When you are nursing a baby, and thus jarred awake at odd hours, at random times in the sleep cycle, for months on end, dreams seem elusive at best. When I woke up this morning, I remembered my dream for the first time in months. It felt significant, this remembering, this chance to pay attention. Slowly, as I wrote down what I could, the details fell away, as those of dreams are wont to do, and I was left with just the feeling. I realized this feeling was something I have been coveting of late, and thus I was spurred on in my exploring.
* * * * *
A friend tells me about the meeting of a secret society. She doesn’t call it that, but her voice drops lower as she reveals where she has been spending time. She shows me some footage of ‘performances’ – they are like exercises, trainings. Some people are flying, among other tasks. Overwhelmingly, the people are alive, awake, ambitious and engaged.
I am intrigued. Activated. Drawn with strong magnetic force.
My friend shows me a memory of her, I don’t know what age. She is standing on her scale. It reads, 62. She bends down to erase the 2, and as I watch the blank space hover, deciding which number to reveal, I can feel my friend’s full concentration, her full attention, her intense wish for the number to be 1, or 0. As the ones digit fills in with a 2 again, she bends to erase it and tries again…
I show up at a meeting of the group. Everyone is in a sort of computer lab, editing their work. The room is full of calm, directed energy, purposeful and alive. I meet some of the people. They are simultaneously kind and elusive.
Suddenly, I realize it is my exam week. In fact, right at that moment, I am supposed to be at an exam. I have not studied. I have completed forgotten I had a schedule at all. I find I can barely remember what the class had been about. Apparently, I hadn’t been going. There have been no reminders or consequences. Ostensibly, I have been getting further ‘behind’. What have I been doing with my time?
A familiar feeling returns, a mixed one, of both dread and wonder.
I have been here before.
I try to rearrange the parts of myself that I am used to holding onto like a comfort resume. Unusually, it feels just like grasping for the details of a dream. I am a dedicated, straight-A student. I never miss class. Where have I been? I am able to talk to professors, I am a good speaker and persuader. I will talk to them. Who have I been, wherever I was? I will explain my predicament, how my track record speaks for itself, how I deserve another chance.
Even this resolution feels vague, and I go off to begin to take care of it in its way.
At the registrar’s office, I encounter a person from the society. Why is he there? He shoots me with a tranquilizer dart. At first I protest, but the anger pleasantly melts away. I enjoy the feeling. I wonder if I can drive.
I decide to take it out of my thigh when I arrive at the car.
I go to the classroom of the teacher giving the exam, where many other students are writing silently. I ask her if I can write from that moment on. There is half an hour left. She is reluctant. We discuss.
Slowly, mid-discussion, I realize that I have missed other exams as well. One on Monday, two on Tuesday, and this one today. Where was I those other days? Why were there no consequences? I didn’t go to those other classes either. I do not know what will be on the exams. Who am I? I could lose the entire semester.
I begin to head off to find the other teachers but realize that I am moving very slowly. The effects of the tranquilizer must still be strong. Strangely, I find I really don’t mind at all. Time passes. It’s really not so bad, being here instead of there. I kind of like it here.
* * * * *
As I finish jotting down this (now-edited) outline, rousing myself from the immersion in a powerful feeling to move towards action, allowing the details of my day to float up to the surface of my mind instead, I open a message on my phone. Sent from my husband to me – but really sent from me to myself, on his phone which had been closer at the time – it’s a picture of a quote I wanted to keep from the book I had been reading before sleep last night:
From the latin root podere, meaning ‘to be able’, power is the ability to make change and exists for one reason only – transformation. When the old has outgrown its purpose, it is time to transform it into something new. Power is not a thing, but a way. It is a process of becoming real.
– Anodea Judith,
Eastern Body, Western Mind
Now that is very interesting, indeed.
3/7 – #SOL18