I was sick all yesterday and getting worse by evening. I crept home from Rose’s house last night, expecting to have a bad night of gastro. Somehow instead I slept peacefully, woke feeling fragile but better, and dreamed beautiful poignant dreams. What a blessing unexpected relief is.
One of my dreams was based a little I think on the Celtic notion of some times or places being connection points between worlds. In my dream, those moments in our lives where we’ve been the happiest change the place where it happened, so that it becomes a link to another world. I was going back through my life searching for all those happy moments, visiting the places I’d been when I felt loved, or at peace, moments of hope, kisses in rain, and falling through into another world. It was beautiful. All those memories so vivid. They are not intrusive the way trauma memories are, they take thought to reclaim them from the deeps. A nights spent looking for them was deeply restorative.
In another dream, a woman was sick with mental illness, suicidal and heavy with dark thoughts. I was apprenticed to a healer and learning from them how to help. This woman they sat and talked with for hours, just listening and learning about her. Then they went away and contemplated. Once they were satisfied they understood the nature of her need, they prepared a remedy for her themselves. Then they met with her again and they took her to a potters studio. It was underground, cool and dim. There was stained glass in the windows that turned the light that fell into the studio into many colours. Many potters were working quietly at their wheels, there were people all around but busy with their own art, the murmur of voices.
In one corner was a wheel, by a window, where the light was gold and red. By the wheel was a deep round wooden stool with an embroidered pillow and a little bench. They showed her that she must put her shoes on the bench and sit on the stool with her bare feet on the earth floor. Sitting around a wheel means hugging it between your knees, it’s an open posture, very different to the fetal position the body moves to when depressed or afraid. They told her to sit here and be, to feel the wood of the stool beneath her hands, the old embroidery under her fingers. To worry the tassels. The earth under her bare feet was cool, and the red and gold light that fell into her lap was warm. They said to her, this is your place of healing. When she was ready, when she had drawn all her thoughts inwards and counted them and was ready to speak, then she could create.
When she was ready to touch the clay the healers set up a screen between her and the clay and she formed her pots blind. She began to make these most beautiful, tall, strange pots. After she had formed them, she was offered paints and glazes. She painted them with amazing multicoloured designs, like the light that came through the windows but in the forms of birds and dogs and plants.
The healers said to her, whenever your heart is heavy, come here. And she did, and needed no other treatment. The task of the healers was to listen to the needs of the heart of the person. And in the dream i was amazed and said to myself that I have so much to learn.
So, inspired by a night sweetly tossed in my own mind, memories and dreams falling like light onto my hands, I’m going to work today on my talk for the Hearing Voices Congress next week. There’s a gentle breeze through my window and birdsong on the air. It’s good to be alive.