Meditative Work: Just More Weird-Ass Zombie Dreams

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.

After the  oh-so-sweet  full  moon  ritual  last  night,  I wondered how  my next meditation  would go. The answer? Strangely. I have to write this out in order to make sense of it.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

I was in a building (here we go again with metaphysical houses), but this one reminded me of a banquet hall for one of the black-tie American Cancer Society events or one of those huge meeting  places at a golf course or resort where  my  bosses   occasionally sent  me for “leadership” training. And there were people everywhere.

Not people I know. Not a soul that I recognized, at least not  by  their  physical  appearance.  But  some  were very clear on who they were, and for the most part, I was told who the people were, even though they didn’t look familiar.

Round tables seating 6 to 10 people were arranged in the large room. No one was sitting yet. The tables were decorated in linen cloths with pretty floral arrangements atop each one. Nothing outlandish, except for my table, which  had a triple-tier  silver  candelabra  with satin  ribbons, candles, crystal prisms, and tufts of flowers. As for the other tables, the colors were pretty but the arrangements themselves  were quite conservative.  The decorations were to be amended to our liking, then judged.

There must  have  been  hundreds  of  people  in  the room. I was  told that they were people from my past.

People I went to school with, people I knew in college, people  I’ve  worked  with  at  different  jobs,  people  I’ve stood in circle with. There  was  a reunion feel to the atmosphere, even though I didn’t really know  any of the people by sight.

They knew me, though. They called my name. They spoke to me. They let me know what their expectations of me were.  Men and women of all ages. Maybe some children, too. They all had big ideas of what I should be like and who I should be.

One of the women so often by my side—there were several of  them—was overly affectionate physically. She kept trying to snuggle close and kiss me. I kept telling her there was a man I preferred but she tried even harder to get my attention. I was resistant to her but felt her influence heavily and began to slip into the structure she was trying to create for me. We began to talk of the vision I saw for the future—how I would rearrange my table and tell the audience and show them my agenda. She agreed with my plans and seemed supportive and wanted to rear- range hers, too. So did her sisters. We were excited to discuss this. Everyone  in the room was trying to plan their future and we were soon to be set to a timer to make it happen, just like in so many of those old  think-outside- the-box leadership games at work.

The women—sisters, I think—who were so interested in me and my plans stood close to me at one of the four tables in the  front  of the  room.  The  people  from  my most distant past were in the back and the  more recent past in the front. I explained how I was going to arrange the table designated as mine. They wanted me to work at their tables, but I had plans of my own that excited me. One kept  trying  to seduce  me.  Another  kept  trying  to guilt me. Another just kept giving me advice on how she would set up the tables.

The facilitator told us to get ready and prepared his stopwatch. I looked at the tables and their floral arrangements and I knew exactly  what to do and how my future—my table—was to be ordered. Everyone around us waited eagerly  to arrange  their futures  just so. I  pulled away from the women who wanted me to decorate their tables. The facilitator yelled to start.

Then something happened. Reality shifted. The room went  grayish-dark and a heavy fog rolled in around my feet. Thick, blinding. In a matter of seconds, I could see nothing at all in the fog. I knew other people were there as well—I could hear and sense them—and I assumed the fog was part of the facilitator’s attempt to make this game a harder  one, but I realized that it wasn’t coming from him. It seemed to be coming from the corner where the women stood.

I rebelled. I still had work to do and I was determined to do it. I felt my way through the fog, feeling the tables and the linens and the floral arrangements on top. I could hear the facilitator shouting that the clock was ticking and for everyone to set their futures according to how they’d planned and then we’d all be judged. I tried to set up the arrangements in  the fog, by feeling my way. I bumped into something. I turned something a different angle. But I pressed on, determined to set my table the way I wanted it. At last, I thought it was done.

At that moment, the lights came on the fog was gone, and reality shifted back to room of people from my past. A room full of angry people.

The woman who’d tried repeatedly to kiss me scowled at me. She was hurt and angry. The one next to her ad- monished me for what I’d done as did another beside her. These women all stood glaring at me, as did everyone else in the room.

That’s when I realized that the lights had stayed on and the fog had not come for anyone else but me. It had been meant to obscure my vision but I’d persisted any- way. And in my push forward toward the future, I’d over- turned a couple of the women’s tables and destroyed the arrangements on one of them. My own table was upright and fine.

To everyone else, laboring in the light and clear air, they’d seen  me  feeling  my  way  around  the  tables  and bumping  into  things  like  a  bull  in  a  china  shop  and thought I’d gone mad. They had no idea of the obstacles I’d just come through.  But that didn’t stop  them from being vocal.

I was trapped at the end of the banquet hall but spot- ted a side door, an emergency exit. I took it, slipping away from the angry crowd of people in my past who kept asking  “What’s   happened   to  you,  Lorna?”   and   saying, “You’re not the person I thought you were” and “How could  you  upset  everyone  else’s  plans  for  you?”  They were all people from my  past  but I didn’t know any of them any more than they knew me, but they still wanted to come after me like angry zombies for not being what they wanted and not doing what they expected.

Once out  the  steel  door,  I  pushed  it  shut  and  it clicked, leaving me safely at the structure’s  side. I finally had a moment  to  realize  what had happened.  Catching my breath, I started down the steps next to the building, and noticed that there were other people milling around the main entrance of the building, though I was mostly hidden from them. I noticed, too, that at the foot of the steps,  someone  had  placed  a  sword,  its  blade  sticking straight up as a booby trap. Definitely meant to do harm. I reached to bottom of the steps and turned the  blade downward  so  no  one  would  get  hurt,  and  then  crept around the side of the building toward the front so that I could leave the people from my past behind.

Along the way, several people who’d been inside the building jeered at me for not doing what was expected of me. Others hadn’t seen but reminded me of how I used to be long ago.

Most of  the  people  stayed  inside  the  building  and chattered angrily about me and what I’d done and how I hadn’t  performed to their  expectations  and how I was probably  insane  because  I wasn’t  what  they  thought  I should be. I knew I had to get away quickly.

I located a new set of robes or clothes near the property’s edge but  still in the clearing around the structure. Beyond the clearing was woods and a highway going else- where. I crouched in a dip in the land and tugged off my blouse, nothing  underneath,  then  fastened  on  my  new attire even as people began to wander toward me, yelling.

One of the sisters arrived at that point, yelling at me, “You’re not  the person  I wanted  you to be.” I wasn’t looking at her when she said it, so she came closer, complaining about all the plans I’ve destroyed and how I was supposed  to  fit  into  their  plans  and  how  I’ve  messed things up by not doing what they thought I was supposed to do. Then she added, “You’re not the person I thought you were. I don’t even know who you are!”

I pushed my hand through the sleeve of my new garments and stood up, turning to her as I spoke.

“Good!”