Thursday, 20 September 2012

Dream log - falcon and flounder

Recently, I've been sleeping more deeply than usual. I can feel it on dropping and awakening: the drop and the ascent feel far deeper than usual. In part, I think, this is because it is now darker longer, and I can sleep more deeply in the mornings. But also, with a regular spiritual practice in place and ACIM exercises, something is shifting more deeply. 

I always dream vividly, but last night was another order of vivid - it was like travelling.

In the first dream, I was living in a huge flat - I have no idea where it was, but it was sprawling, with different sections and high ceilings. One night, I was home with a friend when we heard someone in another section. I dragged him over saying, 'We need to find out who it is and what is going on.' He reluctantly followed me across the HUGE paved outside area (patio? garden?) to the section where the kitchen and the dining room were, and we intercepted a scruffy man trying to steal two chairs from my dining room. Interestingly, they were the crap chairs my parents had at the breakfast table before my brother was born, with tacky black cushion seats.  We took them back (WHY????????) and turned him over to the police. There's a part of me that wishes we'd let him have them, but that's neither here nor there.

Then suddenly, I was in another house with flourescent lighting, with my parents(!), pacing back and forth in floods of tears, inconsolable, in a formal dress, moving my looped cross back and forth on its chain as if daring it to break. A close friend had died, and my parents kept trying to tell me it was fine, even as I sobbed that it wasn't, 'She's dead. She's DEAD, ok? I'm NEVER GOING TO SEE HER AGAIN!'

Something whispered and I moved from the centre of the house to the one floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window that I could see, waiting.

My breath caught. We were high up in the mountains, clouds scudding by like light traffic on a motorway. It was almost as if the house was built into the rock, as I could see a natural rock ledge outside the window. The sky was the colour of a dying campfire, deep yellow, red and orange as the sun set. Suddenly, a movement on the ledge caught my attention: birds were gathering in a hushed flock, looking through the window at me - cardinals, sparrows, raptors, all sorts. Suddenly, when the ledge was almost full, they went preternaturally still, looking out towards the blazing sky expectantly. My eyes followed theirs and I saw a large shape on a nearby mountain peak. "Gyrfalcon," I thought. "Gyrfalcon."

"Irim," I felt it say as it spread its wings and soared towards us, gracefully landing in the one empty space on the ledge, at which point all the birds turned back towards me. 

It was...stunning. Its was huge, the size of a large cat or small dog, I guessed - patterned in brown and black, with an odd peacock-like plume arching tailward from the middle of its back, but  I was caught by was its mesmerizing eyes - black centre ringed with gold. We stared at each other, its gaze full of utter love and compassion for me, trying to hold my grief in its heart and wingspan. "It's going to be ok." He took a step forward, continuing to gaze at me, trying to wrap me in his love and reassurance, as he tried to send me a message - not in words, but in that deep telepathic rapport that one could only wish was an option for communication. As my grief eased, I woke. 

This morning, I had to look it up. 'Gyrfalcon' first, assuming that this glorious bird was, in fact, a gyrfalcon. Shape-wise, perhaps, but the eyes were those of a hawk. They had to be gold-ringed. None of the interpretations of a falcon in one's dreams fit at all, and it wasn't till I found that in falconry, only a king could use a gyrfalcon, that I thought: 

"Royalty. Kingship. G-d. Oh MY G-d. Horus." Goosebumps - I'd always thought of Horus as a hawk, but when I looked him up, I discovered that he's a falcon god. THAT was right.

 And then I realized - as any one of my friends reading this probably already has - I wasn't wearing a 'looped cross'. I was wearing an ankh.

But was Horus just Horus? What did he mean? G-d of Light? Was he an analogue of Jesus? Could he have been the friend that I associate with Horus in certain expressions/postures?

Will be turning that over for a while.


The flounder dream was as vivid, but considerably less exciting - I had this large goldfish bowl overcrowded with white/albino flounder which I could never leave because they kept jumping out and nearly dying of suffocation. I finally gave up on them and put them down somewhere and tried to leave them alone, but when I walked back to my place at the coffee table, there was one who had jumped out (on purpose, I swear). I nearly left him, but couldn't, and scooped him up, carried him over and dropped him in the fishbowl with a resigned sigh.

I was trying to work out a viable solution when I woke up. 

Pass, except for my tendency to pick up the wounded like a black suit picks up white cat hairs. 

Over to you, folks.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A note on unconditional love

This evening, as I've been faffing online, desultorily chatting with friends, Q popped up with this:

Q: I love you!

Me [touched and taken aback, as Q is not given to such declarations]: ? I love you too!

Q: Just having a lousy day and saw you pop on, and it was, like a fresh breeze. "Oh look! Someone who's not a big ball of drama! I'm so glad she's my friend."

Me [currently in puddle of 'awwww!']: HUGS

Q: So, I thought I should tell you so.

Me: I've felt that way about you so much, I can't tell you.  The feeling is SO mutual. Added to that was, 'Oh look, it's someone who loves me no matter what!'

Q: Yeah, that too.  Even when I'm grumpy, I still love you.

Blinking back tears, I tried to work out, aside from the obvious, what had really hit me. I find it hard to hear that I'm loved; feeling loved is even harder. But this exchange hit me differently, and I pondered it for a few minutes.

Then it struck me - this: Even when I'm grumpy, I still love you.

Even when I'm grumpy. That was it. Not Even when you're grumpy, which essentially reads, 'Even when you're a crappy pain in the ass, I love you. Aren't you grateful? Aren't I wonderful?' but 'Even when I'm in a shitty, crappy, horrible inhuman mood, even when I'm not perfect or feeling loving, I LOVE YOU.'

Why not the first? Because unconditional love assumes the first. Unconditional love is just that - 'No matter what, I love you.' It rarely, if ever, needs saying, because it's a premise, a foundation, of love. Anything else is just approval. 

[ETA] Also, as Ari just pointed out, when you love someone, you're not thinking, 'They're at their crappiest. Ugh. I want to be elsewhere.'  You're thinking, 'How do I make them feel better? Have I made it worse? What can I do?'  You are just loving them - you want their suffering to stop; you want them to be happy.

That doesn't mean that it's always feeling sweetness and light, far from it. Real love has darkness, depth and edges as well as light and curves, encompassing the entire spectrum of emotions - or lack thereof. We don't always FEEL love.

As I said to another friend as I was trying to tease it out:

It's the knowing when you can't FEEL it that matters. E.g., it's a given that I love you no matter what. That I loved you in October 2010 when we had that massive fight. I knew that; there was no question that no matter what happened - I loved you. It was knowing it through my absolute rage that was the test.

Not through HER rage or HER actions, thinking, 'Oh, you're acting like this, I still love you.' NO. Love cannot be withdrawn; approval can. Love simply is, and no matter how we act out our humanity, unconditional love is there, so much bigger than we imagine, holding the space for us to be ourselves as we unfold through the storm, whether we are imploding or battering at those around us. 

What matters is knowing through MY rage, my imperfection, my inability to feel it at the time, that the love is there - like the stars during the day or the blue sky behind the darkest storm. 

THAT is the test. THAT is what is real.

No matter what, I love you. Even when I'm grumpy.