Friday, February 3, 2023

Night Terrors

Sometime last year I did something out of character and had a reading by a woman in touch with the West African orishas. There was a lot of talk about my connection with Shango and then just before she finished, there was an odd moment when she looked at me and said, “You know, evil does exist in this world.” Don’t know whether she was commenting on my naivete that people are basically good or warning me, but I just brushed it off.


But last night, I received a visit. It was a rare dream (I remember having a similar one decades ago at Mt. Baldy Zen Center) that was far beyond simply the screen of weird images and storylines. Here I felt the visceral presence of pure evil— not an image of a person or creature, but simply a tangible force that was not wishing me well and had me paralyzed in sheer terror. I lay there wondering if it was a sign that I was about to have a heart attack or there would be an earthquake or whether something or someone was in the house. I got up and walked to the kitchen, wondering if I’d be clubbed to death as I went down the hall in the dark. I wasn’t.


Got out some yogurt and banana to try to change my body chemistry and when I lay down again, I could still feel this presence hovering. So I turned on the light to read something that might derail my mind’s unwelcome wanderings and finally got back to sleep without another visit. 


What was that all about? Who knows? But that physical sense of evil surrounding me definitely shook me up. Has this happened to other people?


I went on to have a lovely day teaching 2nd graders and 5-year-olds (how I love the young ones!!! I need more!!) and then re-united with my 30 friends in the F1 Unit of the Jewish Home after a month away from playing music for them and singing with them. Some solid restoration of normality and good feeling. And a concert at Davies Hall tonight. 


But I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit I’m a bit nervous about tonight’s sleep. Wish me luck!


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