Last night I had a nightmare about running from a tsunami. This has been a recurrent nightmare over the years, but when I woke up I felt like I literally was underwater and filled with dread.
I did my meditation, sitting with the feelings, trying just to breathe and not thinking about ways to alleviate the uncomfortable feelings. It didn’t feel good at all and my mind kept wandering to yesterday, when I did feel very good, or to my time with Zoe, and my friend Mona, who visited this past week from Los Angeles. Thursday we went to opening night of a show called “Red” with Alfred Molina, which was excellent and it’s always thrilling to go to an opening night. We also walked all over the city earlier in the day, including the High Line and Central Park. The weather is gorgeous now (unlike when Zoe was here and it rained every day.)
I thought about making my coffee stronger and putting on some dance music, but I didn’t, I just sat with the feelings. And then I tried to think about some spiritual message I could find, quickly, and I remember The Daily Word, which I heard about through Maya Angelou, who sent it to Oprah, and they both read it every morning. It’s a small magazine published by Unity and it’s also on-line. It’s read by hundreds of millions of people all over the world every day. Here is today’s message:
The power of God transforms my life.
I may associate darkness with fear or sadness. Yet darkness may also mark a new beginning, a time of transformation. Out of what was, something new emerges. The chick emerges from the egg; the butterfly emerges from the cocoon. Time in the darkness is an important and essential part of the process of life.
Jesus knew that the darkness of the tomb held the promise of eternal life. In faith I move through times of challenge, even of sorrow, expecting good to be revealed through the activity of Spirit. In the midst of what may appear to be darkness, I open myself to new wisdom. With each experience, I emerge a new creation of Spirit.
Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.–John 16:20
Now I am Jewish, but I’ve come to think of Jesus as a teacher and I love when a message seems to speak directly to me on a particular day. I finally got out of bed and took the dogs out for a walk. It’s another absolutely gorgeous spring day and I’m going to take a walk with a new man I met on a dating site. He is a novelist and had a career in theater. He’s coming in from upstate, which was lovely of him to do on such a gorgeous day when he could be puttering around in his garden. We are meeting later this afternoon at the arch at Washington Square Park.
There’s a movie crew setting up on my block and when I walked Lola by them, everyone smiled and pointed – her “prance” seems to delight every person who sees her. People are in conversations and stop and look or take out their Iphones and film her. They stop eating when they notice her out the window of a restaurant, or stop us and ask me about her. She is mostly blind and has arthritis and probably had some kind of brain injury, a stroke or something – the doctor says there is nothing we can do to fix her, she’s happy, she eats, she can get around quite easily on the sidewalk, less easily on hardwood floors, but in any case, she is truly one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known and I’m crazy about her.
At the end of the walk, I asked one of the crew about the show and he said that Bradley Cooper was in it and that also cheered me up.
When I came home I went back to read one of my posts from a few days ago: “Suffering is Optional” and read one of the quotes Pema Chodron said about trying to make life smooth and easy and how that equates with death.
So at least I know I’m very much alive! There may be tsunamis and darkness, but there are also beautiful spring mornings.
One final thought: I just went to check my email and found my daily message from Mama Gena:
“Don’t be impatient. Allow yourself some space to change.”
Impatience should also be on my subject title.