Monk in the Woods

This was what happened when I enjoyed being alone at a cabin for four days, drinking too much coffee, reading Jung and Freud, taking long walks through the woods, and making lots of fires in the wood stove. The dream I had on the second night changed me somehow. I woke up earlier than usual, recorded the dream on paper, and then waited for its images to speak to me. An hour or two later, I had an inner experience that felt like a dream, and I wrote it down while finishing my last cup of morning coffee. This wasn’t the first time that a fantasy had felt so real while I was awake, and similar to what had happened during such previous experiences, the images themselves startled me. A Bible was open before me and I appeared to be rereading a particular passage. Something in the words of scripture stirred my imagination, and in the next image I was writing a dialogue between myself, the dreamer, and a monk, which appeared to take place in a castle. The seconds that passed while these images occupied my attention didn’t seem to belong to time, as if for those moments I found myself in an unknown dimension of human experience. Then reality in the cold cabin returned. I had to make a morning fire. But before I put more logs into the wood stove, I paused long enough to think about what I’d just experienced: an unconscious part of me was searching for more meaning in life, in my life. It was time for me to listen. Maybe a monk part of me needed to speak.

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