Electron on Day Mountain — A Truth

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Walking the Electron up Day Mountain —

four nimble feet landing in six places at once,

while we, behind,

mere bipeds,

plod by comparison,

one foot after the other set

upon the soil with intention.

Pause near the summit —

cool air, warming sun;

lunch on the rough slope of pink granite

that spills gently off

amidst uplifted pine boughs.

Huge blue water in the distance,

deep and sparkling, scattering light.

On our feet again —

the Electron recharged, re-energized,

pulling us along in her wake,

in six directions at once.

–C.Birde

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The Tarn Trail (Kane Path) — A Truth

Boulders for stepping stones pressed

against the Tarn’s edge;

Smooth waters dimpled and pocked

with browned lily pads and

rusted grasses rippled

by insistent breeze;

Break upon woodland

of lump-barked ashes,

rough maples and fine-needled pines

lit by fleet, dappled light;

Rock- and root-strewn path

of hard-packed earth

carpeted with fallen leaves

undulating, wave-like;

The air, wildflower scented —

asters, goldenrods, and hawkweed;

Leopard frog amidst the leaf mould;

All sounds of humanity,

except our own,

fallen away.

–C.Birde

The Tarn 9.15

Follow-Up to Wrong Number, Wrong Location — A Nightmare Dissected

Last night, I discussed the dream in my previous post with a dear friend of mine. She is familiar with Jungian Dream Analysis and knows me well enough to apply her ability and insights to my zany dreams. Having her objective viewpoint to help decode my dreams has been a real gift over past years. I tend to get so caught up in a dream’s narrative and detail, I’m often unable to see its symbolic language, which was particularly true in this instance.

My friend pointed out that during our recent conversations, I had said specifically that I felt “cut off” from my son. In mid-August, he began his sophomore year of college, and for numerous reasons, I thought it would be easier to adapt to his absence this year than last. Having a year under our belts and being familiar with the terrain now has overall decreased any anxiety we previously had experienced. He is a good fit for his college of choice, and all that that entails, including the friendships he’s made there. I had assumed, since there were fewer unknowns this year, that the transition would be easier.  But ease is no replacement for presence. I miss him.

Seen from this perspective, my dream’s symbology makes much more sense. It was populated exclusively by women — a small group of nurses, and many other female patients who were grieving and pained, having had whole or partial mastectomies. Women nurse their children at the breast. These women had been literally cut off — precisely the phrase I have been using when I describe how I miss my son.

I still miss my son, but now the dream’s disturbing imagery has been diluted and translated into something I can understand. I am grateful to my friend for her keen perception. And I am very grateful to my husband, who suggested the tonic to help alleviate my sense of distance and disconnect — FaceTime.

Wrong Number, Wrong Location — A Nightmare

White-tiled floors, white-walled corridors. I push through the Hospital’s double doors and arrive at a busy nurses’ station. All the women behind the counter are dressed in blue scrubs, and one harried individual looks up at me. I tell her I’m here for my mammogram appointment. For a moment, all activity stops as the women stare. One checks a clipboard for my name, and doubtfully asks when I made my appointment. My answer doesn’t suit the question; I tell her I’m overdue and found the number in the phone book. She is surprised to find my name on the list, calls one of the other nurses to take me to my room.

My guide leads me briskly through another double door that swings shut behind us as we enter a large, dim area. There are rows of beds here, lined up against the curving walls, and each bed is curtained off in the same dull, flat blue of the nurses’ scrubs. I must hurry, or the nurse will outpace me, but I notice that in each bed we speed by lies a sobbing woman. Many of them clutch pillows to themselves in obvious pain. Most, if not all, wear dressing gowns soaked through with blood. The aisle we hurry down is haphazardly cluttered with tables, each of which contains a shallow, aged-white vessel that resembles a large, elongated marrow bone. The vessels vary slightly in shape and size, but each holds a dusky-pink liquid that bubbles and pops like thickened mud.

In an instant, I realize all these women have had mastectomies, full or partial. When I looked up the phone number to make my appointment, I must inadvertently have dialed the breast cancer unit. I’m stunned. So much pain and suffering. Why is no one helping with the patients’ pain? Why haven’t proper sterilization protocols been used? I do not belong here.

The nurse stops in front of an occupied bed — a woman lies in the fetal position, hugging a pillow to herself. She registers our presence through her pain and tears, and gingerly crawls from the bed. Her look at me is poisonous. The nurse tells me I must wait here, in this rumpled bed with its tangle of blood-stained linens. She hands me a lead-lined wrap to protect me when I am eventually x-rayed. On the back of the wrap, written hastily in clumsy block letters, is the word “maggot”.