In the dream, Bigfoot is skulking through a cave, and the Woman is trying to stop him from getting out. She is old and clever and vital: a crone, a witch. She hunches herself into a hole in the cave wall so that she can attack him as he walks by. I don’t remember the attack; does she hit him with a spell? Does she throw rocks at him? He turns and looks to see what hit him. He can’t get at her, but he knows she’s there. He walks on.
In the dream, I pay the Woman to protect me and my family. Even if she can’t save us, I want to make a contribution to her work. Stopping Bigfoot is a worthy cause, right?
But when I wake, the dream looks different. Bigfoot wasn’t destroying anything; he was only looking for a way out. He’s trying to go home, I realize as I scrawl the dream into my journal.
Bigfoot is the Problem. He’s the illness, the situation at work, the painful relationship, the wounded world. The Woman is the wisdom I’ve acquired so far. She’s throwing everything she’s got at Bigfoot, but he won’t go away.
Crawl out of the hole, dear Woman. This creature you’re fighting is not the enemy. If there’s a way out for him, perhaps it will be the same way out for you. Do you really want to live in this cave for the rest of your life?
Somehow the Woman is going to befriend Bigfoot. She’ll be nervous when she begins; she won’t feel safe. First she’ll learn to watch him without attacking him. What next? Perhaps she’ll follow him at a distance. Perhaps she’ll make peace offerings. Perhaps she’ll learn to speak to him, or her songs will soften him. It may take months or years – it may take the rest of her life – but the time will come when the two of them walk together, all enmity dissolved.
And what then? Do they find their way out of the cave? Will they discover an exit to a world filled with light? That part I don’t know. What do you think?