Sunday, January 23, 2011

Only A Dream

Last night I dreamed you had a small, dark-haired boy to care for--but you couldn't, because you were busy with other, less important things. 

I came to your city when you called me, asking if I could take the child and his routine for a day. Of course, of course! I would finally see your face, and couldn't wait for the moment when you would see mine. So we planned a complex route and a good time, a time when our meeting would be "safe", unlikely to unravel or offend the intricate patterns and tightly-capped relations you had established for so many years. We would meet at the end of the day, after school and daycare and some event. I managed to go to the right place at the right moment, found the child, and spent the day falling in love with him.

In the afternoon we met at a large social function, a birthday party filled with other children and well-heeled adults with watchful gazes. I pretended to be nothing, the nanny, the hired help. We left the little boy for a few minutes at play, and faced each other in an outbuilding, far in the back. I put my hands on either side of your face and said, "Look! I am so happy to see you!"

We embraced; I stepped back, to look at you. There was a mask over your face--a strange, eerie, expressionless thing that covered all but your mouth. I reached up to remove it, but you stopped my hand. "I'm sick," you claimed, "and too flawed. I can't let you look in my eyes."

There was a movement near the half-open door. A woman stared in at us, about to bring down your house of cards, judging by her expression and the speed at which she hurried away. You saw her, too, and immediately panicked. You urged me to crawl through a window, to get away at all cost, to abandon the property. I protested. I wanted to say goodbye to the little boy; I wanted to tell the truth, to stop hiding in the shadows. I left, in the end, after extracting a promise to meet in a different place, soon.

I spent some time in the city, which was old and golden, somehow; eventually, I met you in a building and a room of your choosing. There were other people there, but I found you at once, with your mask. Again, I tried to remove it. You seemed to have difficulty breathing. Again, you refused. You pulled me into your lap for another, more intimate embrace, but the mask disturbed me, and I pushed away and stood. For the first time, I noticed that we were in some kind of bordello, and that all the couples were masked or painted so heavily that features could barely be discerned. The golden light had faded, and a bare, electric bulb hung from the ceiling. I walked around the room, fascinated and disgusted with myself, until I came to the chair where you sat, uncomfortably, shifting as if the cushion was full of thorns. 

I said, "I am not a prostitute."
"I'm sorry..."--the tone was dejected--"I only wanted the fantasy. I just wanted the fantasy!"

"I am not a fantasy." I laughed. You reached for me and I felt a mix of crushing disappointment and immense tenderness. I put my hands on either side of my bare face. "Take care of your child," I told you. "Take care of your health. Learn to love what's real."

Who are you?


  1. Wow - this is incredibly powerful Maria! Such a call to authenticity - to "not pretend to be nothing" - to "stop hiding in the shadows", to take care of ourselves and not sacrficie ourselves for the fantasy! Women's work, heh? :)

    Much Love - C

  2. I think it's everyone's. :)
    I almost hesitated to post this, as it was kind of raw and disturbing...but I am not the only one dreaming, here. The world is. So it must have a place...
    Love back to you, C!

  3. Dearest Maria & Christine,
    It was definitely a post that rocked this world. Plunged a few feet below after reading this... "raw and disturbing" an understatement! I keep repeating this idea that I can't take the mask off while holding a required secret or after feeling separate for so many years. Is it possible to take the mask off with those in play? I don't know how to reconcile being authentic and true with those.

  4. Leslie...sometimes "secrets" are socially required. It isn't a necessity to broadcast the painfully-perceived events of one's life in order to be "authentic" the deepest reality, there are no secrets. Ever. Neither are there any real masks. We only think there are--we only believe we are hidden. We only believe we are separate. If we try to hide from or deny ourselves, suffering becomes so intense that some kind of break is bound to occur.

    In truth, we can't divide ourselves up...I know you know this. What matters is simply accepting all our suffering and attempts to hide as the necessary defense mechanisms they once were; seen clearly from Now, they they are just that, and only that. Masks are frozen (non)expressions that we recreate every time we feel pain or fear. They have no life outside of what we grant them, what we pretend. You can carry them (an idea, an emotional reaction) around for a long time, but you are not defined by them unless you choose to be.

    In my own experience, the most difficult aspect of being with some shadow-part of myself is the very thought that I must "hold" a secret, as if it were some bomb waiting to explode, taking me out with it. In other words, I identify as a victim, the keeper of angry, horrible events, all the "proof" that I am not worthy to be real and alive. Fortunately, Love doesn't buy this crap, and urges me to give up the bomb, put it down, start fresh in this moment. Because really, this is the only true, now, with dreams and nightmares pouring out. We don't have to earn our authentic place in this life. We create it. :)

  5. Thank you Maria. This makes sense. What I was finding, however, is that there are some places where its easier to be authentic than others. I know in the deepest sense that appearances shouldn't matter...that one can be authentic no matter where they are but, in this case, I was making it harder on myself.
    There is agreement as to the 'socially required' secrets and that one doesn't need to broadcast anything. This I know and have acted in accordance with. Additionally, it has been so for reasons that are deep and dear to me.
    Don't know what else to say right now except thank you.

  6. Dear Leslie...I hope I didn't overstep myself by being so outspoken. I just know that our in-authenticity can be so...well...authentic! :)
    Much love,

  7. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.

  8. Dear Maria,
    There was a large sacrifice to protect the honor of a person/place that required integrity. Is that what you are referring to as inauthentic?
    With love,

  9. No...ah, I hate the tangled web of the internet, sometimes! So much gets lost and confused in the translation.

    I was speaking generally. As long as we face our "issues", and don't run from them, there is no problem. And on a deeper level, even if we don't, there is still no problem! That's all I was trying to say. :)

    Massive hugs!

  10. Oh. Ah...some paranoia here, eh? Thanks for the explanation Maria.