Go Toward the Light of the Oncoming Train
Yesterday was the Wednesday equidistant between two eclipses, a solar eclipse last Wednesday and a lunar eclipse next Wednesday. All through human history, this confluence of events has been portentous. Tomorrow the sun slips from temperate, justice-seeking Libra into penetrating, no-bullshit Scorpio. As I write, we are 13 sunsets away from the polls closing and the 700 Club's Pat Robertson is positioning himself for a post-Bush America. Cooler northern winds are prevailing here in Chicago as the local GOP pretends like Alan Keyes isn't really their senate candidate. If there is any truth to the teaching, "As above, so below," the times they are a-changin.' No one really knows which way the wood is going to split, but boyohboy, do I feel the strain in the air.
I've been hunkered down with my affirmations and my wary eyes, poring over the political blogs and studying the planetary spin. There is much to say about the latter but I hardly feel qualified to say it, and as for the former, Kevin Drum, Markos Moulitsas, and Josh Marshall are saying it all very well. If W does get himself reappointed, I believe he is in for a rough ride in his second term. If we are agitated enough to demand a Kerry victory, our new JFK will need our continued aid against a hostile Congress and a hobbled press. Today I'm writing letters to 15 single moms in swing states, explaining why John Kerry is better for our kids' health. I have to do at least one active thing each day to fight the encroaching evil. Tonight, I'll be finishing up Pico Iyer's Sun After Dark: Flights into the Foreign before I drop off to sleep. This book is a perfect runway from which to enter the subconscious. It is a rich and contemplative examination of Other, best understood when we can see into the darker territories of ourselves.
As with every autumn, I find myself sleeping more and deeper as I adjust to the jiggered light and time. When I am in my yellow submarine, I'm subject to a more unified narrative than I seem to be out here in the cold light of day, where themes seems to shift and slide. A year ago last June, I had a dream in which I was at the top of Mt. Everest. The air was thin and the sun was blinding. The climb had been difficult, but I was in a place I had not been before and it was profoundly peaceful. A month later, I dreamed that I had found out that my mother was in fact my adoptive mother, and I was meeting my real parents for the first time. We met at an airport, and they were a stunning and dignified Indian couple who seemed as familiar to me as I am to myself. They said very little, but they were radiant and loving. I awoke with the feeling that I had encountered some essential facet of my identity. And then a month ago, I dreamed that I was face to face with someone who, in my waking life, once caused me a great deal of sorrow. We were in a school and I did not expect to see her, but there she was. Instantly, my midsection became the great hollow crater that it was at her departure, a long time after which I had been kicked squarely in the solar plexus and couldn't breathe. We embraced, and I said to her, "Here is my damage. I forgive you." Lately, I've had several dreams of holding my far-away daughter close, wrapping her in love and protection; in each, she is less than five years old. Last night, I found myself in school again. Everyone I knew was there in one form or another. The professor was someone altogether new and yet familiar, hunched over his desk and oblivious as I stumbled to my seat as class began. In the past year, my dreams have generally become busier and more vivid, the characters more elemental, like they were when I was quite young. I feel as though I have walked a great circle, back to some cosmic kindergarten.
Just today I read something that reminded me that we have two primary emotions: love and fear. We choose which one to use as our lens as we peer inward and around. Though I have been a fearful person all my life, my inner life suggests that slowly and incrementally, I am chosing to learn the way of love. I have just begun on the homework, but I think I've got the basic idea. Maybe I can add to the weightlessness on the Love side of the scale.
We are at the cusp of so many things right now. We are busy, and rightfully so, but it does seem that the time calls for something more than hyperkinesis. As I lean into these next contentious weeks, I am just as often closing my eyes and listening for the silences that punctuate my thoughts and seeking illumination in the night. The coin has been flipped into the air and down it comes, each side tumbling over the other, a single rhythm of glint and shadow. If, as it seems, some great wheel is turning, the only way not to be ground under it is to watch it fall, remembering to breathe. We will figure this out.