I’m excited to have found words for something I’ve spiraled around for a long time. Validation. Lately I’ve been running across Robert Moss’s words on dreams here and there. I even posted some quotes from him here in my blog. I decided to finally buy one of his books, and chose Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life.
To my surprise, he brought to me just what he describes bringing to others: what we need when we need it. If we’re paying attention, we might hear clues to answer problems in our lives, even from strangers who irk us. Seeing it as the Trickster archetype, we can turn irritation into curiosity. Moss tells the story of squirrels driving him crazy one night, so he can’t sleep. With a frozen world outside, they’ve burrowed into the eaves under his backstairs and they are scratching and munching endlessly. He gets up to walk the dog in the dark and has a synchronicity, in the dog park, with another sleepless walker who brings words to him that help him work out a writing problem he’d been stuck on.
After this story, Moss says this: “…Because I had taken on a difficult challenge and was going at it full bore, I had drawn the interest of players behind the scenes. Take on greater tasks, and you draw the support of greater powers.” I had always felt that, though I did not end up with the Ph.D. I pursued, the endeavor brought big dreams and huge changes in the landscape of my psyche. This mysterious happenstance has yearned for a mirror reflection, confirmation, these thirteen years. And now I’ve found it. Others have found this, too. Moss writes, “The law of attraction is … at play… When you are giving your best to an affair of the heart … You draw the support … of other intelligences.” Maybe faery. Maybe the ancestors. Something weaves a web of energies that respond to ours, and gives back.
In these past thirteen years, when I’ve turned my energy toward both depth studies and fiction writing, I’ve formed a very strong notion that I pursued the doctoral path not just to climb an academic ladder but in great part to meet a challenge, to learn to complete something large and complex. Moss writes that in those times we are on a “mythic edge … that can sharpen you to live and tell bigger and bolder stories.” Even as I failed at the actual crafting of a dissertation that would please my committee (or, to be honest, ran up against an institution not prepared to partner with me in radical change), my real desire was the large project itself. I strained at it almost to breaking. After, I turned toward the novel but that first attempt built the underpinnings. I found that place in me that can work in a sustained way, heart and soul. And the stories may keep getting bigger and bolder.