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At 5:50 A.M., I awoke to this stirring dream:

Christ of the Oceans invited me to join His fellowship. I am honored. Others were with me. One fumbled with his keys and happened to drop them in the water. I dove deep, found them lying upon a sandy spur, and returned them to him. I was already a member of His fellowship of Earth.

This dream constitutes a big one in Jungian analysis as it emanates from the deepest place in my unconscious, known as the collective unconscious. It could be a huge gift or the fruit of deepened acceptance of my terminal diagnosis, interstitial lung disease with rheumatoid arthritis—Or perhaps the completion of my care plan when actively dying, whenever that happens.

Needless to say, I’ve already received beautiful care since my November 2019 hospice sign-up. My gratitude knows no bounds.

So to the dream—I did not receive a visual impression of the Christ of the Oceans, only His presence as experienced during my annual directed retreats on the Gloucester coast; its sweetness, the quintessence of joy. His invitation to this watery fellowship suggests Richard Rohr’s study of the Twelve Steps, Breathing Underwater—doing the impossible and healing through obedience of the heart: Its daily practice enables me to continue diving deep. Who know what else I will find? Perhaps more keys to unshackle me from pretense and other character defects?

This dream is a welcome respite from weeks of darkness. Yet, Christ of the Oceans and of the Earth has been companioning me all along. There’s nothing to fear …

At 7:25 A.M., I awoke to this jarring dream:

It is early morning. I’m barefoot and wear a hospital gown on an indigent women’s 12-bed ward. A radio plays. Other patients receive help with their daily care. On my way to the bathroom, I feel wetness between my legs. I’m hemorrhaging; pools of blood splatter the floor. Too weak to clean it up or ask for help, I continue to the bathroom. Later, I notice someone had mopped up the blood. Hemorrhaging occurs later in the day, but I vaguely remember it. That evening, the head nurse restores my ring of belonging, but instead of it being round, she presents me with a square one.

I still shudder with the implications of this dream. I’m alone, impoverished, in dire straights in the hands of my caregivers. Excessive hemorrhaging has enervated me and seems to be an ongoing problem. No longer can I tend to most of my needs.I see no way out of this morass. Nor does death seem imminent—just worsening of my symptoms.

The number twelve as in 12-bed ward suggests a fullness, a complementarity that corresponds to twelve months of the year, to the twelve apostles, and to the twelve Knights of the Round Table, and other groupings of twelve. In the dream 12 indigent women, I among them, occupy the ward: their circumstances could not be more wretched.

To keep her charges compliant within the rules and regulations, the head nurse, the sole authority on the ward, uses cheap trinkets—No matter that I preferred the round ring that I’d been given, when admitted to the ward, to the ill-fitting square one I placed on my finger.

As Monster Passivity licks its jowls and tears into what remains of my afflicted body, I cry out for help. It will come.

Creator God of ever-expanding universes, be mindful of Planet Earth’s contagion that seeks new hosts to infect, new reversals to upend, new spirits to crush. Protect us from whoever or whatever foisted this ghoulish scourge upon us.

Continue deepening our willingness to contain its spread, whatever the cost. Continue humbling us before its enormity whose duration lies in the unknown. Continue prodding our conscious participation in each twenty-four hours. Continue helping us be mindful of others and their needs.

Our lives and livelihoods hang in the balance of this global upheaval, fraught with dark wisdom. From this crucible of suffering must emerge fresh paradigms for more meaningful care for each other and for Planet Earth.

Help us become aware of these patterns as they surface and practice them. We renew our trust in Your gift of Life: each moment, so precious.



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