May 24, 2008

Cindy in Dreams, Life in Dry Ice

I'm not so sure about Father Zossima's statement about "love in dreams," however, being "greedy for immediate action," because the love I experience best is that which comes to me only in dreams, in those delicious and heartwarming or heartbreaking dreams just before waking, always too soon, which make me want to sink back into the sleep that let them in.
Like the dream I had about Cindy this morning. She was in my place, a place I never actually had. She was slightly drunk, and I was as I am now, old, but calm and sober, and she was as pretty as ever but older, though not so old as me. She was sad, and my heart went out to her. She laid back on the bed that was piled with pillows while I sat in a chair, and we talked, not about old bad times or my lifelong heartache for her, but about her only. She said it was over between her and her man. My heart leaped, but I asked her nothing about him or why it was over. I told her I was sorry to see her so sad and down.
"Oh, I'll be all right," she said, and managed a brave smile. But her lower lip trembled, and her lovely eyes drooped, and I could see tears forming and glistening. I wanted to kiss her eyes, but did not. I wanted to stroke her head, but did not. I wanted to brush her hair and hug her, rub her back and soothe her grief until it was gone, but did not. In my dream I gave her the gift of not-touching and sent out my feeling of love, of real compassion and love, infused with gratitude for her simply being there and trusting me with her pain, for being still alive, for still being Cindy, with whom I had failed so miserably so long ago. She asked for a drink. I said I didn't drink anymore, and offered her a cigarette. She said she didn't smoke anymore, and we laughed together. When she laughed she was lovelier than light. Her wit lit up rooms. Her mind was quick as a swallow's flight, and I never saw her angry with anyone except myself in four years, but she was never nasty or mean, except once at the end. She asked if I would go find her a drink, and I said I would. Then she laid her head back in the pillows, trusting me, and slept. I woke most-reluctantly. I tried to go back but couldn't. I nearly wept there on the floor of my van. It was like losing her all over again. Of course, you can never go back, never change a thing about the past, I know that by now from having tried and tried again too many times. The only thing I can change is myself. She comes less often now, but for years she was a regular in my dreams. It is forty years later, and still she comes into my dreams evoking love and deep feeling, deeper than any feeling I ever had in waking life. I wonder if my sad self ever visits her in dreams and if she comforts me with unspoken love. Or, am I only an infrequent nightmare of jealousy and brutality, a best-forgotten tragic impediment in her past life, which improved so much after I was gone, I heard. I will never know.
How can anyone contend that dreams mean nothing, that they are only random unconscious-thoughts-become-conscious, that electric circuits of synapses snap crackle and pop and chemical barriers thin or subconscious barriers are lowered while we sleep. I don't believe it. You know I don't believe in coincidence, either, or accident,but in God; that that there is no thing disconnected from any other thing or event, and that everything contains a lesson which is hidden from us only by the cloudy mirrors of our own selfish desires and self-centeredness. I realize this makes me a determinist and a fatalist but oh well, sue me. My own conception of God as the essential glue of all life and matter and my own lessons learned prove this for me, if not for you. I don't normally pay much attention to my dreams after waking; in fact I usually forget them--except for the love-dreams, Father Zossima. There must be a lesson. There is always a lesson. Only lately have I begun to learn them. Perhaps this lesson and other dreams of love is to teach me that love is real, that it exists, that it is possible for me, but only when I give with no expectation of reward, with no strings attached. That love is its own reward. Feeling love of my own for another is the important thing for me now, and I understand what Goethe meant, when he said, "If I love you, what business is that of yours?" But I don't feel much love when awake.
Most of the time, my inner thoughts and outer eyes are fixed on the horror around us. If you can't see it you aren't very observant or you live in a guarded compound. I'm out here street legal in a lava flow and I'm colder than dry ice. I don't know what flick you are seeing. I'm watching a horror movie.

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