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House 3On my last post, I had technical problems with an incompatibility between Word press and Dragon, my voice software. Hopefully, Lauren can work her magic on Friday, but I added a quote at the beginning you might enjoy.

I got the following personal comment from my son Jordan I wanted to share. Realize, Sid is his father.

 

Really nice new blog article, mama. The scuba metaphor is a beautiful one. It reminds me of a lyric my friend calls his favorite lyric of all time by the smashing pumpkins —

A pure soul and beautiful you, don’t understand
Don’t feel me now, [I will breathe, for the both of us]
Travel the world, traverse the skies
Your home is here, within my heart

I love you so much, thanks for writing the blog. Your writing has really gotten very good. This article felt ethereal.

So much love,
Jordan

Sent from my iPhone

 

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“I ain’t afraid to love a man. I ain’t afraid to shoot him.” -Annie Oakley

Scuba buddies

Last night I dreamed I was in my beloved house on Military Road in Covington, Louisiana, a setting for a majority of my dreams, I’m guessing because it was my happiest, most fulfilling and beautiful home on a river where Sid (my second husband) and I moved after I realized we had been nomads for too long. Casey was eleven years old and she had moved eleven times in those short eleven years. This is where we settled and this is where the majority of my dreams take place, in this house.

A house built in 1910 with all of the amenities of high ceilings and hardwood floors, outbuildings, a greenhouse and small orchard and a large yard that ended at the river’s edge. Casey named my book for this river where she imagines meeting me after I leave my body.

A memorable segment of the dream involved Sid and me outside this home and someone had released toxic gas. Sid had an oxygen regulator with a mask that he would breathe into and then pass it to me to breathe. We did this for a few minutes and the dream ended.

The significance of this dream would be lost without some history:
I was married for two years when Eric (my first husband) and I separated. We were apart for almost that long when we reconciled. Neither of us wanted a divorce, but we had neither the skills nor providence on our side, but try we did. After so long a separation, we had both changed. During this separation, I was in intensive psychotherapy three days a week, raising our baby. During this time Eric had become an avid scuba diver and he was certain that if we had fun together that would erase our problems.

So, I found the most rigorous class at the Y at Lee Circle in New Orleans so I could become proficient. In order to complete this class, I had to swim underwater the full length of the Olympic size pool, reverse and continue underwater halfway back to the beginning. It was quite a feat and I did not know if I could accomplish this, but I could and I did. I learned a trick for holding my breath that long that when I was dangerously out of air, if I swallowed it would give me more time, because swallowing gives the pulmonary system the sensation of breathing. Still, to this day, I use this strategy when my breath is not available.

One of the skills scuba instructors teach is buddy breathing. To buddy breathe you would pair up with a buddy, take one tank and descend to the bottom of the pool using weight belts. Two people would alternate breathing, calmly and patiently. This was preparation for saving one’s life when underwater and one oxygen tank malfunctions. I completed this required skill in the swimming pool of the Y, but deep down I realized, “There is no freaking way I would go 20 feet down with Eric and have that level of trust. I realized there was nobody on this planet I would go 20 feet under and trust to buddy breed with. Nobody.

Over the years, this has become a metaphor for both assessing my trust in another person and assessing the level at which I could surrender in the moment. When I awoke from this dream, I was ironically unable to breathe due to the unexpected rise in temperature during the night. Heat weakens my already weakened pulmonary muscles and I felt congestion in my lungs. This must have replicated my scuba memory. I felt anxiety similar to when I was hospitalized with pneumonia three years ago. I know the main reason people die from neurological disease is from complications such as these. My difficulty breathing had bled into my dreamtime. I also noticed that I was buddy breathing!

Dreams can serve many purposes. They can help to release feelings, they can offer teachings from our guides and they can make us aware of something we need to know. Waking up at 3 AM, unable to breathe, yet with the knowing that my level of trust (in the elements) had finally surpassed my level of fear. I’m thankful for the reassurance that whatever I will need during this next passage, I will be able to meet. Reassurance comes in many ways. We just have to be able to recognize it and believe it.