Interpreting Your Own Dreams 5: Defying Time
My mother turned 86 this year. By all accounts you would think that her life would be on the downswing. Not so. After having painted in oils for a number of years, followed by the less forgiving medium of watercolors, she recently began the most difficult of them all, Chinese brush painting. It requires a very steady hand and great mental preparation before the brush hits the fragility of the rice paper. If you know my mother, you know that she often complains out loud about the arthritis she has in her hand and all the aches and pains in the rest of her body. She still walks more than a hour each day, cooks, cleans, and does a series of strength and flexibility exercises. Teenagers would be envious of her energy levels. 20 years ago when she had back surgery to fuse a couple of vertebrae the doctor told her she would have about 10 years before she would be in a wheel chair.
Janet, my sister-in-law, put it this way. She rules over her body. She is a major anomaly.
If you know anything about my mother, you know she has high expectations for herself. She could never hire a maid or extra help because she can out work them even approaching 90 and the quality of her work is just too high. I feel sorry for the gardeners. If you have read the last posting about the two worlds of time, you can see that despite the fact that my mother lives in the world of clock time, her spirit soars in the other dimensions of time. Her body aches, her ego grows impatient with the lack of will in others, and she complains that she isn’t as good as she used to be, but her spirit just keeps marching forward, learning and developing as if she were 20. You can’t have a better role model than my mom. She demonstrates a basic principle of spiritual growth, which is the recognition that the ego is present (the arthritis is there), but she doesn’t let it rule her. She allows her true self, the self that lives beyond time and space, that produces great art and prepares huge feasts, to be the sovereign of her life. I am sure that my mother feels a lot of pain from the arthritis, but it is only because the dreams of her true self are still so high and way beyond the reach of most people. Most people would have given up the brush long ago, but she continues to defy time with great dreams.