January 30, 2014

My Left Hand

A very vivid and remembered dream last night.

I dreamed I was at a party or function at the home of Dan, my fellow guitarist from The Guinea Pigs. During the party, there was a yoga class, taught by Ana Forrest (of all people; I've practiced with her a few times in the past but she's not really that present in my life right now) in the middle of the street (it was a cul-de-sac, in the dream). Somewhere in the practice, I attempted handstand (not a pose I do unsupported) and folded over or injured my left hand.

Flash forward to the next day; my hand injury has taken the form of slicing away significant parts of my four fingers - the index finger and pinky were pared down to the knuckle, the other fingers had more remaining but still pretty bad. The injuries had healed (no blood) and I was back talking to Dan and his wife Nancy about it (had they noticed this yesterday? Had I bled in their house? Did they find the remnants of my fingers?). I remember telling them not to worry about a lawsuit; I was not that type of person and besides it had happened in the street, not in their house.

And I remember having a deep sadness because the injury meant I would never play the guitar or bass again, and that it would impact my ability to teach and practice yoga.

At that moment, I woke up. The dream was so vivid and real that I immediately went to my left hand, found it to be intact, and was filled with a deep joy and happiness.

The whole thing reminded me of a zen story or parable I have heard, paraphrased here.

A man's child dies, yet he is strangely calm and unmoved by this.

When asked about it, he says "Last night, I dreamed I had four fine children, loving each of them as much as if they were my only child. When I awoke this morning, I realized it was a dream, and my dream children were gone."

"Do I mourn for this one child, or for these four children?"
A lesson dream perhaps. To be thankful for something as small as fingers. And that this body, this life, is on loan, and to enjoy it and use it wisely while it is in my care....

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