Learning to become our ourselves - our best selves - is the very purpose of being alive.
Sister Joan Chittister,OSB
The Radical Christian Life
Two nights ago, I dreamed that I was given two pairs of shoes. At one point, I decide to put a pair on. They are quite comfortable and well made. They are so comfortable that I do not realize that I had not put on a matching pair. One of the shoes is striped; the other is imprinted with circles. They are both beautiful colors - lime green and pink, and well made. When I do realize what I had done, I began to wonder why we always wear matching shoes. I find I like this eclectic mismatch.
Then last night I dreamed that I am on a bicycle (which is about as likely as my going out in mismatched shoes). The time is late twilight. I am on my way to teach a class, and it seems I have quite a ways to travel. Suddenly, the traffic gets heavy, and I end up driving into a construction lane closure. I ride over some orange cones and actually damage my front wheel. I make my way over to the sidewalk pushing my now wobbly bicycle. The night grows darker and I am in a fairly deserted area. I am worried, but I have my phone. I call the house I had just left. The male who answered the phone says he will come get me; he knows right where I am. He shows up as promised, but all he does is hand me some white gloves and drives off. I am not happy. However, I put the gloves on and in my lovely shoes given to me the night before, I happily begin to dance to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."
I believe these dreams have some roots in some Esther de Waal's writing about learning to live in and with contradiction. Yesterday, Tyler and I both had a unscheduled day, and we went for a short hike in the East Bay Regional Park. It was wonderful to be out. There is a touch of fall in the air now, and the morning was cool. Our dog, Jack, loves to hike and he was so happy to be off leash. However, I did feel some concern. Trees are showing worrying signs of stress due to the ongoing drought, and some trees have died. Yet, there was some fog present as well, giving us hope for the redwoods. So I tried to simply trust in the day, and enjoy our walk. That is contradiction.
The yeast will work.
The seed will germinate.
The new will emerge from the old.
For the miracle is that it does happen.
The mystery is that new life does follow death.
Esther de Waal
Living with Contradiction (121)