December 8, 2011
I woke up this morning with images from a dream in my head. I was being shown cards, of what looked like an intricately drawn cartoon tarot deck. The person showing them to me remains unclear in my memory, but it was a very gentle, feminine presence. I’ve been thinking a lot of my mother lately, and that’s honestly what it felt like in a way.
She was saying something about a puppy as she put down a card, about the energy of a puppy and what it represents and how it can grow, how the puppy can become fierce like a wolf that must always be respected even as you can retain that feeling you had while admiring that cute little pup.
It was about mixing the feeling of love and respect. About the power that comes with watching something, or someone you love grow over time.
It could be about the love of a child, a friend, a wife, a brother, nature, a pet or even the love of myself and finding a healthy respect for my own power.
It could very likely be about fully committing to a process of growth, about how as our personal world expands, it can be beautiful, profound, fun, and… impossible to stop while morphing into areas that simply must be respected from the start.
I suspect it’s about all those things.
While still in the dream, I didn’t quite grasp the meaning of the card based on the imagery I was seeing, which I can only vaguely recall as being a woman in period dress, long blond hair, perhaps playing with a dog or what looked like a wolf that was staring up at her with a look I was unable to determine. I seem to recall the image in the photo morphing from a puppy into a wolf like dog with sharp teeth bared in either a smile or growl. It wasn’t a dangerous or fearful image, it was more about perceptions and seeing more universally.
I asked to be shown the suites of cards again, to go over the deck, so to speak. I assumed this was just one card and I wanted to have the whole deck explained so it would stick.
Instead she pulled out another card, just one more as if to further emphasize the imagery that I was being shown in a way I would more clearly understand.
Now, instead of a woman playing with a puppy or dog, I was shown an image of a child playing with “the Thing”, from the Fantastic Four comic book.
When I was a kid, I always loved the Fantastic Four. I loved their dysfunctional family. My favorite character was always “The Thing”, a creature so hideous, so unable to hide what he was, and to me, so funny, so poetically beautiful. I could not understand why he always wanted to change back to a normal person.
The Thing demanded respect. I haven’t thought about him in years until today.
It was a joyful image, and also one of power, respect for the power of this monstrous Thing which was holding a child aloft in my dream, as they waded together in a flowing stream.
I sensed that the image was also a reflection on appearances, that the Thing, in all his rocky ugly orange glory, was not what he appeared. He was ugly on some level, but also so gentle, also beautiful and perfect and radiating a child like expansiveness that holds no pretense.
Yet there was so much power that was being played with there, and that power could be a danger the moment I forgot it’s potential, and an obvious part of the message was, “respect that power.” It was about being an equal whether dealing with a puppy that would grow or a mythical superhero that could either make me laugh at the age of five or crush me in two.
I understood the image was about seeing past appearances and realizing that some things, like “The Thing”, or an animal whether wild or domestic, cannot ever truly be domesticated. Things of such power, such grace, can only make sense and be useful when approached from a place of joy, of heart, and great respect. I believe that such power exists in every aspect of our lives, not as a mythical image, but as something tangible, waiting to be harnessed when we can approach anything with the love, the heart, and the respect both we and it deserves.
In this life it is so easy to take things for granted, to not look at all life and experience as an equal, as something worthy of learning from and growing with. When we take the forces at work in our lives either as playthings only for our amusement, or things of overwhelming force that are here to hold us back or keep us down, we remain trapped. We forget to be equal partners, grateful that we’ve been given that force to be reckoned with to tame and knowing that really, truly, there is nothing to tame as we are all on the same team. There’s only us helping each other through the rushing waters.
I take my dream as a reminder to be grateful for the power of love that operates on and beneath the surface of everything we behold. When I am grateful, for even what challenges me, there is nothing to tame.
I don’t know about you, but I want The Thing and the rest of the superheros I grew up imagining on my side right about now. The very moment we recognize that we’re all on the same team as equals, every day’s clobberin’ time!
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