In the darkest hours, in the cliche of right before dawn, I awake, shaken, from a night of dreams. I cannot recall their timbre or their magical reality, only the meaning of my lonely trek in this vast wilderness. I sit myself apart from the others, disconnected, my long talk with the Social Ceramicist like a stone cast ripple in the still waters of my soul. Nay, I lie, like the fallen edge of an iceberg in my stormy sea.
I do not want strangers to touch my body, even in the quest for enlightenment. I reject the woman who clings to me, needy, lonely beyond words, taken advantage of and yet demanding. I cannot bear to stretch her body, I do not want her to stretch mine. The preening and arrogant peacock, who makes a show of his higher self, for all to see, and in my mind looks mockingly at me, were he to touch me I would spit venom like some Jurassic lizard. Then in a moment I understand it. I reject the chance that what touches me may in some way be an echo of what I lost. I reject it, I spit it out like it was venom sucked from my wound, I cast it out of me. You will not hurt me ever again, not even through the spiritual vehicle of another body. And this fact, this small knowledge leaves me chin resting on my hands on my knee, thoughtful. My anger hurts me too. My anger at you.
So when I wake from this dream, I begin to cry. I ask aloud why I have had to endure such difficulties, when all of my life I have devoted so much to serving for the good. I am imperfect, I lose sight of the big picture, I know, I overreact sometimes, I know, but I see the light in the eyes of my students, my daughters friends, my own friends, so dear, and I know that my big picture is that of well balanced to the right, to integrity, not virtue, but certainly to integrity. I have done my best. Why do you not hear me? Why do you continue to lay such difficult obstacles in my path? Sometimes this is far too difficult, too difficult to bear alone. I am not as strong as you may think, I need sometimes, for someone to take my hand when I am frightened, when I am struggling. It is not too much to ask. I know it isn’t.
Later, I understand, it is as though the voice has reached through the cushion of the thunderclouds, through the rage of the flashing lightening, through the drenching down pour of sheets of water, through the wind that makes the trees dance as though in a trance, drugged by their own whipping, dervishes. I must have patience, I must trust, I must see that all of this is for some purpose I cannot understand. I have to wait and see.
And then in the day, where I think that nothing will come, and that all is surely lost, that I only imagine the love, that I am once again fooling myself into believing in something which clearly, to any damn fool does not exist, I find myself surprised. Nay not surprised, reinforced. Will we look like this in 40 years? Would you rather be shooting rabbits with your friends? Would you wrap your arms around me and kiss me, telling me you love me with your handsome sparkling eyes, yet never uttering a word. You tease me, and I laugh as I jump on you and begin biting your neck and licking your face. You tell me stop, and yet pull me close and kiss me. And as we run our errands together, I feel a kind of happy peace embracing me.
I have to trust, I have to have faith. Someone please remind me of this, in the dark hour, when I wake alone in the night, wishing someone could take my hand and just tell me, everything will be alright.