I am working with a bunch of people on a project. A woman keeps calling and telling me I have to put my dog on a leash or she will report me to some man and I will get in trouble. It seems that every time her little dog sees mine wandering around, she barks which annoys the woman. I think that I should comply, that somehow these are the rules, but I am busy and either forget or ignore her each time. Then I am in the HOWL kitchen with several people. The woman comes to the door with her little dog and says I better put my dog on a leash because the man is already in the house and he is coming. I turn and Oakley is at my feet in the kitchen. It makes no sense to have to leash her. I have the leash and I know I am supposed to leash her, but I don’t want to.I feel the shift of change. Something is happening. Old patterns are either falling away or I am refusing to take the bait. This shows itself in the dream when I do something different. Here, I don’t leash the dog, even though I think I am supposed to. In the past, I might have leashed the dog out of the projected fear of my trauma. Something bad might happen if I don’t leash the dog. But, pathology is clever. If it can’t get us one way, the demon will suddenly morph into a new idea.
I have to write about this. How can I not post something about my first art show?! I could not have imagined this, so unexpected, so really fun. That I could be so in the joy of it and not under attack is a testament to the work I am doing and the support I feel from the folks at North of Eden, especially Sue Scavo who has encouraged me from the beginning to see the truth of who I am, as shown by the dream, not who I thought I was.
I worked on several paintings today. I am trying some new “techniques”. Since I have no training and no outside direction, it is just about me in my work. I get to play. I seem to have no story about what I think I should be doing, what other’s expect or how they might view what I do, or whether it’s good or bad. It is for me and I had so much fun. This is such a new and fragile place for me. I am happy to be here in this moment, today. Perhaps on another day I will have to do battle with the ear whisperers who would like nothing better than to have me put a leash on it, but not today.
OK, back to the art show: Night Visions: Dreams and Self Expression at the Walkover Gallery in Bristol Vermont, running through March 30th. The opening was last weekend and included myself and four other artists working from the dreams. There were also poetry readings by Karla Van Vliet and Sue Scavo and musical performances by a number of folks working their edge of creativity and vulnerability with music. Over 80 people attended including my family and lots of my friends. It was exciting and scary.
I am with a man. He is trying to show me something. We are climbing a tree together. The branches are far apart and he leaps from one to the next. I feel how I can do it because I trust him, so I leap too. At first we are climbing at the same pace, but then I am above him. The branches have gotten smaller and I start to feel insecure. I look back down at him. He points to a rotten branch next to me and I knock it with my foot and we watch it fall to the ground. I feel like I have gotten too far ahead of him and I realize that I am scared. He starts to climb back down and I follow him.The man, of course, is the Animus and I am the girl filled with trust in Him, but then something happens. What is in this seam? Where I suddenly forget him and become independent? When I get ahead of Him, I am really “out on a limb”, in danger, putting myself or perhaps my emotional serenity at risk. The pride is astounding. It is unconscious, learned, habitual. It is a perfect example of how the dream shows the truth of the ways we stay separated from our souls. The dreams show how I am in the world, allowing me to experience viscerally the difference between the trust in Him and the habit of the pathological way of being. This creates the possibility for change, if I want it. But it is hard to let go of pathology. I am so tied to it. I believe in it so much. There is not a single pathological characteristic that I would let go of that wouldn’t have claw marks on it! The truth is, many of these characteristics have served me well. They were great in a life devoted to the avoidance of feeling. And when they caused me grief, well that is the price of dealing with the devil.
How can I describe what it is like to receive the love, the healing touch of the Divine? Just writing the words sends the shiver of the touch up my spine.
I am with an old woman. She wants to see the wounds on my back because she wants to heal them. I realize that I have many old scars on my back. I feel scared that it will hurt but I sit down and let her. I feel her pull away the cloth of my shirt. She has some kind of blue paste and she starts putting it on my back.The surrender to the receiving is a moment of importance to me. The Anima who has been so present in my dreamwork from the very beginning, continues to bring me love and support and healing. I feel afraid, like it might hurt to have my wounds touched. Yet, I allow it, and the feeling of joy is like grief in its intensity. I feel loved and nurtured and cared for. It is humbling to receive. She is beautiful in her patience, her kindness, her knowing.
Sitting in the chair, with my head tilted forward, she pulls a cloth off my back. It is soft, like muslin. I hear it whisper and feel the sensual slide of it across my skin. Cool air shivers me.