January 18 2018 Clearwater Florida
I spilled coffee all over the blue sheets. I reached for the cup, but hand and spirit were not occupying the same space. I had just that moment come from a place both far away and as close as my skin. Such infinite dichotomies make it had to juggle coffee cups with unenlightened fingers.
I had sat with my mother in the dusty sand. She squatted close to the ground with the flexibility of a small child. Her soft white hair in curls hide her face but there was no mistake. It was her voice and mannerisms, and-her hurts. She easily dug a hole in the ground the size of my coffee cup with her hand. I watched the sand and the small pebbles pour out of her hands with a movement not of our time and space. The pebbles rolled soundlessly across a frictionless surface.
“Does being here make you happy or sad, Mom?”
“Sad.” She scooped the earth a bit deeper.
It was a “deep dream.” The rules of time and matter, life and death, are needless partitions in this realm of psyche. I replayed the dream in my mind. A faulty bit of rewinding to be sure. Information from this level tarnishes instantly in the light of ego.
I sat at a long dark wood table, not unlike those in the furniture stores I had frequented yesterday. This one was as long as it needed to be to seat all the family that assembled. The longer the dream, the longer the table. I stood with a gaggle of relatives in a vast open space.
“How about here?”
I had said, pointing to a flat area beside a cliff with no obstructions to the scenery.
“That’s where Mom lives, let’s sit here.”
I said, pointing to the white mountains to the west.
The view was extraordinary. Across miles of high desert vista were a trio of mountain edges. The front row of hills lay low and rounded in a dark blue grey tone. The back layer was all sharp edges. Ragged rocky peaks that would cut skin, all wrapped in mist and clouds sitting unreachable and unwavering in the background.
The soft white mountains rose up from behind the foreground and before the background. These were higher than the front range and smoother than then rough crags behind. The white mountains had lived in the world. Their sharpness had been polished by what had been given, and what had been given up. Pieces and chucks broken off and sanded down by experience, resilience and love.
Even from our far away perspective, I could see that light emanated from this mountain range. The high soft edges illuminated as a glow from a far-away window on a cold, dark night. The lofty elevations sought the sky. These are ascents too high and too steep for human feet. I imagined it was the light of the spirits who dwelled here. I imagined my Mother lived there too. Until, that is, I found her crouched right there by our family table in the ethers.
“I keep doing this.”
She said, as she dropped an effigy of herself and another of a divine being into the hole, covering it with dirt. Moments later as I watched, the sand and pebbles moved back and the statues were once again in her hand, and untouched by their journey into the ground. I watched this three times before I had to turn away. I was so profoundly sad that she would spend her days this way.
The trouble with light is that everything is illuminated and it is easy to lose focus on what is important. Suddenly, I was seated at the table with my siblings and other family members too numerous to be counted. It was a long table. I can tell you it was a walnut table with rustic finish because looking for furniture is “up” in my life right now. Maintaining focus is tenuous.
A drama was unfolding in subtle hues around the “dream table.” Some people seated there were actors in this life scene, others spectators, some critics. We were all quickly consumed by Act II of Human Behavior and Group Dynamics. The beautiful white mountain was glowing a harmonious pink shade of possibility and here at our table, we are hunkered down making big judgements about small points.
I was observer and actor in a vignette of my own life. It was an algorithm of souls dancing with constant variables. The date changes, the generations mix different equations but the product is the same. I witnessed the scene with an omniscient perspective. It was daunting. It was an invitation to destroy inherited and created coveted constructs of “life’s purpose.” It was a plea to create a life of freedom and creativity, while I can.
Is my Mother really stuck in that enactment of repeating bygones?
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
The constant burying and unearthing of people and events that should be dead, gone and composted. Is that her holy grail? I hope not. If so that is hers to sort out and she is more than up for the challenge. After writing this I am sure she came to remind me and I am grateful.
“To thine own self be true”-William Shakespeare
Today, these words of Polonius are pearls of wisdom by Shakespeare on living a good and balanced life.
Meaning of To Thine Own Self Be True
The Elizabethan era audience of Shakespeare was well aware of the meaning of his words, though in modern age, words like “Self” and “True” have different. In fact, this phrase implies multiplicity of meanings. The first meaning is that someone can better judge himself if he has done what he should or could have done. The second meaning is that one must be honest in his ways and relations. The third meaning is that one must always do the right thing. Finally, keeping in view the character of Polonius in the play, many scholars are of the opinion that ‘True’ meant beneficial; therefore, his advice to his son meant that he must think of his own benefit first
Photo Credit: Carol Martell, Kilauea Hawaii