A strange thing has happened now that tossing and turning has fallen away from nighttime explorations; I find myself reliving alternate scenarios such as “What if married life with G had taken this turn?” Last night, I was the one working more, coming home to be shown our baby’s head lifting up with strength for the first time, other things. The dream was bright and not exactly magical, but fine. No, it was really fine. There was contentment.
When I have these dreams, there is the residue of other dreams I then remember, fragments of other more optimistic scenarios wherein I see my true wishes and also get a chance to have them play out a bit. They become experiences I have had, and therefore are in a different category from pie-in-the-sky wishes. They are sort of checked-off, although not fitting into what the circumstances of my life say is true.
The starkest of these remains the dream of mourning my grandfather’s death alongside my mother and sister, generating care and okay-ness, moving into a next, more loving phase of life together. That’s not the scenario that played out in this timeline, but it has brought me comfort to go back to that dreaming self and say “I see you.” When accused of this or that intention, I have this deeply rooted knowing there, reminding me of what I really aspire toward, which is love. Forgiveness too, yes, within that, but not a keep-the-fragile-peace forgiveness: a forgiveness which is honest and can’t be shaken, wherein people who love each other love each other in full view of failures and misunderstandings and doubts, as well as victories and reliefs and good works/intentions. One reason so much spaciousness occurred when my mother exited is precisely that the shaky ground which kept me on-guard all the time, finally just gave way as I feared. Which doesn’t mean I wanted it that way.
I’m reminded that during my first real therapy sessions, when Dr. tried to take me through visualizations of support, building layers of ground beneath me, I still couldn’t find stability. Something insisted on holding out for The Real Deal. Those visualizations indeed turned out to be a kind of priming before the insight of groundlessness.
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” ”
― Chögyam Trungpa
Is there a chance these wish-fulfilling dreams are pointing to something yet deeper, as well? What is the territory I’m actually meant to explore? Buddhism loves the concept of the wish-fulfilling gem, which I’ve taken to be (the mind of) Naturally Occurring Timeless Awareness, a la Longchenpa. These dreams may themselves act as objects of meditation, or taken together, as a singlular koan.