In my dream, I was driving the ’78 Cutlass down a rockslide. (Not just any Oldsmobile, but the one I drove off the lot in November, 1978; the Cutlass Supreme with only 7,000 miles on it. That car took me in style to the DMV at the courthouse where I paid an exorbitant fee for license tags causing the young man behind me to gasp, “what are you driving lady?” It pulled a fully overloaded U-haul trailer all the way to Chicago, saw one child learn to drive, and hauled me to the hospital for the birth of the other two. Patiently, the Cutlass hung in there for trips from Dallas to Colorado until the youngsters graduated from car seats to regular seatbelts. It was sad to sell it after 20 years and a rebuilt engine.)
Confident, cautious, and dependable I navigated the talus that was the rockslide. Our ride was as smooth as a buggy trip on a cobblestone street – until we came to a drop-off. No mere 4-wheel-drive vehicle could breach that step. Heavy road moving equipment – maybe. One option would be to back up the rockslide. It was then I found out the trip down had not really been as smooth as a cobblestone street. Another solution might be a helicopter or a crane. I acknowledged my problem, turned off the engine, removed the keys, exited the car and left it there. Surely, given time, I would be able to solve the problem.
So ended the dream.
I am a morning person. I love waking up with the sun – with a fresh perspective. Over the past 6 months, I have experienced (again) a series of intermittent days or weeks – not every day – where I wake up depressed, a little bit blue, with that sinking feeling. You know the one. As I came gradually toward consciousness this morning, I could tell it was a gorgeous day. Sunshine. Birds chirping. Gentle breeze with the scent of pinion pine, dew-kissed desert, lavender. What could be more delicious? Then came the dread. I longed to roll up in a ball and hide in the depths of my bed. “Emergency, emergency,” clanged my emotions, “Rise and shine. Commence self-talk. Up by the bootstraps, now. Make yourself feel better.”
But, instead of self-talk, I listened. This is what I heard;
“You have a broken heart.”
“Aw, come on. That’s history. My counselor pointed that out years ago.”
“Nevertheless, it is not mended yet.”
I walk. I write. I make music. How else can you mend a broken heart? Really mend it, not just dull the sensation or self-medicate?
I freely admit, I still don’t know how to get that Cutlass off the rockslide – nor do I know how to mend a broken heart. But naming the problem helps me walk forward. Knowing precisely what I am dealing with along with forward movement frees up the thinking and problem solving mechanisms. Remembering chance words of hope spoken by friends helps. It was the best day I’ve had in a long time.