I stood in a high place, both a church and a courthouse. Dark masonry covered the walls, while light flowed through stained glass windows in splashes of yellow, pink and blue. Respectful quiet permeated the space.
Before me stood three camels. Their size and the muskiness of their scent drove me back a step. A commotion broke out among the handlers of the one to my right. They spoke in rapid dialog in a language I didn’t understand, but their distress was evident none-the-less.
Something was stuck in the camel’s mouth. It knelt before me and its mouth opened like a computer-generated image. I hesitated a moment, then reached in with both my hands.
My fingers closed around an abundance of long, slender objects. They slipped as I gathered them and pulled them from the opening. Light fell across my hands, revealing pencils, pens and paintbrushes, too many to count. Again I reached into the camel’s mouth, withdrawing a second bundle and then a third.
The load was more than I could comfortably hold. I glanced around for a place to lay my burden. A door stood ajar off to one side. I entered to find court in session, the judge in her raised chair at the front. I glanced around quickly, not wanting to disturb the proceedings. No shelf, counter or cabinet presented itself.
The judge caught my eye and gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head. With that, I understood the bounty from the camel’s mouth was mine to keep.
This is the dream that directed me to write, “Passing Rain,” my story relating the events in my life from late 2004 through 2006. I interpreted the dream as saying the camels represented those three years. I researched dream meanings for camel and both “long hard journey” and “great sadness” struck a chord in me. I’d pulled creative tools and writing implements from the camel’s mouth (the mouth representing expression/communication). I had my directive. I had to write about those years.
My memoir is complete. Now what? Follow my journey here and discover with me where this project will land. Will it catch the interest of a mainstream publisher? Will I self publish it? I don’t yet know, but I trust it will end up where it is meant to be and if the only purpose in my writing this was for my own cathartic process, then I’ve accomplished that, at least. For my daughter, Jessie’s sake (aka Rain), though, I do hope our story will touch at least one other life and make all she experienced that much more meaningful.
Read an excerpt from “Passing Rain” here.