It began as an itching in my hand. I found myself wanting to scratch it so looked down. A white milky substance coated my palm like a growth or an alien slime. It was like nothing I had seen before so I showed it to the people with me. “What is it?” I gaped, a look of squeamishness and horror twisting my face.
They looked at it and nonchalantly returned to what they were doing. Paint was their probable thought, but I knew differently. Whatever it was was growing, stretching down into the folding of skin around my wrist.
I was at a pharmacy or a doctor’s office. People milled around looking for things as I stood at the counter waiting to be heard. I wanted to know what this was. I needed help.
I looked down at my palm and the white substance was no longer there. Only purplish faded cross hatch lines stained a few small patches on my palm and the ridges of my fingers.
Someone came up to look. “Looks fine to me,” was the response but even as we looked, the thing began changing again.
White, moss-like clusters began growing like a string of freshwater pearls reaching upward, curling around my arm, a primordial Egyptian torque bubbling up from my skin.
“Is there something I can take for this?” I begged, fear trembling in my voice. “Is there something I can do?”
“What kind of fashions do you like to wear?” was the studied reply. “Peasant blouses might look nice with this and I am sure the sleeves would be loose enough. Or maybe – “ The owlish intelligence of their expression was an incredulous to the banality of their solution.
Even as they talked the clusters converged and thickened changing to a rope, then a vine. As the vine thickened it began pressing into my flesh cutting off the circulation to my arm.
“Look!” I insisted. “Can we cut it, or something?” I gaped at it in horror while the person kept trying to get me to commit to trying a new style that would better fit this new adornment. I looked around for a sharp tool to cut the growth but there was nothing near. The only help I could find for it was to wake up.
The clock read 4:59, an extra half hour before my alarm would ring. My writing hand and lower arm felt numb in echo of the dream. I was not going to be able to sleep again, my stomach rolled with anxiousness so I rose to write, choosing screen instead of pen since, when I had tried handwriting the words have been stilted and stale.
This isn’t the time for style or genre. This isn’t the time for polished sentences or loosely fitting ease to be my focus. This is the time for finding the tools to stop this creeping vine of grief and questioning from constricting the flow from my creative heart to the fingers of my writer’s hand, my artist’s hand. I am pulled back to myself by the imagery from my shy soul speaking to me in the way I can hear, as anxious and fearful of being shut down by me as I am anxious about being dismissed by others when I ask for something I want or need.
I need to go easy on myself, to let myself dissolve this constriction by the hard yet fulfilling action of simply writing from where I am right now while reaching deeper and deeper into the thoughts and images of life. There is nothing I can take, nothing outside of me that will stem this rising constriction. This is between me and my inner artist. My pilgrimage to find the source of healing must be taken one step at a time if my writer it to be freed to reach the source of creativity that lives in me. My fingers dance that next step upon the screen.
“The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life.
The heart is the origin of creative impulses. If the heart has been wounded,
it must be healed for our vein of gold to flow freely.”
Julie Cameron, The Vein of Gold.