Bring ’em all in, Mike Scott, Rumi and maybe more

Sometimes, for no reason that I can pin down, I have these nightmares.

Maybe when it is too hot in the room.  Not sure.  If that is the case, then I will sleep with the windows open in the dead of Vancouver winter.

It is like I am just under the surface of consciousness but I can’t wake up.  And that can’t waking up, comes terror.  In early this morning’s case, it was that in the nightmare I was frantically trying to call 911 to get help but my arms wouldn’t move because I wouldn’t wake up.  I’d try to go to people for help.  I’d end up in the dark side of town where people stared at me and attacked other people violently.

This went on for a long time but in real time I have no idea how long.

One day I swear it will give me a heart attack because my body reacts, my nervous system, my heart flies around.  I am in the terror.

I finally, finally, wake up and it takes quite a long time – sometimes the whole day – to overcome the surrealism of it all. Because my body, my mind, are so primed for fear, it can be like a day long panic attack.

I was thinking about this just now in the shower.

“Bring ’em all in,” wrote Mike Scott in his much covered song.

“Welcome and entertain them all,” wrote Rumi centuries ago, “Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.”

The water poured down on my head and I cried a bit, thinking that I could greet the terror at the door, laughing, beaming.

Invite it all in, said the Sufi poet.

Bring the little fishes
Bring the sharks
Bring em from the brightness
Bring em from the dark, writes Mike Scott.

Bring the unforgiven
Bring the unredeemed
Bring the lost and nameless
Let ’em all be seen

A glimpse, a flash – yes, yes, what relief.
Welcome at the door the terror, the gnawing anxiety, the job hopelessness, the loneliness, the constant ramming of myself – come in!  Take a seat, have some food.
Bring my shame
My fear of being out of control.
My emergency room self.
My over coughed self.
My hated self.
Bring it in.
Welcome it all at the door laughing.
Every moment of my life I can’t stop thinking about how I don’t have a job.
Bring it in.
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight, wrote Rumi.
“You torture yourself a lot,” noted Jesus the Christ.
“That’s tough, that is a tough way to live.”
And then he went and got himself resurrected.
Radical grace is what the mystics understand.
Welcome in the grief and the race track oval that doesn’t seem to end.
And the shame because you can’t stop haunting the Mormons.
And because your body tenses all up into contortions
and breathing becomes hyperventilating.
That can come in too.
And the unbelief.
Welcome it, laughing.
Get in here.
This isn’t real, says the unbelief, the torture shall continue.
Come on in and bring your people.
Your voices.
Your ways.
Radical acceptance, say the Buddhists.
God delights in you and your love of the Costco hotdog.
The terror can come in, have a seat and be with the others.
Luci Shaw wrote this:
Doubt padlocked one door and
Memory put her back to the other.
Still the damp draught seeped in
though Fear chinked all the cracks and
Blindness boarded up the window.
In the darkness that was left
Defeat crouched in his cold corner.
Then Jesus came
(all the doors being shut)
and stood among them.

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