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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Anya's Dream

Narrator: Anya, a Jewish peasant woman of the time of Jesus

Story n.3 (see previous posts)

Anya is walking on the beach. She’s barefoot and the hot sand is burning her toes. Jesus is sitting by the sea, silent and motionless, his gaze lost on the horizon. The breeze is messing up his long black hair. Anya wishes that she could lay down at his feet and just sleep, but she doesn’t dare. If only she could touch his robe! Anya envies the fishermen because he spends time in their company. James, John and Andrew move cautiously around Jesus. They know that his thoughts are elsewhere entirely, exploring a dimension unknown to them. But Simon is not the kind of man who can stay quiet for too long. He’s complaining loudly about the shortage of fish: They haven’t caught a lot last night.
“Stop grumbling, Simon,” says Anya. “A little catch is better than no catch at all.”
He turns toward her:
“Are you in a bad mood, woman?”
“As a matter of fact I am. Last night I had a bad dream. I was a fisherman, just like you, can you imagine? I even had my own boat. But when I came to the shore I found a woman lying next to it. She couldn’t talk nor move. I don’t know why, but I felt I had to carry her home. So I lifted her dead load on my shoulders. She was so heavy! I put her in my bed and came back, but somehow she had managed to come back too. I had to carry her home again and again, one day after another. I never got to get on my boat. It was as if a corpse was sucking the life out of me. It was awful. What do you think it means, Simon?”
“I’m not good at interpreting dreams, woman. But you can ask James. Jesus says that he can see clearly into people’s heart.”

James is quietly working on his net. When Anya tells him her story he looks at her with fathomless eyes.
“You are that corpse, woman,” he says. “You want to sail away onto the open sea, but you can only carry your dead self with you, every day. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Peace and joy are inside you and all around you. Your anxiety is not real. Let it go. God sustains your life and He doesn’t know anxiety. He’s the only reality. How magnificent is the world! How orderly! Pay attention and you’ll experience nothing but gratitude. Find your unshakable soul. Fill it with inner silence.”
Anya closes her eyes and feels the warm sun on her face. She longs for peace, but it’s not easy to achieve it. She needs time. She wants to be there when Jesus talks to these men. He will tell them how to find their soul and she needs to know.

But now she must go. Her family is coming home. She’s going to light a fire and cook some dinner. Her husband likes fish. Maybe Simon will give her a small one, just to give taste to her soup. For her son Anya will buy some fresh fruit. There is never enough fruit in the house for him, or enough of anything, for that matter. He’s growing up fast and working hard. A fine young man, respectful to his mother but restless like his father. Will they ever know redemption?