In my dreams the past and present, the living and those who have moved on from this life co-exist. They talk to each other, I to them and they to me. As I get old I meet, in my dreams, many whom I see no more in this world, and we carry on with the business which preoccupied us in the past – often very trivial, maybe. Time as a sequence does not exist. So it is in my waking life, when I remember old friends and also, sadly, some people whose enemy I was and they mine. All those encounters have present meaning and not just for me.
It is in that place where – though I disclaim any understanding of T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ – time is eternally present for me. It is also where, I hope, healing will come, of those I love and of those I did not – or they me.
Thus it was that in July I wrote of a waking dream in ‘Meeting with a Stranger’, in which I met a young man on his way to a church which was dear to my young family, deep in England’s west country, near to the sea, which is a symbol of eternity in my mind and also a geographical fact. If you climb the hill behind the church’s east window you would see the river mouth widening out to the working harbour and the distant depths of the English Channel.
That young man and I, walking in opposite directions, exchanged pleasantries, he on his way to private worship, and I on my way or on the Way. I don’t know. But I hope it will lead to peace and reconciliation.
And so, again, to this world. That young man, whom I long to meet in this world, in this flesh, and who is not a blood relative, may have the key to that ultimate fulfilment – peace again, in and for those I love.
I read (see my previous post) that he has just been re-elected to the General Synod of the Church of England. Membership of the Church is something we both have in common.