I dreamt of you again last night. It seems all of this preparation for teaching a college course reminds me of college, and my mind does strange things with it all. I suppose after we were roommates for so long, it's not as easy for the dark gray matter in my head to extricate you. Your face and your voice echo there somehow, even though we have moved in different life paths and haven't spoken in well over three years.
You were the sister I never had. And now you are the one I will never completely understand.
My dream last night was rich in meaning. In it, we were in college again, living in Oakwood Hall, the real Oakwood, not its imposter redux version. We were living in separate rooms, on separate floors, just as we did our junior year of college, although we practically wore the carpet down traveling between those two rooms in that year of 1993. In my dream, I recognized a beautiful tree outside my second-story window, a tree ripe with juicy, red apples. I realized that if I stretched my arm out the window, I could just barely pull the fruit into my waiting fingertips. I ran to the phone and called your room and asked, "Do you like apples?" And you were enthusiastic in your response and I said, "Well, hurry, and come to my room because there are apples, so sweet, just hanging outside waiting for us to eat them." And you said, "I can't. And more than that I won't. There are things I cannot do." And you hung up on me. And I didn't understand why. And I began to cry. And then I walked to the window and reached my arm out as far as I could and gently, a warm apple, fell into my outstretched fingers. And I pulled it toward me, and saw that it was good. And I took a bite.
When I left K., I bit the apple. When I asked for a divorce, I was banished from the Eden of your good graces. You disowned me, wanting nothing more to do with me and my kind. Of course, you finally sent the obligatory note reminding me that you couldn't be supportive, but that you would "hold me in prayer."
Do you have any idea what it means to be abandoned by the one who you thought was your sister? Do you realize how painful it was to recognize that the apple needed to be eaten? That living in Eden sheltered me from the realities of wisdom and truth. Do you see that God still clothes and shelters those of us who eat the fruit? That we are not cut off from God's grace?
Sometimes I miss you. I miss a shared language and a sense of being understood to the core. I miss talking over cups of hot tea and the sharing of hot bread fresh out of the oven.
But mostly, now, I wonder whether that world was just a lie, whether that Eden was just an imaginary place.
May you be well,