February 15, 2008

Gratuitous Swimming the Tiber Posting

[Sooper-sekret note to Steve-O: This post is Church-politics free. Easy there, big fellah.]

I had a dream last evening that I was attending Mass. In the middle of it, a woman who looked very much like a cross between Tilda Swinton and Glenda Jackson (beautiful and cruel at the same time) came and sat down next to me. Before she could conceal it in the folds of the fur coat she wore, I saw that she had in her hands a long, sharp pair of scissors. I was positive that she meant to stab me with them and sprang to my feet in fear. As our pal Sleepy Beth would say, and then I woke up, only to discover that I had in fact sprung out of bed as well.


Now I have anxiety dreams of this sort on a very regular basis, but this is the first time I can recall having one in a specifically religious context. I suppose it comes of a combination of several factors:

-- Taking under consideration Jesus' words about not blowing horns and otherwise acting like a hypocrite, I may say that I have taken my Lenten obligations far more seriously this year than ever before (although I still could do much, much better). This has definitely had a mental, physical and spiritual impact on me in a lot of different ways and, apparently, has now got right down into my subconscious as well. (I suppose this means that I'm doing something right.)

-- In preparation for being received, I turned in all my registration bumf to my new Church this week. It's just a simple form, plus copies of my baptismal and marriage certificates, but handing them in had a real Crossing the Rubicon feel to it.

-- While my very old-fashioned Palie mother has come around in full support, the Missus remains extremely skittish about this whole business. She puts as brave a face on it as she can but she really doesn't fool me. Naturally, this is a continual source of worry (and sadness) for me, exacerbated by the fact that I don't even have the skill and vocabulary to adequately explain just what the heck I'm doing and why.

-- I suddenly realized the other day that if I'm received into the Church at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass as scheduled, then it will be on the first anniversary of Dad's death. It's probably just as well that the Old Gentleman isn't around for it, as he would have had conniptions (or, as I remarked to Mom the other day, if he weren't already under the earth, this would have put him there). Ironically, though, I flipped back through the archives of the religious posts I've done since then, and it's abundantly clear (at least to me) that his death - much more so than any issue of TEC politics - was the prime driver in finally sending me in this direction. Go figure.

The upshot of all this? There's an awful lot of stuff banging around in Robbo's brain at the moment. Looks like I picked a heckuva Lent to quit drinking.

Posted by Robert at February 15, 2008 09:03 AM | TrackBack

Robbo, you're sipping a much stronger cocktail of mixed discomposure and tranquility. It is a sight to behold, and I'm touched that you share this with us. How you do it without caffeine is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: Monica at February 15, 2008 09:20 AM

Oh, I have to confess that the coffee ban lasted only about twenty-four hours or so of near mental and physical incapacitation. The very sensible Mrs. P kindly noted that giving up caffeine was something better suited to retirees than to people chin-deep in children and careers, and that trying to take on such a burden was probably above and beyod the call of duty. I took her advice without the slightest hesitation.

However, I have been good about everything else.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at February 15, 2008 09:48 AM

Seems you have seen the White Witch, Robbo.

In my dreams, the Enemy is usually personified as either a faceless ninja or as a Soviet style KGB agent with a grim face and glasses. I occasionally hear the leathery wings of a bird of prey, as well.

The prayer to St. Michael, the Rosary, and Revelations 12:7-12 help after dreams like that.

Rev 12:7-12, which always moves me, led me to start taking communion in both species. For some reason, this has helped me make progress, though docrinally, there is no reason for it, as the Catechism will tell you He is fully present in either species. Symbolically, though, for me it has been a reassurance.

Posted by: The Abbot at February 15, 2008 10:05 AM

I think a medecinal dallop, for nerve calming only, might be in order.

Posted by: Babs at February 15, 2008 10:10 AM

Tilda Swinton and Glenda Jackson? Gosh...can't you dream about voluptuous women who want to kill you?

OK, after reading this I understand on a much deeper level why you and I and Mr. Scotch need to sit out on the rocks very late --TALKING---- on a moonlight night on a certain island in Maine. You are probably aware that Carl Jung, the noted dreamologist visited two places in America - Massaschusetts and that island in Maine. But what you probably did not know the reason why he came there...it was the summer home of the once Episcopalian turned Swedenborgian turned lesbian turned lover of Carl Jung and then back to lesbian again, the follower of all her dreams, the noted Madame X. What you probably did not also know is that Madame X offed herself there one summer and the history of that offing has almost been erased from all memory except from turncoats like me....

Anyhoo, I would not put much stock on any dreams of androgynos women trying to kill you. Wait...androgynos women trying to kill you? Why all the female bishops of the Episcopal Church are androgynos...and you are entering a Church that oppresses women...hey...that was easy to figure out.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at February 15, 2008 01:43 PM

That shoud be androgynous...in case they decide to come back after me...

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at February 15, 2008 01:46 PM

Best wishes, Robbo. I'll remember you in my prayers this Lent (and your wife).

Posted by: Christine at February 17, 2008 10:55 AM

By the way, you do know that Sundays (and solemnities) don't count during Lent, don't you?

Posted by: Christine at February 17, 2008 11:49 AM