I have been working through a very long, dark period, that began about a year ago (or maybe longer). Last June I was involved in a horseback riding accident that resulted in a concussion, a fractured zygomatic arch, a collapsed lung, four fractured ribs (all in my back just below my shoulderblade), and a head injury that left a five-inch scar down the left side of my face--I'm alive because I was wearing a good riding helmet that fit. I spent four days in John Muir Hospital's Head Trauma ICU, and sixteen weeks in a recovery that included sleeping sitting up, learning a variety of new ways to successfully get out of bed, and extensive research on ways to avoid sneezing and laughing. Even though the nurses in the hospital told me I apparently have a very high threshold of pain, my recovery spanned three Vicodin refills.
Because of my injuries, I missed both my MFA final review and my MFA commencement ceremony. My regalia hangs on the back of my bedroom door to this day, unworn except for a brief stint of self-pity, when, leaning against my medical-grade angle pillow for support, I put on my hood and mortarboard and had myself a good cry.
To make an extraordinarily long story short, the last 11 months have been the worst of my life. My mother passed away in February, my spouse continues to be underemployed, I am increasingly frustrated at seeing my career (art, as opposed to my job, which is web development) drift. I have no energy. I have dreams of being threatened by an attacker with a gun, a sniper who is not necessarily looking for me but is coming after whomever it strikes his fancy to get. I am just unlucky enough to run places he happens to go as well.
I don't quite know what this dream means, but I am beginning to understand it more. That I feel threatened or pursued or under stress somehow is clear; I think my friend Cynthia, a certified dream interpreter, would say it's significant that even though I'm located by the gunman, I am never shot--in fact, he only looks at me, never lifts his weapon, never poses a threat except in concept. I had this dream again last night, in fact, and while I went through the motions of hiding from the sniper, I knew in the dream both that he would find me and that he would not shoot. The fact that it's not me, personally, the sniper seeks, but instead he comes upon me by chance or my own "bad luck" each time seems significant as well.
I hope the luck is beginning to turn; a series of interesting interwoven occurrances seem to suggest that the Universe is once again coming to be on my side. I think perhaps it was waiting for me to commit to what I should have been committed to all along and now my karmic pat on the head (as opposed to the karmic thump on the head, which I also know well) is beginning to come through.
I hope this is the beginning of a much more pleasant story for me. I need to publically thank my friend and sister artist Corey Hitchcock for literally getting this process rolling by permitting me to participate in one of her imaginative and powerful projects. I encourage you to learn more about her Wicked Engine of Connected Desire, and look for it coming soon to a gallery near you.