A Trip to Iona — Sunday June 15, 2003

Sunday, June 15
Call it dream or nightmare, whatever. A recurring dream, back again.

I must get away because I have killed someone. (I think that’s what I’ve done.) In this one, I take a practice shot and am told by my sister, “I cannot undertake to explain contravention of the 1919 Firearms Act,” or words to that effect. She sort of knows I intend to use the rifle but doesn’t want to know.

Then I’m hiding, across the street from the house I grew up in. But I’m bad at hiding, and keep being caught by members of my family. Who don’t realize I’m really trying to hide. I try to figure out where to hide, how to make a place to hide.

By 7:30 I turn to my journal.

“I am up, showered, and dressed.

“I just realized I have been having dreams for years in which I am walking around naked, suddenly realize it, and from that moment have to deal with the fact that I’m naked in public and must somehow get from that condition to a normal respectable condition. For the greatest number of times! And each time, it is so real that I forget to record it as a dream. This has been happening for the longest time – and this morning I am moved to remember it (when it did not just happen, nor has it for a while, maybe quite a while) as a carom shot off the words I wrote, `up, showered and dressed,’ to a fast recall of a letter to the Saturday Evening Post gently making fun of a story having written that the character showered and had supper, asking if he hadn’t dressed first. Now, I don’t for a second doubt that the memory was – facilitated, shall we say? – in order to remind me of those dreams. The question is, why? Why here and now, in the mental context of my considering writing an article or two on the religious and spiritual things I have been pondering?

“An answer – [asking TGU]”

“You are reminded that wandering about naked is not considered respectable, but you do it quite naturally until your attention is called to it. Don’t think it would be any different if you were to wander around in print naked – as indeed to some degree you already have been doing.”

In the late afternoon Russ and Jill take me to see two ancient stone barrows on a hillside overlooking Solway Firth. Between times, or course, we eat, and the time passes agreeably. Finally before supper I get to do some energy work on Russ’ leg, which had been hurting him, and then did the “river of life and health” meditation for them. To my gratification (and some relief) Jill, who is a healer herself, sees the value of it, and asks me to repeat it the next night on tape.

Among the books in my room I find an old, old friend, The Wind in the Willows, and re-read a couple of prized chapters, particularly the lovely “Wayfarers All.” How many times I have read this book, including at least once to each of my children. Also among their reading material are five volumes of poetry by a friend of theirs, J.B. Pick, that I like very much.

A lovely, quiet Sunday at home — for I feel very much at home here.

Monday, June 16
My last full day at Russ and Jill’s. I am up again early, and am out at the fish pond in the morning sunlight. Is the weather warmer, or is it absence of Iona’s continuing wind, or am I just getting used to it? I am out in T-shirt and dungarees and no socks, and am comfortable. But then, I’m also in the sun, which no doubt helps greatly.)

“My good friend David, any words for me this fine morning?”

“Have y’ not had a fine holiday? Suitable for framing? The bird is on the wing, but you’ve been flying with it these days, eh?”

“Life has been lovely. The only thing missing is meaningful external work, though internal work as been going on. I just fear that internal will not manifest into external.”

“And you do not, then, see it occurring already? Besides, what use is fear to you? Or anybody? The bee gathering nectar from that flower doesn’t go from plant to plant fearing. If anything, he goes calmly rejoicing.”

This day we take an excursion to St. Ninian’s cave, by the firth. A lot of walking and some sun. Very nice, very – surprisingly – tiring.

I make a meditation tape for Russ and Jill, with the lovely metamusic “Remembrance” in the background. There is one bit of “Remembrance,” I tell them, that makes me nostalgic for home – and I don’t mean Virginia. Moves me to tears, in fact.

This at the end of the evening.

Tuesday, June 17
Jill and Russ take me to the train station at Dumfries, and by 3:30 I am on the train to Glasgow. A great relief to be on almost the last connection to be made -potentially the most troublesome, if I had missed it.

“Friend David, now I have time and isolation again, what words have you for me?”

“You see my country now; your old country, if you wish to look at it that way – for Scotland is more like Wales than England is or was. It does make all the difference, does it not, to know the locals if you want to get a feel for the land?”

“Yes. Robert, Michael, the Russells.”

“The Englishman, the Scot, and the couple who bridge the two.”

“I don’t know how it’s going to go when I’m’ back at work.”

“Nor do you ever. Can you see that from the point of view of the completed self, you are (usually) at a decision point, and what you decide determines where you go next? So if you want advice, it is always available. If you want prophecy, it is always – debatable, to say the least, for what if you are told a future and you go elsewhere? As you have every right to do.”

(4:40) I can feel my energy draining away. A few minutes’ nap – ended by coming into some sort of little stop – leaves me leaden and sad, or anyway dull. I’m tired of traveling, now, and all I have in front of me is the rest of today and an artificially long day tomorrow, with no thing to look forward to, only things to be endured.

Worst and hardest is to anticipate – to experience already! – the ebbing of my mental alertness into dullness and cow-like endurance.

[After my return]

Friday, June 20
A dream. In Russia, talking to them and supposed to be representing a budget or something that was a lot of lies. I go up to the guy and tell him what was so, and he said, “well, this is just what we predicted,” blah, blah, blah. I said, “I know, but I’m going to show you what it really is.” And we were going to meet afterwards. Meanwhile there were all these poor Russians on the team, getting shoes or something from the Americans. Stuff that had been left in the aisles. They were going to pick it up.

After this dream, I get the thought that an article about the lack of future of the churches should include a list of things to be explored about life, including crystals, etc. that they can’t explore because of their own fear.

A possible beginning is to say that when you enter into a new age, even continuing the old ways changes them, because they have to change because it is a new set of circumstances. That’s the underlying theme: We’re moving into a new age, and the old forms are breaking down, and as the new forms are created, they will be created of things that were contained in old forms – plus new perceptions and new ideas. It is the inability of Christianity to continue in its accepted form that is at issue here. Just as the Protestant revolution destroyed the universal Christian western community, because suddenly there were choices among Christians which not only led to wars, but ultimately to indifference, so you have similar processes going on now, and it’s impossible even by choosing to stay with the old, to have the old unchanged, because what does not change when everything else is changing is itself changed in relationship to them.

Of course, if reincarnation and the presence within us of other lives is true, we’re many of us far more connected to the medieval time and middle ages, and monks and priests and abbots, than anyone here would suspect. It is our own inheritance, and can’t be alienated just because it has been taken over by the inheritors of that tradition (i.e. the churches). This, even though those originals monks and priests themselves might not approve.

And so here’s an end to this endless account – but it looks to be yet another beginning for me, and hopefully, reader, for you.

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