to situations new

“Alice” by Amedeo Modigliani

On that specific Pillow
Our projects flit away —
The Night’s tremendous Morrow
And whether sleep will stay
Or usher us — a stranger —
To situations new
The effort to comprise it
Is all the soul can do —

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1554)

This poem brings to mind the restless sleep or sleeplessness we might have the night before a new experience, like the first day of school or a new job. Or traveling to a place we’ve never been to before.

But I suspect Emily is talking about death. The specific pillow, the kind we find in a coffin, when death interrupts all our projects. Will we stay asleep in death or will we find ourselves in a new situation, an unfamiliar life after death? There are many “answers” to choose from but there is no way to “know” for sure. The universe is full of wonder and mystery. After years of spiritual struggle I’ve finally made peace with uncertainty, sometime in my 40s I think. Just this. Here/now.

Dreamer

A second beautiful gift of art from the delightful Val Erde! Her first gift, you may remember, was “Do the Funky Duck.” Decided to post “Dreamer” while I wait for Fran to return home from work. Tim and Dan are out doing errands – even errands are fun when your brother is there to talk with! 🙂 Tonight Fran and I will firm up our plans for the weekend, including seeing the African Cats movie. 🙂 I hope you will all enjoy Val’s beautiful painting as much as I am!!

“Dreamer” © Val Erde

We are not hypocrites in our sleep. The curb is taken off from our passions, and our imagination wanders at will. When awake, we check these rising thoughts, and fancy we have them not. In dreams, when we are off our guard they return securely and unbidden.
~ William Hazlitt
(Table Talk)