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Momentum, in Three Parts

Like so much in life, momentum is paradoxical, containing contradictions that challenge, confuse, and sometimes freeze us in our tracks. Synonyms for momentum include: impetus, drive, thrust, energy, motion, velocity, force and push. At the end of December, right before my birthday, several insights and opportunities melded together and produced a momentum that had force, drive and thrust behind it, like the straight lines moving off the page on the left side of my friend Mary van de Weil’s painting.

It was a velocity that moved me to apply for a teaching position that in the end I did not get, yet in the aftermath of completing the application and receiving the email (a message that was both a disappointment and a relief), I realized I had spent the previous week writing not only an application. I had also crafted a profoundly resonant document of self-acknowledgment, an empowering record of just how much work I’d accomplished over the last decade.

An editor/mentor appeared in my life the same week as the rejection note. A manuscript that had been stagnating in a notebook came back to life with her sensitive, expert advice. A new client appeared. I was expectant, wondering what would come next. The curiosity kept judgment at bay.

And then came February…

which took on the other face of momentum—one of energy, motion, and impetus—yet more like a river that meandered in S-curves of varying shapes and maneuverability, much like the right side of Mary’s painting. It was if I was in a maze, not quite knowing where, or how, or even why I was doing what I was doing, yet trusting that the bullet-train momentum of January and the powerful internal strength it had generated would carry me through these twists and turns.

And then came the dream…

just before dawn this past Saturday, February 19th. In the dream I was walking down a dark hallway. On the right was a glow of light. Walking closer to the glow I saw it was coming from a large mirror in which a full moon was reflected. Turning toward the entrancing light, a tangled halo of dark curls surrounded a face—my face. Out of the curls grew silhouettes of trees. It was a mysterious sight—exciting yet calming—and strangely, unnervingly familiar. Turning away from the mirror I could only see black.

In the pressing darkness someone kissed me…

and I was startled awake into the half-light of six a.m., the dream kiss lingering. Later that morning, describing the dream to my friend Nina, the entire top of my head began tingling. “The trees are growing,” she said, and we both laughed. The next day I told another friend about the dream, and asked if she had any idea what it meant. Vickie looked me in the eyes and pronounced matter-of-factly,

“You're falling in love with your own nature.”

This is where momentum has led me. On the northern California coast, in front of a fire fading into coals, the February full moon only hours past its zenith. As a swift linear focus or a slow energetic meandering, momentum—being the first cousin to change—is by its very nature coming your way. How it shows up will be your own story. One thing I do know—momentum will most certainly startle you awake.


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