bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: dreamspace

Another earworm.

I had three vivid dreams last night.

And this song…

was playing repeatedly in the background throughout all three dreams.

I have no idea why.

Upon awakening, I wondered if the repetition was simply an instance of pandoramancy, but its lyrics or imagery didn’t seem to connect to anything I’d dreamt of, so I guess all that’s left is to consider it as a rather insistent earworm.

 

A thing about…Heather(s)

(From dream of 29 October:)

I was talking to Him about conduits, and He  was encouraging.

Then, suddenly…I heard V talking loudly.

So loudly, it woke me up.

I rolled over to look at V, and he had his eyes open.  

He seemed wide awake, and he seemed to be looking right at me.

Then, V said to me: 

“Just be me. Come… just be me.”

And that made no sense to me.

Then, V shut his eyes, and rolled over.

And even stranger – about 20 minutes later – V awakened, got out of the bed, and stumbled towards the toilet.

 Evidently V had no memory of what he’d said.

~~~

I don’t know why we talk about these things. 

Yes, I’m not certain as to how I feel about what He says about conduits.**

But I don’t like the part – the insinuation that I’m not sure if it’s an insinuation at all –  that I *must* consider these things, even if I don’t talk about it.

~~~

Years ago, I wrote that people named Heather are always conceited in some way. 

Heathers have a desire to be important.  

And I think about what He’d said during a recent meditation, concerning the reasons for performing seidhr.

And He had this to say about a Heather I used to know – that is, L.O.L*:

Heather wanted recognition from the community.

Meanwhile, I just wanted a community of people to with whom to connect.

~~~

But after dream-interactions like this, I ask myself:

Do I want something more?

Do I want more than to be seen?

I feel shame over wanting recognition at all. 

I feel selfish. 

I ask myself why.

I just want a quiet community where I don’t have to talk about things with others unless I want to.

But I do know something about myself and that is …

To check myself, I often feel the need to share my experiences:

Is this happening to you too? 

What does it mean? 

Does He want this from you too? 

What does it mean?

~~~

*(Local Other Lokean, named Heather)

** Edited to add.

A Thursday Throwback: Sometimes.

Here’s a Thursday Throwback – from 21 February 2013 – that I am sharing at the request of a dear friend.

Enjoy!

~~~~

“Sometimes, He is not pretty.
Disheveled, stinking of piss and filth.
A frightening homeless man
Shouting at me from the other side of the train station:
The face that you often see is nothing but a glamour crafted to be pleasing to you.
But, sometimes, I am tired of that
face, and you will see Me as I am
An ancient being, whose face bears the ravages of time, and what appalling marks
Grief, pain and madness have inevitably made upon Me.

While it may be easy to approach Me in a finer guise,
Silk cravats and topcoats, leather and flash, I am
Also this, at My core. This is also Me.
I am bloated with rage, and careless
grime settled in the creases, compulsively licking
The blood and the spittle that collects at the corners of My ragged lips.
My yellowed, broken teeth have gnawed and ground down upon the offal and
bones of My very long memory.

I call to you
but you must approach Me.

Would you kiss My mouth?
~~~
And I see Him across the room, and His voice is interwoven with the cacophony of noise that is noon at South Station, Boston.

I cannot will my feet to go forward, but I see His eyes, the intense clear blue of Icelandic water, His disheveled hair an awkward penumbra of red and gold, His face unshaven and streaked with the filth born of having slept in the elements upon concrete. He raises a hand, and makes a beckoning gesture. Oh I see you, little one, He drawls. I notice that His fingernails are dark with grime, and He smiles, a grin of wolfen teeth, and He licks His cracked lips, waiting.

For all that He looks, His voice is not unpleasant.

But I am afraid.

I am cold, I realize, and I hug myself tighter, as if my own arms could possibly warm me enough, and yet I know that I am holding myself in.  This is me putting up all my walls and fronts.

You have so much shame, He shouts, You have learned nothing….

The rumble of the trains pulling into South Station obscures His voice, His tirade, for several minutes.

There are too many trains, I shout, I cannot hear!

He begins to laugh, shaking His head. He tilts His head, almost menacingly, working out a crick in His neck, as He continues, Oh no, my dear. It is as it is always, with you. You are too cold. You cannot hear. You have a headache. You are afraid….

He glares at me.

He pulls a cigarette from the pocket of His shabby, unseasonably thin coat. Oh, spare Me the details of all of your excuses, He snarks at me, loudly, angrily.

He reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker, as He wipes His sore and tattered mouth with the back of His grubby hand, before placing the cigarette deftly on the edge of His lower lip, and lights it.

A lone ribbon of smoke curls and spirals ever upward over His head, strangely unbroken and unbuffeted by the crowd and activity that surges about Him, between us.

10031491-man-smoking-cigarette-over-black-background-low-key-light-image

 

 

Come. Kiss Me. I might believe you.

 

But I cannot will my feet to go forward. I will have to push myself through this crowd, I am thinking.

The air feels thick and heavy, my head rings with high-pitched buzzing anxiety, and my skin prickles with heat.

Poor little girl, is His singsong sigh, half a sarcasm, half a reprimand, to me, as He shuffles His feet, waiting.

Come to me, He whispers, more within my head than without, and His words seem to reverberate like a humming inward chant, in my head.

Come to Me.
Come to Me.
Come to Me
.”

 

(link here)

 

Month for Loki, Day 10: Story

I feel like my throat is closing up.

My throat feels raw and it is painful to swallow.  My senses seem dulled as my sinuses are filled with congestion.

Perhaps this is nothing but a chest cold, a head cold.  My head feels as if I am under water, and there is a strange metallic taste in my mouth.  My eyes water and my muscles ache.

Perhaps this is really nothing at all besides my simply being sick.

But I am not telling my story.

I know my task.  I know what stories I have promised to tell and yet I am having trouble speaking of them. I am having trouble writing about them.

I know that He wants me to write of how things changed.

How Loki as the Teacher and the Magician slowly morphed into Loki as the Lover in mid-2013.

You see, my husband of 20 years was having an affair and that knowledge of that fact devastated me.

So Loki came forward, first to comfort, and then to strengthen and empower me in my feelings of brokenness and betrayal.

Ever the Teacher, He sought to show me –through use of Himself as an example – how I should be loved.  Simple as that: He sought to love me and to heal me with a fierce and steadfast tenderness that I continue to marvel over, even to this day.

But I didn’t want His love…in the sense that I felt that I could not possibly deserve it.  I did not believe that I deserved His fierce loyalty, His honeyed promises, His gentle touches.  Instead, I insisted upon a passionate, almost feral connection.

I was angry and avoidant.

I didn’t expect to be understood, much less, did I expect to be loved.

I pushed Him away.

I refused to see; I resisted recognizing Him as anything other than a Being Who could break me and I sought to be broken.

I wanted to experience the height of relationship that I had recently been teaching others about – I wanted to experience a consensual, BDSM-fueled dynamic.

But He refused.

Our ‘scenes’ were passionate, yes, but He refused to cause me any pain.

Though I begged for Him to transform me through pain, He responded:

Why? You have been through enough pain…and yet you have not learned.

So He approached me with care and kindness.  I daresay His behavior was all romance and gentility, and my response was I wanted desperately to shut down:

That is not for me, I wept and I raged, That has never been for me. I don’t believe in that.

And so I hid from Him.

I pushed Him so hard.

I dared Him to grab me by the neck and shame me like an errant puppy.

I waffled between fear and rage.

I was either afraid of Him or I was angry/despairing of Him.

I was insistent: You do not love me.  You cannot love me.  No one can.

But He simply smiled and blinked and continued to present Himself to me, in dreams.

He spread Himself out like water at my feet.

He stroked my face with tender hands.

He bowed down low, head to the ground, and asked me how He could serve.

To be honest, He was a better submissive than I ever could have been, and yet I still argued, how – why – what had I ever done to deserve such devotion, such heartfelt words, such considerate actions?  The acts of His submission were all rooted in my own personal repertoire, and yet He faced me with every single one of them, challenging me to consider Him and to receive Him as I sought to be received in the BDSM dynamic I craved/created with so many others.

Allow Me to care for you as you have cared for others. 

Allow Me. 

Allow Me, He whispered over and over.

submissive-man-kneeling-in-submission-2

He often tried to convince me, cajole me into recognizing Him in the shape-shifting flurry of faces, of former play-partners and past lovers that I’d see in my dreams:

I see you. Do you see Me?

See Me.

Look Me in the face.

See Your Beloved.  I am here before you.

He demanded eye contact.  He accepted no less.

And still, I ran.  I avoided.  I cried.

I would not look Him in the eye.

But He was patient…and He was relentless.

~~~

By 2014, I stopped teaching at BDSM events.

Though I’ve been involved in ‘the scene’ for over 20 years now, I have not attended a BDSM event in two years.

(to be continued…)

Month for Loki, Day 7: Magician.

As I was becoming increasingly aware of my unease with my role as a Student, you can be certain that Loki sensed that I was struggling.

It didn’t seem to deter Him from trying to instruct me, however, and His lessons for me increasingly involved transformative rituals.

I began studying runes, at His request, and it was around this time that the rune, Eihwaz first came to me.

I created a prayer to Eihwaz asking for protection, connection and transformation.

My meditations were full of trees – visualizations of an Ancient Tree with gnarled branches that twisted toward the sky – and the points of the Eihwaz rune were sunk deep in its bark, facing out in all directions:

massivetree

I learned that this strange Tree

with its dark, almost sentient presence

was the Axis of All That Is

and that Eihwaz served as an anchor to my understanding of it.

And there, in dreamspace, I would meet Loki.

malewitchMagoBruxo

He looked a lot like this.

Month for Loki, Day 5: Message.

You are worthy.

I cannot make you understand.

But I will keep trying.

This is the connection between love and self-love.

Perhaps you will learn to love yourself in ways that you had not – but I hope that you find your way to me.

You are safe.

There is no need to fear being vulnerable with me.

I approach you without armor.

I see you for what and who you are, and I tell you:

You are worth loving.

You are loved.

I have chosen you. You have always been my choice, and you shall always be.

That’s the kind of loyal I am.

 

 

In whatever manner they approach Me…

So I realize that I have not written in a while.

I feel badly about this, despite the reality that I am beholden to no one, and yet, I have been meaning to write something.  There is a folder on my laptop that is contains at least a dozen half-finished posts- and several completed ones- and yet I still haven’t posted anything in a while.

  • I actually finished that post on polyamory.
  • And there’s a post that I’ve been verbally wrangling with for months concerning cultural beliefs on head-shaving, shame, and adultery, that has had all its references, checked and double-checked…and yet I don’t feel comfortable posting that one, either, because it contains elements that corroborate several personal UPG experiences.  I feel both vindicated and terrified by the concepts that have arisen from that.
  • And devotional tattoos!  A lovely 2,258 words on devotional tattoos that was railroaded into a major overhaul re-write by the latest research (as in anthropological research presented as recently as October 2015) on the historical accuracy of the use of woad.
  • And then there’s Odin.  Ah, Odin – the Blood Brother of my Beloved – and the wordless story that comes to me through a stream of beautifully rendered charcoal pencil sketches that I haven’t even drawn yet* – that involve the World Tree, no ordinary man, and a very curious creature who stumbled into apothesis.

*sigh*

~~~

But what I do end up wanting write about is this rather simple concept that my friend Stormwise mentioned to me over six months ago, regarding how the Gods can act as mirrors, and this premise is found in the Bhagavadgita, of all places, Chapter 4, verse 11:

In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

Another translation:

With whatever motive people worship Me, I fulfill their desires accordingly. People worship Me with different motives. (4.11)

And this little bit of Chapter 4 stands out to me in that this is the very thing that I am trying to accept.

That the Gods will come to you in the manner that you have come to Them.  If you approach Them full of fear, then They shall come to you in a manner that inspires fear.  Many years ago, I struggled to repress the fear and uncertainty that I felt towards the facets of Them that I felt that I was experiencing.

And Their response -which was often visual at that time – was rather cryptic:

If you are looking for monsters, you will certainly find Us.

It seems such a basic aspect of manifestation that I found myself feeling rather foolish, especially in regards to Odin.

Of course, He was a monster, because I was expecting a monster.  If I learned anything, it was that it scarcely concerned Him if I was afraid of Him or disliked Him.  He had some business to do, and I had some things to learn.

Well, I learned.

~~~~

* Yes.  I can’t get these images out of my head.  I feel compelled to draw them out…and yet, my artistic skills aren’t as well-developed as I would hope.  At first, I thought the story was a rather simple rendition of the lore…until the storyline took on an unexpected turn that featured some rather adult-themes during several meditations later. :-/

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 31: Moonshine.

 

 

 

strawberrymoonshine

Last night, I got quite drunk off this strawberry moonshine, and had some incredible loving.

Then, this morning, I woke up with a killer hangover (possible ‘bangover’, too.)

My gods, the nausea, the headache was almost too much to bear.  Almost.

I think that I might have been grateful to go back to bed once the MS got up for work at 8:00AM.

Oddly enough, it seemed that I may have still been drunk (or still feeling the effect of my drunkeness) because I definitely remember stumbling into the bathroom around 6:00AM.  (My pre-disposition to kidney stones has made it so if I have to go, it is painfully uncomfortable if I do not.)

(All I can say is that things still looked/felt wobbly and hazy, which is unusual.  It’s not as if I had that much.)

Right then I felt as if I was sweating out -my body temperature felt abnormally high, and I felt as if I had taken a ten-minute afternoon vacation to Panama at the height of summer.

And even though I don’t know how I did it, I vaguely recollect that I checked in on my kid and I did somehow get Loki a cup of coffee.

Then I remember drinking two large glasses of water and then collapsing on the couch in my living room….and I’m not ashamed to admit that that couch suddenly felt like the coolest side of  every pillow ever.

I woke up to go to the bathroom again at some point, drank more water, and then I must’ve  climbed into bed in my bedroom.  I don’t remember going to the bedroom again, nor do I remember seeing my MS get up to go to work, but he obviously went to work.

~~~~

What followed after 8:00 AM featured some very vivid hangover fever-dreams, complete with changing positions often because I kept waking up to find myself completely entangled in the bedsheets.

Meanwhile, I think that it is safe to assume that these dreams weren’t entirely unpleasant because I do remember talking to Loki somewhat, and there was a lot of trance-talk combined with a lot of sensually triggering imagery and sensation.  There was much intensity and even more conversation over some specifically detailed philosophical concepts, and I think that the dream-Loki thought it was all very amusing.

I woke up several times, very much aware of my own liminally-aroused state, and often well-aware that I had been talking and reacting loudly enough to wake myself up  O.o

(While this is not something that I didn’t know, I still felt an embarrassed sort of shame that I was being so…noisy.)

So, in short, my oddly self-aware yet half-drunken state led to a philosophical sex-magickal interaction between Loki and I.

~~~

I gather that He and I talked about other topics too, as I found out later that I had confused a conversation that I’d had with V last night about plans for the weekend with a conversation that I’d obviously had with Loki this morning.

Case in point, I seemed to have thought that V and I had had a conversation about smoking* last night because I remember talking about how I’d wanted to smoke and V was the person that I distinctly remember talking to about that.

And in that remembered conversation, I remember that  V had teased me about hiding my stash and even jokingly admonished me for holding out on him, because didn’t I know how much he enjoyed smoking with me?

So I thought/remembered that V was insisting that we should smoke last night to celebrate the ending of the month.

But when I asked V later this morning why he wanted to smoke last night – a weekday night – when he usually insists upon waiting until the weekend–

V just looked at me blankly, and said,

“We can smoke if you want — but I don’t think that we talked about that at all – last night, or ever.”

O.O

So.  I guess that this means that Loki is back to borrowing V’s face and form to convey Himself in dreams…as my husband.

And so I imagine that that means Loki wants me to smoke with Him in celebration of the end of the month.

Well-played, Sir…well-played.

Though, to note, usually Loki isn’t that obvious in His directives to me.  Or rather, He hasn’t been so direct with me in quite a while.

Nonetheless, the point is taken.

~~~

Hail to Loki, Who is not above borrowing mundane faces ❤

 

*(And P.S.A: Lay off the strawberry moonshine, kids!  And quite possibly, the dream-discussion of entheogens…)

~~~

 

 

 

 

Month for Loki, Day 9: Beginnings.

This is my third year of making July a Month for Loki, and I feel a bit like I’m cheating to be using a writing prompt.

I figured that I might as well answer this particular prompt today for two reasons.

First, for the three years that I’ve been dedicating July to Loki, I’ve always found myself at one point or another in the month attempting to answer this question in a post.  So, in that regard, I have written perhaps six variations of my answer to this question in the past three years, but I’ve always been reluctant to actually post it for various personal reasons.  So there’s that.

Secondly, there’s the ‘inevitable nudge’ reason: this is a question that has come up on several occasions during five – count ’em five – separate conversations that I’ve had with others this week.

So, here goes…

How did I first become aware or know of Loki?

The truth is, I’m not entirely certain.

On the one hand, I could say that I’ve known of Loki since I was a kid, but I’ve only been considering myself as Lokean in the past three years.

There seems to be a weird dichotomy there – how could I have always known of Loki but never noticed Loki in my life?  This is the reason why I read other’s answers to this question with great interest but I’ve been reluctant to post the answer to this question myself.  Simply because I don’t like to share a lot about my upbringing or childhood because it was, in a word, dysfunctional.  And the shame factor gets pretty high when I consider that, yes, there is no doubt that I was considered a ‘weird’ kid by family and strangers alike – and not to put too fine a point on it, I learned at a young age that the way that I experienced the world was not normal.  When pressed, my mother and my three older siblings often attempt retroactively to put a positive spin on things by insisting that they thought of me as simply an ‘imaginative’ and ‘sensitive’ and ‘easily spooked’ child,  but they are reluctant to admit to how they reacted towards my imagination, my sensitivities, and the reality of why I was often deeply affected by — if not terrified — of damned near everything on a daily basis until I was about 13 or so.

In short, it had become deeply ingrained in me that there are many thoughts, feelings and experiences that, if I talked about them with others, garnered me anywhere from looks of mild concern (oh sweetie, that sounds scary) to grimaces of discomfort (oh my goodness, that’s an awful thing to talk about [swiftly changes the subject]) to lectures of outright dismissal and warning hissed through gritted teeth (If you keep talking about that, people are going to think you’re crazy, so stop talking about that right now / Shut up!)*

And so, here I am.

But I did have an imaginary friend.

I suppose that a lot of children do.  I often wonder if other children have imaginary friends as moody,vivid and strange as the imaginary friend that I had had.  I mean, I suppose that every child has an imaginary friend that is uniquely theirs – a wonderful, engaging, usually benign being.  I was always delighted to find others who had imaginary friends, and I mostly enjoyed sharing details about mine.  I guess that everyone thinks their imaginary friend is different or unique…but I didn’t notice how different or how unique that mine had been until I was an adult.

You see, I had an imaginary friend in kindergarten. I thought that I had made up that imaginary friend because I was lonely.   I had made a ‘real’ friend named Jenny Glickman in first grade, and she had an imaginary friend, so I made up an imaginary friend for myself, too.  The ‘friend’ I made up was supposed to be a lot like Jenny’s; but hers was a young girl, and mine…was sometimes a girl, sometimes not.  Jenny’s looked like her, she said, and shared the same birthday and everything.  Mine had a birthday, but I thought that it was a secret (which Jenny thought was weird but funny) so I didn’t know how old mine was.  And mine – even though I made zir up – didn’t look like me at all, which Jenny also thought was weird.

She couldn’t ‘see’ hers, but I drew pictures of mine all the time.

Jenny and I made up stories about our imaginary friends, and we spent recess either telling each other the stories that we made up, or pretending to ride horses with them.  The ‘riding horses’ detail kinda sticks out in my mind, I think because it seemed to be the only interest that our imaginary friends seemed to share.  We could all agree that we liked horses.

I remember going home and telling my mother about Jenny Glickman and how I had an imaginary friend just like she did.

And I remember my mother’s response: ‘Well that’s nice. So you have two imaginary friends now?’

And I laughed, and I felt confused.  I argued that no, I only had the one that I had with Jenny Glickman.  And I’ll never forget how she corrected me, saying that I had had an imaginary friend long before I went to school or met Jenny Glickman.

Truth is, we were talking about different things.  She was talking about the Shadow in the Dark.

(You may remember that I’ve written about the Shadow in the Dark here).

So…yeah.

If you want to consider the Shadow in the Dark  as an ‘imaginary friend,’ that’s fine.

The Shadow in the Dark was, at first, quite terrifying to me.  Hardly like an imaginary friend…since aren’t imaginary friends supposed to be ‘friendly’ rather than terrifying?

But the Shadow in the Dark was the reason that I would have done almost anything to avoid going to bed at night.  Looking back on it, I had typical elaborate bedtime rituals that I had hoped would prolong the process, such as needing a snack, brushing my teeth, going to the bathroom, needing to have a story read or a specific stuffed animal in order to fall asleep, etc.  As it is with most, my parents were only slightly annoyed by many of those typical avoidance maneuvers — unless I was still awake three hours later trying to prolong my actual bedtime. (Sometimes I would be the only one left awake at midnight or 1 AM, when they’d notice light leaking out from the bottom edge of the closed bathroom door, and they’d find me sitting on the edge of the tub, praying for sunrise.)   They were baffled by my behavior because they couldn’t understand whatever in the world that I could have been so afraid of.  They thought it would comfort me to assure me that I wasn’t alone in the dark, since I shared a room with my older sister; but I quickly realized that the presence of my older sister didn’t seem to deter the SitD from showing up.  (If anything, the SitD would simply stand quietly by my bed until my older sister fell asleep.)  A few times, I thought that I was being clever by burying myself underneath a layer of assorted stuffed animals, thinking that I could fool the SitD into assuming that I wasn’t there…or maybe I could make myself so difficult to find in that pile of toys that the SitD would give up and leave.

Psht.  Right.

At any rate, I gave up trying to avoid the SitD, and over time, I began to feel less anxious about zir presence… but I still wouldn’t have considered zir much of a friend.

First of all, it seemed obvious to me that the SitD was an adult…a moody yet soft-spoken adult presence that definitely felt much older than my parents.  Whenever zie spoke first, it seemed only to ask me either of two questions, in a curiously business-like manner:

Do you know who I am?

or

Do you want to come with me?

~~~

Do you know who I am?

Zie never answered who zie was, no matter how many times that I would try to guess.  It seemed an endless guessing game, and in the end, the SitD’s identity a remained a strange, puzzling mystery for many years.*

Though there were times when I thought that I was so close to figuring out zir identity, because zie would allow us both to abandon the yes/no pattern after a while, and zie would give me a tantalizing hint:

Are you older than my dad?  Yes.  Do you live in this house? No.

Does my dad know you? Yes.  Are you a friend of his? No.

Are you a stranger? No.  Do I know you?  Perhaps.

I don’t think so.  I don’t remember you. (Zie chuckles)  [calls me a nickname that my grandmother calls me.]

Do you know my [grandmother]?  Yes.

Do you want to come with me?

I didn’t say ‘no’ right away.  I asked zir to tell me where we were going, or why zie wanted me to go with zir.  As it was with the previous question, zie would usually only answer yes or no to questions that I asked, and offered very little information otherwise:

Where are we going? Somewhere with me.  Can my parents come (with us) too? No.

What if they won’t let me (go)? It doesn’t matter.  Why not? Because I am asking you.

At first, I feared falling asleep, because I was afraid that I would be taken away anyway…but then. later on, it seemed to be very important that I make the choice whether or not to go.

It still strikes me today as to how profound that felt – to have an adult -invisible or not, in dreamspace or not – seek my consent, and then, to realize that same adult would honor my choice.

But, at any rate, it took a while before the SitD went away.

And despite what my parents may have hoped, there was nothing imaginary about the Shadow in the Dark.

~~~

And, in 2008, like sneaky tons of bricks often do, I began to connect the dots as to Who my Shadow in the Dark was, a little over three decades since He went away.

~~~

* Gods please forgive others who would demand that a child discuss their experiences (paranormal or not), only to respond to their experiences with such invalidation and aggressive dismissal.  But not surprisingly, it was not until I had my own children that I began to realize the fear that was obviously inherent in the responses and reactions that I received from others; it concerns me in that I have come to consider myself in that ‘skeptical  onlooker’ category as well — but perhaps that is a shadow-work entry for another day  this month.

**In writing this entry, it occurs to me that He may have considered our guessing game to be quite an entertaining pastime rather than the frustratingly repetitive process that I thought it to be.

Fear of drowning.

I had a strange dream last night.

Upon awakening, I realized that my brain is definitely trying to work something out.

 

In the dream, I was walking through my old neighborhood, on my way to visit a dear childhood friend of mine, Katherine.  It had been raining all day, and it was dusk by the time that I had started out for her home.  Oddly enough, I wasn’t afraid of the dark (as I usually am, since the night *is* dark and full of terrors in New England this time of year), and I was quite confident that I would reach her home before long.

Another prevalent detail was that I was wearing a pair of brand-new white sneakers, but for some reason, I didn’t want them to get dirty.  (This is another odd thing, because I am usually much more worried about reaching my destination than I am about worrying over whether or not my shoes are going to still be ‘clean’ by the time I get there.)  But, such as it was, the street was full of puddles, and try as I might to avoid stepping in the puddles, the persistent rain throughout the day had flooded the street, and the roadside was saturated with mud.   So I walked, with my head down, my feet sloshing into each unavoidable puddle, watching the dark muddy water turn my sneakers grey, and I realized that I was surprisingly becoming irritable with that sodden sponginess of my wet socks and shoes.

But I reminded myself that while I couldn’t avoid walking, and I couldn’t avoid getting wet, I very much wanted to visit my friend, so I convinced myself that this temporary discomfort was at least worth that joy in some way.

Then I noticed that what was once mere puddles on the sidewalk and the street had turned into wide, low ruts, swollen with water.  I now felt water sloshing against my ankles, and even my calves, soaking through my jeans as I walked.  These shoes are definitely ruined, I thought grouchily, and I might need a change of clothes when I get there. 

Then, while I was moving through a particularly wide rut in the middle of an empty street, I felt the ground turn spongy and completely give way.  I felt myself sliding downward, and I realized that I must have fallen into a sinkhole in the street.   I felt the shock of the icy, fetid water soaking into my clothes.

As I slid further down, I began immediately to panic:  I realized that I couldn’t feel the bottom of the hole, and I was treading water.

Soon, I will be gulping water, my panicked brain screamed, and I felt the water go over my head.

Suddenly, the view of the street-lamps above me were a blur of hazy brown-grey light about 12″ above me, and I tried desperately not to inhale water.

I pushed myself upward,  and I gasped for help.

My voice sounded small and choked to my own ears, and the water churned as I thrashed about.

In the brief moments that I could break the surface, I saw that I was right outside Katherine’s house.

I howled for help as loudly as I could, but I kept sinking back beneath the water.

I have a desperate fear of drowning, by the way, and I was beginning to despair that I would not be heard.

The force of my anger at my failure at being heard and my fear of drowning seemed to be driving me however, to keep trying.  I was so angry that it seemed to give me the energy to keep treading water, and my fear of drowning, of dying, kept me working to get myself above the surface of the water, however briefly, to call for help.

I saw the brief hazy light of Katherine’s porch-light for a split second moment during each of my attempts to surface, and that sight made me resent my predicament.    Oh, how I felt such an odd hatred for the serene glow of that porch light, the welcoming glimmer that bled around the window-shades!

How could she not hear me?

And then I realized that I had been treading water in just one spot.

In my panic, I hadn’t thought to try to find the edges of the sink-hole.  I hadn’t thought to open my arms or search for anything in the water at all.

I had been just… flailing in place.

So I resolved to stop struggling, and I relaxed, and breathed.

I let myself float/roll a few feet to the left.

And there was the edge.   And there was a handhold.

And I was suddenly able to climb out… quite easily.

 

EASILY.

 

Oh, I felt grateful.

But I felt more ashamed and embarrassed.

And it wasn’t just because I was wet, dirty, and soaked with the sweat of my effort and fear.

 

It suddenly occurred to me that the solution to my situation was not only available to me, but ridiculously close, and yet I had allowed myself to panic.

Did I trust myself to find the solution?

No.

I hadn’t even tried.

I immediately began calling for help.

I had believed that I was in danger…but I was not.   Not really.

 

If that was not a lesson, I don’t know what is.

~~~~

Upon awakening, while I lay there in bed, feeling my pulse slacken, several things occurred to me.

Though I had felt stupid, this was not a stupid dream.

I mean, really.

 

How often have I called out to Him, and He has been silent?

How often have I felt Him just out of reach

            always with that calm and infinitely patient look on His face….

                              …and I have resented Him for His silence, for His inaction?

 

Is He hearing me?   

Why isn’t He helping me?

 

But it  is just as it is with this dream, once I have calmed myself, and looked around, I’ve realized that I’ve the tools, the means, and sometimes, the answer to my own questions.

Sometimes, the solution has been within my grasp all along; sometimes I’m already in possession of everything required to solve the problem…and He is just waiting for me to realize it.

Sometimes the situation isn’t exactly dire…but it becomes exacerbated in my mind, and things suddenly seem insurmountable due to my impatience, my fear, my anger, or my rush to negativity.

(Oh, how I have cursed the light…)

I confess that I’ve got several emotional blind spots..and I’ve developed a pessimism, or perhaps, a learned helplessless about some of them.

Despite that, He’s got a word for each of those blind spots:

Stop.

Relax.

Open.

Think.

 

And I remember:

Whenever I have truly been in danger

(… could have been killed)

He has been there

(…the house could have burned down…)

He has heard

(…had been trying to hurt me…)

…and He has offered me guidance, and He has offered me help.

 

(Even though I have been known to stubbornly refuse to listen to and/or accept it.)

 

~~~~~

But one thing is certain:  I do have a fear of drowning.

 

Sometimes, I think that I am drowning…

 

But then it turns out that I’m just struggling

I’m just flailing in place

…and I am making a lot of noise about it.

~~~

Maybe this is why the rune Laguz keeps coming up.