I am learning to live in the sea. After a life of being on land, I am being recalled, if you will. A while ago, a dear friend said that she felt that I wanted my books to sell too much. That the very desire was keeping them from selling. And I took it personally, of course. But nothing is ever meant to be taken personally, as I was soon to find out.
A few days after that incident, I had a big dream. In it, the friend was at my house engaged in a lovely conversation with my father, who was the villain in the family story. But as he spoke of his life, she listened tenderly, and I begin to understand more about the hardships he had faced and the wonderful creativity he had brought to his life.
She stayed a long time; it was growing late, but finally she went home. My father had gone to the drugstore. Suddenly, she burst into the house, holding up a rainbow-colored fish with coins in its mouth. She was horrified, said that it had fallen from the sky between her house and a wall in front of it.
Just then my father returns from the drugstore. He sees the fish and exclaims, “I just wrote a letter to the wife of my friend who died. I told her to “throw him back, throw him back into the sea!”
And I woke up, realizing that this dream was somehow speaking to me and what I must do with my writing. But that is all I knew. I told my friend Tallulah that I had had a big dream but didn’t understand it.
So another friend says I might enjoy Llewellyn-Vaughan Lee’s book, “Fragments of a Love Story.” It came in the mail a few days ago and I read this:
“Khidr is found by Moses ‘at the place where the two seas meet’.” This place where the two seas meet is the locus of the spiritual journey, “where the dead fish comes alive,” where spiritual teachings become a living substance that nourished the wayfarer.” When we meet our teacher, when we meet the path, this is what happens; something comes alive in our heart and soul: we become nourished, not by spiritual texts or teaching, but by direct transmission. The spiritual journey is a way to live with this spiritual substance, to be burned by its fire, to be consumed by its love.”
And this will never make sense to the rational mind. Big dreams are to be honored, to be absorbed, to be mysteriously lived. And so begins the next chapter in my story, the next leg of my journey home. The friend who gently chided me for clinging to my books, now became, in the dream, my answer to larger questions. What am I to do with my life? Whose life is it? And how can I learn to live in mystical waters? I hold the questions as tenderly as she held my father’s life story. For none of us are bad; we are just doing what we feel we must in order to feel safe. And no one is safe from love.