Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Mirror

I had a dream the other night.  I dreamed I was bouldering.  The place was a collage of various wilderness areas I have frequented over the years (you know how dreams are).  It was a hot day; I could hear the locust, and the sun beat down on me through the otherwise still, dry air.  I could smell the sage.  It's funny how one remember smells.  It was like being in Grand Junction again, hunting for fossils with my dad.  Except now, I was very much alone--not lonely or distressed--just by myself. A large bird flew overhead and disappeared in the burning light marking the noon Colorado blue sky. I looked away to navigate the next pile of rock, placed there to make the way forward both cerebrally and physically demanding-- of that I was most certain.  I could feel the sandstone roughening my hands and scraping my knees as I puzzled out the best path.

After climbing like this for what seemed a long time (probably only a second or two of real time), I came upon a cleft in the rocks.  It appeared to be an entrance to a cave.  Because it was large enough for me to fit through, I clambered my way in .  From my original vantage point, it seemed quite dark beyond the opening; but the inner chamber I soon found myself was actually well lit.  I looked up and all around, and everywhere was solid rock, yet the room was bright as day.  Looking down I saw in the center of the stone cell, a pool of water.  The liquid was pure and placid.  It had all the appearance of a polished sheet of aquamarine glass that had been perfectly fitted within the hole in the rock floor.  I crouched down for closer examination.

I looked at my reflection in the glassy water.  It was a perfect rendering.  I could see every mark, wrinkle, and blemish in my aging face with unusual--and I must say--depressing clarity and resolution. My life was recounted in the image peering up at me.  I saw in that visage an entire history--not the history of Wells but my own. It began with the scar left on my cheek when I was four years old and tried to shave with my dad's razor.  It progressed on from there.  Each new degradation marring what once had been a baby face, bore witness to the reality of entropy and a long life of worries, fears, self-doubt, selfish choices, lost opportunities, and qualified successes.  I shuddered as I gazed into the face of disappointment.

When I could no longer bear the truth, I reached down and scambled the water.  The image didn't fragment or distort as one might predict, but transformed.  Even though I had done violence to the watery mirror, the surface held perfectly calm.  My hand was wet, and there were water stains on the walls of the rocky basin that hadn't been there before, but the pool itself remained unmoved.  Only the image had changed.

I saw myself.  I studied the new image intently, not believing what I saw.  It was me.  But the scars were gone.  The worry and pain and anger and sadness and hopelessness had all vanished.  The decrepit twilight of late autumn had suddenly turned to the dawn of early spring.  The features of the old man shining back at me from the crystalline mirror had been smoothed and sculpted and shaped and polished into a paradox of youthful vigor.  An inexhaustible vitality glistened in those peaceful blue eyes, and a fathomless joy gently turned up those tender lips in a smile. And although the room around me was encased in rock, a soft breeze tousled the hair about the face of that image.  I knew it to be the spirit of freedom.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed.



Jeff said...

Dreams can sometimes be a gift from God! Thanks for sharing!