Yesterday’s wonderful dream:
I found a red breasted bird and put it in a vintage cage for a week near my bed
until the cage fell apart and I moved it to an even more dilapidated cage
my bed was behind a door in a concrete corridor and
worried that I’d forgotten to feed it
I woke up and noticed the bird was perched in a hole inside the cage
it was getting ready to fly away
I knew it was natural for the beautiful bird to leave
as I watched it fly into the open corridor and join other flying birds
The dream mood was resigned, softly melancholy and full of acceptance.
I’m seeing the deeper poetry of this amazing dream because I’ve been having sorrowful conversations with my friend concerning her husband and his final stages of ALS Disease. We have spent hours talking about his terminal prognosis, the passage of time and the span of human life, including the evolution of his paralysis leading to oncoming death, coming sooner than later.
When I told her about the dream images, we both understood the figurative aspects of bird and flight, the sadness of loving someone and their natural departure into unknown territory. The details of corridors and cages are simply coming from my daily experiences visiting a high school, and cleaning out my garage, finding basketry that might resemble cages.
What has been coming up in my dreams more than once lately is the notion that I volunteer to care for a living thing and then neglect to properly care for it. Its significance can be interpreted to others as well as to myself and my health, making me more determined to pay attention to the world around me.
Whatever may be said about dreams, they leave enduring energy, beauty and resolve when powerful ones visit us in our sleep. The bird’s beauty will remain with me long after the rest of the dream fades, as well the intimacy I share with my friend during the most painful time of her life, losing her husband.
Perhaps the last thoughts are about the importance of empathy and compassion, more enduring as time passes.