Saturday, June 5, 2010


I had very strange dreams last night. One of them involved finding out that someone had been hired to replace me at my job--a direct move by the headmaster, because this man was just too good to pass up. Evidently he had been born on the streets and raised himself, homeless, managing to put himself through college by salvaging old flowers from trash bins and rearranging them for sale to passing cars. Then he got an MFA , ran a gallery, and went back to school for a doctorate in educational theory just for the hell of it. He had written a best-selling autobiography and was a tall, blue-eyed, long-dreadlocked white guy. I was informed of all of this by a tearful Laura as I arrived for work, and warned that the headmaster was en route to introduce us to this paragon of humanity.

I made a quick decision. I would seduce him!--the point being, I suppose, that this terrific catch could then support the both of us on the tremendous income from my 13-hour-a-week job as an assistant. I think I may have rolled my eyes in my sleep for the first time ever. Sure can pick 'em, even in the dream state. (I am listening to Pandora as I write this, and the song playing, as fate would have it, is "Jezebel". Cute.)

Despite the obvious absurdity of this dream ( I mean, as if my administration would ever try to hire my job out from under me! Or as if anybody with multiple advanced degrees would ever apply for a part-time assistant job!... Oh wait...) I awoke feeling slightly shaken. I made a cup of tea to steady myself.

I do this a lot. It is not for the caffeine--mostly, when at home, I make herbal tisanes from the garden--there is just something inherently life-affirming in having a hot cup of something close to hand. Maybe it is something to do with the power of fire, and our enduring fascination with warming things up. But I noticed today that the ritual of tea-making neatly encapsulates every element: earth, in the clay of the mug itself and the herbs of the tea. water. fire, in the warming of it. air, in the steam that rises and the scent that inspires you to breathe deeply in. So each cup is a communion of sorts, a re-alignment of the four elements within and without, whether we are sensible of this or no.

I have been making a point lately of getting outside at night and watching the three planets now visible in the Western horizon. I try to take note of the phases of the moon; when a particular emotion or revelation is strong enough to jot down in my journal, I try to accompany it with a note about where the moon is. At the playground yesterday I took my shoes off and let myself be conscious of the earth beneath me with each step. I touch the ground with the flat of my hand whenever I can. (The earth, in druidic thought, is associated with prosperity and abundance. When we are out of touch with the earth element, we can have trouble completing things, feel dissociated, have a sense of scarcity in our lives. Hmmm.) These simple changes have altered my perception profoundly. I am reminded that I am part of things, never alone, that my emotions and mistakes and decisions are never independent of cause. The air, the earth, the fire, the water, at work around us all the time and so rarely taken in. Unless we are drinking tea.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. A post on a Saturday morning. Even your dreams show what a good story-teller you are. You don't know how hard it is not to laugh out loud, once again when there are other people sleeping in the room!