Have just finished reading Patti Smith's "M Train,"--she too was with me carrying New York and Detroit and Brooklyn in haunting journeys of the imagination, of the body on missions of gratitude and remembering. Of words let free to roam, of images seeping through the morning light or in the depth of cracked familiar coffee cup. Of pain of loss and enduring love. The night of the day I finished reading her words, I had this dream.
I am walking my beloved Cello, a small black dog, through the streets of a city, perhaps New York. Suddenly I am startled and lose Cello. for hours, days, years perhaps, I call his name through streets, under overpasses with cars whizzing by, my heart breaking at his loss, running, shouting. searching searching. For such a long time I call for him, I am known to the people of the city as the one searching for a lost love. Suddenly,in dream time, perhaps ages, in what seems like a shelter, a woman calls out we have found your dog. I am old now, my heart leaps and in she comes with a large black dog by her side, and here I am conscience in the dream of the self that is dreaming--knowing that the dog is not Cello, I say, thank you, thank you, you have returned my love to me. Still dreaming, the outside self stops running, nods with approval, the dreamer has accepted the offered replacement, the acceptance of a gift from someone who wanted to help, to end the agony of searching even when what is offered is not what is lost.
|Our little Cello, now gray muzzled and with unseeing eyes who still knows exactly where we are|
I awake bathed in sweat, both shaken by the sharpness of loss but also touched by the comfort of the dream. I thank Patti Smith for this journey, for this freeing of dreams to find their language. Later walking on the Anglesea beach with La Professoressa's brother, Peter, who long has lived with the dreams of Blake, I tell him, I think I finally have accepted the loss of New York, that this home of expanse of sea, I am grateful for. Perhaps also I think of the woman in the dream who had worked so hard to find what I had lost, she too spending years looking for the missing little Cello, the one whom I could not disappoint, or make her joy of discovery meaningless, was Di, with the orange halo, who all these years would not let me slip away. Perhaps I saw that to be human is to lose, to yearn beyond heart breaking for the irreplaceable and then, the wonder of human understanding so deep it calls forth a new life of love. We can comfort each other. We must. Perhaps too all the images of women, men, children pushing at the world's ungiving walls, the images of Aleppo in ruins, of Gaza in ruins, the immeasurable loss of home and laughter and play without fear, perhaps all of this too was part of my dream.
For those who have waited for my words to return, I thank you. I cannot say what I will say from now on but you will know what is on my desk, in my heart, on my mind, how far my legs can carry me, how much of the world still finds me here.
I want to make this space my one remaining site of public thought as I grow more tired, as movement becomes more difficult, as I said to Jordy, it is clear I am running out of steam. Perhaps I always wanted to be a steam engine, with my short study legs, chugging through the years. Sunlight hits the bush, the beach, the apple, my darling's hair, an orange burst.