Monday, January 30, 2012

Listening to the Sloth

I mentioned recently that I had a dream where I was at a party and saw a sloth walking around in a diaper, smoking a cig. That image stuck with me for a few days. Sloths are weird creatures; they’re oddly out of proportion, and sssssslow and deliberate in their movements. They’re a combination of profoundly evil and sweet. At the same time. This kind of strange might not have the same effect on others but it freaked me out. In my dream, other people at the party were like Hey, there’s Sloth, what’s he doing here? That question was never answered because right after he turned his head ssssssslowly to look at me, I woke up.

Thank God.

But still, as the days passed, I couldn’t shake the image. Even though I know and believe that things can come to us in dreams that we may not be able to articulate in waking life, I’ve never really studied my own, except as sort of symbolic movies about things that have already happened. I’ve never thought of using them as a sort of map to figure things out and move forward.

I asked my Mom, who has been to a few workshops about dreaming and the meaning of dreams, what she thought it meant. She suggested that I sit in a quiet place, where I wouldn’t be distracted, and talk to this freak and ask him what the hell is going on (but in a loving and kind and non-judgmental way).

So I did.

And yeah, the freak was me, (I knew that, come on) but what he said made enough sense that it made me cry (in a good way), and though I’m not going to tell you what he said (have your own goddam Sloth tell you), I was surprised at the way the response just dropped out, really, without my being aware of what was coming. I felt the way the Evil Queen must have felt when she asked the mirror who was the fairest of all. I took myself by surprise. How often does that happen?

And I realized that this can work with other quandaries or roadblocks: sit quietly and ask the sloth in a diaper, or the old man in a dress, or the baby/acrobat, or yourself, the answer will come.

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