Saturday, May 14, 2005
More Than Dragons
I woke myself a couple times recently by shouting out something in my sleep. Afterward, I couldn’t recall what the words or dreams were that led to the combination of fear, anger and confusion erupting verbally from the deep wells of my unconscious. But it was a good reminder that the well is there and that it goes deep, deep . . . even though the water of consciousness I drink from is much nearer to the surface.
Isn’t that true of all of us? We don’t even really know what we are made of, like tips of icebergs rising from the surface, most of what we are only suggested by inductive suppositions. How we cling to land who are all made of mutable fluidic thought, emotion and desire. We take comfort from atlases, streetlights, newsprint, physiological chemistries and counsel-approved dogmas. We want the illusion of solidity lest we float off into uncharted regions where dragons lie.
Sometimes we are reminded of the water we are made of and our watery surroundings: someone dies young and unexpectedly; our bodies surprise us with disease; war breaks into our lives; we are flung into poverty by loss of a job; a trusted friend betrays us. Something happens to remind us that the unthought impossible is possible after all, and then we lash ourselves to the mainmast until the storm is over and we can grow land-legs again.
There are others who never quite trust the things made of earth. Perhaps the land was ripped out from beneath them young or ripped out repeatedly during their lives. Or maybe they simply made a choice to remember that all things are ephemeral. Such people swim. And they learn different things than the land people.
When my daughter was five, I explained to her that everything was made up of molecules, which were in constant motion, and that there was more space between molecules than there were molecules themselves; nothing was really solid. I thought she would be reassured that the world was actually attuned to her moist child consciousness, so recently come over onto land. Recently she told me that the information had scared her, but that she is still glad I told her.
Today she is one incredible swimmer. And there are more than dragons in those waters; there are gifts.