This and the many courses and adventures that followed: taking therapy in Mexico, then driving across to Cancun where five of us boarded a 22ft yacht, the Honey, sailing into the terrifying winds of tornado season; camping up the Norwegian coast to Finland; venturing through the whole of Italy into Israel where the teacher, dressed in camos and driving a jeep with three young men attracted the attention of the Government so we had to flee; renting every available Vespa in Chania, touring the island including the extraordinary Knossos; walking on glaciers; flying in a 4 seat Cessna; drinking chang with Mongol men until I recognized in the eyes of that young Tibetan woman who served us, a gulf of danger. I scuffed across the cliffs of life focused on a starry vision my head held, my feet barely touching ground.
In Mexico one morning my teacher had spoken about a dream he had had, one in which he was walking down some stone steps. Suddenly I could see the steps, covered in a bit of green moss, see clearly the image his words evoked, as though painted upon the air in the room where we sat.
“Yes, yes, that’s it!” he exclaimed suddenly, his brown eyes lit with an inner fire turned on me. “That’s it.” I had visualized. And he knew it. My love of the mystery of dreams and visions opened in one moment, a moment shared.
When I finally touched down, when I stopped daring Life to catapult me into Death, it was to raise my son. His birth carved through my heart an opening targeting everything I had learned, felt, experienced, sowing it in veins of love and gratitude that began to blossom.
He was my motivation. I stumbled toward mothering, slowly, a large brute presence internally numb and awed by the tiny perfection before me. He was, he is the reason.
My teacher suggested I return to school, so I did. In 1985 I graduated with a double Master’s Degree in Education and English. The Angels directed me back to Ontario.
I hauled my son across country and we settled in this cottage, our home, where I nursed my father through his last days.
In 1993 I decided to approach the Ontario Compensation for Victims of Criminal Activity. I needed external confirmation I had experienced the extremes. As part of the criteria, I had to see a psychiatrist. Upon hearing my story, he handed me Kleenex and declared, “With what you’ve been through, we’d expect you to be in and out of hospitals, under doctor’s care for the rest of your life. You are not only functioning, you are high functioning. We don’t know how you did this.”
In the late 1990’s I found a dream therapist and invoked consciously the languages of dream. I became a psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in dreams.
I have experienced deep trauma, yes, but all those long hours of those three days, my mother’s imprint continued to speak. If I only endured the hell, I might find again a bit of heaven. Her imprint, the childhood dream that directed my responses to Al and Gary, Angels who refused to let me die, the insight and generosity of my teacher and my son as my heart’s motivation fed me. My drive to be well, the extensive hours of meditation, dream contemplation, bio-energetics, breath work combined to push me through those doors of memory into a world of increased sunlight, of living in the present moment.
Currently my heart partner Harry and I live comfortably. My son and his laughing warm family are healthy. I host a radio show called Off the Top through Whistle Radio in Stouffville. My psychotherapy practice has continued for over 15 years. I have written two books of poetry, Bliss Pig and Uncritical Mass in Consort, with my poetry partners Linda Stitt and Cecilie Kwiat, a novel called The Stain, and am about to release a book on visualization meditation as explained by neuroscience called Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind. Next year I will finish my memoirs called My Impossible Life. Neat title, right?