Friday, April 17, 2015

In the eye of the storm

"If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs... you've probably misunderstood the seriousness of the situation."*

I won't divulge any personal information of course, but quite seriously the list of things affecting people around us right now include (but are not strictly limited to): murder, drugs, mental illness, and cancer.  In comparison our little family are living on a somewhat lonely, but rather lovely, island-oasis of joy.

Recently I had an epic dream that my mind keeps returning to for guidance.  I was exploring a vast, high, sandy landscape overlooking the ocean.  Rain began and between solid, red-brown rocks the sand began to shift; at first in trickling rivulets and soon in swathes of falling earth.  I ran with increasing panic from one island of sand to another, escaping just before each gave way; eventually realising - just in time - that the entire cliff was no longer safe.  The dream was infused with fear and remembering it returned the emotion, but the ending and my initial waking were awash with euphoria.  At last I made it to higher ground, to the very pinnacle of the rocky mountain against which the now fallen sand-banks had nestled.  From my final location I sat drenched in the storm, but safe to watch the drama and await calm morning.

This is surely a metaphor for my present situation.  While chaos reigns outside my door, our current narrative is one of imposing deadlines and enclosures.  For the most part these are pleasant in nature and deliberately plotted and planned, but restrictive none-the-less.  When my heavily-pregnant body keeps me up at night, it's the deadlines I'm aware of, a tangible sense of constriction. (One of the few negative side-effects I do suffer during my otherwise easy pregnancies is the phenomenon of being unable to return to sleep when I wake at night.  What a charming gift from mother-nature: you're about to be ludicrously sleep-deprived - here, have some practice.)

My dream spoke to me of escape, of breaking free from the shackles of my suburban life.  Yet it is this very life keeping me safe.  Perhaps instead my family and my home are the mountain, the rocks I need to cherish.

*Love me a cynical take on a classic platitude; no idea the source of this one.

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