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Despite two thunderstorms, they came! For starters, yummy earthworms and grubs will satisfy hungers and jump-start prodigious growth. We give thanks …

Around 6 A.M., I woke with two encouraging dreams:

I’m tall, strong, sun-tanned, and wearing a cantaloupe-colored dress with a slightly darker A-line coat. I’m alone, content as I watch for what happens next.

I visit the Jesuit staff at their Gloucester, Massachusetts retreat house. After supper that evening, we sit around telling stories laced with boisterous humor. I laugh so hard my jaw aches, and my eyes glisten.

Both dreams reveal wellness in my psych, despite chronic symptoms slowing down my body. Never have I looked so beautiful as in the first dream, my body perfectly proportioned, the cantaloupe colors of my attire enhancing my complexion and brunette wavy hair. I appear patient, which is not always the case in my conscious world. When not surrendered to my habitual slowness, anger flares like a book of matches and engulfs me in more distress until I wake up to the marauder.

The Jesuit staff in the second dream suggests the camaraderie of the masculine principle in my psyche: energized, loving, humorous, unhampered, attentive—each supportive of my conscious efforts to deal with my terminal illness, despite occasional pitfalls of grief. Such a gift uplifts my spirits for yet another twenty-four hours.

The image of the retreat house in my psyche suggests an enclosure with ceaseless prayer; that of the supper, our having participated in some kind of communion service—the Mass, perhaps.

The élan from these dreams thrusts me back to that sacred place, Eastern Point Retreat House, integral for my on-going spiritual development since 1984.

I still long to sit beside the Atlantic and study its movements. My Dreamer knows …

“God damn you, God! Damn you, God! I can’t do this anymore! Do you hear me? It’s over! No more!”

It was January 1986, 2:25 A.M. I couldn’t believe the Nor’easter swamping my old sense of God—No footholds left.

I was three weeks post-op from the revision of my total knee replacement, complicated by massive blood loss and dizzying pain. Discharged from the hospital strapped in a whole-leg splint, I had jolted up in bed, snot and tears dribbling down my chin—it felt like alligators were gnawing upon my new joint. The more I yelled, the better I felt until swallowed by sleep.

Later, a Jesuit laughed when I shared this story, assuring me of my deep relationship with God: lovers behave that way, he had added. Ever since, I’ve been intrigued by Job’s story. He came close to cursing God but did not die. I did, but did not.

Recently, I came across another poetic translation of Job (1987), this time, from Hebrew, by the translator, poet, and scholar Stephen Mitchell. An accompanying Introduction reveals his method of approaching this ancient text, developed within oral and scribal traditions from the seventh to the fifth centuries before the Common Era. One of Mitchell’s commentators placed this parable within “crucial post-Holocaust” literature, a timely study for today’s global suffering, unabated by the return to “normalcy.”

In view of my present circumstances, I’ve paid close attention to Job’s concluding words:

I had heard of you with my ears;

   But now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I will be quiet,

Comforted that I am dust.

Job remains a trustworthy witness to the whirlwind in his psyche, its daunting passage, and resulting experience of ultimate life: A strange friend, during my waiting…

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