24 September 2011

Slow grape to dawn

I'm going to be up pretty late tonight, watching over a steamer filled with grapes and more grapes, those amazing Salem Himrods I mentioned earlier this week. I'd give up and go to bed but they're too close to their turning point, and I'm not interested in making vinegar this go-round.

It's keeping my brain awake to recall a dream I had this morning. Rob nudged me before dawn so we could take a walk by the lake and watch the sunrise. That was a welcome offer, even after another late night, but he interrupted my dream mid-story, and I really wished I could go back and finish the conversation before beginning the day.

I've lost the context now—naturally this scene was part of a bigger dream. What I remember is that Rob and I were sitting together, talking in a room, as if at home, and were interrupted by a startling BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! on the door. I got up to answer, opening it cautiously. A 20something brunette stood there, a girl I didn't recognize, looking very disgruntled. She had come full of bitterness to lodge a complaint against me, about something I'd written (an email, like the ones I send out to my Relief Society, I think? or maybe it was a blog post? seems like it was something about visiting teaching) which had asked her to... it was something about a hand... lend a hand? give hands-on service? help with some important work? She pushed the door open wider with her right arm, so I would have to notice that her hand was deformed, having only knuckles and no fingers. Her body language seemed to scream out, See! I can't do what you ask! I'm crippled! I'm helpless! I didn't know what to say to her, but I took her hand as if in a handshake, and then I held it in both of my own and we stood there, looking at each other. I examined her hand and discovered that fingers had begun to grow, like tender sprouts. They were still very delicate and small, but I could see that she did after all have something unmistakable to work with, and some power to do. In her next breath and to my surprise she softened and thanked me for challenging her. With implied intimacy, she made mention of The Thing that I had said, indicating that I should know exactly what that Thing was that she was referencing, the special words that had made the difference to her, and she wanted me to remember and repeat them. "You know what you said," she told me. I couldn't recall any previous connection to her, so I had no clue which of my words had flipped her switch. I could sense that it was important for me not to alienate her at a moment when she was obviously moving away from her sense of helplessness and disconnection. I tried to think of what to say that would bring us to the same page without giving her offense. At last I said to her, "But it's your story, so why don't you tell it? Tell me your story." Sadly, before she could begin, Rob was coaxing me back to consciousness so we could go for that walk.

And it was a lovely walk. Rob was such nice company and it was a gorgeous morning. But I wondered all day what that girl might have said if only I could have stayed to hear her out.

No comments: