Friday, January 24, 2014

dreams and stuff

I've been reading Callings: Finding and Following and Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy, for the third time. Because even after reading it twice, I still haven't sorted my life out. (I realize this is never a complete task, but I feel like I've been on the cusp of major life changes since the first time I read it in 2010 that are still unfolding). I'm going very slowly, mixing it with other books, sometimes just a paragraph or two at a time. I ponder these paragraphs, I sleep on them, and sometimes I dream about them.

Last week, I got to a section about dreamwork. It talks about how our unconscious mind is always a couple steps ahead of our conscious mind, and dreams can be a bridge between the two. Levoy says that sometimes the bridge is obvious, and he goes on to list a bunch of scenarios of waking life challenges and dreams that offer a pretty obvious response. I can't remember them all, except one: You're contemplating an impossible situation, and you dream that you can breathe underwater.

That night, I dreamed that we were at my parents' cottage by the lake. We were chatting with various people and the kids were playing and Youngest kept getting ever closer to the lake. We figured we'd just see what transpired, especially because if we run after him, he tends to run towards the very thing we want him to avoid. So we watched and he jumped in the link and immediately sank. I ran to the water and dove in. In the moment between my feet leaving the dock and my hands entering the water, I was aware that my shoes were still on and I worried they'd weigh me down. But I wasn't about to take the time to remove them.

I swam underwater and saw Youngest slowly sinking. I kept nearly reaching him but he kept sinking and getting further away from me. My breath was running out but there was no way I was going to take the time to get to the surface; he'd been under much longer than me already and I wasn't going to take any more time. And just at the most hopeless moment, I discovered I could breathe underwater.

"Aha!" I thought. "This is just like in the book." I woke up without having actually saved Youngest but with the knowledge that it was possible.

That was a few weeks ago and I haven't picked up the book since. I've been sinking into hibernation, escaping into tv shows after the kids go to bed or books or, for most recently, SouleMama's archive,  and avoiding walking to or from work. Ever since New Year's Eve, when my husband and I agreed to work towards moving to a farm, I've kind of shrunk from that vision. With the deep cold, I've started imagining the discomforts of living on a farm in this kind of cold. With the chickens here now, it doesn't take much imagination, as we're constantly changing their water and checking for eggs to catch them before they freeze. Anyways… I've been doubting. And hiding.

The other night I dreamed about the book again. Youngest has been waking a lot through the nights recently and nursing lots. The other night was another restless night when I had lots of disjointed and jumbled dreams. But one bit stays with me. I discovered the book, Callings, in a dirty puddle of I don't know what, pretty much completely destroyed. And I felt terrible for forgetting it and letting it be destroyed by my neglect.

In my waking life, I feel a bit stuck and adrift. I feel powerless to change anything and like I'm not moving forward. But after the second dream I remember that we are moving forward. We're about to start a kitchen reno to repair all the brokenness of our kitchen so that when we're ready we can sell the house more easily. And in the spring and summer, we'll start to explore farm properties to figure out what we can afford and more clearly what part of the province we want to be in. This is all progress. Not as fast as I would like but patience has never been my strong suit. As Anya said on Buffy, "I tried being patient but it took too long!"

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