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One hour after retiring, I awoke with this dream:

It is the beginning of summer. I join a large mixed group of college students on an outdoor stage in the park. We’ve been invited to rehearse a musical, to be presented before returning to our classes. Weeks pass. Although everyone works to the max, enthusiasm buoys our spirits as we enflesh the musical. The wardrobe mistress creates stunning outfits that enhance our youthfulness. My reflection in the long mirror astonishes me: brunette, tall, willowy, perfectly proportioned: as I dance, my white fitted coat flares open revealing a pink silk dress.

In my psyche, all is well.

I smiled recording this dream:

It is sunny, late afternoon. The events of Field Day are winding down, and with it, the end of the school term. A festive air animates hundreds of students, their families, and the teaching staff. As I stroll along the grounds I am grateful for my co-workers. A male teacher greets me, cups his hands around my face, and thanks me for my help. Jeannie Dunn, the school’s athlete, stops by and speaking in breathless tones, tells me of her last event: a thirty-minute run around the perimeter of the school grounds. Then she takes off.

 In the dream it was Field Day, suggestive of daily play with my word processor. The setting felt like the all-girls academy I had worked in as a young nun: a complex of stone buildings set upon rolling hills, surrounded by black and white oak trees; its beauty and orderliness suggested the present container for my spirit in which I thrive. Whole in body and spirit, I have been healed of many fissures that had crippled me. The male teacher’s intimate gesture spoke of the loving kindness deep in my psyche that desires communion. And Jeannie Dunn suggested my ongoing fitness related to this critical work.

No wonder my smile! The dream feels compensatory: a reversal of what had occurred when teaching as a young nun, hobbled by multiple psychophysical issues. Such stories release festering failures from the past and affirm the direction of my present life path. My play only deepens.

 

Yesterday’s corrective dream jolts me into full awareness: its negativity smells, suggests contamination from Beast, my negative animus.

I’m living in a Senior Citizen complex and scheduled to be put to death following this afternoon’s movie in the theater. In the semi darkness, I find my accustomed seat; next to it is the bucket of water used for such purposes. I’d hoped they’d forgotten, but to my dismay, they haven’t.

I shudder. The faceless they have ordered my death, interestingly enough within the facility’s movie theater where the dumbed-down sit passively, self-absorbed, dull-witted: all aspects of my unconscious. I flop upon my plush seat and await my fate. The bucket of water no longer menaces me—Just part of the routine killings.

The setting of the Senior Citizen complex also unnerves me. I know. Four times I have been in such places for rehab. Their homey allurements still chafe, subtle routines oppress spirit, institutional cooking blocks bowels, staff shortages irk bedpan-sitters, rules and regulations stifle initiative—conform or else is the mandate. In sense it was like being put to death. But not so, today.

And the bucket of water: It morphs into a blue one with a rope handle, such as a child would use to mold sandcastles by the ocean. A shift occurs in my psyche. Despite my terminal illness, life still abounds. Rather than sit listlessly in the movie theater, I empty the bucket, tuck it under my arm, and search for the beach, close by. It’s playtime in the sun.

And the dream’s terror lifts.

 

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