Lovely spring storm last night. Woke at 3 a.m. with the thunder and lightning–that wonderful, cozy kind, loud as it is, that helps you trust the earth is being quenched and nourished and that everything is going to be all right. Having been so busy lately promoting Full/Crescent Press’s new Community Reading, “Poetry at Perkins: In Celebration of the Night Sky!” as well as attending lots of spring concert events at our daughter’s school, when I finally fell back to sleep I dreamed I was on tour promoting the show in a high school gymnasium–at a pep rally, no less, huge telescope in the middle of the basketball court floor. I was being helped by a group of boys (men, in the dream) whom I’d gone to elementary school with and remember especially from sixth grade, when one of them sat next to me in home room. The one who was my partner in the dream–partner in charge of promoting the show–was someone who visits my dreams periodically, someone I always thought sweet and special, someone who died in a motorcycle crash at far, far too young an age.
We were walking off stage together, off the basketball court, and I confessed to him that though I was really looking forward to this show and knew all the poetry read would be wonderful, I had never actually looked through a telescope, didn’t really know what the night sky looked like up close that way. He and the other boys all stopped short, surprised, and said, “Well, let’s go back. She’s gotta see!” The room was empty now but for the telescope and the small wooden step ladder that led up to where you could peek through it, and I was terribly afraid we were doing something wrong or would somehow get into trouble. David–his name was David!–put his hand on my shoulder and encouraged me to look through, that it would all be all right.
When David shows up in my dreams, it is nearly always a message that things are all right. He is connected, in my mind, to my grandfather, who I found out some years after high school had worked with him in one of the mills in town. My grandfather, a weaver, had worked there for decades, and it turns out had been fond of him, thought he was a nice boy (as did pretty much everyone I know who knew him), enjoyed working with him. So when I think of Dave, it is always in tandem with Pepe, and thinking or dreaming of Pepe is nearly always being told, gently, that “Better days are coming.” Or that, in fact, they are already here.
When I finally peered into the telescope, I was unprepared for what I saw: a perfect image of Saturn, just as I’d ever seen it in photographs or on television, the perfect image of the ringed planet! Dave smiled, laughed a little, as he put one hand on the back of my shoulder and encouraged me to keep looking. So then I could see all the way into Saturn, that there were people there who looked human, like all of us, except maybe just slightly “off,” like people in a colorized 1950′s sit-com. And then I was just in the scene, part of it all, and Dave and I were together on the top floor of a house, in a small bathroom painted white, standing between the small white porcelain sink and an open window, white cotton curtain billowing slightly with the breeze, first in, gently, and then more strongly out, to where we followed it past the tree branches and yard and down below, where we could see again the big telescope on the basketball court floor and realized together we’d better hurry to get back where we’d been, that they’d be closing the room soon and we had more so much more work to get done from here.
And just as we realized that, my alarm went off, and I was lying in bed alone-and-not-alone, rain still steady outside, Dave still somewhere nearby–somehow, somehow!–and I felt, as I so often do on waking, fully present in both worlds: Dream and Reality, Past and Present, the worlds of Synchronicity and Timelessness and Wonder, where there is no question about how all the pieces of the universe fit so pleasantly together.