I had the dream again, though it had a different feel to it. This time I wasn’t part of the dream; I was more of a spectator gazing out over the landscape from a height. I watched the wood turn from a place of sun to one of mist. I saw the fog tread over the trees like a fever over the forehead of a sick child. And like a fever, it seemed to play a dual role, inflicting suffering while burning out a disease.
The world turned under me and our pond came into view. Again, the setting sun emerged and illuminated the pond and again I thought —— dragon.
The dreams mean something; they must, don’t you think? I feel the connection is just out of the reach of
You are ~ you always are ~ kindness itself. Even with our long friendship, I don’t know how you tolerate my moods. I also don’t know I’d tolerate the world without you. You are the one person who will never sling my heart around.
Dr. Torres seems genuinely to want to help, but she is Sibyllic in her utterances. The riddle is in the parted ash? What might that mean? Are you as confused as
Despite the seriousness of your struggles ~ and are not your struggles mine as well? ~ your letter made me smile. When I told you a few days ago that it would good for your to go out for a spell, it never occurred to me that you would go out for a spell! How clever you are!
I am fascinated that Dr. Torres hid the spell in a hair ornament. From your description, I imagine it looks somewhat like this:
Your bravery inspires me; I feel a kind of courage begin to creep into my soul. If I can only find a way to gather enough strength to act on that mental mettle meandering into my spirit!
But, Bridie, you did not tell me how you are to use the charm. In fact, curiosity about your enchanting talisman has me
I have just awakened, and before I drift away again, I shall tell you what I had hoped to impart in yesterday’s epistle.
You never told me what you thought of the dream I had, but I don’t blame you; you have enough and more on your mind, and it seemed such a silly, sleeping story.
But, Bridie, I keep having the same dream — or versions of the same dream. One aspect is always the same: I walk alone, but you are with me, or I am you, or we are one. I’m never sure how it works, but in the dream it now seems quite natural. And now that I think of it, this odd fusion seems like what Dr. Torres described in your father, doesn’t it?
And, Bridie, I become more convinced that there is something to these dreams, some message I am missing. Perhaps it is a wish born of my frustration at being confined here when I want so urgently to be with you!
Last night, in the dream-world at least, everything was wild, wild, wild. The wood was wild; the tame trees of our childhood stared from their knots wildly; the mist swirled with a contained wildness, as if it took enormous will not to fling itself out and up through the treetops; the pond itself was wild, with waves flinging themselves on the shore like an ocean in miniature.
And I/you/we were wild ~ wild with a strange freedom, with a compelling seeking, with a desperate hope driving me/us along paths familiar and ways that were strange. It felt exhilarating, dangerous, right.
And then I woke, full of disappointment ~ no, anger, wrath even ~ at how useless in the real world I am to one who has stood by me so
We seem to have stepped into the world of fairy-tale and legend. Thank you for not leaving me in suspense a moment longer than necessary, but how bewildered I still feel. How much more so must you feel!
While it is fortunate that your father shows no signs of brain fever, a diagnosis of some problem would, at least, have helped make sense of the mystery. Intellectually, I can comprehend her description of how she perceived your father, but how startling it must have been for her to see a different person look back her out of each of your father eyes! No wonder she hurried off so!
But to give you on remedy, no course of action, but only those strange words about ash again. What could she mean, “You’ll find it if you are meant to find it, if you are the one”?
I have more to tell you, Bridie, but it will have to wait until tomorrow because I am
Today is/was/would have been my father’s ninety-second birthday. With my mom’s death ten months ago, most of my focus has been on that more recent loss and the attendant (and apparently never-ending) responsibilities. But I still miss my dad.
He died back in 2007 of cancer, but he was the soul of our family and I sometimes, even now, find myself reaching for the phone to call him.
Dad was a generally gentle man, but he always reminded us that he’d been born on the day Caesar was murdered. I think Dad hoped that being born on the Ides of March might give him an alluringly dangerous veneer.
When I was very young, my father would, once in a while, take me into Los Angeles, I think to give my mother a bit of break.
I remember a day when we went to Angels Flight, “the World’s Shortest Incorporated Railway.”
I remember holding tightly to my father’s hand because the car was so crowded and we didn’t want to get separated by the press. I was too small to see out the window and we were too packed in for Dad to be able to pick me up. (Maybe he was worried he’d drop me out the window.) Nevertheless, it was all so exciting and I was out with my father in the city and what could be better than that?
With my Dad on my mind and my inbox over-flowing, I was trying to catch up on my e-mails and saw that Jake Parker, the instigator of the annual Inktober challenge, has started issuing weekly prompts: Inktober52. So I took a peek to see what he’d posted, and saw that the first prompt was “Flight.” I guess because my dad was already on my mind, the word brought up the image Angels Flight and my memory of that day in L.A. So with the childish skills I have, I combined the first five Inktober52 prompts into a rough remembrance of my journey on the World’s Shortest Railway:
I can just see you sifting through the ashes in your father’s fireplace ~ a desperate Cinderella with no ball to attend. How did you father take to your post-incendiary exploration?
I share your disappointment. The logical part of my brain told me ~ tells me still ~ that it was silly to look for answers in the ash. But the part of my mind that is both hopeful and worried harboured overgrown expectations that some sign or cure would be there waiting ~ some vial with a curative potion tempered by the fire.
I applaud your intention to visit Dr. Torres. After the way she departed so abruptly, I’m not sure I would have found the courage. I hope you can see her today. The weather is lovely, I see from window, and it will do you good to get out for a spell. I am, as you know,
I swear I heard your shriek before I finished slicing open the envelope! But I can’t blame you. You have had shock after shock, and there’s no way you could have seen this one coming.
I was so relieved when Dr. Morgan found a psychotherapist so quickly. You write that Dr. Morgan knew the — was she a psychologist or a psychiatrist? — counsellor was into some alternative practices, but that she had no idea the woman was a curandera! I suppose I wouldn’t have thought to ask that either.
You say that at first the examination seemed to go well, but when the new doctor looked at your father’s eyes, she turned pale, and — and here I am not sure, because your writing falters — I think you wrote that she rushed out, promising Dr. Morgan a report. Is that right? And that as she. Left, you heard her repeating, “The ash, the ash”? How strange!
Write me back and let me know if I have read your missive correctly. I am sitting here,