One of my dreams last night led me to a garden island with a clear river dividing it north to south and a small pool at the very center. I knew the water couldn’t be very deep, but somehow I was certain that if I fell in, I would be lost in its depths forever. A woman (at least, I think she was a woman) stood behind me, taller than any person I’ve ever seen, and thin.
“What is it you seek?” she asked.
“My heart,” I replied.
She touched my chest and I could feel my heart burn inside of me, as if it were melting at her touch.
“I know it is there,” I said. “I don’t know what it is.”
She touched my chest again, and I almost couldn’t stand the feeling that my melting heart was trickling down through my body. She left me then, and I was alone at the pool. But somehow, I knew what I had to do. I ripped open my chest and pulled out my heart–which was not a heart, but a red gem. I laid the gem into the shallow pool, and the clear water dissolved into red.
And then the red water became an image that was ever-changing. It was a melody. It was a scent. It was a word. It was a flower. It was a teacher. It was a student. It was a family. It was a book. It was passion. It was sleepless.
On and on the image changed, until the water calmed back to its normal color and the red gem that was my heart tumbled out of the water and to my feet. The woman was beside me again.
“What will you do with it?” She asked.
I was afraid, so I woke up.