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Seems that my long life is like a treasure hunt.

Once I stepped back from significant teachers and took stock of what I found, I began discerning clues about the Sacred in places I ordinarily would not have frequented, specifically my unconscious; its darkness, impenetrable. My loneliness deepened, my discomfort mounted, and questions spliced my resolve. Even more disconcerting were my dreams, like cattle prods urging me forward. With trepidation, one foot scaled that ravine; another trudged through brambles that bloodied my calves. Many dead-ends undermined my resolve to forge ahead, and yet there was no other option. There was always the next clue to discover.

Years passed. This was no child’s game. Annual retreats afforded me respite to consolidate my gains and give thanks to God. But then the struggle began afresh—Still another clue to discover. So what is this treasure that has attracted my being, from earliest memory? Once glimpsed, its allure only compelled more engagement.

Again, I look to the Gospels. Jesus likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a hidden treasure buried in a field (Mt. 13). Someone finds it, reburies it, then thrilled by his discovery, sells all he has and buys this field. He must have it. His life depends upon it.

Like the seeker, I cherish this treasure, tucked away in my depths. Lest I become puffed up by this discovery, the apostle Paul likens my humanness to an earthenware vessel (II Cor. 4:7), ordinary, and in time, cracks apart when no longer needed.

So the treasure hunt continues—My self-emptying also continues.

At midnight, a bathroom break woke me to this dream:

I accepted an invitation to join equestrians for a formal foxhunt located in a rural area. No matter that I’ve never done this before. For the occasion, I rent an outfit: black velvet helmet, a white long-sleeved show shirt, white stock tie with pin, canary yellow vest, dark blue frock coat, buff breeches, black leather dress boots, and black leather gloves. That morning, the sky alive with sunshine, I look handsome, astride a chestnut mare as I wait for others to arrive at the stables.

 My Dreamer invites me to participate in foxhunting, a sport that demands athleticism and skill, neither of which I’ve ever cultivated. But I know not to decline. Another helps outfit me in the formal attire of a hunter, a persona that hides my inexperience from more seasoned riders. Still another gift of the sure-footed mare, my knees hugging its flanks, my buttocks sensing its instinctual energy, stokes my confidence. I will do this.

But the question remains—What is this?

 Foxhunts meld equestrians within sustained danger edged in exhilaration: Hound dogs yelp, horses strain over uneven terrain, thundering hooves taking the next fence in hot pursuit of the red fox. Only with unwavering attention will the hunt continue. The stakes are high.

It seems my Dreamer urges this hunt for my beleaguered body: Like the red fox, it needs gentling once caught—no more hiding in the burrow of self-absorption and dissociation. Only with CPA’s 12 Steps have I the Hunter-persona to deal with this, one day at a time.

 

 

Oh mother! You should go out and see!
There’s never been such a sky.

…………………………………………………..

Hanging over our roof,
there is a star as large as a window;
and the star has a tail, and it moves
across the sky like a chariot on fire.

So sings Amahl, the crippled boy, to his widowed mother in the opening scene of Gian Carlo-Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951). The star sets this one-act opera into motion: it fires the boy’s imagination and dramatically alters his mother’s impoverished world; and it compels Three Kings to abandon their charts in foreign lands and seek shelter from winter’s cold in the widow’s hut.

As the story unfolds, we learn from Melchior about another child, the one they seek,

 

the color of wheat…
the color of dawn
His eyes are mild; his hands are those of a king
– as king he was born.

Incense, myrrh, and gold we bring to his side;
and the eastern star is our guide.

 I, too, am looking for the Child. I, too, follow the crystal star, one day/night at a time.

Within its scintillation appears the guidance I seek, now that my terminal illness seems to be at a standstill: new limits form the boundaries of my known world. But in the in betweenness of things, change is happening. That, I do know. Like Amahl’s and his mother’s ongoing transformation, I remain content, my trust fixed upon the night sky for the next suggestion.

 

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