It is the interlude between. The images and action rouses me to the edge of wakefulness. Shadows of events fade into questions or knowing before my mind drifts into the quiet of dreamless sleep. I wake, knowing that my life is at a place of quietness because the images don’t last past those first waking moments. They are the secret language of my inner self sorting through the events of the day, settling the mementos on the shelves of memories, new icons to play a part when life brings moments needing a language that can cross the barrier to the waking self.
I remember a time I needed to know. I felt a hollowness within, wondering if I was an empty shell, if beyond the surface of duty and roles was an empty house with nobody home. I felt the lesions of hopelessness scaring me and dreamed them as a person who could not speak or show emotion, a person who seemed to have no mind, no direction. I called the person a He. His disfigurement was nothing I could identify with and I wanted to keep him away from me. And then I woke and the image of his lumpy lesions left me with unrest.
And then another night I dreamed again only this time, I was face to face with the same person. I reached out and lanced one of the boils and as it cleaned out the shape of the face began to change. It was not a he at all. I was looking at a mirror of how I saw me. The task ahead of cleaning out the things I saw as disfiguring my spirit seemed daunting. There was a hopelessness that walked with my dogged determination to keep taking the next step. Could I ever find an end to the dis-ease I felt within?
So I dreamed again. We were walking out on a large stone dissecting a stream into two channels. The sun was warm and the sound of rapidly moving water was a white noise lightly pierced by the peals of laughter from the children jumping on the rocky shelf. Suddenly looking downstream I saw danger. Huge pieces of stone large enough to shake that surface were pummeling down the stream. I tried to cry out, to warn the children of the danger but the sound of the water muffled my cries. I watched in horror as the huge stones smashed against the rock. I watched in wonder as the children kept playing, oblivious to the onslaught that should have cracked the stone or at least caused it to shift under their feet.
“They are only pumas stone.” The words jarred me from my sleep. Pumas stone, the light airy stone from a volcano that is so full of tunneling holes that it is far lighter than it appears. I woke with a knowing that those lesions in my spirit were like that pumas stone. They looked bigger than they were. The healing, though it would take years, would not be impossible. What I saw with my mind’s eye was tunneled with possibility and hope that would keep them from having the weight to hold me down or to cause irreparable cataclysms in my life. Healing would happen.
Such is the power of sleep. It quiets the unrest of our waking self so that, if we choose to listen, we can hear the other voices in our spirit that just might have what we need to move forward in our life.
There is a Psalm that speaks of the blessing of sleep. When my heart is most at unrest, sleep is the place that lets me hear, and in hearing, helps me heal.