My unconscious mind decided that I needed a "pandemi-ccupation" dream. Two sieges converged on a neutral setting: Cass County Michigan. Dreams happen in present-tense:
My room at the Canary Hotel in Amman had two beds: one to be sick in, another from which to start this blog. Now, I fight another unidentified foe in my own, solitary bed but I'm lacking the red-hot hubris I used to beat a tropical disease.
Continuing my reflections on Zenkai, I remember the Arabic word "Sumud" and the prickly-pear cactus (whose Arabic name is also a word for patience). As I write, I return to the blog's beginning and title, "Reverse Exiled", to reflect on the long road which ultimately led to the strength and peace needed to move forward. In between, a brief and precious "apricot season" came into my life and was lost.
An octopus's spatial reasoning abilities are believed to be spread throughout their arms, so that each arm is contributing to its understanding of the environment. 'Mind' is never only in the head, for anyone, but when an octopus uses its tentacles to sense, manipulate, and solve problems it makes embodied cognition exquisitely visible! The octopus helped me realize that separate parts can coexist if they are integrated. I imagine that some people are more like sea-snakes: singular, teeth-forward and fluke behind. I am not so streamlined but my self is still unified without being as unitary. All of the many "voices" are the arms I use to orient in life, yet I am not eight+ different things... I am one with many branches. As Whitman wrote, "I contain multitudes".
I started writing yet another reflective essay about how I'm not writing the way I wish I were writing. I decided a free verse poem would be more compact -- thus, this column of thought.
If recovering from discombobulation is like swimming from the depths of the sea to a beach, then daring to become "more" might be like climbing a dune! I discovered that my mother is a rip-current and my father is a beach-umbrella -- and neither is what matters most. After playing with insect metaphors TOO MUCH I decided that dragonflies are a better example of transformation than butterflies. Moreover, I can sense that I'm reaching another inflection point in my development and I want to share my insights with everyone.
"Is that the church of 'Popeye The Sailor Man'?" asked my musician friend. "It is, now," I replied, winking. I stopped wearing it when I returned to Michigan from Maryland, placing it on a 'reef' of polished stones. My efforts to settle in the Washington area faltered; I’d obviously reached the point of contemplating my path anew. I didn’t want to continue displaying the anchor without understanding what it means to me now.