The Watershed Tales, as I polish and publish them, are profound integrative therapies. This is why I share them; we have all been there. It is a pool.
“A Bed for a Language” – Dreams No 160 13 August 1975
BUT I can’t remember how my baby was born!
I was unripe for childbirth, the baby was born nevertheless, from between my thighs, but I didn’t feel very much, I wasn’t all there, I seemed to be abstracted … What have I lost? Something I should have shared with the baby, and so I am sad.
There’s such a battle going on, outside. Outside in the field near the wood.
The birth happened in a place where no preparations were made; no one knows who the father is. I live with my parents because I have no home of my own. And I just wanted to copy my sister, so I’m like a child with this baby, I show it to people, I hold it proudly, naked, like a doll. My father lost his temper – I haven’t tucked her up in a warm blanket or shawl, she’ll catch cold, be ill, come to harm, why am I so insensitive? He stormed at me for my neglect, and I – oh my God. I rushed around, looked everywhere for blankets, coats, fabrics, anything, to wrap the baby in and keep her warm. My sister had hers in a hospital, with a husband and nurses and everybody to tell her what to do, and support her, and her baby nice and warm and clean in a cot beside her. I have none of these things. There’s nobody to show me what I must do, they all assume that I know, and blame me if I don’t. There’s nothing round here for me and my baby, but hard splintery floors, and rough bits of blanket that I have to scrounge, can I borrow that old coat that’s hanging up in the larder? Please? and it’s difficult to lay her in these and make her comfortable. I cannot do anything right. I’m afraid of dropping her, and terribly afraid she may have caught cold through my neglect – and I should have known; it’s obvious.
She is a great burden to me, this little one. How on earth am I going to manage?
‘Place them where their point is a necessary one, not in a heap of old clothes.”
The place is a barn, a loft with a big floor of worm-eaten planks and some sacks of old grain, it’s starting to rain, and there are holes in the roof. A spectacular battle is going on in the field outside, but there’s no time to watch – when was this baby last fed? I have to find some warmth for her, make her feel loved and wanted, take care of her constantly so she won’t be cold.
How astonishing! that she should so blithely leave the womb, the warm womb, and carry on in the harsh cold world outside as if she were still inside, as if nothing has happened! This makes me glow, and I carry her around and cuddle her, begin to love her. I don’t know how I knew she’s a girl – I didn’t look, and her nappy doesn’t need changing yet. I told my mother it’s all the same to me if it’s a girl or a boy … but look! she talks!
It is a girl because of a certain delicacy in her features, the way she is made.
She amazes me. She talks to me quite distinctly, all the time, telling me precisely what she needs. She’s a real person, she forgives me every minute my blunderings, nobody else forgives me. “I’m not ill,” she says “or hungry. Look, this bit’s coming undone, and there’s a draught on my tummy. I’m getting wet, it hurts. I don’t know. Hold me this way. I need to float. The star in the water. Not the people outside …” She shows me how to love her, and I grow fonder of her by the minute, and less inept.
But oh, her nose is running … Mummy look, the baby’s forgiving me everything. Look, look. She speaks; she’s not ill or crying.
“Mum,” she says clearly and directly, right up through the years – and my inconsolable tears right now – “You neglected me when I needed you to be a real Mum. You abandoned me.” (I can’t bear to hear her say that.) “You went off into your astrology journey, you let him do it again, you left me behind on the train. But Mum, I know why you had to. You were trying to put right, what he did. You tried to heal us both, and you knew no other way. In Jamaica that time, when you let him and your father abort me, you were only 17, and it was 1864. They sent you away from home disgraced, empty and bleeding, and you loved him, he was your first, you still bleed. Well here we are again. You should have protected me. But Mum, I love you, you should hold me, tell me things, share with me. Why don’t you? Trust me, and trust yourself. You are my Mum and this is love, because we love each other.”
“My darling girl,” I said, “I am sorry. It is so feeble and useless just to say sorry. My voice can’t reach back this far, to the real pain here, of how utterly sorry I am. I neglected you, I failed to protect you, whom I love and wanted so much. What you say is true.”
The barn is almost in the open air, or perhaps it is the leaks in the roof. Some of the rain is coming through, and my mother is helping me to put up a make-shift tent of polythene, to protect us; the baby lies on the rough floor in front of me, wrapped in a rug which keeps coming undone.
The time to stand and stare at what is going on outside in the field is granted only to those who are not involved with surviving. The rain spats and drips on the polythene, and through holes in the wooden rafters the spectacle can be seen, a rabble of soldiers. It is a puppet show of shadows; divisions charge and retreat from each other, up and down. A mere child has this mite of life in her hands which is enormously heavy and is teaching her tenderness. See how the war outside is cutting the ground and uprooting the trees, with every imaginable crude weapon. The little maid – the new baby – opens her arms and legs in soft semi-brieve and is talking. Of what, we do not know.
One division in the field charges another by throwing javelins high in the air. They descend in an arc. They are actually making headway, because the enemy keep dodging and flinching. Javelins – so lonely and graceful a sport. It seems rather a forlorn hope, to fight a war with them. There is such a time lapse before they reach the ground. The soldiers, running with tapes to measure how far they have thrown, make additional intervals within this hostile communication.
How can I pay any attention to that? I am talking to the baby, keeping her warm.
Something about the man, later on in this 1975 dream-sequence. He left designs, drawings, symbols – totems perhaps? – on the glass of an upper window-pane, engraved. It is some place he was in, or came through, and he left his mark on it, or findings, like the way he scribbles in the margins of books. In that place he was not happy. In that place he was incarcerated, where the realm is not one of good/bad polarities, but of an intolerable sharpness, a fight to the death, the ruthlessness he fears.
He left these signs on the glass, imprints of protest at what he went through, at what happened to him. At the same time they are creative guide lines; his graving-tool: a language. He scratches on the glass wall. The imprint is faint but unmistakable.
Through the frost patterns, you can almost see a bed with white sheets. I remember just one of them a little. It was a kind of circle, shaped like a nuclear mushroom cloud, cut into the glass and shaded at the bottom, with delicate precision.
After Thought …
For all children caught in wars …
Losing my child in 1864 at 17, to the Victorian male priestcraft, is an emotional holocaust which ricocheted intensely through the present lifetime in which she was, and is, most joyously found again.
Young Sarah hoped for a boy, a little Caleb. Caleb was her seducer, a dandy 19th century heart breaker with veiled eyes. He was a cousin of Sarah’s father, a successful sugarcane merchant in Kingston Jamaica. Caleb was a mathematician, with a silver way with words. He touched and penetrated the young Sarah in a way that awoke her esoteric memories – indelibly.
The story of Caleb and Sarah is taken on trust. In general, it echoes through my “today”, as an adequate healing instrument. To heal is to be whole; to understand that Consciousness takes on any role, any mask, any contour or suitable name, for deliverance. It is for my honesty to discern what is useful, to be aware, and to use well what is given.
“Caleb” is not really to blame for what would later transpire. (Who is?! It goes far back into the hidden continent.) He was under contract by “upstairs” to administer a Karmic correction for some magical disturbances in the deep unconscious past. He did the job, then disappeared to New York. But Sarah longed for that same child of his, which she had lost. The desire was obsessive, she searched, and its gravity drew them together a century later, to react the play. Touching a downward spiral during his second stallion appearance, he got swept into a dark Karmic vortex, which his nature amplified. Enough said. Many colliding issues rebounded, back and back. An antipodean seer who “saw the form” advises me to leave it be, the west wind will do its work.
I believe we all have nuggets of our living Gold to deliver us – whatever the suffering, initially. It can be re-traced, spoken from the heart and kidneys – the seat of fear – and let go. Then everything changes. I did my archaeology; you do yours when the pressure is on, by following your inner scent in a creative way. Marian Milner abandoned the tourist guide at sites of ancient art and history, and went off on her own to follow “what the eye likes – the inner fact.” You don’t need to “be an artist”. Let the living matter draw and write you. It is a garden. Each herb when touched, tinctures the world a little.
Patterns of pain and abuse may be rooted in previous lifetimes. A sensitivity at this depth of the river bed, transmutes them in the fourth dimension. FOR giveness – Give way to the Force – is my stone in the river bed to roll when dislodged – the Water of Life. (See the poems about this in “Poems of Eclipse to Ramesh”).
Before judging, forgive for the Work as a whole to do itself; my opinion of events is a passing cloud, and ultimately irrelevant. As I see clearly – when the healing is “handed over” – the Angels carry it through. Theirs is the spatial currency, and mine the marvel of life, as and when transfigured.
It is incredible how deep this is known through the silence now. The silence is the blossom inside the sea.
My Essay on Karma is at the end of The Miasms, Karma & Homeopathic healing.
My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.
This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.
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