For nine years, I have lived in a way that draws guidance and orientation from nightly dreaming. My journey of healing through complex trauma, my experience of real and loving partnership, my sense of self, my primary work - all have been constructed through and around dreaming. You can imagine my surprise, then, when an early symptom of pregnancy was that my dreams went fallow - not only the dreams themselves, but my motivation to chase them. It was as if, in turning inward to unravel myself in the making of a tiny new human, dreams went as part of the stripping away.
Approaching birth, and now in the weeks afterward, giving myself over more and more to this process and the spaciousness it requires, dreams begin to resurface and I welcome them with an overflowing heart.
I feel they are welcoming me, too.
I am in a library, reminiscent of that strange old Fountain Valley library, like a cool and concrete submarine emerging from the suburban drabscape.
I find myself in a small private room, reclining in a bed, and a fat, lusciously naked brown-skinned woman named Mystic crawls over and hovers over me.
Where her skin brushes me feels amazingly good, creates pleasure and yearning and soft comfort.
She knows this; she is smiling and easy and sensuous with me.
And she is patient as I unravel my sense of needing to be somewhere and doing things, and my desire to release and just be here with her touch.
I choose the latter, and she begins to kiss my skin, or let me kiss her skin - the pleasure of each becomes the other and it's hard to tell whose skin is whose.
And in the way of dreams, this gem echoes chords from the previous day, and resonates new memories today, deepening my sense of its offering.
On Instagram, the wonderful "yoga enthusiast and fat femme" Jessamyn broke form and shared her emotional midnight mystical ramblings on the ordinariness of ecstasy, the boringness of bliss.
On Facebook, I shared an article with an intellectual soul-brother friend, who pulled out this line and offered it back to me as of special importance: "It's the politics of every day life that really matters"
(When you're spending 10 hours a day on the couch, alone with a nursing baby, social media is a Shining Gift From the Heavens, I tell you).
In my journal, I open at random to this quote that I saw recorded late last year when I was journalling around preparation for this time: "Rituals create energy; routines drain it" - and I thought that the difference is really more a matter of attitude than anything else.
And so the weave of this dream is growing. I know something more about this character, Mystic - about the kind of mysticism she endorses, about how it is ordinary and it is now, a surrender to this embodied moment.
And the library? Libraries have become a frequent destination in my dream travels. These recent libraries have to do with my life, my soul, my family. A long cycle of inner work's culmination was marked about a year ago by a dream in which I visited my childhood home, and found that the pool had become an indoor library - with stacks rising up out of the water, perfectly legible for all the time they spent water-logged, the pool itself now comfily outfitted with cushions for lounging and researching. The librarian stayed busily to himself, but let me know I am always welcome.
I guess I finally qualified for my library card.
Now I travel back to my strongest childhood memory of this particular library, in Fountain Valley. I didn't go there much, because although it was the closest to our house, it was kind of small and shitty compared to the larger Huntington Beach library - which was sprawling and nestled in the largest park around, and had vending machines that spat out little cups of powdered hot chocolate, and I could get good and lost in the massive stacks. But one time I did manage to get lost in the Fountain Valley library, squatted down to hide behind the half-height shelves of the young readers' section, looking for a book I had checked out years ago and was now in the grip of a powerful half-memory of. I could see every detail of the cover art but not for the life of me recall the title. I painstakingly combed through every book on every shelf on every stack - and when I didn't find it, I reversed course and did it all again. I remember the cover had a woman with long black hair, and a gnarled tree with symbols carved in its trunk, and the colors were misty and gray and other-worldly, and there was a fire. I remember the story had to do with the woman discovering special powers, and taking a long arduous journey, and there was magic, and a sea witch, and a key - and also some heroic dude, but there was always some heroic dude in these things and luckily he wasn't so prominent in this one, and my queer little heart could dream up all different kinds of alternative scaffolding.
I remember this lost story had a powerful influence on me, but I never did find it again, so that's about all I remember, and probably half of it's wrong anyway. More, I remember with incredible sensuousness the frustration and the ecstasy and the trance of feeling hidden and private in this public place, slipped out of time, thumbing along the spine of every book, neck crooked, seeking my lost story. Knowing it must be there, knowing it even as I got up with a sore back and a disappointed heart and left without having found it that day.
And so I know something more about this dream, now, that wraps itself in this memory.
Coming back to the present, I think perhaps I am finding a lost story.
And now I think: the sensuous mysticism of the banality of daily life.
I sit in my place, and hold my baby, and watch the wheel of the day turn around us. There are no clocks, except for a fuzzy awareness of the durations between feedings, cleanings, naps, visitors - his and mine. This time is entirely relative. The only real time - he cries aloud from sleep, now, as I type this, rearing up from my chest with some invisible sensation - THIS is the only real time: the rhythm of body and rhythm of breath and the sun comes up and the sun goes down. We struggle to communicate with one another, though we are learning and sometimes it's beautifully easy, and we do the loving dance of meeting what needs we can.
The luxury of a cup of tea. The glory of a hot shower, however rushed. Bowel movements that bring both of us to tears. Bare feet on the dewy, sun-warmed grass of the morning lawn. My delight in his warm milky weight on my chest, and his delight in the warm milky weight of my breast. Slow sunset strolls around the block. Whispered coos and growls of frustration. Sleep a gentle rhythm that is both constant and never enough. All the different kinds of crying.
So ordinary it hardly bears talking about. So profound it feels profane to talk about. Somewhere, though, I want to talk about it.
The sensuous mysticism of the banality of daily life.
Isn't this what people wish for when they wish for vacation? Getting off clock time, getting back into body, into the endless time to think and dream and not DO anything? I am suddenly struck by this, by how this is both the idealized wish of the worker, and much described as the hardest thing a working woman does. Turns out being a body is both ecstatically connecting and excruciatingly banal. We have no idea how to relate to the experience. Maybe you get the vacation that never truly is, or you get the crushing isolation of sudden banishment to Body Time by pregnancy and postpartum baby care - or illness, or disability (is this why maternity leave is filed as a disability?) The image is of ecstasy, but the experience is widely talked about as awful.
But amazing how this body time, exhausting and restorative at once, is full of creative power. Freed of bullshit, task lists, productivity, and the gaze of the outside world, my mind is fertile and curious, I begin to have language again, images surface and ask me to make them. There are spirits who circled round in preparation for birth, and some of them are staying - they want to visit. These seem to be the only ways I can begin to reflect and understand what is happening to me - holy shit, what just happened to me.
Oh, and this was my Valentine's Day dream.<3
So, some Mystic lovin' - what a gorgeous way to start this blog.