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It was 11:15 P.M.

The words, The Story, prodded me from REM sleep, despite exhaustion from the day’s challenges clinging to every pore of my old body. I was to write, now, not in tomorrow’s daylight.

After I swallowed lemon water from my Sippy-cup, I tossed aside the covers with my foot, lunged to a sitting position on the side of my bed, toppled onto my lap, and in silent pleas complained. I was to write, repeated the Source. Then, I flipped on the lamp, grabbed my wheeled walker, made it to my word processor, and waited for words to come.

The butterscotch sun bathed planet Earth revolving on its axis. Its people of every color and ethnic background cycled through each day, from sunup to sundown. The pattern was always the same: waking, washing, eating, working, exercising, preparing for sleep; disease, discord, and violence marred the land. Such had been the human family’s experience for eons.

Yet, The Story would be told, in shimmering tones like a summer evening’s wind chimes carried upon gentle breezes, from house to house, from hi-rise to hi-rise. No one would not hear it. It began, almost imperceptibly at first, then in gentle tones until the unique voice of each each clapper sweetened psyches: smiles gentled clinched jaws, breath inflated taxed lungs, hands opened to offer help, feet came to the assistance of the needy.

 Change was occurring. Laughter and storytelling quickened imaginations, resolved tensions, cheered the dissolute. Gone were the locks on hearts and front doors. The day’s hardships and surprises swelled those gathered around supper tables. Everyone anticipated more life lessons culled in dreams.

Lest anyone forget the sound of the wind chimes, everyone strung their own and hung them from porches, or wherever. Braided harmonies told The Story, over and over again—The land rollicked with Peace.

I’ve heard The Story. It’s about God’s dream for the world.


At 3:45 A.M. I awoke with this curious dream, with its lesson for today:

During my absence from home, Martha had hung a paint-by-numbers scene of a wooded area, its colors garish and bleeding, over a mural in my living room. I’m shocked, then angered even more when I discover the gaping hole she’d made for the nail, the plaster on the floor.

 During my absence from home suggests gaps in my attention span, my not being fully present to the inner workings of my thoughts, motives, and choices in my psyche— Relapsing into denial, rationalization, and idealization, or even worse, dissociation from my body. With increasing fatigue, all the more important for me to take more timeouts for rest. Happily, my REM sleep deepens the quality of my sleep and provides multiple dreams that cue me through this process of diminishing health.

Martha, the extroverted shadow of my sister, suggests the need to balance out my limited energies, especially saying “No.” to others when too exhausted to speak; not to force myself, even when wearing oxygen. The hospice nurse has told me that ILD will eventually harden my lungs, cutting off speech altogether, a process already underway, albeit slowly.

hung a paint-by-numbers scene of a wooded area suggests unwanted people, places, things no longer conducive to this last phase of my individuation. That Martha caught me unawares mandates my willingness to become more vigilant, more discerning.

I’m shocked, then angered speaks of feelings that can easily plunge me into self-pity, even more poison for my psyche, which whacks conscious contact with HP into smithereens—An intolerable situation.

So this morning’s dream calls for more discipline to remain fully conscious with the help of CPA’s Twelve Steps and the spiritual fellowship. To this, I remain committed, despite slips.



This morning’s dream tumbled into consciousness for my review:

I just finished knitting a white cardigan, using a pattern to incorporate intricate designs on the sleeves, then added pearl buttons. It occurred to me that the cardigan would fit my sister Martha, short in stature. I offer the cardigan to her, a perfect fit. She is delighted.

The dream suggests Twelve Step recovery in my psyche.

Implicit within the dream was planning for the task: the image of what I wanted to knit, the pattern, sufficient yarn and knitting needles, measuring tape, scissors, and a quiet workspace. Sufficient time, willingness, and patience also featured into the plan. Occasional mistakes required ripping lines of yarn from the needle and referring back to the pattern. Yet with each knit or pearl stitch, the cardigan grew, as did my enthusiasm.

Before embracing Twelve Step work such focus would have been impossible. Planning was a waste of time. Free-floating anxiety precluded following directions or correcting mistakes, unfinished projects stuffed in drawers and forgotten. Too impatient to ask for help, it was my way, or no way.

Also of note in the dream is the thought of my sister Martha. When enmeshed in my diseases of alcoholism and chronic pain and illness, it was rare that I thought of others. Symptoms devoured my outlook on life, and self-pity, a constant irritant.

Once enlisted in Higher Power’s care through Steps One, Two, and Three, however, I discovered new facets of my humanness: Relationships were not to be skirted, nor hardships, denied, even living with a terminal illness.



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