Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fool’s Gold

In the dream, the man and woman are walking along a verdant green path that leads into a bright, wet wonderland, presumably somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, probably Seattle by the way the look of the natural flora. She is looking at him and smiling, and he is carrying their young daughter over his arms. She is probably around three of four but she is the most beautiful little thing, and he is laughing and smiling at her.
And it is you, and it is I, that woman and man, but I am above it, and there is an emotional component to the dream that somehow supersedes the scenery below.
A great sensation of happiness.
And I woke up resolved to obtain it, which was probably related to a conversation last night with Pegs about “the power of positive thinking”, which she was calling “The Secret”, which I thought was also vaguely appropriate.
But I want to hang on to that image, hold it like the breaker against that tide that threatens to pull me over the edge. It ties me to the mortal ground like an anchor.
In that respect, it reminds me of another time when a dream of the future anchored me, a time when my youngest baby was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, struggling to breathe, with a future dependent on how valiantly he fought. I was scared, and alone, that night in the hospital room when the doctor came to tell me about his prognosis. I cried for hours but in the morning, I reached some solace when I was given a dream.
In the dream, a sweet blonde haired boy was running through a field, laughing, at my side. He was probably three or four, and his eyes were bright with humor and we were having so much fun. We were out in the physical plane, existing on a level of true bliss. I knew he would be all right, I knew we would be together in this lifetime.
I believed on one level that God gave me that dream as a source of strength. It gave me solace and allowed me to focus on my newborn instead of my troubled emotions. Sometimes I am not sure if it will come true, exactly. I wonder if I am just supposed to take it literally, or simply find the moments in my life that resemble it. Am supposed to experience the moment in that dream in small pieces that share some of the same properties? I question my ability to accept it as is, in fragments that look like the real thing, without having it in its entirety, and in the end I think I am okay with that.
I thought of that today, while out with that young son, who is now about eighteen months old, as we walked along a pebbled path next to a lake. He was very interested in the pebbles, and wanted to pick up his favorites and place them in my hand. As each one hit my hand, I saw the speckles of gold in the coral stones light up briefly in the sunlight, and thought about how that would seem so precious to children, like fool’s gold. It is just as shiny and bright as the real thing, but doesn’t cost nearly as much, because, as you know, it is not the real thing. Although fool’s gold shares some of the same properties as real gold, those who know the real value knows it is not exactly the same. But sometimes it has nothing to do with the material value we assign such things, but simply has to do with the aesthetic appeal. We want it because it is shiny, and that brightness makes us feel happy inside. Particularly when we are children, or at least maintain some of the same qualities as children.
As we raced up the grassy knoll to the shade of an oak tree, laughing, I thought, as I have, more than once, “is this it?” I feel this moment is one of those specks of gold in the pathway pebbles, and I think of my dream of him, and then it reminds me of my dream last night, and how I was carrying that dream underneath my breast, soothing myself from the winds of wildness that threaten to take me away.
And I realize it may be fool’s gold. I know it might simply be a fantasy and not a premonition of the future. And I find it curious the idea that if it was fantasy, it was a fantasy about having an emotion, which seems so funny to me I want to laugh out loud.
But the thought that maybe someday I would get the pieces of that one unfold, like the moment I was having with my child, the speck in the pebble, is still strangely comforting. Even if it is just that, I am okay with it, because at least I know we would be all right, we would be together in this lifetime, and in between I could carry that dream along as a source of solace and strength.
Like a piece of fool’s gold in my pocket.