Meditative Work: Just More Weird-Ass Zombie Dreams
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Ebb and Flow.
After the Â oh-so-sweet Â full Â moon Â ritual Â last Â night, Â I wondered how Â my next meditation Â would go. The answer? Strangely. I have to write this out in order to make sense of it.
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 meetingÂ places at a golf course or resort where Â my Â bossesÂ Â occasionally sent Â me for â€œleadershipâ€ training. And there were people everywhere.
Not people I know. Not a soul that I recognized, at least not Â by Â their Â physical Â appearance. Â But Â some Â were very clear on who they were, and for the most part, I was told who the people were, even though they didnâ€™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 Â had a triple-tier Â silver Â candelabra Â with satin Â ribbons, candles, crystal prisms, and tufts of flowers. As for the other tables, the colors were pretty but the arrangements themselves Â were quite conservative. Â The decorations were to be amended to our liking, then judged.
There must Â have Â been Â hundreds Â of Â people Â in Â the room. I was Â told that they were people from my past.
People I went to school with, people I knew in college, people Â Iâ€™veÂ worked Â with Â at Â different Â jobs, Â people Â Iâ€™ve stood in circle with. There Â was Â a reunion feel to the atmosphere, even though I didnâ€™t really know Â 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. Â 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 sideâ€”there were several of Â themâ€”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 futureâ€”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 Â 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 Â think-outside- the-box leadership games at work.
The womenâ€”sisters, I thinkâ€”who were so interested in me and my plans stood close to me at one of the four tables in the Â front Â of the Â room. Â The Â people Â from Â my most distant past were in the back and the Â 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 Â trying Â to seduce Â me. Â Another Â kept Â trying Â 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 Â what to do and how my futureâ€”my tableâ€”was to be ordered. Everyone around us waited eagerly Â to arrange Â their futures Â just so. I Â 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 Â 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 wellâ€”I could hear and sense themâ€”and I assumed the fog was part of the facilitatorâ€™s attempt to make this game a harder Â one, but I realized that it wasnâ€™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 theyâ€™d planned and then weâ€™d all be judged. I tried to set up the arrangements in Â 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 whoâ€™d tried repeatedly to kiss me scowled at me. She was hurt and angry. The one next to her ad- monished me for what Iâ€™d done as did another beside her. These women all stood glaring at me, as did everyone else in the room.
Thatâ€™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 Iâ€™d persisted any- way. And in my push forward toward the future, Iâ€™d over- turned a couple of the womenâ€™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, theyâ€™d seen Â me Â feeling Â my Â way Â around Â the Â tables Â and bumping Â into Â things Â like Â a Â bull Â in Â a Â china Â shop Â and thought Iâ€™d gone mad. They had no idea of the obstacles Iâ€™d just come through. Â But that didnâ€™t stop Â 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 Â â€œWhatâ€™sÂ Â happenedÂ Â to Â you, Â Lorna?â€Â Â andÂ Â saying, â€œYouâ€™re not the person I thought you wereâ€ and â€œHow could Â you Â upset Â everyone Â elseâ€™s Â plans Â for Â you?â€ Â They were all people from my Â past Â but I didnâ€™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 Â the Â steel Â door, Â I Â pushed Â it Â shut Â and Â it clicked, leaving me safely at the structureâ€™s Â side. I finally had a moment Â to Â realize Â what had happened. Â 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, Â someone Â had Â placed Â a Â sword, Â its Â blade Â sticking straight up as a booby trap. Definitely meant to do harm. I reached to bottom of the steps and turned the Â blade downward Â so Â no Â one Â would Â get Â hurt, Â and Â then Â 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 whoâ€™d been inside the building jeered at me for not doing what was expected of me. Others hadnâ€™t seen but reminded me of how I used to be long ago.
Most of Â the Â people Â stayed Â inside Â the Â building Â and chattered angrily about me and what Iâ€™d done and how I hadnâ€™t Â performed to their Â expectations Â and how I was probably Â insane Â because Â I wasnâ€™t Â what Â they Â thought Â I should be. I knew I had to get away quickly.
I located a new set of robes or clothes near the propertyâ€™s edge but Â 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 Â underneath, Â then Â fastened Â on Â my Â new attire even as people began to wander toward me, yelling.
One of the sisters arrived at that point, yelling at me, â€œYouâ€™re not Â the person Â I wantedÂ you to be.â€ I wasnâ€™t looking at her when she said it, so she came closer, complaining about all the plans Iâ€™ve destroyed and how I was supposed Â to Â fit Â into Â their Â plans Â and Â how Â Iâ€™ve Â messed things up by not doing what they thought I was supposed to do. Then she added, â€œYouâ€™re not the person I thought you were. I donâ€™t even know who you are!â€
I pushed my hand through the sleeve of my new garments and stood up, turning to her as I spoke.