It was nighttime, and the air was still but for the chirp of the night crickets and the song of the night frogs. I perched tentatively on the threshold between the wide, wood-slatted porch and the living room of the old farmhouse, watching my five brothers and sisters stand at staggered intervals in the yard before me. It was nighttime and all was still; my brothers and sisters stood vigilant, waiting for the dead to come to us, we were waiting. It was our job, a mission. I asked, begged, “Why don’t we leave? We can go through the back of the house to the forest behind us. Why must we stay to fight?” but no one answered. Stoically, somberly, they continued their vigil, eyes straight ahead, peering into the darkness for any movement.
I had noted, to my left, a soft white figure emerging from the forest beyond the front yard. It had advanced slowly, outside of my conscious thought, until one of my brothers yelled “It’s Mama!” and I saw that the figure had come too close. It was one of the dead–not our mother but a Mother, a fat, old woman in a white nightgown; we had seen her before when she was alive; now she slowly lumbered toward us. If she was coming, more were on their way. Suddenly, fear cut through us, and thus separated we fled into the house, slamming open doors shut, scattering into different rooms and up the stairs to hide.
Without thinking, I cut through the living room toward the kitchen, slapping the light switch off as I passed. If the house was dark, it would be harder for the dead to find us. As I reached the kitchen, gunfire clattered through the outside wall and pierced a dozen, a hundred, objects inside the room. The dead have only hands and teeth, but the living have guns and they had found us, we who were neither dead nor alive. We were the In-Between, nomadic and straddling both under- and upper-worlds.
It was then I knew I was going to die. Even if I could reach the basement, especially if I reached the basement, where there was certainly no outlet for escape, I would die.
The above story was my dream last night. I thought about it this morning and while there are still elements that have to deepen and blossom into fuller understanding–a process that usually requires a lot of time and contemplation and more dreams–I realized that my initial instinct in the dream was true: to ask the question Why? Why must we stay to fight? My spirit leapt for the succor of the forest behind the house, to the wild nature. In the dream I was afraid of Mama, but in waking life my entire spiritual focus lately has been on the Divine Feminine, especially the Wild Woman, on Baba Yaga, or the old, fat, revivified Mama lumbering toward me from the forest.
In my re-imagining, I don’t run through the kitchen (which represents the domesticated mother and has been unenlightened and shot to pieces) to the basement (representing the unconscious, where–this time at least–there is no outlet of escape from death). Most of the time, when we dream of basements, dark crowded closets, cobwebby crawlspaces and the like, we are receiving an invitation from our subconscious to dive in to the Shadowlands and learn something.
But this time I know my lesson lies in the forest, with Mama. I’m going to turn around and head out the front door toward her. See what happens.
I may have written about this before, but a year or so ago I had another zombie dream. I was fighting zombies, kicking them in the head to keep them from coming inside where I was, when one got past my flailing feet. I picked up a knife and began stabbing him, but suddenly stopped long enough to look at him, I mean, really look. As I gazed into his dripping, decaying face, I noticed he was crying, and my heart flooded with compassion. He began to speak and it was hard to understand him at first, but eventually his voice grew clearer–or my ears did–and he told me his story, and I listened. This was just another in a series of dreams about making friends with the monsters from my shadows.
I love this stuff. It really, really gets me jazzed. Torie says people don’t say “jazzed” anymore, but I’m doing it anyway.
In aboveground news–I’m going to be a grandma! Jess and his girlfriend Lauren have a bairn on the way. The baby news doesn’t seem quite real enough to be emotionally invested in YET, but trust me, it won’t take me long to hop fully aboard the crazy train. We are all looking forward to the arrival of little Pamplemousse. (Poor child already has a ridiculous nickname and it’s only two and a half months in the oven. Lauren came up with it, Jesse made the mistake of telling us about it, and Torie’s boyfriend Brian and I spent about half an hour one evening looking up its etymology–it’s a French word that hails from the Dutch and means “grapefruit.” Or “fat.” Yeah, we’re a terrible family. It can also mean “breasts.” Yes, TERRIBLE family.)
I’m THIS close to finishing a new painting. It’s felt so good to be visually expressive again.
Scott and I are in the process of choosing a health insurance plan because we are Good Americans and don’t want to get zapped for not having one. A lot of people have complained about the new mandatory health insurance act but I think it’s fantastic. It’s one of the things that gets me excited these days.
LOTS of stuff gets me excited! I’m going to leave you with a video of one young woman who simply rocks. Torie showed it to me this morning and we both watched with tears in our eyes. Folks my age and older also tend to complain about the “younger generation” but I think that the majority of these people are downright AMAZING and I’m very, very hopeful for the world because of them. They are running around and kicking down doors and flipping on the lights everywhere! I would rather talk to a 20-something than anybody else in the world–they always teach me something new.