For a few years I have had recurring dreams/nightmares about trying to get to Paris and not being able to, or being in Paris and having trouble getting through to Genie (my dear friend who lives here), or being in Paris and having it be the wrong city. I have wondered what this means. I love Paris, and I love Genie. But there is obviously more. I wonder if her name is a play on “genie” or “genius,” and that dreams where I can’t “get in touch with her” are dreams about needing to be in touch with my daimon or genius. Genie’s last name is… wait for it… GODULA. So there’s an obvious pun there, too, and my unconscious mind loves to send me messages through pun-names. So I suspect that my frustration dreams of not being able to get to Paris, and the heartache I feel in those dreams, are always about feeling an aching inability to “get to” my soul and my God.
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee…”
So it seems symbolically powerful to end my sabbatical in Paris, in Genie’s home. She is a treasure of a friend and it is a glory of a city that pleases my every sensibility. I am here, I am telling myself. We are in Paris, my soul. We are in close, loving contact with Genie Godula and with genie and with God. C’est bien.
This has been a stupendous journey, this sabbatical, and I end it happy, overwhelmed with gratitude, soaked in the fascination of new experiences and memories I will savor for years, and deeply re-affirmed in my vocation.
I love that my sabbatical officially ends at Pentecost, when God worked a miracle of fire and language, of understanding and passion. On Sunday, I will attend a free organ recital at the Cathedral of Notre Dame and then, I hope, a Chopin piano recital later in the evening. I want to remember the end of this adventure as beautiful music, humankind’s response to the miracle of being alive and partaking, by constant, emphatic invitation, of the Divine Essence.