I had an inspiration last week — a flat out, “no doubt about it” message that I finally heard loud and clear.
It came to me in a dream that told me to act. Now!
As my mother’s mind failed, she too had dreams and inspirations. Disconnected scenarios that caused her to act outside reality. To get to a school and volunteer, she took off from the senior center and started hitchhiking.
That prompting got her confined in memory care.
As I watched Mom slip into random craziness, I told myself to beware and remember, “Your dreams can be playing kickball with reality inside your head.”
So very real
My inspiration was also compelling, and thank goodness I acted.
The day of my “dreamspiration,” I was to meet a friend, Gloria, at her house so that we could carpool together for a TrailGalz event. I have a whole morning routine of intake and outtake to manage before I leave the house for a day, and this dance seems to take longer with age. So before a hike, I get up early so that my body is relaxed and in order before I leave the house.
On this morning, I woke up early as I usually do. Michael was out of town, so my opening words were, “Hey Siri, turn on Suzy’s lights 25%.”
“Hey Siri, what time is it?” (I can’t read a clock without my glasses.)
“It’s 5:16 AM.”
I felt no urgency to arise, so I laid there in the ambiance of the warm covers and the low lights.
“Hey Siri, turn off my alarm.”
“Your 6:30 AM alarm is off.”
As I laid in bed, those low lights were not enough to keep me from falling back to sleep, and my brain snagged its inspiration from the universe.
In the dream, Gloria showed up in my living-room. I was stunned to see that she was pregnant with her cute skinny legs sticking from under a distended skirt and top. She is a 50-years-something blond with a great figure who usually hikes in skirts or skorts during warm weather. However, this day was forecast to be chilly.
Gloria is both as upbeat and gracious as she is refined and pretty. So when she found I wasn’t ready, she delicately backed her bulging middle into one of my chairs and started reading on her phone. “You just get yourself ready and don’t fret. We have lots of time.”
Then I went into high gear racing through a dream that had scene after scene of craziness and personal sabotage. As I kept getting off track, I told myself repeatedly to, “Focus!” But, I was only scattered.
Gloria just kept smiling with her ankles crossed, knees together, and her feet tucked around one leg of the chair. As I hustled about, I took a breath to marvel at her poise.
The final indignity came when I couldn’t figure out how to send a text to tell the other TrailGalz we would be late.
That paralysis was finally enough dreamspiration, and I said to myself, “I’m done with this shit, I’ve got to wake up!”
“Hey Siri, what time is it?”
“It is 7:19 AM.”
“OMG. I don’t have anything lined up!”
As I headed to my closet, I asked, “Hey Siri, what is the weather forecast today.”
I made it out the door with clothes on and toting a bar to eat in the car for breakfast, a simple lunch, and a bottle filled with water for a morning hike.
As I drove to Gloria’s, I thought, “Thank goodness for that miserable dream that prompted me to wake up and get moving!”
A contorted problem for me
Earlier I made light of an earworm, and now this dreamspiration. But the notion of inspiration is thorny for me to confront as I try to write about the accident that changed our future so drastically.
Old souls can look back on our lives and remember incredible moments of destiny or luck. Times our paths changed, blessings came, or wisdom arrived. Regardless of whether they come from perseverance, your third eye chakra, or the holy spirit, these stories are part of us and how we live our lives in old age.
There are times as I look back that I still feel as though I was inspired. Situations when I believed destiny, guardian angels, or whatever intervened to help me. I can say with honesty that I tried hard to be faithful and to do what I thought was right throughout my life so that I could be open to influence from a higher power, regardless of the doctrine I was adhering to at the time.
And yet, through horrible judgment, insecurity, or a flaw that I can’t grapple with, I made disastrous decisions and messed up the lives of those I cared about so dearly.
How do I make sense of that?
I want to get the story of the accident behind me and be left with writing about old age earworms, dreamspirations, or rhinotillexomania. Whatever.
But the story of our lives is complicated, and for me, a lot of it is pretty darn miserable to remember. There are times when I think that I should work this all out in a private journal. But words don’t come painlessly for me, and without a public commitment to examine my life as if I were talking with a wise person, I might skip the effort.
You readers are the wise others. The ones for whom I’m trying to figure out what I think (at least today) and communicate meaning. Just knowing there are a couple of you keeps me going and picking at the scabby, screwed up layers that protect my life so that I can make some sense of it.
I haven’t yet had the dream that foretells my older age fate, but I know that living will be a lot better if I arrive there without pretense.
So to find some authenticity, I’ll keep talking to Siri and working at writing while I inexorably move toward the future.