"...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.