Thursday, February 4, 2016

366 Project - Day 35 - "Awake (Paralysis)"


February 04, 2016 - "Awake (Paralysis)"

Last night was a tough night.

Actually, I guess I should say that this morning was a tough morning... because I didn't even go to bed until after it was already several hours into "today".

Sleep was hard and heavy. My dreams were so intricately detailed that it was like watching a movie with a storyline so complex that if you were to be distracted for just a second you would completely be thrown off for the rest of the film.

They were "heavy" dreams. Not nightmares... but rather very emotional and unsettling dreams. When I woke up it was because of something that happened within the dream. It was a very sharp sort of wake up... waking up into shock. I felt as if I could not breathe... I could feel my heart racing... My vision was out of focus and overexposed... and my body was paralyzed. I could not move... or, at least, I felt as if I could not move. I felt as if I did not "know" how to make my body move.

So I stayed like that - for almost half-an-hour.

Finally I was able to turn my head... and look up at the Sacred Heart of Jesus image hanging on the wall beside me. Memories and thoughts started flooding in as things came into focus and I started to realize and remember. The large image had belonged to my grandfather. It was part of a larger piece that formally dedicated him and his family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 1940s, before my mother was even born. When my grandfather died I was holding his hand... and when I realized he was gone, I fainted. Someone - I think it was my brother - carried me into my grandfather's bedroom... and when I "came to" the very first thing I saw was that exact framed image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hanging on the wall beside my grandfather's bed. It was given to me by my Aunt Pat very soon after.

But that was over a quarter-century ago... and here I am staring at that very same picture upon waking... only know it has a second Sacred Heart of Jesus attached to its bottom left corner - the prayer card from my brother's funeral. Most of the dreams I had last night were about him... and so it kinda made sense to me to be stuck there motionless, staring at the image that I identify with him so much.

Somehow I was able to lift myself out of bed. I was dizzy, disoriented and off-balance as I made my way out to the kitchen. It took me forever to become fully calm, fully aware of who I was, where I was and what I was doing. I looked at the shrine by the kitchen door... and there was the Sacred Heart of Jesus again... staring back at me.

I poured myself some coffee - and instead of turning on my computer like I normally would, I headed for the couch and turned on the television. I went to my DVR'd recordings - and there, at the very top of the list of recently recorded shows - was a show from EWTN about the virtues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I had forgotten that I had even set the DVR to record it. I started watching it... paused it when Holly called to chat... then went back to watching it after hanging up. I fell asleep before the show even ended... and woke up very hard again - this time to the sound of the doorbell ringing and the dog barking like crazy. The mailman had delivered a package... a package which contained a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which I had recently purchased.

More thoughts and memories came flooding in as I brought the package over to my desk... and turned on my computer. I checked my e-mail... and right as I was about to minimize the window and switch to my browser to check Facebook my computer "dinged" as a new e-mail message came through. No... it had nothing to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus... rather it was from someone in Stamford who was in need of some picture framing with a very fast turnaround - and she had come across the Facebook Page for "Peter's Art of Framing" - which I'm the admin for - and she was hoping that Peter would be able to do the job.

Now - completely emotionally overwhelmed by the entire day thus far - I found myself writing a reply to that message and passing along a recommendation for another frame shop as tears started rolling down my face.

And now I'm here... writing about it all... wondering "What next?".

I don't know.

Tonight I think I will be spending a Holy Hour in the Adoration Chapel at my church... praying.

"O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen."

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