This morning, I woke up from a dream that gave me everything that I search for in this life: security, love, understanding, acceptance. I was who I used to be when I was young, and eager, and utterly open, but it was now, and I was me. Yes was all around me, in me. There wasn't anything to fear because everything was taken care of.
And so I lay in bed for a while, simply happy To Be. Then, what else do you do when it's all done and Yes? You do the next thing. So I got up, brushed the teeth, pooperscooped, fed the weasels, ate some fruit, surfed the net, and left the house to run some errands, though, really still in that dreamy half-state of Yes, Yes, Yes . . .
And when I returned, it was to an email newsletter from Cary Tennis:
"a strange and largely unedited piece from a recent workshop" of his:
"The Fire in the Clearing"
I walked through the forest and came to a clearing and there I saw the remains of the house. I had not wanted to come. My brother had begged off at the last minute so it was I who had to come and see what was left after the fire.
It was I who had to come. I had raced through the forest the minute the fire folks would let me through. I had run so fast I could not think. I ran so fast I collapsed when I arrived. I found nothing of value. It was all gone.
That night I had a dream. I stayed in the hotel nearby and fell asleep immediately. I dreamed that the fire had consumed me. I became the forest. I became the birds. I was scattered among the leaves like needles of the pines. I was the water molecules. I was the sky. I had left us. There was no voice anymore in the dream. This was a welcome absence. I had tired of the voices. I had tired of the ceaseless speaking about which the doctors had been able to do nothing. This dream came back to me in the morning with a vividness that frightened me, so that I was trembling as I ate breakfast. For here is the thing about it: I saw everything. I saw the whole of creation in this dream. As my body in the dream scattered into burned rags and the skeletons of leaves, as I disintegrated into roasted bones and the dying screams of trees, as I toppled like a redwood falling in flames, as I exploded like a pine cone at 1,000 degrees, as the ground beneath me accepted me as dust, as the water dissolved me, as the sky accepted me as smoke and the air accepted me as nothing more than an odor, I saw the elemental structure of creation. I saw in the disintegration the egoless love of creation. I saw the boundless joy of this invention that is physics; I saw the patience of time as it unspools in slow ecstatic spirals. I saw you there too. I saw you there walking along the shore as serene as a sleeping dolphin and I just shrugged like it was commonplace.
That was what I tried to tell the waitress who called me Hon. I said Hon, I went up there to see the house and I saw the whole thing. I saw it all. I saw the whole creation, all God's work, in a flash, in a dream up at the Super 8 Motel.
So what'll it be? she said.
It'll be amazing.
Eggs? Bacon? Toast? Jam? We got a special did you look at the specials?
Give me, I said, whatever is good.
Well it's all good.
That's what I mean. You weren't there by any chance last night?
In my dream. You look familiar.
I might have been there. Frankly my memory's getting so bad I might have been there. I might have been anywhere. So what'll it be. Let me write it down before I forget.
Ham and eggs. I'll have ham and eggs.
How do you want your eggs?
Burned. Burned to a crisp. Nearly nonexistent. Burnt beyond recognition. Burnt like the forest, like the house, like the pine cones exploding at 1,000 degrees. I want my eggs exploded into a million bits, unrecognizable, at one with all creation, back to their atomic form, born backward into time.
You want your eggs burnt?
I had this dream, you see, I told her. But as it turned out I didn't eat there. I was too elated. I got in the truck and drove back up the hill to look at the house again. I tried to go up there in the consciousness of the dream, remembering the dream, carrying it with me. I came to the house and thought, I can start again. I thought, already, I do not exactly remember that dream. I should have eaten breakfast after all. I'm hungry. What I was thinking. I'm hungry and I don't really know what I'm doing here. I think I will call my brother and see about the insurance.
"The Fire In The Clearing"
I just made a pot of coffee. Think I'll go pour a cup and settle in with my novel . . . Yes :)