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This midnight dream astounded me, left me wondering:

It is night, the waning moon filling the cloudless sky. Throngs of men, women, and children fill an amphitheater built within a hillside teeming with tall grasses, trembled by ocean breezes. Laughter, excitement, and expectation mount with passing moments. I feel vibrantly alive among them.

Once awake, I sat up, then, returned to sleep, only to have the dream reoccur.

Earlier in the evening, I’d been horrified by Yahoo’s narration of Portland’s Wall of Moms, walking arm in arm between protesters and federal agents—And the follow-up story of the Fathers Against Fascism with their leaf blowers. Whatever or however these stories occurred remains to be seen, but something horrific did happened that incited fears of the continuing violence in our country.

To return to the compensatory dream—The night speaks to the lateness of the hour, to time running out, given my advanced years. I am alone, unnerved by the crowds, agog with enthusiasm; they were privy to something I’ve yet to learn—something about story. My Dreamer wished me to join them. I do.

Under their tutelage I’ve already stumbled upon parts of my story, but more will be revealed, now that I’m safely ensconced in old age. I feel as though I’ve just pulled apart most of the wrappings of my birthright, foibles and all—it is wondrous.

So rather that leech stories from Yahoo, better to explore the recesses of my birthright, see what’s there, and continue coming alive, from the inside out. The quest deepens…

 

 

Has an elusive voice sandpapered your dreams with incongruent pieces from the past? Has consolation or anger-induced rapid breathing flooded your waking moments?

Who or what is this inner voice? From whence does it come? How cultivate it, how heed its directives, especially since it seems to know us so intimately? There is one who has researched these questions for us.

The Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung explored this voice, teeming from his unconscious between 1914 and 1930, and he illustrated his findings in The Red Book (2009). Emerging within these pages are his central discoveries: the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation. Prior to this seminal study, no psychologist had ever mapped the terrain of the unconscious, and because of which, psychotherapy has become a means for the higher development of the personality, not just treatment of sickness.

Synchronistically, harrying dreams led me to the door of a Jungian analyst in 1988. Under her tutelage, I embraced the rigors of individuation: a risky engagement with my unconscious’ voice expressed in dreams, hunches, significant conversations, or art works. Slowly, the pull of my false self lessoned, giving way to discoveries of values and behaviors more in sync with my emerging self. At times, though, such stripping was awkward, even painful. But more disorders awaited me with the next dream.

As I reflect upon this thirty-year period I’m quietly amazed. I’ve learned to name this voice, Higher Power or God of my understanding. What had begun as a desperate venture has evolved in the actualization of my birthright—this I bring to eternal life, but not before still more work on my shadow before my last breath.

 

Like a weaver, you roll up my life and cut it from the loom…I twitter like a sparrow, I moan like a dove. Isaiah 38: 12-14

This quotation from the prophet Isaiah speaks to the quaking in my depths that sets my teeth on edge: I’m confronted by the Weaver’s power that will end the ongoing project of my life, one I dearly love, but so late in its actualization. Clearly, I am not in control and I don’t like it.

This time, it is nerve pain in my left heel, stinging as I sit at my word processor.

Other bothersome symptoms, related to the Dexamethasone I’m taking, continue shadowing my day: moonface, increasing fatigue and shortness of breath and dizziness, weight gain, increasing deformity and flexibility in my hands, intermittent knee pain. Coughing up infected mucus exhausts me. Only physical death will free me from these symptoms.

In the interim, it’s critical to interface these downers with CPA’s 12 Steps and to receive daily support from my buddies during meetings and phone contacts. Although my terminal illness tries to waylay me into believing that I am alone, that no one cares, this is gobbledygook. Together, we surrender, afresh, to Higher Power and live.

Only the Weaver’s shears will set me free, whenever, however. Until then, like the twittering sparrows outside my study window, I watch and listen. It’s about growing spiritually, one day at a time, with still more opportunities to unfurl my birthright.

 

 

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