live in there
amidst the scratches on a windowsill
and in the triangles of dirt accumulated in the corner of the floorboards pushed there by generations of janitors’ mops
under decades of floor wax
and stained walls
reflecting the colours of the words that once rang within
every action has a consequence, they say
every breath, every movement contributes to who we are
and what we will become
what occurred in that alley or in that cellar or behind that window
skewed the particles of the universe just that much
so it would never be the same
as it was in an instant before
I imagine stories murmuring
in that pile of rubble
swirling in the spaces
and I want to dig in there and find them
before they drift off into the atmosphere
like fine dust
I had a creepy dream the other morning, in which I heard a bit of a kafuffle in the hall and some rattling of keys at my door and I got out of bed to see what was going on and a motley bunch of characters traipsed into my home, and I was unable scream for help. My heart still skips when I think of it.
Knowing that dreams are never literal in their messages, I got searching for interpretations in some online dream dictionaries. As so often happens in online searching, one thing led to another and I came across this meme, which I thought had some fun and potentially provocative questions.
I’m not going to do the traditional bloggy thing and pass it on because, well, I’m not much about tradition for tradition’s sake. Anyway, this may not fit into your current writing agenda. But I will invite you to answer the questions or expand on my answers, and let me know if you do.
I liked this meme because it’s about some of life’s marvellous mysteries. For the most part, I’m content to leave them at that and not find a way to explain them scientifically. Life is interesting because it’s mysterious. I do sustain an interest in psychology and psychoanalysis, but for me, they just seem to enhance the mystery of human experience rather than explain it.
1. Do you believe in life after death?
It depends on what you mean by “life.” I’ve experienced a number of ghostly encounters and as a result I feel there are certain energies that linger back in this world. I’d really love to think that when I die someone will say to me, “go on in, they’re all waiting for you” but that’s a lot like the vision of the cloud tufted field in the sky, with pearly gates at the entrance and a couple of thrones and all kinds of people wearing white robes, and I haven’t bought version since I was a kid.
People who’ve had near-death experiences have reported seeing departed loved ones calling them to the light, but from my mortal and inexperienced position here on the planet, I’m thinking that’s about those energies. Good ones, no doubt – probably great ones and definitely related to the experience of love and family. And sure, there’s bad lingering energies too. But the fact is, every single one of us is sentenced to “wait and see.” In many ways it’s a wonderful mystery – in many ways it’s caused terrible division in us by way of “I’m right and the rest of you are going to hell” afterlife explanations.
I can tell you with confidence and certainty, that when our dog Joey died after supper one night when I was five, I woke up to find her sitting beside my bed in the middle of the night. I was five – I hadn’t heard the stories of similar experiences in others – but maybe it was that early experience that opened my mind (heart?) to other ghostly encounters later in life.
2. Do you believe in fate?
No. I believe in related events though: synchronicity, serendipity, nature’s rhythms, providence and karma. And I also believe in accidents, coincidence and chance. We’re humans – we have brains and wits and we approach events uniquely, and therefore we have the ability to create different rhythms and different outcomes. But if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, that would be just plain bad luck – not me being struck down by three Greek goddesses, a god or a devil or any pre-written sentence.
3. Do you ever have déjà vu?
Of course. I love this mystery. Again, I think it’s about energies. You may not have experienced that precise moment before, but you may have seen that wistful look cross someone’s face. More likely it’s caused by a combination of visual cues and/or sounds and/or smells and/or crosswind… all which happen so fleetingly that your brain doesn’t register them. I like to think déjà vu is the universe telling you to hold up and pay attention for a sec, that there’s something you should think about.
I’m certainly not versed in Jungian theory, but maybe there’s a deep-seeded memory or important dream associated with the experience – or maybe it’s related to Jung’s “collective unconscious” – there’s something in that moment related to a collective experience. The little pragmatic guy on my left shoulder is telling me it’s a quirk of wiring in the human brain. The romantic one on my right shoulder prefers to associate it with Jung’s idea – maybe for a split second I’m experiencing a moment or a memory of significance, maybe a shared one. There’s that otherworldly energy again.
4. Have you ever read someone's mind?
No. But I’ve often had moments; say, walking by a colleague or standing in an elevator, where I’d say to myself, “gosh, I hope he can’t read my mind!”
5. Have you ever had a premonition?
A number of times I’ve sensed that something good was going to happen – someone I hoped to see would show up, I’d win that Rolling Stones record, events would fall into place to make something I wanted to happen real. Again, I believe that’s energies.
But then, I’m too much of a chicken to ever associate negative or scary thoughts with premonitions. I conveniently don’t call those premonitions. I call them PMS.
As for the creepy dream? I’ve found some feasible and quite reasonable ideas about what the images symbolize, and will do some soul-searching to sort out how it relates to my life. Maybe I’ll make like Jung and create some mandalas to aid in the process. Anyway, knowing what the dream “could” mean makes the memory of it less creepy – but it makes my sleeping brain more mysterious. Marvellously so!