the third door, I had a dream. I wish I could remember it now, for I awoke challenged and inspired and ready to share my current day-to-day heart-cloistering with the world.... with the world! With the whole wide world!
But it was 3:00 in the morning, and I was sleepy. I'd remember later; it was the middle of the night. The whole wide world could wait.
You know how that goes. When I woke up several hours later, the dream was nearly forgotten. My day was immediately jammed with activity, as was the one following, as were the evenings, and now here I sit. Trying to coax threads of a once-vivid dream from its lair of wisps and shadows.
I do remember this much. I dreamed of a house in rural Maine, an old farmhouse by the sea. Walls and floors were made of wood, weathered and gray, and a man was there smiling at me. This is a person who exists in real life, outside of the dream-world. He asked me a few questions. These boiled down to "do you write about the cloistered heart?" (and/or) "do you live the cloistered heart?" I saw his smiling face clearly as he awaited my answers.
I was filled with joy. I answered "yes!" to both questions, and just before I woke up, I began to dance.....
It was not until I started writing this post tonight that I remembered. My husband and I visited this man's place in Maine some years ago, on our way to see friends in their house by the sea. These (the latter) were building the house I'd written of in chapter one of The Cloistered Heart book.
Lo and behold. I think my dream was a reminder that - surprise! God's dream continues. He is the Cloisterer of hearts, and He's still very much at work. I wonder if He is, in fact, "opening this conversation" by telling us that we're on the verge of a fresh, new Chapter One.
"God has a dream," I wrote in 1996. "He dreams that we may have eyes to see solitude in the bustle of a city, and grillwork before every circumstance of our lives. He dreams of cells where He can take refuge. He dreams of the joy that He alone can bring..."
Whole wide world, are you out there? And are you dreaming too?
Painting: Jan Victors, Jong meisje aan het venster