My friend Dottie has died, and it's hard to believe it's true. One of the most creative thinkers I have ever known, she was painter, poet, and artist who shared of herself and loved me well. I can't believe she's not going to call me, nudge me about our next writing meeting, ask me if she has access to share her screen. She cared about me and my work, and was one of my biggest advocates. It's quiet, sometimes, when a special person dies. Here are some of her poems and her light.
There is a recurring dream many people have about a discovering a hidden room you didn’t know existed, a wall that opens up to more behind it that you didn’t know was there. I have this dream from time to time. What would Dottie have said about the hidden room? What would she have known about it?
I think it signifies there is more to life than you thought you knew, that there is possibility you didn't see.
It’s a good dream, usually.
Once, when we lived in a tiny apartment in New York City, there was a wall that held a faux fireplace and I dreamed that it opened up to a whole new room. Maybe I was hoping that was the case, that there was more than what was there inside those wall, stacks of books and a cat litter box and a small Christmas tree and a couch and a bed and everything crammed into one railroad-style space. It never felt too small while we were there, though. We even had red curtains and a glass display case and a bathroom with a charcoal-blue slate floor.
That was a happy dream, a dream of possibility.
Once, the dream was more frightening than happy. There was a huge room that I found in the back of a house, and in it were rows of king sized beds, kind of like the ones in an old department store. These beds were musty; the room was poorly lit and smelled like my grandmother’s house. The covers were brownish-orange with patterns of flowers, rough to the touch. There were so many of these beds. In the dream, I left the room and was afraid to go back. I knew where the door was but was afraid to open it.
As we open the doors to the hidden rooms inside of us, can we be brave? Can we open to the possibility that there may be something good behind the doors? Can we look back and name those things have been so good? Can we name the moments that have been filled with a light that came from somewhere beyond what we know?
Let us see the hidden rooms and listen for what is there. Let us create space to do this.
Let us look at them with love, and transform them. Plumb them, mine them. Listen to what they have to say, see them. Fill them with color and freshness, or erase them. Blow them away.
Let us open the doors. Let us hold onto ourselves, hold ourselves so tightly. Stay close to ourselves. Release, and trust. Keep moving, keep looking.
Maybe there will be something good.
Photo by Kyle Bushnell on Unsplash