the quiet of the house, alone, is a rare pleasure. Don is an early riser, an ‘up and at ‘em’ type who likes to hit the ground running. I prefer to ease my way into the day, to spend some languid hours being still, with cup of tea or coffee and nearby window with a view, writing, praying, continuing the evening’s dreaming. The quality of my writing is different somehow in these hours, I notice. It flows more readily, as if I am still connected by thicker strands to the richness of that otherland we go to in our sleep.

I awoke this morning with my granddaughter on my heart, and I realize how much I love her, how much I really do want to be near her.

That confuses things so much. When I was away last week with don, so many parts of myself came forth in the spaciousness of that set apart time and place, as if they are always present within me but crowded out typically by the demands of the roles I fulfill in my life. I tasted for a moment what my life might be like, given the space to explore and nurture those potentials within me, how I might express myself, live more authentically, given that kind of space and time. Oh, and it tasted phenomenal, akin to those first bites of bread and soup at the inn, the kind of flavor that makes your eyes roll back in your head and your chin lift, an orgasmic kind of flavor…

Pleasure. Surprisingly, I have been pondering that word of late. (I suppose it is one of the words that revealed itself in the spaciousness). So often I have noted in my life, but especially lately, that I don’t know how to ‘have fun’. I observe others dancing, laughing, playing unabashedly and I wonder how they do it, or if there is something broken in me that I cannot let loose in that way. I have been criticized for it too. And yet, last week there it was, in its more ‘grown up’ incarnation of the word, no doubt. Pleasure. From the delectable flavors that seemingly kissed my lips and tongue, to the stunningly soothing views that greeted my eyes, to the delightful smell of the sheets that caused me to smile and to sigh each time I rolled over in bed, to the sounds of the tumbling water that seemed to wash my spirit clean even as it filled me to the brim with joy, to the feel of don’s warm skin against mine, to the whole body experience of walking the frosty labyrinth each early morn in the surround of hemlocks and pines, I was awake in a way I haven’t often been.
My whole self was present. I suppose that is it. Simply myself. Unworried. Unanxious about the ‘next’ or the ‘who’ or the ‘why’. Undivided.

I simply don’t know how to hold all the pieces of me in one place at one time, without some parts getting crowded out. It seems when I tend to my creative self, my relationships suffer; when I tend to my relationships, my creative self dies. I can’t seem to hold them in balance and/or there is too much. I ponder the word sacrifice and its relationship to gift, but I can’t seem to be willing to let go of either in order to allow one to grow. I long for an abiding passion to overwhelm me so that the choice is seemingly taken from me, and I have no choice but to follow my bliss. My god, I even dream about holy torrents washing away all of my clothes, save the one blue dress I really long to wear.

Hmm… follow my bliss. How close are bliss and pleasure to each other? My anam-cara and I pondered how it might be for me to follow this newfound pleasure, spiritually, to let pleasure be akin to a cairn, marking the way. What a concept is that?

There is much to let go of in order to follow one’s bliss…. Big words like responsibility, relationship, judgment, obligation, and little ones like need, control, role, fear and duty. Family is some strange mix of bliss and duty. It’s so hard to sort out those threads.

An image has come to me since my time away of what it felt like to be in that place. I picture myself in a cave with tall walls, shaped something like a crock (or perhaps an inverted womb). There is a small pool of dark water on the floor of the cave. The pool is teeming with life and potential for life, and I am alone in that vast open space. The walls are thick, impenetrable to the harshness of the light outside, save for the small opening at the top, which allows me to see…at last. Those walls, I suspect, have protected this sacred space for some time. The potential to fill this space is mine, from those seeds of life teeming in me, like all those iridescent blue eggs lying at the bottom of the sea that I saw in my dream a few weeks ago.

The question, as always, is how to translate that vision into real life. Where is that cave? Those walls? And am I brave enough to enter it?…..

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M.C. Reardon

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