Last night I dreamed I was at Disney World or some other amusement park. Actually, I wasn’t in the park just yet, but standing in a long line outside it, waiting to buy my ticket to get in. Ahead of the winding stanchions was ticket booth shaped like a concrete bunker, and beyond that, hovering just above it, was the monorail, with the train waiting at the station for passengers.
I remember feeling indecisive: do I want to stand in this line? Do I want to get into the park after all? The skies darkened and I almost turned to leave, not really wanting to stand in the rain. I chided myself for being impatient, turned around once more to stay in line and then looked up to the sky to scan for clouds. But as I looked above the gleaming metal of the monorail, I saw the crest of a wave -a huge wave – about to break over the entrance of the park. As it crashed down I heard the sound of gasps and shouts as the crowd scattered, people dodging this way and that, trying to escape the gallons of salt walter falling down on their heads.
I was frightened by the wave and turned to go. But then I thought, wait – no, I don’t have to stand in line now! I could get closer to the ticket booth while everyone runs away. Yes, yes, so clever – they’ll all be grumbling because they lost their place in line, but I kept my head!
But then again, do I really want to get into a park that’s practically under water?
The ticket agents were still in their bunker, still handing out passes. Would they allow people to enter if it were truly dangerous?
I woke up without making a decision. Even now I have this after-image of indecisiveness in the back of my head. What should I do? But what should I do about what??
My emotions have been really messy these past few days, almost surprisingly so. I went to a concert I’d been eagerly anticipating only to be hit by a huge wave of loneliness (is that what the dream meant?). Everyone there was either on a date or part of a group – I suddenly felt terribly alone. I tried to label the emotions as they occurred: loneliness (why don’t I fit in anywhere?), envy (why can’t I have friends like she does?), and anger (why can’t you just enjoy a concert without getting upset about something??). And yet, I couldn’t find the space to breathe in all of it – I left early and went to bed even though the concert itself was rocking.
I lost my temper at a volunteer meeting last night, and even though I didn’t *really* do anything terribly wrong – a job hadn’t been completed because I hadn’t had the time, and I got defensive about needing help to finish it – I’m having trouble letting it go. That old feeling that I’ve screwed up, I’ve shown my true self (which is obviously nasty and incompetent to boot) and these people will never like me again is always there on stand-by on these occasions. Anger bubbled in me all night, I’m sorry to say, and it’s hard not to get indignant when I think of going back to finish that task. Why the resentment? Where the hell does it come from? Haven’t I meditated on this again and again and again?
How I wish I could recapture that expansive warmth and optimism I felt a couple of weeks ago.
Meditation is supposed to be an exercise in beginning again (and again and again and again, as our thoughts creep in and we return to the breath). I guess I’m in need of patience right now, because I’m tired of facing all those old patters again and again *and again.*