It’s morning. It feels like the night had several chapters. Early on in the proceedings, a woman came into the room. She was young and dressed in black – a long dress or a robe. As she wandered around, her head was down and her mouth was missing. Everything was very slow.
As I fell into and out of consciousness, the woman always seemed to be there, in no hurry to get anywhere, apparently satisfied by hanging out with me. In my more aware moments, I asked if this was real or was it a dream. And it didn’t matter. Nor was it important to analyze the thing. No, the lesson was elsewhere. There seemed to be such space around things, and she walked near me so slowly. I felt transported to her meandering path, seeing whispers, drinking in the flow of her robe.
And then I slept for hours, deeply. On awakening half an hour ago, another image flooded my bedroom. Apparently I own a van, and I was returning to it from an errand. Seven or eight drunk teenaged boys were occupying the space. Nothing was broken but garbage was everywhere. In quick order they disappeared, with no urging from me. The old house nearby was also a mess – beer bottles, hamburger wrappers. I was alone, picking up everything, putting it into bags, wishing that someone was with me to share the task.
Now, looking back at the two, there was no dilemma in my overnight. Strange yes, problem no. I’m still floaty, untethered. The tasks of the day remain but they’re blended into the background. Everything seems merged – no clear boundaries. And my fingers on the laptop keys fall in super slo-mo.
Is this spaciousness real? Is this a new normal approaching from the horizon? I don’t know … and I don’t care. Just let it be here, Bruce.
I look back on the last week and an image comes to mind. It feels like a recurring dream but part of my mind says that it really happened in this physical life.
There’s a huge white sheet of paper and in the middle are typed some words … unknown words. Then the mad typist in charge of things writes more words up and to the right of the first group, overlapping them. Then the process continues, overlap after overlap, until the whole page is full. And I still didn’t have a clue about the message.
Okay, clearly this is a dream. So why does my brain keep saying “This is real”? Ah, the mysteries of life.
There was another wake up call this morning (definitely a good thing!). And the voice: “The first words are ‘I am me.'” Oh. Thanks for sharing. “One step out from the centre, in all directions, is ‘You are you.'” I just lay there, waiting for the next revelation. “After that, the words are ‘We are we.’ Then the pattern repeats … endlessly.”
More lying there feeling stunned. The personal story isn’t about Bruce Kerr. A lot of it is to do with all the “you’s” who come my way. But the real message is that I am through the we. I only know Bruce through the relationships he has. I’m no island. I’m an archipelago, with flowery bridges joining us all.
I can’t wait to go to sleep tonight. I hope we all show up.
I woke up this morning with the most vivid dream in my mind. You were in my mind, my dear Jodiette.
I seemed to be at a world’s fair, lots of pavilions and shops scattered over rounded green hills. Exquisite. But I had lost my shoes. I searched through lots of them at store entrances … but nothing. I was sad. Strangely uprooted.
But there was a beautiful girl with me. (I do believe that her name was Jody!) She smiled at me so warmly. Our eyes met for so long. She didn’t care that I was shoeless. It didn’t diminish me at all in her eyes. I was Bruce, and that was just fine. We held hands in the shops and we meandered from display to display. Sometimes, in a big store, Jody went one way and I went another. Just as in “real” life, I was happy, knowing that Jody was somewhere in here and sooner or later I would round a corner and there would smile my beloved.
As we roamed the aisles of one shop together, I reached over to examine some article. I turned to Jody … and she was gone. I searched the whole place. Still gone. And the neighbouring shops. Still gone. Such horrible sadness to lose my beloved.
Still wandering, I came upon a tight space. It was a dead end, surrounded by rough wooden walls. And then I was face to face with a bearded gatekeeper. He was a gruff guy who started lecturing me about the need to invigorate. Huh? And then he let me pass.
Awakened. Unexpectedly happy. After all, I had just lost my wife in L.L. Bean or some such place. I lay there in bed, knowing that I had only lost the physical form of my dear girl. The gatekeeper had let me pass through … to where? Some realm, I know, where Jody and I are together – right now and always. A realm where I don’t even need any shoes. For I’m walking on air.