I've been having a lot of dreams lately about not managing to get where I'm supposed to be going.
The troubles are varied. In one dream I forgot to respond to an attractive invitation because I got distracted. In another I missed an appointment because I didn't leave enough time for travel. Another time I couldn't even begin to get on my way because the vehicle I was supposed to drive was too complex and unwieldy, a huge RV full of different systems and gadgets. In the most recent dream on this theme, the street on which I was walking was blocked off because the buildings were on fire.
The images are very telling, but the question arises: what is this troublesome journey which I am either anxious about beginning, making, or being able to arrive at its destination? What increase in vigilance and mindfulness do I need to adopt? What do I need to let go of in order to be free to begin or continue? What old paths need to be re-routed that I might avoid the destructive forces, inside and out, that impede my steps?
The unwieldy vehicle is probably my own soul, and a warning to me that I need to care for myself better in these days full of new distractions and temptations to the dissipation of my internal attention. But I'm also worried that the unwieldy vehicle might be our province of the brothers which finds itself at a contentious moment and needs to find a way to step forward. The burning block of buildings is also full of possibilities. Probably it's one of the old paths of my prayer and interior habits that has become useless and even dangerous. New and less comfortable paths to God always need to be charted. This, after all, is the journey of faith at its dark and searing heart. But I also fear that the burning buildings might have something to do with BC; I walk the paths of that campus and I always remark on how robust, beautiful, and well-maintained the buildings are. (In contrast, of course, to the buildings of other Catholic institutions and parishes.) I worry that the vision of the dream might have been a glimpse into the actual, spiritual condition of BC. In the dream I remarked on two oddities of the scene: there were some firefighters, but they didn't seem to be doing anything, and there were people in the buildings, but they didn't seem to be trying to escape.
More importantly, though, what is the journey which so challenges me? Is it the STD program? Is it my place in the province and my obedience to the brothers, aware as I am aware of certain forces swirling about me, imagining particular outcomes to this course of study I have begun? Or is it something more fundamental and internal in my own interior journey with the Lord? Am I at one of those places in which I am straining to go to the next level of faith and trust, moments that always come with a lot of confusion and vertigo and grief at letting go of aspects of the false self I always thought were irreducible parts of "me" but which have to be jettisoned if I am to take another step into the Mystery?