Skip to main content

Weary from contention, seeking escape, I try to rest. Even rest feels hard, hard like dry ground. A pillow flattened into stone. Tension in my neck, thoughts spinning. I carry this weight of sadness. Try to lay it down beside you, still the burden presses on your heart.

I’m not the only one. So much journeying from here to there, then to now. Running from what’s behind, what’s to come. Everyone scrambling to make a life, find some plot and stake a claim.

We scheme for blessings and sidestep curses. Split the family, fissures open. Trouble on every side. Find allies, suspect everyone, survive. It’s all distraction.

Look down, then, at one’s hands, at the work. Find blessing in simple labor, something repetitive, something that builds—or tears down. Either works. For a time.     

If only I could dream! Dreams come rarely these days. Where is the God of dreams?

Jacob’s Dream, William Blake, 1805

There is a ladder here, somewhere, right where we are. A path of stars from heaven to earth, earth to heaven. It won’t be found, only revealed.

I come from people who dream. Rarely, in spaces between, where boundaries dissolve, strivings surrender, where the mind blurs from exhaustion. Rarely, then, dreams come.

Angels, stars, stars, angels. Galaxies in the glint of the eye. Tangled roots, probing, seeking. Generations branching into leafy crown, migrating birds, a storm on a mountain. Some terrifying presence pressing promise on a throbbing heart.

The Dream of Jacob, He Qi

We wake, gather shabby trappings, journey on. The dream is a moment, a startling flash. Afterimage lingers in familiar dimness. Stone becomes burden becomes gateway becomes a way to say I’ve come this far.  

Journey on, across this haunted landscape, this wonder between bewilderments. The dream follows, always, just beyond our ken.

And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power? — Job 26:14

(Header image: Jacob’s Dream, Marc Chagall)

Leave a Reply