Monday, March 1, 2010

Symbols of Faith, Hope, and Love

While living in Japan in Autumn 2009, I came to face many significant fears as I considered following my heart into a career as a writer/thinker. In conjunction, I also wondered if love would come into my life, and if I would have the money and/or resources to follow my dreams. On three different occasions, I pondered these matters, wondering what would be.

One crisp and clear day, I walked out of City Hall in downtown Tamashima. I’d just been thinking about my future, wondering if I could truly believe the things my heart was telling me would come about. I happened to be looking down at that moment and saw a tiny, silver star glinting up at me from the sidewalk. I understood this to be a sign of hope and felt encouraged to continue to follow my dreams.

Another day, it wasn’t so clear. Spotty clouds hung in the sky, occasionally hiding the Sun’s face. On this day, I was worried about money, about making enough to pay my bills and keep me out of trouble with creditors. I looked down at the road and there shining up at me was a single yen coin. I never found loose change lying around in Japan and found this truly remarkable, especially at a time when I was specifically worrying about money. At first, I walked past the coin, but a few meters down the road, I turned around, came back, and picked it up, understanding that I could have faith that the Universe would provide for my needs.

A week or so later, while walking along the street in my neighborhood, I approached a bamboo grove. My heart felt heavy as I pondered a dream I’d had where someone I cared about had died. I wondered if I would ever find love like hers in my life again. I looked down at the ground and there was a pink heart. Yes, someday, this kind of love would return to me.

Disturbing Dream Foretells Wayward Trail

I had a pretty disturbing dream last spring.:

April 6, 2009 -- I was at my aunt's house house in Crystal Lake, Ohio. There were two buildings arranged like bunkhouses sitting side-by-side with about twenty feet between them. The area was cluttered with all kinds of junk. Most of this was indiscernible, mostly because it was dark, but there were old carpets, furniture, and machinery lying around in high grass. I went into one of the bunkhouses, which was fairly Spartan on the inside—the walls weren’t painted and there wasn’t much furniture. The floors were bare, a very simple cabin, except that it was fairly large. The place was full of men, dancing around and talking excitedly. Someone brought a headless corpse into the room. It was dressed in a white shirt and black or navy pants. There was a pen in the pocket and there might have been a thin, black tie. The body was fat and was hanging on something like a laundry track by a rope or strap. The men started cutting the corpse up and were excited about this. I didn’t want to be a part of it, but I felt awkward leaving, as if I might offend someone if I did. There may even have been some resistance to my leaving, but no one stopped me from going. I was afraid they’d make me do something I didn’t want to do. I felt some repulsion and I felt afraid of being implicated in the murder.

Either before or after this dream, I was skateboarding down the street in a city neighborhood. I came upon a spot in the road where it went down at a 90-degree angle or something approaching that. It seemed appropriate to ride the skateboard down it, but I was afraid, didn’t want to. Off to the side, there was a kind of stairway where you could climb down, but even this wasn’t easy. The steps were four or five feet high and you had to navigate around chain-link fences. The drop was considerable, at perhaps a hundred feet or so. The city was Dayton—I knew this but there weren’t any obvious signs that I was in Dayton. I was avoiding people—didn’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t know why this was. A group of teenage boys came down the street on skateboards. I avoided them, but they greeted me. They wanted me to go down the precipice, but I just keep climbing down the stairs, though I felt awkward again, as if I were disappointing them. I was afraid they’d make me do something I didn’t want to do.

In both dreams, I was either directly or indirectly challenged to face being torn apart. In the skateboard dream, I tried to take the easy way. In the murder dream, I left—didn’t want to be a part of it. It seems I don’t want to face being reduced to nothing. Yesterday, while at the Southdale library, I dozed a bit. I had a short little dream where a bunch of people stood around a machine while it collapsed. They immediately jumped upon the wreckage and started building things. By extension here, I understand that the dismantling of the ego will lead to the building of a more complete self. Yet, this really scares me. Last night, while I was walking, I asked my subconscious to help me make a decision about going to Japan. I understand from this dream that my time in Japan would be very challenging. I will take a great risk and could fail significantly if I don’t use it as a time of growth. This confirms to me that it is a big decision and that it will be the opportunity to grow significantly, but will also be very challenging.

I found this in my dream journal the other day and was astounded at the accuracy of these images and symbols. In Japan, I faced the dismantling of myself, my ego, and came to face my deepest and most persistent fears. There was a room there where I worked where I did a lot of pacing. It was a dark and closed place, like a crypt. I knew going to Japan would be a challenge, but I never knew it would result in being torn apart.