“The visible is the invisible written down.” – The Roots of Christian Mysticism
Nothing is perfect even if the grass looks greener on the other side. Our perception of over there might be fooling us. I’ve been sure I saw a massive, lumbering critter in the distance ahead of me in the woods, only to see up close that it was a leafy branch, waving in the breeze.
As it turns out, our eyes are scientifically unreliable instruments of truth. Because of blind spots, fields of vision, resolution, visual angles, holes in pixelated pictures, and patterns of data sent to the brain – the content of what we see is based mostly on perception. Then, imagination fills in the gaps of what we “think” we see.
“Don’t make a quick judgment, because I’m not finished yet,” a booming voice told me in a dream. I instantly thought of the end of the Wizard of Oz where we see a somewhat frail old man speaking into a microphone, behind a curtain, behind a door. Perceptions.
This dream reminded me of our young exuberant cat, Simpkin and how his approach to the office door has changed over time. First, Simmy obsessed over the lace curtains, custom-made many years ago by my own hand, for the French doors separating the office from the dining room.
The making of those curtains was a labor-intensive endeavor, therefore, making them irreplaceable to this growing older woman, no longer much interested in custom-making anything. The fully clawed Simpkin, after weeks of daily attempting to scale the irreplaceable lace curtains, and countless, successful unhinging events of the rod, (not me), at the bottom of the door – which by the way was installed upside-down, by whom, I will not disclose, turned his obsession to the door itself.
All of a sudden, it seems, in his grand old age of two, Simpkin had forgotten about the curtains and the doors, and wanted what’s on the other side. We’d come full circle with Simmy, and the grass had become greener on the other side of the doors with the lace curtains. His myopic vision had transferred to other things as he grew up a bit.
But, what about my vision, perception, and that dream? I can look at my life one of two ways – like Dorothy from Kansas, or, Dorothy from Oz. I can either see my life from a distance as an epic adventure, or up close and myopically, as a one-dimensional trial-by-fire ordeal. What a different impression and attitude each choice in perception makes in the one-and-the-same life.
In dreams, they say that an older presence signals wisdom being imparted, and we should pay special attention to what elders are saying to us. So, I should listen to that roaring, old man, shouldn’t I? “Don’t make a quick judgment, because I’m not finished yet,” he said.
I’ve had my life figured out many times over – in as many years as I’ve lived, being naturally contemplative. Will it be door number 1, door number 2, or….? I don’t know, but it will be an epic adventure, in the finding out; that much I’ve decided.
So, I’m thinking that when tempted to look longingly to the grass over there, where it appears so much more appealing than our grass, don’t make a quick judgment. The master-gardener/architect isn’t finished yet with our landscape and in this “Snowy Evening,” according to Robert Frost, we have miles to go before we sleep.