The Bear

Image by Yuri lys from Pixabay

The inspiration for this piece came to me in a dream, immediately following the new moon, and during the last wavespell of the tzolkin.  I learned of the perils of hesitation.

The bear was mine.  He was docile, sweet, and malleable.  He would follow me, like a loyal companion.  The bear was a guide, healer, and guardian.  The bear represented not just this dream, but all dreams of all lifetimes.  These were the dreams of great purpose and of destiny.

But I had forgotten about the bear.  He waited, languishing.  Years passed, lifetimes passed, and still the devoted one waited.

Suddenly I remembered the bear, and approached as if time had stood still.  But it had not.  He was hungry, and had fallen ill. He did not seem to recognize me and in an instant I realized what I had done.  Remorse beset me, and panic rose.  My beloved one had been changed—destruction was upon him and I witnessed a lifetime of dreams shattered.  The bear was changed.  Robust nature and good health were gone from him.  His mind was corrupted and wildness had taken over.  He lashed out, as wounded animals must do.  He had become dangerous, hostile, and violent.  He bared his teeth, growled, and drooled at me.  I placed a collar around his neck, to lead him home.  But he had become thin and the collar was loose, yet he knew it was there and began to comply.

I brought the bear into my house to repair and restore what was disappearing from my world.  But the bear was desperate.  He attacked my children, and tried to maul them to pieces.  I, then, became the bear and fought wildly to defend my own cubs.  My bear was sick and weak, so an advantage was available.  Still, through it all, I experienced the agony of guilt, regret, and loss.  Could I ever forgive myself?  How could I repair this?  Was this the end?

All dreams and aspirations showed themselves in the form of this once magnificent creature.  An expression of death was present in hollowed eyes, labored breathing and lowered head.  The dreams were crushed and dying.  I was responsible for all of it.  My heart pounded and sweat soaked my clothing.  I frantically searched for the right kind of food for my dying bear.  I held handfuls of water to his mouth and urged him to drink.  He ate whatever food was closest to him, shaking his head and grabbing at everything that I placed within reach.

This is where the dream ended, and I awoke in the darkest part of the night.  Deep sadness was upon my heart as I grieved the harm I had caused, by forgetting my purpose and all that was important and meaningful to me in this world.   What will happen to my bear is a mystery for now.  Will he die, and wolves will tear the dead flesh from his bones?  They will leave me a shell to remind me of my crimes, a devastating reminder that will haunt me forever.

Or, will he live?  Through patient nurturing, renewed commitment, and humble attention perhaps I can save him.  The wounds will remain still, as they must.  The new dream is the new dream now.  And everything depends on whether my bear can be restored to vibrant good health.  Is it hopeless?  I do not know—only the bear knows.  Whether he lives or dies, the shame will never leave.  This I will carry through this lifetime and into the next.  But this I know:  in whatever form, he will always be with me.

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