I was married. I had a 2-year-old son. My husband was a professor of art history at the university. I had continued to dance and teach throughout our marriage.
I was working very hard on a joint performance with another dancer. We were each producing our own pieces, and we were each dancing in each other’s pieces. We worked for months, day after day. My body was ravaged as I played choreographer and dancer. Getting in shape to dance is a daily given. Hours of rehearsal would follow. We of course did our own publicity. My dear sister Shawn, who I wronged then.
When I came home to son and husband, I was always wrung out . . . that’s what it feels to be a dancer . . . you’re always tired.
So my mind was consumed with this performance called “Precipice.” On my part, I was using the poems of Sylvia Plath (my angst period) to choreograph to. And I used Pat Benatar‘s music, and John Brengelmann’s. So I was living and breathing the life of a woman who killed herself in 1963.
So one night, in our duplex hanging on a hill over the train yards, I remember how powerful the full moon light was. The room is completely glass at the back. My husband and I fall into bed, exhausted from our various tasks, and I dream I am floating naked in the Child’s Pose, high in the corner of a Victorian bedroom. My younger sister appears. I try to teach her how to breathe as in yoga. She laughs me off and disappears.
I unfold and start moving along the wall toward the top of the door. I pull myself under the top threshold and am faced with about 10 stairs, a sharp turn to the right, and another 10 steps. I get hold of the newel posts and pull myself down to the first landing using the wooden railing. If I don’t hold on, I’ll float up. I get about 6 of the steps down and a hand extends between the posts between the first and second step. The hand is neutral in behavior. Not reaching. Not asking. Not offering. Just there.
I take hold of the soft hand and he/she pulls me down. I waken then. Sitting upright with an odd moan coming out of my mouth. I have woken my husband with my disruption, and I find I am holding his soft hand. I am awake and aware. I get out of bed and lead my husband by the hand to the white spiral staircase that leads to the living room and kitchen (its back wall also is all glass; the floors and walls are white).
I must climb the spiral staircase with him in tow. I am awake. Yet I am being drawn up the stairs to the second floor. By the time I am waist-level with the white 2nd floor, I am seeing an astonishing phenomenon that I have never since seen. Yes the floor was white. Yes the moonlight spilled in. Yet each object—sofa, table, lamp, easy chair—all glowed with their own intense light. The room was One. I could feel a Consciousness that was all that light. My eyes opened wide in awe. My husband said worriedly . . . Michele? To which I just turned my awe-widened eyes to him, then back to the scene. That’s the closest I’ve ever experienced the Bliss of Oneness . . . if that in fact was what it was.
I’ve worked with this dream in my mind for a long time. In May of 2006, that same husband took his own life. All this time I had thought the dream was about Sylvia Plath’s suicide. But now that he is gone, I see I could have shown him the Oneness. It was like a premonition, a message that I didn’t have the knowledge to communicate to him. But I had not yet appreciated the gift of a kind Universe. I still search for meaning in that transcendent dream.