Pictures of Inner Landscapes

An Active Imagination account, Mar. 2020

I want to choose the Edgar Allan Poe poem, or the Spirit of the Dead image as much as I don’t want to. My dad has been visiting me in my dreams recently, so was there really another option? I look for my white, fluffy sleep mask and can’t find it. I settle for the black one with cat ears on it. It feels safe and requested. I decide to lay on the couch with my legs bent over its arm, a cylindrical throw pillow under my neck. I am careful to set the scene, pale sand; swaying leaves; salty air; pink and red skies. Somehow it is yet sunset and solar noon, simultaneously. I feel nervous to call for my dad, yet he appears beach ready. We make it to the coast before Dad turns into a scary crone and tries to push me into the ocean. I beg this to stop and we reset to our original positions. This time we’re routed to a dry area where large leaves act as canopies. We briefly talk about mom before addressing the elephant. I ask if he may show me what she wants in the form of an item. He holds out a purple clam and I intuitively know a pearl is inside. I think I’m ready, I say. Dad holds my hand as we inch our feet into the water, “It’s cold ain’t it?” We joke but I really want to know what she wants with me, so I ask him. He smiles. And then I am off, a tall but skinny wave lifting me into the sky, “Will you stay with me?”

I am always with you. And now he is the clear blue sky, there is his face, a tiny cloud acting as his stubbly mustache. I slide down the wave on my bum, am met with another wave which shoots me up in the sky and another and another. My dad is now the fuller cloud, talking through the wind. And then he is a bird. “I am always right there beside you.” I feel I must look down, and now I see. The ocean’s essence is my reflection or the other way around or both. I breathe deep and am gently let down into the water, my dad is a fish blub blub smile. I float shallowly beneath the surface. I am afraid I will be snatched up by the depths. Fish dad assures me I will not; I am no longer needed there. I am lifted from the water by the reverse of time and am found in a moment in time wrapped in memory.