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  • Writer's picturestephanieraffelock

Dreams of a Restless Night

A pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in t...

Enormous in the sky, a full moon cast a glittering ribbon of light upon the dark, black waters, a path that if followed leads you to the weaver. Deep, deep, down at the bottom of the ocean, the old woman who does not remember how she came to be among the fishes and the coral, sits at a loom and weaves the loose weave of nets from seaweed strands brought to her by her by dolphins. A shuttlecock made of shell moves back and forth, back and forth in her bony hand, stringing the weed over and under as the net takes shape. When finished, she will give it to you to cast into the realm of dreams, but you must know how to ask her—to tell her that you long to gather the inspirations and visions of what might come to be. You must ask her nicely and promise to pull these things close into your heart, nurture them with delicate care so that they will grow.

Bringing offerings of small round stones and sea glass eroded by the undertow into smooth, shiny currency to lie at her feet, I wait for her to sing to me–long, beautiful sad songs. When I do not sleep well and cannot enter the dream, I try to remember the melodies to sooth myself.

Morning brings a headache, and cups a strong black tea sweetened with honey and cinnamon. A deck of tarot cards and “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” sit next to a notebook and pen on the side table. A pair of severely smudged reading glasses, slightly bent have been folded and placed where I am sure they will be found again, even though I end up searching, never remembering exactly where they were left. Light has entered the room enough that the lamps can be turned off and the day begun. Old woman, don’t let me lose the feeling tone of you. Don’t leave me.

What will the dolphins tell you when they come to swim by your side? Will they nip at your hands and feet and push you with their long dolphin snouts, urging you toward your fate? Did you bring the net?

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