At the time, I pondered the word ‘dream,’ which I associated with fantasy, not ‘reality.’ (Today, I looked up the definition and noted that it does indeed speak to an ‘ambition.’ But, way back then, the Internet had not yet made dictionary definitions instantly accessible.)
Here’s how I responded:
- A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.
- A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.
What is my dream job? Stone Mason
Yes, stone mason. You did say dream job. My spine tingles every time I see an old, solid stone wall meandering along the edge of a farm, or surrounding the garden of a historic house. I’m sure I was a stone mason in a recently-passed life.
As a child, I collected stones wherever I went—my mom routinely emptied my pockets before laundering my outfits. I still can’t resist picking up an unusually pretty little rock on a walk. I deem beach glass a valuable treasure. I even designed a custom-built windowseat for our sunroom with glass-topped end tables, under which to display these treasures. These days, my two children add their own found treasures to the collection.
My fascination with stone walls expanded with the novel, The Secret Life of Bees. May’s ‘wailing wall,’ into which she unburdened her grief, captivated my own desires to somehow transform emotion into a concrete, lasting form. Words cemented onto a page; feelings captured in stone.
Human life is transient, but a stone structure stands resolute in defiance of time. I aspire to build a stone wall someday and I dream of an outdoor stone fireplace. But, otherwise, my dream job will remain a fantasy.
This past week, I felt burdened by the weight of heavy, stagnant, suffocating energy that has seemed to envelop years, decades, perhaps even lifetimes, of stuck, suppressed emotions. I felt innerwhelmed with pent-up angst, anger, and frustration—impending implosion.
This weekend, still feeling antsy and discombobulated, I nervously fidgeted around the house for as long as I could buttress, before finally settling into tiling a small section of our basement bathroom floor. The position, which required crawling across the cold concrete on my hands and knees, felt fitting.
How to move this stuck energy? All of my inner and outer guidance instructed me to ‘sit with it.’ Easier said than done. First, ‘sitting with it’ feels intensely uncomfortable and requires a significant amount of self-discipline—it definitely requires GRIT to Go Right Into Trepidation; second, I had too damn much shit to do. We’ve been attempting to complete a small, ‘manageable’ renovation project in our modest house…for the last year-and-a-half—with more impediments than I know you have the patience to read about. Suffice to say, our progress has been snail-paced.
So many complications….
GRIT: Go Right Into Trepidation
Aligned with Gravity; GRIT grounds us down, breaking down negative connections.
“When I resolutely face my discomfort, my fear disintegrates—my resistance dissolves.”
PLUCK: Purposeful Luck
Aligned with Levity, PLUCK raises us up, building up positive connections.
“When I intently focus on my purpose, my luck aligns—my possibilities harmonize.”
After multiple postponements, our flooring company finally confirmed delivery of hardwood for our three bedrooms, and set an installation date for later this month. Our ‘hurry up and wait,’ shortened to ‘hurry up.’ In preparation for installing the hardwood, we must completely empty out all three fully occupied bedrooms. And, to enable that task, we must finish renovating the section of our basement that will become our new master bedroom, and then move into it.
Overwhelm at the number of odd jobs to complete resulted in my atypical paralysis (outwardly exhibited as procrastination), until the impending deadline reanimated me into frantically turning in circles (outwardly exhibited as complete ineptness). The long list of tasks required to reach our goal included tiling the section under the basement bathroom vanity that the person we hired to tile the floor left bare. Why? Because I somehow managed to underestimate the quantity of tile required and he was too rushed to wait for me to run into the city for more. His solution? To simply leave the section under the bathroom vanity bare, based on the presumption that no one would ever see it. Clever thriftiness…except that he didn’t realize that the style of our new vanity afforded a view underneath it.
How both PLUCK and GRIT continue to influence my creative process:
PLUCK: Purposeful Luck
Writing the story requires PLUCK—Purposeful Luck. I build the story up, like a stone mason carefully places the best rocks to build a solid foundation, slowly selecting and adjusting each stone. With some luck, and a lot of patience, they fit together well.
GRIT: Going Right Into Trepidation
Editing the story requires GRIT—Go Right Into Trepidation. And then, I expose it to scrutiny—does the work stand up to the rumbling of uninvested eyes? I quake, then face the need for improvements. With GRIT, I grind off the rough edges and, sometimes, I even break down entire sections and rebuild them again, stronger and more elegantly.
My ‘real’ dream job? Writer
As a writer, I’ve accomplished in decades what I indicated in that questionnaire I aspired to accomplish in months. Just like, as DIY renovators, my family has accomplished in over a year what we aspired to accomplish in weeks. (I mentioned in the Thrivival Introduction that my spirit animal is a turtle.) Persevering for so long has required some GRIT—the willingness to Go Right Into Trepidation and ‘sit in it.’ Dream jobs still require a lot of hard labour. Yet, the struggle supports the artefact—stone metaphors have found their way into virtually all of my works of fiction, including the expert from Genevieve’s Worlds below and the one in my Digging Deeply into the Nitty-GRIT-ty Details post.
And, after all, if I’m an eternal spiritual being with infinity as my playground, as I explore in my I AM Series, perhaps the time it’s taken to build a strong foundation doesn’t matter.
We’re working with the ascended master collective, especially archangel michaels and gabriels. I welcome them:
We will speak as a one voice through this channel. What we concern most about on the earth plane is that there is a great deal of focus on the doing for some inevitable return because, while the focus has turned to service, sometimes the ego within a soul is still tuned to the idea that the service will be recognized or that there is some condition that must be meant in order for the service to be fulfilled. Yet, sometimes it is not the physical results of the effort that is actually making the impact, it is the vibration that you are in while you are doing that is sent out to the world as the inspiration that touches the souls of many.
The Weeping Wall
Constance looks up toward us and then joins us with Pippa purring in her arms. “Do you feel sad, Genevieve?” she asks, looking closely into my tear-filled eyes.
“Yes, I feel sad,” I tell her, honestly.
“Because I have to leave here soon. Because I’ll miss you and Eve.” Pippa meows and jumps from Constance’s arms into my lap. “And Pippa,” I add, as I lift her up. “And everything about this place.”
Constance asks solemnly, “Would you like to put a message in the weeping wall?”
“The weeping wall?” I reply, “What’s that?”
“It’s over there.” She points to the tumbled-down stone dyke. “It will make you feel better.”
“Okay. How do I do it?”
“You write out what’s making you sad or afraid on a piece of paper and fold it up and put it between two stones in the weeping wall. And then a stone grows around it so it can never hurt you again. And you feel better.” She shrugs her narrow shoulders as if it sounds simple and perfectly reasonable.
“Okay, let’s do it,” I reply.
“I’ll get a pen and paper!” Constance yells over her shoulder as she runs through the archway toward the cottage.
Constance returns, out of breath, holding up a black felt-tip pen and a small notepad. We kneel down side-by-side in front of the stone bench and I pause, considering how to word my thought for the weeping wall to capture. What am I afraid of? Why am I sad about leaving, really? Because I feel lonely at home but I don’t here. I’m afraid of being alone again. That’s it. I write it down: I’m sad when I’m alone. I don’t like being lonely. I don’t want to be alone anymore.
Constance instructs me to fold up my paper into a small square and then we find a crevice in between the tumbled-down rocks and I push it into it as far as I can.
Constance states in her wide-eyed, mysterious voice, “Tonight, a stone will grow around it.” Then, matter-of-factly, “We can check it in the morning.”
“Okay.” I pause, “But, what if the stone breaks open? Will my sad thought come alive again?”
Constance shrugs her little shoulders, “They turn into fossils.”
“But, fossils take billions of years to form,” I reply.
Eve chimes in, “Not here. Here, they happen in…”
I join her voice to complete her thought, smiling, “…in no time!”