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This morning, a preacher proclaimed on AM radio, “Change is inevitable. At times, Life demands it.”

His words seared themselves upon my awareness and blocked out the remainder of his text. Yes, I mused, he was speaking to me. I blinked hard, pulled myself up in my armchair, and flipped off the radio. His use of the verb, demand, stung where it needed to sting and left a gaping hole: Within, writhed glistening snakes of resistance that leered at me.

So wedded to my daily self-care routine for months, I could not imagine more diminishment that would impinge upon my functioning. That occurred with yesterday’s bout of food poisoning and the experience of a new level of sinking weakness. Slowly introducing soft foods has helped, somewhat.

But the power of the preacher’s words also caved in my denial of weight loss and daily walks and use of the NuStep at the YMCA. I thought I could fix these changes by eating bowls of ice cream at bedtime; it had worked in 1982 and 2012—No matter that sugars and dairy had triggered joint inflammations.

So it’s all about accepting the unacceptable: the physical death of my body. The preacher’s words, “Life demands it.” still goads this process over which I have no control. Resistance is futile. The only way out is through each twenty-four hours allotted me by God’s will. I’ve no other recourse. It is working …

Around 2 A. M., I woke with this piece of a patriot’s dream:

I am in the American Revolutionary War.

Only this fact remained. No story accompanied it, but it’s still something to work with.

My recent completion of David McCullough’s John Adams (2001) and 1776 (2005) opened my psyche to the conflicted beginnings of America, culminating in the bloody war for independence from Great Britain; it dragged on for seven years. No wonder my Dreamer came up with this fact, given my present waiting.

Evidently, my life instinct wars in my unconscious, in view of the newly discovered riches of existence that I’m loathe to leave. In solitude and silence, I’ve learned to see with my heart. Surprises abound. More of God’s face shimmers upon the unexpected, like the torn leaf of the London plane tree outside my kitchen window, its rift increasing with September winds. Such tingles my core and begs for more.

So what about my role in the American Revolutionary War? The Dreamer seems to want me to figure it out. Two options open before me: a fierce combatant against Creator God and His will for me, with greed demanding more than my eighty-five years of life. Or a patriot decimating psychic entities wanting my death before it happens and keeping me alert at my word processor, despite the heaviness of my symptoms. I choose the latter.

Long ago, I was told, “Keep writing into wholeness!”—No matter what happens.

At 4:00 A. M., I awoke with this supportive dream:

It was suppertime, Paris, France. I walked into a restaurant and recognized a fellow traveler from last year’s tour seated at a table near the entrance. I greeted him, but was unprepared for his enthusiastic response; he had been only an acquaintance. To my surprise, more tourists from that group also entered the restaurant and swelled the camaraderie among us. My new friends filled the lonely fissures in my heart. I felt whole.

My psyche gladdened me with this glimpse of camaraderie: a conjoining of male and female energies, an enlivening that contrasts with my waning physical energies.

The time of the dream, suppertime, alludes to the end of day/time, my present circumstances. The image of Paris, France suggests the Sacred Feminine, the former hub of Christianity with its multiple soaring cathedrals, many of which I’ve visited.

The fellow traveler, in Jungian terms, is a positive Animus figure: the Sacred in the disguise of my new friend. A slow trickle of male/female couples pull up chairs to the table and joins us, more evidence of the Sacred. Still the trekker, I welcome each day’s new sightings from my psyche

This dream supports the loneliness of my individuation, in process for decades. Never am I alone, existentially, and for that I’m grateful.

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