Thursday, June 4, 2009

Like a Lion

Last night, among other things, I dreamed of lions. They seem to be making their way into my life. I see their corded muscle bodies and feel the coarse fur. There's a danger and a mystery and a power to them.
Another less clear reference in the dream, was a Victorian house in Vermont where a lion personality lived that has since disappeared from my life.

Monday I visited Newport with my sister, and I commented at all the lions at the gates. I always wanted lions at the entrance to my home, even if I don't have a massive mansion overflowing with old wealth. They were present throughout my childhood in CT, a symbol in many places, and I even drew lion-headed fountains into my imaginary world.

And this morning, to bring back the memory of this dream that I had forgotten upon my waking, I tune into NPR and Garrison Keiler's deep rich voice reading the poetry of the day, "Aperture" by Gary Short, just at the moment of the mouse lying still before the cat, and the reference to Livingston and his experience in the jaws of a lion.

In the African journals, Livingston tells
of the charging lion that knocked him down.
When he was held in the lion's mouth,
the human body's trance-like response
was to go limp in an ecstatic giving up
that saved. To assume death

to stay alive.

Do these symbols have meaning in my life? We are not yet upon Leo's time. But the solstice approaches and the Lion of Summer will be here soon. I will have to think more on Lions today.

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