As my head hit the pillow last night my heart posed a question to God.
I tossed and turned with bits and pieces of chasing dreams, running dreams, people vanishing, returning, vanishing, chasing, locked in a room with no escape, escaping, being captured, running again.......I call it 'dreaming in black and blue' because I always feel bruised when I awake. This morning, I sat up with a startle from one such night adventure, pregnant with emotional angst, and long overdue for answers – not so much from others – but from within myself, needing my own strength to cross and burn the perplexing bridges I seem to be facing on many levels.
I'd written yesterday of seeing my face in a cloud with a host of witnesses around. There were many many obvious faces in the sky last Sunday. I'd never in my life seen a group of clouds so prophetic, nor had I even looked for objects in clouds before, they were just there; moving and dancing as if a story loomed precariously above, revealing itself - and about to unfold in my life. All I had to do was look up.
My dream last night was almost the same. People I'd known all my life weaving in and out of the story. Floating about. And vanishing. Some came back to vanish again. Others hung around to watch me watch the mystical magic act. When I turned to reach, they turned away. Some I held and then let go. All content to plague me with their peering eyes. “You know why we're here, now don't you, Mimi?”
If I knew that I wouldn't be in your crazy dreamworld, now would I?
A parade of silent messengers they were. And they wore me out.
A friend once asked me, “What is it, in you, that causes you to play out the same scenarios over and over? There is something in you that draws you to the same conclusions time and again. And there are legions of people who will stand in line to help you do it. You must find out what it is and stop doing it. Then you will draw those to you who will build you up.”
Easy for you to say, I thought, but what a wise friend.
It isn't about the dream ghosts at all. It isn't about who they are, who they were, or how we danced.
It's about why I need the dance in the first place.
Right, my friend?
I was listening.....
Back when Mimi Writes was about Mimi writing I made a promise to myself. You will find it here. It's not that I've abandoned the commitment I made to explore my own creativity, I think I've done that – and publicly – in spades.
It's about one word and why that word scares the living hell out of me. And now, it is about what to do with that word.
The inconvenient concept of authenticity.
This morning after a night of dancing with fools, all of a sudden, I flashed back to a tender time in my youth. A scene. One that played over and over in my childhood home that I could not escape. One that I never think about. Not ever. It wasn't so different than many others might experience growing up in the South at that time and it wasn't particularly scandalous, but for me, for some reason, as a child, I thought it was my fault. My adult mind now knows that was not the case but the pain of feeling responsible for something I had no control over is a recurring theme in my life. It didn't help that I grew up Baptist where guilt is the main course. Thank God (and I mean that with the utmost respect) I got booted out of the Baptist affliction for asking too many questions. Imagine that.
But back to center....
I had long forgiven those childhood grievances. But my mind had not forgotten them. And so, after a flashback-answer from my dreamworld questionnaire to the Universe, I finally understood my dilemma.
This week I've had bouts of a foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes and goes and screams “Pay attention to ME.” Hence, the dreams and the nightmares and the insomnia and the clouds and all the rest just churning to uncover what really lay at the heart of my pain. Although parts were obvious, it was more complicated than I thought.
Could it be that once again I stand alone wearing nothing but my mush?
And how, once again – pray tell – did I get here?
Why does openness read weakness to others when the truth is, it feels like strength to me? The courage to be vulnerable when you might end up with pain sounds crazy, doesn't it? But I think that when openness becomes a liability in your life you can do one of two things - as long as you do them with the good common sense God left on your doorstep: You can run away at the first sign of trouble and never learn the lesson in front of you or you can plunge headlong into it and risk a few black and blue dreams.
What have I done? Both. They both hurt.
For me, life experience of late has been rocky and real; robberies and ferris wheels, deaths external and intrinsic, directly digging a hole into my theories on just about everything. When I wrote Don't Mush With Me in August 2006, I had no idea just how tested and tried that theory of embracing vulnerability would be. Ever changing is my opinion on the matter but I am, if nothing else - stubborn. Admittedly and unashamedly resolved not to let the pitfalls that come my way rob me of my choice to be vulnerable. Because I believe that is where true artistry begins and where life takes off. A fellow blogger and author at the time, Gale Martin, observed that my writing is “susceptible to wounds”.
She was spot on.
Her words were not combative but they gave me pause and I took them as a personal challenge that day. And so I countered with the only frame of reference I have for the power of unconditional love in my life and the lessons he taught me about being honest and real.
You know him. My grandfather. I wrote,
Flaws, mudcake indigestions and silly musings of a 12-year-old who thought she was writing a “novel” in her bedroom at night - he gobbled up all of me. He made me believe that I could do anything. And he had the courage to be vulnerable even when he might end up with mudpies in his stomach.
I don't need to find someone who loves my mush. I need to wholeheartedly love my own mush.
Such has been my struggle with vulnerability: it is the brutal fear of exposing yourself to hurt when you know damn well if you don't, you may never find the precious gems in between that make the journey worth taking. And so you fall. You get up. You fall. You get up. You make more messes. More pies. Again, you drink tea laced with dust.
And you say “to die for yum yum....”
You find friends and lovers along the way who will cheer you on and dust you off. Before peace globes, before Bloggingham became a palace, before dungeons were the torture chambers of meme-dodgers, before public romances, before robberies and blog thieves and nonsense - Mimi wrote. She made mudpies with her words.
You have embraced my triumphs, my messes and my mush unconditionally.
For that, I am forever grateful.
It feels like I'm sitting on the dirt-swept floor again. Stirring. Happily stirring.
Today, in true blog fashion, it was another blogger who spoke to me honestly. Don't believe in divine intervention yet? This morning - AFTER I'd finished with my grand epiphany of tears and revelations - I opened my mail to read a note from a blogger named Julia. I've never read her blog. This is what she wrote, “
“The uneasy feeling you had in the pit of your stomach - which does not feel good in any way - is probably your emotion-center chakra being activated. Because you were feeling the intense urge to look up and notice things in the clouds, plus the church and cemetary that gave you the creeps, I would say you're moving into a point in your life where you're going to be a lot more self-aware. The dread feeling is actually a positive barometer of truth. Whenever you get that sensation, you are close to a major emotional self-discovery. That's how it always is for me, anyway.”
I don't know Julia. I don't know very much about chakras. I don't know why she chose this moment to leave a comment on my blog; but I do know this blogger from Nova Scotia Canada who writes A Piece of My Mind must have been reading my mind today.
Because that is exactly what happened in my waking hours this morning. A self-discovery. A peaceful resolution. A forgiveness. Or two. And a prayer of thanksgiving: that even the unsteady gait of this writer at this moment, has been pushed more into the realm of possibility – and sacred vulnerability – by those I have been blessed to know and love in the last two years. ALL of them.
I took this shot on a beautiful fall day in 2005 outside Bloggingham's walls - before I started a blog, before I became a Queen, before peace globes and message bottles, before I threw myself out there railing for the world to see. Before I became a half-faced mystery. And what did this wood-frolicking girl learn?
That the woman I see here in her grownup castle world closely resembles the little girl in the playhouse. She still plays with mud. She still sings with words. And the only one now – said the child of long ago – I have to answer to
Open the book, Mimi.
Open the book, Mimi.