I sit here on a Friday. It is October 7, 2016. I have spent the last, I don’t know, eight months or so, writing “My Story”. I’ll be candid, there are days I just don’t know about it. Some days it seems very real. Others it feels like a lucid dream. Others I feel like the dumbest dude on earth.
Quite frankly, I can tell you that I have had these experiences. But just as candidly, I can tell you that I have my extreme doubts. There are days that I am about ready to throw my hands up to the sky, throw it all away, and just do whatever comes to my own mind, like putting a stop to writing “My Story” or like leaving and just going on a ten-year hike.
There are days I feel so lost, unsettled, torn, wondering what the hell is going on. But there is nagging in the back of my spirit that tells me to not give up. That nagging has been there for more years than I like to count.
I have come to love that nagging at the back of my spirit, because when it is no longer there, that’s the day I think I will have truly given up and departed on a ten-year hike.
As of today, I’m torn. I don’t feel like writing, and I sure as shit don’t have confidence in a damned thing that has been happening. But I write anyway.
As I awoke I recalled that I was dreaming. When I went to sleep the night prior, I asked God to give me a good, as in helpful, dream about Rachel. I woke up to that dream.
The first part of the dream that I remember is that I was in a living room. It was brightly lit, having yellow tints throughout. I was sitting on the floor next to this lady, on her left side, facing her, but she was diagonal to my left, I was sitting next to her feet. She was sitting on the floor with her back against a couch, knees drawn up to her chest, with a blanket wrapped around her legs.
I was talking with Mary, who was in the direction I was facing, but Mary was off down the hall or in another room, for I was talking loud so she could here me, and we were talking about her [the lady by the couch] not wanting to be alone. Then I turned my attention to this lady in front of me, I asked her if she wanted to be alone, she drew the blanket up over her head.
I leaned in and gently pulled the blanket down so I could see her face. As the blanket fell from her face, her bottom lip was pushed out, hair hanging down around her face, and she was shaking her head left to right, assuring me that she in fact did not want to be alone. I pulled her hair back and I saw her face, and recall feeling excited about seeing her face. Then I notice she was wearing short shorts, I found her legs attractive and I wanted to reach out and trace the underside of her left thigh, but resisted.
I am not sure how the dream transitioned, or if the dream even offered a transition, but the dream put me in the dinning room. I recall people standing around the kitchen table, which was near a refrigerator/freezer. From what I recall, the table top seemed filled with lots of things, but not clearly remembered. From what I recall, people were hungry.
But I do remember grabbing chicken nuggets from the freezer, and putting them on a baking sheet. When I did that, I noticed that the flour coating that wraps the nugget was folded open, kind of like an open pea pod split along its seam.
A nugget was missing, but the flour coating was large enough to hold two nuggets. I looked for the nugget without the flour, found it, and put it in the flour wrapping. Of course, the flour wrapping was frozen so I did not try to bend it, just put the nugget were it was supposed to have been.
I recall something about the baking sheet, I either applied cooking oil to it, or floured it, or put foil on it or something to keep the nuggets from sticking.
I think both Mary and Rachel were there in the dinning area, but there were others there as well. The room seemed filled with activity, good activity, family type activity.
Somewhere in there, I understood that Rachel was only visiting for the weekend or for a few days. We were drawing our visit to a close, and she expressed that she did not want to leave.
Mary said that when I first told her the dream, I said that Rachel said, “I don’t want to go. I want to stay.”
Considering the length of this installment, I simply share the dream.
On March 19, 2015 (Month 12 Day 29), I wrote in my journal:
Image of a young woman on a medical bed, her torso was wrapped in a medical device similar to a blood pressure cuff, which gave me the impression she is frail.
I saw Mary, as a younger woman, but was strong, and basked in a deep yellow hue.
I saw a clock, the time was 3:08.
I have no idea if those things occurred during a dream, or during a prayer. I am simply showing how the mysteriousness continued.
On March 21, 2015 (Month 1 Day 1), I prayed during Havdalah. I prayed: Do you want me to give a blessing? The Divine responded:
No, not tonight.
Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
My son, I want to share this: Today she calls, but not you,
As for the “she” again I am supposing it is Rachel. But the mysteriousness continued.
For me, if I am not the recipient of the call, why then was that conveyed in my prayer? The Divine conveyed:
her call is important, life changing, rough and tumble it has been, rougher than anything she has ever known.
Again, I have no way of processing any of this. Just like I share some dreams that make no sense to me, I share this. The Divine continued:
Her life is forever changed, she never expected this, this is her worst nightmare come true.
What does THAT mean? I have no clue. It just seems that it was something horrible. The Divine continued:
But you, yes you, are her silver lining,
The Divine turns the attention to me. But wait, What? Why? The Divine continued:
she does not yet know this, I will reveal it shortly,
If “she” is not Rachel, then who is “she”? And what is this about revealing things shortly? Was that back then? My reader, I am puzzled. The Divine continued:
she truly feels isolated and alone on a raft adrift on the sea, with no wind, no help, not even a cup of water, she’s that isolated,
If this is the case, I do feel for her, because that is no place that I would want to be, or want anyone else to be. But, for me, this is all one big mystery that seems to have no resolution forthcoming. The Divine continued:
she’s done a number to herself, but only because she tripped, she fell down in the mud.
If I am not mistaken something similar was given in the previous Installment. But, again, for me, it is a mystery. The Divine continued:
But you will help her clean up, this task is easy, washing off filth is easy, helping her regain her confidence in the face of self-betrayal that’s what’s hard, she truly feels as if there is no light.
I don’t have to keep highlighting the unknown, but I am puzzled, perplexed might be a better word. How would I do such a thing? But I will say this, to truly feel like one is in a place that has no light is near on despair and that cannot be a place one wants to remain. The Divine continued:
…that darkness swells, presses in, causes her to seek me, in that darkness I will reveal to her, her knight in shining armor.
I suppose, if there is a silver lining then it is prayer life. We often down play prayers, because we focus on the things we “need”.
I’ve been surrounded by darkness, even if it was simply emotional darkness. There is a difficult thing about darkness – it likes it dark. Prayer is about light, and darkness does not like light, which is why it is sometimes difficult to pray.
Sometimes the misery of darkness is comforting, because pain makes you feel like you’re alive. And it certainly is a type of life, but all that life does is want the darkness to swallow up the hurt, but it doesn’t, the darkness just embraces and magnifies the hurt.
The weirdest thing is that to truly find relieve from hurt is to go to the light. It’s paradoxical, but that’s how it works.
Returning to the prayer, the Divine continued:
Unexpected this will be, but welcomed for it is her only option and savior,
Savior? I want to reply “Bah! I ain’t nobody’s savior.” That’s what I first think.
But truth told, I help my wife and kids all the time. That doesn’t make me “the” savior, it just makes me their help in time of need.
How would I become that for her? I have no clue. The Divine continued:
this does not mean that she will automatically warm up to you or be drawn to you,
My first response is: Has anyone? Sheesh. Sadly, many find me off-putting. Why? I don’t have a clue. Get to know me and I’m a nice fella. But I don’t put up with stupid shit, and I think I give off that vibe.
Returning to the prayer, the Divine continued:
but your presence in her time of darkness and despair will prove quite unique and comforting,
Unique. Comforting. Those are the only things I think I can understand. The Divine continued:
in that moment, you two will create a bond which cannot be broken, trust this.
If that is supposed to happen, it hasn’t yet.
The Divine continued:
She is a good girl who slipped up, fell down and smashed her face, she loathes herself.
I am no good girl. Can’t be. I’m a dude, in the latest terminology, cisgender. But I’ve messed up plenty, and been down in the dumps about that stuff more times than I care to remember.
In the prayer, the Divine continued:
You want to know why I had you experience the pain of self-annihilation, it is for this moment.
This is one of the few moments I feel like I had clarity instead of mystery. I’ve been there. I’ve contemplated beyond self-harm, I’ve wanted to end it all by self-termination.
I can talk about it, but it’s not my preferred topic. When one can see, taste, and welcome death, it is not a healthy place to be. I simply speak about it because I have been there.
What is interesting to me is that not everyone goes through such moments. As I write this I am reminded of a conversation I had with someone several years ago – an older gentleman, nice guy, a fireman if I recall correctly.
Somehow we got on the topic of suicide and I made known that I had contemplated such. When he responded, he was not insulting toward me. He simply conveyed that self-termination was not something that he had ever struggled with.
For me, I thought it was a common experience, but I guess not. But I’ve been there, and it’s not a place filled with light.
Returning to the prayer, the Divine continued:
She is contemplating it, right now in fact.
And that is what I understand. Mystery of “her” withstanding, I know with certainty what it means to bask in the darkness of one’s own potential closing moments.
So it is more than important that the Divine continued:
She will not take her life,
Reassurance. That is helpful. Things will be okay. The Divine continued:
but at this moment she cannot see how to move forward.
I’ve been there, and it sure ain’t the place one wants to be. The Divine continued:
This despair will open her up to possibilities…
And I’ve been there too. When one is at that point of staring down their own life, one opens up to possibilities. Why? Because the human spirit yearns to live, it wants life.
The human spirit wants freedom, to be free from self-condemnation and judgment from others. The human spirit yearns for liberty to be who it is.
So when the opportunity is presented to have the freedom to be the human spirit that God created – that possibility is usually accepted.
Importantly, during that same prayer, I asked: Anything about Mary? The Divine responded:
Tell her this: My daughter, please be patient with this, she is frail, you are strong, this won’t take long.
I assume that “she” refers to Rachel. But the mysteriousness continued. I don’t even know how to analyze that statement.
But for me, what is important is that the Divine continued:
Your husband will not let you down. Trust this. Amen.
Even though there is so much mystery, that, my reader, is one of the few things I can truly understand.
On March 22, 2015 (Month 1 Day 2), I had a powerful dream, filled with visceral imagery that made me write the word “nightmare” into my journal. Such dreams are rare for me, so I take special note that it occurred.
In my journal, I wrote the following note introducing the dream:
CAUTION: This dream is not for the faint of heart. It is brutal, containing disturbing imagery. If you believe that you cannot handle a proverbial nightmare, skip over this.
After writing that note, I recorded my dream, and it’s a long one:
I awoke to a very unsettling dream this morning. I realized I was dreaming just before my alarm went off. Shortly after, my alarm went off, which startled Mary. I turned off my alarm, got up and went to the bathroom. While there I prayed about the dream, prayer revealed the imagery meaning, which will follow the dream. I returned to bed, shared aspects of the dream with Mary, and wept…
The dream turned nightmare
I was with two (I think it was only two) other people (I think they were masculine). During the day, we were on rooftops of a city. The tops were metal. Nothing was flat. All were slopes and angles. With some raised points shaped like cones that were topping cylinder rooms. Along the rooftops were lightning rod points. We’d stop at these lightening rod locations and used field glasses or binoculars to look across the city, I’m not sure why.
At one location, I grew tired (I think that was the reason), so I wanted to lay down and rest. But there is no place to lay down because of the layout of the roofs. But there were two roof lines close together. I placed myself between the two. My feet on the one roof, my shoulders on the other, pressing myself between the two to hold myself in place, where my body looked like a suspension bridge.
Somewhere in there, I began to lose traction and I slipped, falling down onto the roof below me, another metal roof. I fell, turning, and landed face down. I’m not sure how far I fell, but it hurt. From there, I had to climb my way across the metal roof onto another metal roof, looking for a way up. I climbed up and left, finding a corner that had a loose metal flap. I scaled up and crawled through that metal flap.
That flap provided access to get up off the roofs, taking me into what was an old abandoned red brick school building. I knew this because as I crawled through the hole, making my way onto my knees onto the floor, I looked in front of me, seeing a wall, which had a solid wall about three feet high, the remainder a wall of glass, allowing me to look into an old school room, littered with school furniture, light shining in through windows on the right of the school room as I looked in.
I made my way to my feet and had to go to my left, the school room blocked me in my front, there was a wall to my right, and I climbed through a hole in the wall behind me. So, I made my way to my left going down what I knew was a hallway, but was not too long, but not too short either.
As I walked forward down this hall, in front of me was a masculine figure sitting on a toilet. The toilet was in a recess, big enough to house one toilet, but had no door for privacy. The toilet area was dark, grimy, and icky, having poor illumination. The man sitting on the toilet, pants down, leaning forward, as if he had been straining, his mouth was agape as if he had been screaming, and died mid yell (perhaps from an embolism). As I walked by I could tell he had been dead for some time, his skin sunken in, all I could think was that he gave off an awful stench as he decomposed. But I walked by long after the stink had disappeared.
The man on the toilet was at the end of the hallway, and the hall forced me to turn right. Another somewhat lengthy, but not too short of a hallway, this part of the hallway was also darkened, having no artificial light only a smattering of natural light. There toward the other end of the hallway, but in the middle of the hall floor was a woman. She was crouched down on her knees, bent over in turmoil, neck elongated, with neck and torso wrapped in some kind of bloody stomach-or-intestine-looking body wrap thing, almost like she had been turned inside out. The sight was not only disturbing but also disgusting.
As I approached her, it was obvious that she was in turmoil, and from down deep within her soul, she cried out, “I don’t want to die!” I simply scooted my way around her, walking along the wall to my left with her to my right, placing my back against the wall, able to see clearly her “disemboweled” condition as I stepped quietly beside her, making my way down the hall. I felt pity for her, but knew of nothing I could do to offer her help. I simply wanted to leave the area.
Once past the lady, shortly thereafter, within just a few steps, the hall turned left. There was a “front door” at the other end of the hall. I could see that the hall opened up into this foyer style area. In this foyer area, I saw another woman. She was at the end of the hall, but in the foyer sitting on a stool, looking forward from her point of view, her back facing the wall to my right, her face looking to my left, so I saw from her left side.
I walked into the foyer and noticed there were four ladies to the left, this is what the woman, who I saw from the hallway, was looking at. The room was bathed in natural light coming in through the dirty front windows. The building was abandoned. They were squatters. The room was dirty, uncleaned, dusty.
The lady who was at the end of the hallway was sitting on a stool that was located at the end of the reception counter on the way toward the hallway. She was facing ladies, who were to my left, there was one woman sitting in a chair on my left, and to her left was a couch with three ladies, the arrangement made an “L” with the bottom part of the “L” being the lady sitting on the chair.
As I walked into the foyer area from the hallway, it opened up into a fairly good sized room, the left hallway corner ended, and turned left and extended a good distance past the ladies, then ended at the wall, turned right and went to the windows, there was substantial space behind those four ladies.
As I walked into the foyer area, I said, “I’m sorry ladies, I’m just trying to pass.” I walked between the lady on my right, who was sitting on the stool between the reception counter and the hallway, and the four ladies to my left. I passed between them, took hold of the well worn handle on the glass door, the door itself was glass, but dirty, or covered with wood. I pulled open the door with my right hand, it swung open from my left to my right, I walked forward, I turned around looked at the women and felt horrible.
I simply wanted to make my way through, and get myself out of that situation, but my heart hurt for them. I didn’t know how to help them, all I could think to do was say, “We all deserve second chances. May you find yours.” Immediately the girl sitting in the chair burst out into deep tearful sobs, the lady from the stool and the three girls on the couch, rushed to her aid, comforting her.
I turned, let go of the door, walked out into daylight, as if it were late morning. I made my way into a completely different area of town, which I was not expecting. Left behind were the guys from the roof, the nightmare of the abandoned school. All I knew is that I had something different in front of me, unknown as it may be.
The words cannot describe the vividness of that dream. It was like a psychological horror movie, filled with disturbing images that make one uncomfortable, turning one’s stomach sour.
But it is interesting that the dream begins on the rooftops, falls down into the buildings, takes me through a horror picture, and moves to where some are gathered, and then exits out into the sunlight – hope, things can get better.
Before I close out this Installment, I want to share one additional prayer. Doing so will make a longer installment, but the aspect of the prayer seems to apply to this installment.
On March 28, 2015 (Moth 1 Day 8), before I prayed, I wrote into my journal “I am tired, and frustrated from the day, but it is good to be with my father.”
I began my prayer: Father, I am here. The Divine responded:
My son life is filled with people who do not know, understand, or know what they are talking about, it’s the foolishness of their heart, men, and women too for that matter, give their entire lifetime to know something, devote hours, but not just hours, we’re talking hours per day upon years of life.
Difficult reality, for I have done similar. The Divine continued:
How easily do you think it is for a rooster to crow?
You know, for me, it’s weird, that question was asked, but no answer was really given. Instead, it’s like the question was asked just to reveal the next conveyance, the Divine continued:
My point is that knowledge begats awareness,
From that I suppose that awareness is likened unto the crowing of a rooster. I would assume that the rooster is “aware” of the fact that it crows, but awareness doesn’t mean it knows when to stop crowing.
Have you ever noticed that roosters crow all the time? So consider that the Divine continued:
but awareness does not begat wisdom, wisdom is from above, not beneath, and in searching they look not upward but downward, and they wonder why they fail.
Beneath is not meaning the underworld, beneath refers to earth. The whole concept is that wisdom is from heaven.
If that had been where the prayer ended, I would not feel that it had anything to do with the thoughts in this Installment.
But that is not where the prayer ended, I resume the mysterious. The Divine continued:
Now my son hear this:
So there is something that I am supposed to take note of. The Divine continued:
today is the day.
Recall this is from March 28, 2015. So is that “today” March 28 today? Or is that a metaphoric today? Because I don’t know. The Divine continued:
She has turned her ship. She is alive. Breathing. Stabilizing.
Considering the things from earlier in the Installment, this is actually good news.
But again, I have no way of confirming or denying any of this. That is why it is mysterious. The Divine continued:
But not yet ready to contact you.
Here it is early October 2016. So for me, the mystery continues.
However, the Divine added:
There is a reason for that – shame.
So… the reason there is no contact is because “she” has shame? Look, it’s a prayer, and similar to the dream I shared in this Installment, I am baffled. The Divine continued:
She is actually quite ashamed, not just of her fall but her dismissal of you.
Two things. Both of which are mysterious to me. But later the Divine conveyed:
…her shame is heavy, it is your job to lighten it and eventually remove it.
What shame? Additionally, since this prayer, nothing has happened to me, so how am I involved?
Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
She is quite beautiful. Look past the scars, the emotional scars run deep, but you will help heal them.
Mysteriousness continues. I simply surmise that it is possible that one’s emotional scars can hide one’s innate beauty. But I am still mystified. The Divine continued:
She is almost, all most [it felt like it was stressed] ready. Believe this.”
Believe it? How?
Look, I am not trying to be a killjoy, or a dream-stopper. I am simply saying that considering what I have experienced, and knowing where I sit today, behind this computer, writing this Installment, what has happened?
Much has happened. But as far as I can tell, other than me becoming a more spiritually minded, more spiritually healthy person, the direction that I assumed my life was going to take has yet to manifest.
Just like my dreams, my prayers are real. I have experienced them. As to what they mean, it is extraordinarily difficult to ascertain, let alone articulate.
Before the prayer closed, the Divine conveyed something about Mary. The Divine added:
Now, for my other daughter, little does she know, but something grand, and I mean grand, awaits her.
Back then in March 2015, the prayer simply happened. Mary and I didn’t know what to make of it. But the Divine added:
…let her know to be watching her dreams, don’t ask questions – Watch!
Unlike me, Mary has dreams on a regular basis. We’ve been watching. As of right now, it appears, from what I can ascertain, that the “something grand” had to do with Mary coming to see that she has an interest in astrophysics. As God leads, confirmation awaits.
The Divine closed the prayer:
Now my son consider your life, you need your family, once stable, we will move forward. Stabilize them, all of them, and we will move. I love you. Rest well. Amen.
As I have been doing since I stepped away from driving a school bus, I have been focused on assisting and helping my family – wife and kids, in the ways that best help them.
Sometimes I have better success than others, but my family and their emotional, spiritual, and familial health are all that really matter.
Blessings and Shalom