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Around 6 A.M., I woke with two encouraging dreams:

I’m tall, strong, sun-tanned, and wearing a cantaloupe-colored dress with a slightly darker A-line coat. I’m alone, content as I watch for what happens next.

I visit the Jesuit staff at their Gloucester, Massachusetts retreat house. After supper that evening, we sit around telling stories laced with boisterous humor. I laugh so hard my jaw aches, and my eyes glisten.

Both dreams reveal wellness in my psych, despite chronic symptoms slowing down my body. Never have I looked so beautiful as in the first dream, my body perfectly proportioned, the cantaloupe colors of my attire enhancing my complexion and brunette wavy hair. I appear patient, which is not always the case in my conscious world. When not surrendered to my habitual slowness, anger flares like a book of matches and engulfs me in more distress until I wake up to the marauder.

The Jesuit staff in the second dream suggests the camaraderie of the masculine principle in my psyche: energized, loving, humorous, unhampered, attentive—each supportive of my conscious efforts to deal with my terminal illness, despite occasional pitfalls of grief. Such a gift uplifts my spirits for yet another twenty-four hours.

The image of the retreat house in my psyche suggests an enclosure with ceaseless prayer; that of the supper, our having participated in some kind of communion service—the Mass, perhaps.

The élan from these dreams thrusts me back to that sacred place, Eastern Point Retreat House, integral for my on-going spiritual development since 1984.

I still long to sit beside the Atlantic and study its movements. My Dreamer knows …

It’s catching … desperate need for discernment …

Because I had no lead for today’s blog, I thumbed among my books for a favorite and withdrew When True Simplicity is Gained – Finding Spiritual Clarity in a Complex World (1998) by the father-and-son-team, Martin and Micah Marty. Its simple meditations interfacing black and white photos taken of the restored Shaker community in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, had inspired me to hold onto the book, despite periodic thinnings of my bookcase.

Within its yellowing pages, a card with a floral design slipped out, probably like blank ones I used to send. Then, I opened it. Inside were the generous strokes of my brother Mark, with birthday wishes for my sixty-fifth.

He wrote: “…it is your turn to celebrate the accomplishment of another year. May it bring you closer to your life’s goal and a trusting relaxation in the goodness of God at work in your soul and through your hands.”

These loving wishes, written on November 9, 2000, predated our falling out over Mother’s care following her 2003 stroke; it continued beyond her passing in 2008. Later, I’d hoped to make amends to Mark for my jealousy—usurping my relationship with Mother and becoming her favorite son—and for my envy for his unusual giftedness. Because he could not tolerate my presence, this amends could not happen.

In retrospect, though, his brief kiss on my cheek and his “Goodbye” after Easter brunch with the family in 2017 served that purpose. He died of cancer the following July.

Yet, from Mark’s 2000 birthday wishes comes fresh healing of an old wound. Such synchronicity staggers the imagination.

The cover of the card, with the linnaea borealis Twinflowers, also speaks to the resolution of this discord. I am forgiven… and still shuddering…

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