Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tethered

"...while he moved forward violently, he was immobile, he was hurtling round a fixed point." Ian McEwan, the child in time

I dreamt the other night that I was with my SIL. We were preparing food to take to a gathering. A most beautiful, exultant song was playing and my very being pulsed to it. Every atom of me throbbed. And then my SIL's voice cut through: "I'm glad you are having such a good time, but do you think you could (do such and such instead)..." Instantly the music ground to a halt, like one of those special effects like a turntable needle scraping along a vinyl record.

I blinked and looked at her. Her face was bland as her words. Yet the music had stopped, it had been sucked right out of the room. I didn't feel badly, though I understood I was meant to. Instead I was interested and curious, and that's what I woke with. I laid there in that quasi-awake, quasi-asleep place and pondered a bit over that.

I was with the mechanics of the maneuver, and the wonder of my response to it. In thinking about what she said I considered the contrast between the words and the tone. She clearly was not glad at my happiness, and instead experienced it either as an inconvenience to herself, or something that was a selfish indulgence on my part at her expense. It's not an uncommon way of expressing displeasure...I may use this device sometimes myself when I'm trying to get the kids out the door and they're absorbed in something else. Present in the dream interaction was a strong sense of unspoken 'rules'. I was to know she was unhappy, but though I was to change my behavior, I was not to let on that I knew she was unhappy. I was to register her remark as an innocuous observation, even as I was to do something to satisfy her, but not let on that she'd been dissatisfied.

Again, that's a dynamic that's familiar. I've seen it in action all my life; it's a shaming device...meant to influence the behavior of someone else. All my life I have responded to it with shame--experienced it as a stinging. In the dream I did not, and as I lay there I considered that.

Then there was the matter of the melody. It kept playing in my head too, a lilting, cajun-type fiddle lead. I enjoyed just listening to it and recapturing the feeling it evoked. It was tantalizingly familiar, and then it came to me. Though altered to a cajun arrangement, the intervals were that of the old Tommy James song, "Dragging the Line": "Loving a free and feeling spirit, hugging a tree when you get near it, digging the snow and the rain and the bright sunshine...dragging the line". Funny, how the lyric, "Dragging the line" sounds more like a dirge than an affirmation of freedom. A paradox.

I've been having dreams that seem to have a theme of a glass ceiling. In one I had an aspiration to go high, to a high point of a city. But the vehicle I chose, a taxi and driver, took me low. In another, I'm a Transformer, blue, soaring, powerful. And I'm hamstrung by power lines. I walk along a path I think is going to a destination, and at the last moment it turns, back toward where I came from.

This week my cousin Sheri pulled the Ace of Cups Tarot card on her blog, Wild Women of the Universe. She actually pulled it twice. It's a card of abundance, of transcendent joy. And yet I feel myself pressed against this invisible barrier. And I experience light being bent to conform to some sort of gravitational pull I don't understand.

It was this gravity I wanted to transcend the other night when Scott was so distraught. I suspect he needed me to transcend it too, to show him convincingly that his well-being could come from another avenue than my anger with his brother. Somehow, though, I found myself pressed against curved glass, my movements directed on a well-circumscribed path, away from the transcendence I sought for both of us. I could not get through to the other side.

Since Sheri had already drawn the Ace of Cups this week, she pulled another for clarity, and got The Moon, reversed. She said it's a card of "deeper understandings of the forces at work", the hidden being revealed through the channels of intuition.

I long for this.

5 comments:

PaleMother said...

The subconscious is really amazing with the metaphors, isn't it? It just blows me away sometimes.

You definitely have a recurring theme going there. Do you think what's holding you down is internal or external?

It seems like in dreams and in RL, there are people trying to use you for their purposes (Scott, as a weapon -- too strong a word maybe -- to punish his brother who displeased him ... yes, we all need validation, but it has to be earned to be worthwhile ... and your SIL to do chores her way, and to feel superior), with no regard for your inner voice, your rhythm. And you are tangled between being true to your higher self and others. Ideally, the two things aren't mutually exclusive(Easier said than done).

Happy belated blogoversary, BTW! You made me realize I had one myself.

I went through a time of questioning, before having kids, where DH and I were separated for seven months. I am glad you have your answers; prolonged limbo is bad for everyone, though you have to give these things their due and "live the questions" sometimes. All the best to you as you navigate the changes ahead. And may the forces around you reveal themselves timely. :) Clarity is so nice when you can get it. :)

XXOO

PaleMother said...

From one of my Rachel Pollack references, "...the Moon refers to intense dreams and the creative power of the imagination ...." It also refers to instincts and intuition and the unconscious ... the opposite of our rational "ego" side. It's also about being in sync with natural rhythms and forces that are bigger than ourselves.

Pollack says of The Moon reversed, "(the card) shows us resistant to these powerful forces. We may deny some powerful instinct or try to see everything in a narrow, rational way. ... We may need to learn to accept some part of ourselves ..." (that we'd rather deny.)

In 78 degrees, she says, "The Moon indicates an excitement of the unconscious. We begin to experience strange emotions, dreams, fears ... we find ourselves more intuitive ... if the card appears reversed, it shows a struggle against the experience. The struggle leads to fear and (disturbance) as the person does not allow the moon's calming side to emerge.

... The psyche, operating under it's own laws for it's own reasons, has turned to the Moon. If we allow ourselves to experience it the fears will turn into wonders and the gateways open to adventures."

I don't know if that is interesting or helpful or if it applies to you at all. I was just inspired to pick up the books and thumb through.

excavator said...

I was delighted to find your messages and really appreciate your sharing your thoughts. I get the care and consideration behind them, and I understand why other recipients are also glad to receive them.

Life has overtaken me a bit this past couple days; the effect on me is peripheral, but profound on people fairly close to me, and I'm thinking a lot about the nature of that. I'm considering a post, and this crowds out some of the things I'd wanted to respond to in your comments. I appreciate your references to Rachel Pollack and am letting them simmer for now.

PaleMother said...

Hi Ex,

Just checking in on you on a foggy Sunday moning with tea ... before the day is swallowed by chores and concerns and (ARG Football).

I actually pulled three more cards for you that night, but didn't post them ... didn't completely interpret them because maybe it was ... not PC to just do that spontaneously.

You take care of yourself. Simmer and be well, one day at a time. No worries.

XXOO

Sheri said...

I really like Renee Pollack's books and her interpretations of the tarot cards and their meanings.

I'm curious about the glass ceiling you keep dreaming about. I believe dreams are one of the ways our subconscious gets our attention and gives us important messages. The trick is in interpreting them. :)

It feels like you may have been struggling with the concept of moving forward and being happy for so long that it seems just out of reach...you can see it through the glass ceiling, but haven't been able to get there.

Maybe your recent decision to outwardly move forward with your divorce, may dissolve some of the glass that has been blocking you. I hope so. :)

Just know that I am here if/when you need me...sending you loving and supporting energy.