Carol A. Hand
Recently, I have been contemplating two recurring childhood dreams. They seemed to presage the bookends of my life choices. The first was always the dark one. The second was always light. I remember waking with deep foreboding from the first, and with a strange sense of joy and aloofness from the second.
In the first dream, I would awaken within a nightmare to find myself on a screened porch. It was the dead of night. Despite the darkness, I could see darker shadows pacing and sense the fearsome monsters growling and salivating just outside the screen. I couldn’t escape into the house, and I dare not open the screen door. I knew that the monsters could easily rip through the screen, but oddly, that never happened. Still, I was filled with immobilizing terror.
Then, I would suddenly awaken in the “real word” nestled in my bed. I pretended to be asleep as I lay there terrified with my heart racing, listening to the wooden steps and floorboards creak as if someone were coming ever nearer. Sometimes I would muster the courage to peek through a single squinted myopic eye only to see shadowy amorphous shapes surrounding me. Those hazy apparitions did nothing to calm my fears.
Thankfully, I would soon fall asleep again and another dream would follow. In the light of the dawn, I found myself standing on the top step of the stairway that led to my second-story bedroom in my childhood home. It would take courage to believe, but I suspected that if I really concentrated, I would be able to take flight. I raised my arms and lifted gently into the air, glided down the stairwell, through the open front door and into the world around me.
Once airborne, I realized I could control my flight with thoughts, one moment close enough to people on the ground to touch them (although I never did) or higher than eagles in the sky, able to gaze from afar at the world below. It was both exhilarating and lonely. I knew I could never land and be part of the scene below, whether near or far, unless I was willing to lose the magic of being able to fly.
But it seemed odd. Even when I was close, no one seemed to be aware of my presence.
The second dream never fails to remind me of Tao wisdom.
“The Tao person, detached and wise embraces all as Tao.” (Dreher, 1990, the Tao of Inner Peace)
Deep sorrow continues to touch my life when I look at the world today, both up close and from afar, but so does great joy. I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this here, but I suspect many people do see me as somewhat aloof. Perhaps I am, but I do care deeply about others. I just don’t want to lose the magic of being able to rise above confining darkness and fear. I have only ever wanted to be able to share what I see with others and learn what they see in return.
I want to thank all of my blogging friends for the chance to continue learning –
to see the world through many other eyes.
to sample great wisdom and beauty that brings sadness, joy, and hopeful yearning
as we soar together in ethereal skies.
Chi miigwetch (Ojibwe “thank you very much”) and blessings to all.