The waking dream of a car moving closer and closer to my house
When something happens again and again, it's a pattern. When you examine the pattern, magic appears
For several months, often enough that it’s become a pattern, I wake up in the middle of the night too find a car idling on the street outside my bedroom window, red hazard lights flashing across the ceiling.
The first time, the car was idling way down the block in the dark. Just sitting there - headlights on, hazards flashing. Another night, it was closer. Five or six houses away. Last week, the car was idling in front of my next door neighbor’s. Then, last night, it was at the end of my driveway.
At first, this car moving closer to the house gave me that goosebumpy check-the-locks feeling. I had all the sinister thoughts. Creeping bad guys.
But honestly, I think it’s something to do with love - a booty call, a tryst, departure before dawn. It’s also likely it’s not one car but several. Our block is a favorite spot to stop and check the GPS or drop a text to say: Hey thanks or I’m on my way home.
There’s nothing scary here.
Still, sometimes, something happens in ‘real life’ that has nothing to do with me and yet, seems somehow important - lit up, illuminated. As it it were offering itself as a symbol, for me.
I call this Illuminated Experience, a pattern of meaningful or symbolic events that emerges spontaneously in the middle of everyday life, and which generates, in the observation of the pattern, a sense of meaning. A message. Illuminated experience differs from ‘magical thinking’ in that the observer does not believe she caused the events— the cars are not idling outside the window because of me; nor are they there for the purpose of delivering a message. The drivers of the idling cars have their own purposes.
What relates them in my world is their symbolic resonance with my story. Which is how symbols work. Eve’s apple was just an apple yet we all know its secondary meaning—as a symbol of temptation and, more recently, the logo of a computer company that ‘thinks different’.
So my string of middle of the night encounters became a pattern and this morning, the pattern became a message.
It was time to pay closer attention.
I asked myself: If this pattern was an illuminated experience, what might it have to tell me?
I listed each element in the dream:
a car, a house, a quiet street, a woman, a bedroom, a ceiling, a window, treating each element as a symbol.
A car represents…
A house represents..
I examined the events of the sequence:
A woman wakes up in the middle of the night.
The woman notices a red light flashing on the ceiling.
She goes to the window.
In the dark, she sees a car. She cannot make out the make or model. She cannot see the driver. Only the headlights and flashing hazard lights.
The moment she looks out the window, the car drives away, down the round and around the curve.
I noted any other thing that seemed illuminated or interesting.
- that this exact sequence happened several times.
- that each time the car has moved closer.
Then, I examined all of it in the context of what is going on in my life now. Looking at each element, and asking: What does this seem to mean? and What does this mean to me?
Here’s my analysis:
A woman wakes up in the middle of the night.
That woman is me, a dream analyst, who awakens to find a vehicle idling outside her window. A new ride? An invitation to a journey in the dark?
The woman notices red lights flashing on the ceiling.
Flashing red lights are the universal signal of danger. But this experience didn’t ‘feel’ alarming. It felt intriguing. The woman isn’t scared - she’s curious. What is that red light?
Flashing red lights can mean: Help has arrived. Yes, something alarming is happening - in the world, in your life, right outside your window AND we are here with you. You are not alone.
Red has other meanings.
In fact, red has become a specific and repetitive symbol for me ever since I returned from Chartres Cathedral, and my encounter with Mary. Since then, the red thread has guided me. When I follow, I am led to stories no one told me in school. I am rooted to enchanted landscape my ancestors once walked.
The red thread gifts me with signs: a single red leaf, almond shaped (like the vesica piscis, like the vagina) floating to the ground at my feet; a family of deer leaping across my path; red berries which led me, like breadcrumbs, to real gifts which changed the course of my life.
And now, I wake to find red light on the ceiling. Perhaps this is saying: Let’s shatter the ceiling (the seeming limit) of what is possible.
The woman goes to the window.
Only a pane of glass separates the inside (where I am) from the outside (where the car is coming closer). She is not afraid. She is curious. Willing to see. What’s out there?
In the dark, a car idling.
A dream car may represent The vehicle that carries us, the forces that drive us. it may symbolize the body (or embodiment), or the story inside of which we travel (our worldview or system of belief that guides us) and the ‘way’ that we are driving down the road of life.
The car is idling but once she sees it it drives away.
A idling car may point to the journey about to begin. The Journey of a teacher about to teach, an author about to complete a book, a channel ready to speak. And here is her car, ready to carry her around the corner into the new dream.
An idling car is almost always a waiting car. What is it waiting for? To be seen. How do I know? The moment it is seen, it moves on. Message delivered. Why was it waiting to be seen? So the woman would know: You are not alone.
The car rounds the corner, into the dark.
We cannot know the future but it’s time to begin. To me, the takeaway of this illuminated experience is: The car is right outside the window. And the driver awaits. She is driving. She will accompany me on the journey.
… and then, this morning, an added development...
This morning, as I was working on my speaking notes for the first module of Journey, I realized that, inside of me, when I am thinking about the Journey work to myself, it has a different name. Inside of me, it’s called: Secret (Sacred) Mystery School.
In Secret (Sacred) Mystery School, the vision expands. Everything deepens. I see us dancing around a fire, walking through the forest, accompanied by magical animals. Deer, Salamander, Unicorn. I see us crawling on our bellies, becoming animal. I see us rising to our feet, becoming human.
The Journey begins next week
Journey launches next week, at the darkest time of year on the eve of the new moon, the darkest time of month. It would be inappropriate (and frankly, impossible) to leap forth like a shining sun into radiant fullness.
And so, Journey begins with quiet - becoming very very quiet. This is a time for sinking into soothing, regenerative holding space. Allowing our holiday-jangled nervous systems to settle. Releasing all that we accomplished and all that we did not manage to accomplish to the flow of time - letting it go. Letting it go. Letting it go.
As we draw closer to the fire,
closer to each other,
closer to ourselves.
If you feel drawn to the journey at this time, know that this is where we begin. If not at this time, know that the journey has an entry point at every new moon.
It’s a circle, guided by the natural cycles of nature and our own human nature.
Join before Wednesday and I'll invite you to ENVISION.
A 90 minute zoom call where we will let go of all that needs releasing and turn toward the inoming year. What seems to be moving toward us? Toward you? How might you meet this with clarity, courage and even, with welcome. By holding a vision of yourself and the world that supports and nourishes you. A vision that can hold and sustain you no matter what comes.
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