I Dreamed You From Afar

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I Dreamed You From Afar

I woke this morning with a deep feeling tone in my mind, a keening note that has us as two whales, you and I, side by side on a glide 'cross a wide sandy plane with a watery air. Deep and full, we cover years and miles, and talk til our song is sung.

I like this - this pulling out from me, like fiber from fleece, the storied piece and having you willing to listen and share.

I think perhaps I know or feel something about the whales, but this is new, and only in this morning do I get the sense of what it means to have a huge and swelling song that's more than just a cry or wail, but somehow made it past the tears and into now, into a vast wide land that extends far, far beyond the surface of a transitory pain.

I remember the Bushman phrase: "I saw you from afar", and think about the huge expanse that lies between us, the long, long walk between us. I look on a map for Alpine, Texas and find myself wondering what it must be like to be in that full but barely human place, and I want to go a wandering - a wondering and wandering...

You seem to want so much for bonding, Dan, and yet you place yourself alone, far and out into the middle of a world that needs a reach of cosmic size to touch you. Do you require your Love to be as strong as a god? Or would a mortal do?

Do you find that the only place big enough to hold you, to still you, to interest you and constantly unfold in front of you, is in some desert where others won't feel, and be frightened by, the reverb and the gain of you, because the planet modulates you, moderates you, completes and still embraces you?

Is this how you manage the self-discipline - not by stifling your inner heart but taking yourself off into a tower place, like monks of old, surrounded by a set of exterior conditions that demands your constant attention - outward - sans people who turn your mind inward, so that you don't have to dwell (too much) on the place you've wanted to fill within, where you keep your heart alive?

If so, I am perhaps an unsafe haven for your Song. Unless you're ready to be seen by one who's just like what I've just described. I once had a cartoon someone had given me - an Ashleigh Brilliant piece - that read "I am a pearl in an oyster, in a room, in a castle at the bottom of the ocean. If you loved me, you would find me."

Four years ago I wanted nothing more than to be with my Partner, dig into the Land, ignore the peopled world for awhile and just grow. Nothing more. I've let loose of the idea of Partner. I grow light on my tethers to Land. Each day I put more of the peopled world behind. Soon, I suppose I'll just grow.

I look up sometimes at night, talking to the stars and other galaxies I'm sure are filled with folk who swim and sing their song, and think about the vast expanse that lies between Us, the long, long glide between us. I hope someday we'll make it on this island in the cosmic stream and live to say "I saw you from afar" -"I heard you from afar" -"I dreamed you from afar".

And here you are...

* * * *

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2002


That was you. That's the you I see. I just noticed it was me after I'd written it. Remember this? Euphemism

I've never hung in the desert, except for twice - once was late at night, hitching across Nevada alone in mid-December, 16 years old with a suitcase and a Train-Station proper-girl's coat - in the 2 am snow. Standing under a highway lamp, nothing familiar for miles around, lightless except for the fan from the lamp overhead, snow flurried in its 40 foot beam, and picked up by a fellow who drove a ways and then took off, out over the desert, down an unmarked road...

"What would your mother say?" I asked him, as we drove along in the darkness, bumping along, horizon black and no lights anywhere and him talking about how much he needed a woman. I was no woman, but I suppose he thought I would do.

My hand was on the knife I carried, Billy's words echoing in my head as he taught me to use it, gruffly and practical, so long ago - a rough-hewn biker who saw this tiny road waif and knew she needed what he had to give: "Never pull this out unless you're going to use it. Never use it unless you won't have to use it again, because you won't get a second chance. That means you kill him. You kill him. One cut. That's all you'll ever get. One cut that has to be the last. One last cut in The One Last Minute. Otherwise, no one sees this - ever..."

Patience. Talking him down. Talking him back into himself. Talking til the car stopped and there was nothing but the silence of the desert and the snow falling gently on the car and his breathing and his tragic wounded soul and my patience and my voice and my knife...

Yes, we sit out here, you and I, in the desert at arm's length from god.

He took me back to the highway. He thanked me for listening, and offered to give me a ride on to town. I told him no, thank you, and said that I really did love to stand with the midnight, on the highway, under the lamplight, in the desert on new fallen snow.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2002

You say this perch is safe.

I feel a little awkward.

I put the photo you sent of the Cerveteri sarcophagus on my computer's desktop. I never thought I'd see it again, unless I went back to the Louvre. I only had a very short time to stand in this section, because we found it at the end of our visit to Paris, and just as the Louvre was ready to close. I mentioned it because of what happened to me when you began to describe the libation bowls.

As you were describing them, I felt I understood exactly what you were feeling when you did so, and I looked back into my own experience to find a corollary - the Etruscans were what I found. I don't know - I don't have ANY idea - what this means to you. But I know it means something very profound and I sense a need to go very gently here.

I also think that what I could do is tell you something very special about me, something that no one else knows, something that makes me feel vulnerable in sharing it with you. For I realize I stumbled into something private of yours, that I had no intention of disrupting, and that I'm terrified of either distorting or somehow unwittingly playing upon.

And the reason I know how easy that is is because of how you've been able to play upon something in me, unknowingly on your part, this last couple of weeks - and I've not yet been able to share with you how significant it is for me because I've been afraid of exactly this sort of "breach", as you put it.

Even now I'm nervous about writing it down to you, but I'm sure it would be a good thing to do, for I want you to know that I understand how very precious *this* is.

I don't know that this IS about you. I don't know that THIS is about YOU. You don't KNOW that THIS is about ME. We just don't KNOW.

In 1993 I had a dream. A real Dream - one of those capital D Dreams that change your life. From the moment you wake up, you know that your life will never be the same again, and you know you were moved by that dream.

I didn't know what love truly was until I had that Dream.

There are several distinct moments that still stand out, while the bulk remains a blur. The Dream took place on 2 different nights, about 3 nights apart. The first night, just before I awoke, I had the experience of standing in a temple of sorts - perhaps a church, for the light was colored, as through old tinted glass - and I was very at home there.

I felt at peace, and I was facing the front, with some sort of "altar". All the sudden, I felt a presence at my side. I turned and found myself looking into the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen in my life. They were filled with love, and that love was for me. Me in the particular - the ME of me - the Woman of me, the Artist of me - not only some ubiquitous All, but very deeply me.

I felt seen. I felt loved. In that moment I understood for the first time what love was, and what it felt like. I had never been looked at by anyone like that before, nor felt that way before - I'd never felt that kind of love. I awoke with those eyes in my head, ringing all that day and the next like a huge inevitable bell. I think it might have been the following day that the seeds of my marriage's dissolution began to take root, for the water of that vision began to flow as a potential, and that potential gave me the energy and the courage to change.

But it was the second night that stayed with me even more strongly than the first for awhile (yet not always), and has colored everything since. He was there. We were in a house - our home. I can see the windows and I can see the old roses that twine under the eaves about them. There's a hearth that we're sitting beside together - in a huge high-backed bench chair that we manage to make very comfortable.

Everything's so still. It's twilight. There's a fire even though it's almost summer and I'm leaning against him, and his arms are around me, and I can feel his chest up against me, and the strength of him, his breath on my hair, and his forearm is visible - but through tears. My tears.

For he's just told me that he's leaving. He says he has obligations, and he's sad but he's going because he has to. And I'm not as gracious as I could be, for it seems that I sense that he'll be gone a very long time, and maybe forever - and I'm upset because he doesn't seem to understand that; he's grave and sad, but it seems like he thinks that everything will be back to order soon enough, and that losing me is not at all a part of the equation. Whereas I feel I know differently.

And so I awaken that next morning,and I'm crying. I am so sad - I have not been this sad in a very long time. And I know he's gone.


I used to hold out a lot of hope for this dream. I kept seeing my Beloved in all of the faces who glanced my way with longing, or hope, or shared some time with me. I played over the sequence in my mind, and I'd realize that I didn't know which came first - His eyes with the loving or His words and his leaving.

I told myself that time was strange in dreams, not necessarily logical nor sequential, and I realized that I didn't know if I was seeing my love, with his beautiful smile and his incredible eyes, before his leaving me or after his return.

I still don't know. But in my better times, I imagine that it's his return I've seen, when I let myself believe in such things. When I want to feel loved, I simply remember those eyes, and those arms. And it doesn't matter that I've never been loved like that, by someone who could express it as well as feel it - I feel that I have, and I know that it might happen again. I know that I won't miss it, because I'll be paying very close attention.

I went through a period of thinking the dream would manifest. For awhile, I thought it was a premonition of some kind. I began to see how it *could* work magic in my life, giving me a metaphor to see the love of All, by All, come out and into me. I did learn a LOT about love because of the courage my hope for love gave me.

And every now and again, I'd sense the firey strength of the One I Loved come through my friends, my loves, and our times together were very wonderful, especially when I was attending to my friend as my Great Love.

But I also decided that this was too dangerous a game to play with others' feelings - this pretending (or even legitimately entertaining the notion) that "this might be The One - and not even the one; simply Him.

By aspiring/or pretending to this notion, it became too easy to miss who my friends *really* were, as men and as people, meanwhile interpreting them through this filter/this almost prison that I'd created and then imposed upon them. No matter how beautiful the vision was, no matter how deeply connected it gave me to feel, it wasn't *them*.

I now work extremely hard to keep all of my longing and my projections at bay, for on one level my dream is an embodiment of my collected projections about intimacy, and worthiness, selflessness and reciprocity, and I know that. I like that beautiful entity of me, and I still let the vision out in poetry and song, but one way I keep these projections down is by accepting the possibility - and accepting it as a strong probability - that I am truly alone.

Not only do I do that, but I talk more and more as if this is so. It's the only thing I find that combats my tendency to hope otherwise.

And I really must accept that this - this place that can be full (not lonely) if I don't dwell on the One of it - may be *It* for the rest of my life (and who knows how long that might be?). I *have* to accept that. And I suspect that, unless I do, there will be even less chance that my dream manifests - and I DO hope for that, truly, but if I'm really to have as a partner a fully autonomous individuated human being, then I have to be able to see him as *only him* and *truly him* and not some fantasy in my head, even if it *did* teach me what love felt like, once, years ago.

I'm grateful to the fantasy- the vision - for teaching me. Just as I'm grateful for the past that informs me - and the echoes of the Others I may have been. I can see them in my mind, casting their best Loves ahead into the years that we now live in, and planning to spend the future forever connected and still dancing. I think I feel those people I once was; I'm sure I am some part of them that somehow planned to be. It's a beautiful story.

And I won't let it go.

But I do grow rather sad at times, for I look around and I see only me in my home, and no likely change in the future. I know that these things can come suddenly - these bifurcations off the trend that change everything - and I count on miracles in general, not miracles in specific, so I keep holding everything loosely. Somedays it's easier than others to either miss my Love or feel him near.

So I live with my feet in both worlds: One, a dream that I can't bear to give up, not as long as I can find a deep faith that says that if it *can* be so, then it *will* be so; the other, the possibility of finishing out this life with just myself, and whatever artful patterns I can scrape together and manage to leave as a literal wake. My trace.

When you talk of dreaming, and meeting one another in dreams, and having dreamed one another before, and when you tease me out and hear me and play with me and talk to me of being Light Beings together, well, you touch at something that I've not been sure I can let be touched.

But you touch it anyway.


I don't mean to frighten. I hope I haven't. I just wanted some way to connect with you that shows I'm not oblivious to the depth of the water - and I'm not oblivious to how shallow it's useful to keep it.

I have to do neither. I don't know what I want to do. But I know that I'm having a wonderful, interesting, captivating time.


-- Anonymous, June 11, 2002

The most beautiful yet...

You see clearly. Very clearly.

Yes, I "place myself alone, far and out into the middle of a world that needs a reach of cosmic size to touch me".

But that's GOOD, no? Why would I want a reach of less than cosmic size to touch me?

>"Do you require your Love to be as strong as a god? Or would a mortal do?" A sincere if imperfect impersonation of a god would do.

I "find...the only place big enough to hold...and...still...and...interest...me...and constantly unfold in front of...me...is in some desert where others won't feel, and be frightened by, the reverb and the gain of...me, because the planet modulates...me, moderates...me, completes and still embraces...me!"

DAMN! I wish I'd said THAT! But I couldn't you know...

>"Is this how you manage the self-discipline - not by stifling your inner heart but taking yourself off into a tower place, like monks of old, surrounded by a set of exterior conditions that demands your constant attention - outward - sans people who turn your mind inward, so that you don't have to dwell (too much) on the place you've wanted to fill within, where you keep your heart alive?"

Yes. That's EXACTLY it. Not too many distractions around here in Alpine, Texas, that's for sure. I rarely even SEE women, let alone pretty ones, and if I do they're all married to some redneck or other. And they're certasinly no one I could have an extended conversation with... Even in person ;)

>"If so, I am perhaps an unsafe haven for your Song."

"Safety be damned", I always say. Go in harm's way of the heart. I've seen and had to live with the consequences of the alternative more than once.

I'm not looking for a HAVEN. I HAVE that, many times over. My haven is the place that modulates. How could I ask another human to be a HAVEN? That would be unfair.

But perhaps you might like to be a little sacred bowl I could just slosh some juice over into. After that you can do what you like with it. You could be a libation bowl and pass it on in an Unbroken Chain or at some Potlatch of the Spirit!

"Unless you're ready to be seen by one who's just like what I've just described."

I thought you were describing ME. If you were decribing you not me but that is me than you and me are more than we. I never could believe computers could intervene in fate or human destiny but then, this is BURNING MAN, so now anything is possible.

If "all the world's a stage" then the Black Rock Playa is Center Stage. Remember "The Magic Theater for Madmen Only" from Steppenwolf? Well Burning Man is that MADE REAL, made manifest, and now for all of us in realtime. "It is better to light one small Man than to curse the darkness."

>"I once had a cartoon someone had given me - an Ashleigh Brilliant piece - that read 'I am a pearl in an oyster, in a room, in a castle at the bottom of the ocean. If you loved me, you would find me.'"

I've seen it. It's funny but that's not it. I'm not hiding I'm working in my ideal environment.

"I am a bird, on a crown leader, on a tall tree, on a ragged cliff, on a mountain, in a plain, in the desert, in golden silver copper light, in sun and moon, in the center of a continent, in an ocean, looking north, looking south, looking east, looking west. I am unkempt and huddled and speak in melodious croaks. Let any who will or who can fly to me, and we will play together in the air. We will not be alone."

Partners are good: a necessary part of life. We all had better have a level-headed side.

This now is for play. A museum of the soul. Well diggers for springs lost or untapped. An invitation to a flood like a flood that will benefit ALL. Like a Nile Flood.

Beware the crocodiles. This perch is safe.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2002

I'm afraid I haven't been able to keep up with everything you've written here. The story of your dream of the Beloved and the Rose Cottage, and the Eyes, and your then having projected all that on real life is excruciatingly beautiful.

You are so spiritual and sensitive.

All projections and links to past longings aside: I can honestly say I've been looking for a woman with your degree of awareness and sensitivity and intelligence and beauty my whole life.

I can't wait to meet you and I know when we meet there is going to be lots to do with Eyes and Arms.

This is going to be good!

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

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