This morning I woke with a stressful dream about being in a barren, cement barracks with a group divided into men and women. We all have to take showers, get dressed, and get to a choral rehearsal across an unknown city, by unknown means, by an unknown but precise deadline. I get into the wrong bathroom, the men’s, and then get to the women’s but have to get something in a room and then can’t find the bathroom where I’d left my towel. Many more complications. I may not get the shower. I am wearing a long yellow dress with navy patterned tights and cloddy shoes. Will it do? I wake searching and searching.
This has echoes of the terrific novel I’m reading, The Orphan Master’s Son, which is getting more and more disturbing as it progresses. But the most distressing thing is that this frenetic dream wiped out a dream image from the middle of the night that I felt was important and that I surely could remember though I didn’t wake enough to write it down.
I lose dreams all the time and I always regret it. What treasure of wisdom or entertainment is now lost to me forever because the bubble burst before I could capture it in my memory?
Yesterday, though, I found a dream that had gone missing and it really was important. It belonged in my book, The Dream Matrix, but it ended up on the cutting floor in my last revision. Without it some later references make no sense.
When I discovered the mistake I immediately revised the book. This is one great advantage of self-publishing. The changes get registered almost immediately. If you already have a copy of the book and would like to have the missing dream, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It goes into the first letter in Chapter 3.
This discovery just goes to prove my own maxim that even a great editor (which I am) needs an editor. I dare you to find a typo in this book! And it reads really, really well. But earlier I almost ended up with two chapter fives.
I didn’t discover the missing dream. My wonderful writing mentor, Deena Metzger, who had read earlier versions of the manuscript, pointed it out. She actually remembered the dream, as I did—it was still in my head, which was why I didn’t notice that it had gone missing in the final revision.
Like any great teacher she tacked the note about the missing dream as a P.S. onto an ode of praise for the book. She claims she says these things not because she knows and loves me or because she is connected to the book:
I finished your book yesterday. I had read it, rapt, whenever I could during the day. It is an extraordinary text. Beautiful. . . . And brilliant. Startling in its insight, perception and intelligence. . . . We, readers, know at the end something of the possible range of what it means to be human, the potential for extraordinary understanding and accomplishment despite, or because of, the struggles and difficulties that we all encounter.
[As] one who was present for some of this and has read much of it before [I am] awed, really, by your ability to render the great mystery of connection with so much light and so lightly. By your ability to render the great mystery of connection! I am and am not surprised that Spirit would challenge two women who were raised in and practice a soulful religious path to see what else exists, how else Spirit moves in the world so that Spirit’s ways might become known so that we can begin to live accordingly.
Dream and daily life, religion and Spirit, meanness and generosity, possibility and devastation, dolphins, beached and leaping, Aberdeen and sacred trees, the grove restored, hard and relentless work about nuclear and environmental danger, the world restoried, and friendship, friendship, friendship, and love in so many of its forms, lived truly and passionately from the heart.
These words do not come close but your words do come close. I will try to find the right words to honor your heartfelt work. . . .
I want everyone to read the book so they will know what writing is and can be, also, what might happen in a circle, what might come to be if one gives oneself, despite or through, skepticism, to everything that is indeed occurring and related in the holy universe that is without limitation.
If you aspire to write soulfully and for the soul of the world, you should work with Deena. If you want to know what that is like, read this book. You can start by telling and writing your dreams to a friend.