i’ve alluded often in recent writings to ‘the dream of the blue dress’, a dream i dreamt about 2 months ago. clarissa and others might call this one ‘a big dream’ as it is one that seems to be so potent for me, one that seems to stick with me, to be working through me, to be so frequently returning to me as reminder.

in the dream, i am traveling with my husband to a retreat or convention of sorts, where we will be with persons we love in a setting i love. the retreat house is a lodge deep in the woods, so far removed that we must hike the last several miles after disembarking from the train, the only means of transportation to this remote place.

as i am packing to leave, mindful that i must carry in what i need, i have a strong desire to pack a royal blue and jet black dress. ‘just in case’, i say, just in case there is an occasion to wear it… a dance, a formal dinner… though these things seem unlikely in our setting, where my more comfortable flannel and hiking boots would be perfect. though illogical, i am compelled to pack it. i love this dress, the way i feel in it.

lo, on the hike in to the lodge, my pack is somehow dropped. at the lodge, realizing i have lost my pack, i have an omniscient vision of it, lying in the mud, being drenched by torrential rains. all that i have brought with me is ruined, unrecoverably so….

….. except the blue dress…

you see, it wouldn’t fit in my pack, so i was carrying it separately. now, i have no choice but to wear it, this dress that makes me feel beautiful, that makes me feel like dancing, that makes me feel like me!

as i have processed this dream, i have felt it both a dangerous and a hopeful one. there is this part of me that yearns to ‘wear’ the clothes of my own choosing, the ones that fit me well, and yet there is this sense that i am constantly being asked to wear something else. to fill the clothes of another’s choosing or expectation, ones that ‘fit’ my place in life. i seldom get to wear the blue dress…. perhaps only on ‘special’ occasions. i suppose there is a part of me that longs for some holy torrent to come along and innundate me, sweep away all that restricts me and ties me to other-expectations and role-duties (that, i admit, is the frightening part, and fills me with cautionary words such as ‘be careful what you wish for’). i have pondered how it is that i might wear this dress freely and without fear…

a few nights later, i dreamt i was in a boat on a quiet sea. the water was dark, but clear and deep. i could see clearly the floor of the sea. on it was lying, admidst the wreckage of a ship, a bed of phosphorescent royal blue eggs, waiting to hatch.

so often, this past year, i have had the sense that some part of me has been lying in wait, somewhere deep inside me, waiting its turn to rise, to speak, to become. i’ve spoken of it as feeling i’d made a contract with her 30-some years ago, that we would ‘do this thing’ whole-heartedly and committedly (mothering, i presume) and then it would be ‘our’ turn. i was so very young when i became a mother.

i have felt her pressing urgency, her demand that i keep my promise, her quickening and insistence to be born, her desperate seeking of an opening in my life…. and her drowning despair.

last night, i dreamt i was watching so many geese flying home. i was atop a ridge and had a sweeping vision of them, their v-shaped flocks and sweeping s-shaped curves through the highways of the sky. suddenly, the geese were caught up in an eddying stream, their graceful curving flights circling back time and again to the same place, getting no-where. finally, they returned to me, to this place where they would not survive the winter, would surely freeze to death.  i was drawn to prepare a place for them in my barn, a place where they might be kept warm to endure the long night, as i sat up all night with the young leader, helping her learn again to trust her instincts, to trust that she knows the way….

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