Saturday, December 3, 2016

Old Paintings, Dreams and Musings

It's 4:00 in the morning, which is always a spare, silent, beautiful and lonely hour to find oneself.  A dream woke me up.*   Long experience has taught me that trying to go back to sleep at such an hour is futile and frustrating, better to pad around the house, let the mind discover what it will.  4:00 is a potent hour.  One of the things I rambled into was the memory garden of  forgotten paintings.

The painting above I did as part of a series that just burned out of me one magical summer while I was at the (now extinct) Cummington Community in western Massachusetts.   I was reading "Shaman:  The Journey of the Wounded Healer" by Joan Halifax.  I never showed them.  They represented transformation of consciousness, with fire being the medium or symbol of transformation.   In some, the figure confronts the flame with terror, the burning away of the old self, in others there is the infant representing rebirth, new birth.  The "Fire Dancer" I love still, ecstasy, learning to dance with the fire, to "be" the fire.

And the one above, I think I called it "the Sacred Marriage" or "Anima and Animus" (but I don't actually remember what I called it) - there the woman is offered the creative fire by the man.   I don't know why I dream of weddings, or remember this painting, but both are about "joining with" and being "ignited by" something, a good sign.  Who, or what, am I about to "marry"?  

 *Strange dream.  I dreamed I was planning a second wedding to my ex-husband, Duncan.  The dream was full of the details and running around I remember from when we actually did get married in 1993, a full-blown Pagan wedding on our land in upstate New York.  Such a wonderful community of people, a beautiful gathering.   I remember also  that I was so stressed with organizing and controlling everything for the wedding that I had very  little ability to actually enjoy the wedding itself.  I was up late into that night cleaning up, and preparing a ritual for the Solstice the following morning.  I went to bed alone worrying about all that needed to be done, while Duncan hung out enjoying the company of his friends.  In retrospect, so many of the things I've done I've not been able to just enjoy, be present for, appreciate.   Duncan and I were divorced in 1997, and I haven't seen him since then.  I suppose I've always wished we could have resolved into friends, but that did not happen.

So in this dream of  a second wedding I said "This time we'll do it your way", which it seemed was a kind of apology, a recognition of having learned something in the years since.  I don't know what this dream means, except that preparing for a wedding, and giving up "the way I did things before" is a good sign.  I need to see what this dream reveals. 

I remember that I had a hard time letting go of the marriage, letting go of the dreams I had,  and the community we actually created together.  We were a good creative team in many ways.  When I left New York I went through a period of grieving, which was what I needed in order to release and to grow internally in order to go forward and create a new life.  That grieving was a kind of emptying out, and I understand the significance of allowing the grieving process.  But I remember a dream I had at that time - I was in a kind of empty apartment in some Eastern city, perhaps New York.  Just a few chairs, and a window with a night time view of the city.  Duncan turned up, and we had a warm, friendly talk in which he told me that he was with someone else now.  And after that, it was much easier to just move on. 

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Fascinating dream, Lauren. And these paintings are just sop beautifully archetypal!