A month or so ago, in a dream, I looked down at the inner side of my right forearm, which was resting palm-up. Just below the elbow crease, I saw a hole, perhaps an inch across, surrounded by a curious encrustation.
The whole thing resembled a rotted-out tree stump, with the above-ground roots flaring out a short distance onto my inner forearm from the raised collar that surrounded the hole. It was built of gray, very slightly glistening beads, or cells, each about the size of a cooked grain of plump rice. Especially in the raised collar area, the beads were tidily arranged end-to-end in circles that abutted one another to surround the hole.
I don’t remember what preceded my having this image in my dream or what followed, although probably what followed was that I woke up. During the moment of the image, or as I was waking, I didn’t feel fear or revulsion; I recall just being puzzled that there could be a hole in my arm without there being any blood and without my seeing any muscle or bone. The hole was simply dark and empty.
In the days that followed, I pondered this striking image, trying to figure out what it meant. Perhaps it was a message from my body that I had some sort of cancer. I spent time on my cell phone looking for images that were like the collar or at least like the beads of the collar. I found a picture of a skin cancer made up of a lot of little lumps, but they were not arranged in an orderly manner. I was more drawn to a magnified photo of scale bugs, which were about the right shape and had a similar organic glistening quality, but scale bugs paste themselves on plants to feed, not on people.
Last Sunday I attended a day-long, Zen-style meditation retreat. Early on—I think during the silent, single-file walking that followed the first silent sitting session—I found myself obsessing over the collared hole in my right forearm. I decided that I was just going to accept that it was part of me and stop worrying about it. Which worked; I was able to let the image go. From time to time during the day, I would become aware of that area of my right forearm, and I would mentally pat it fondly. It was OK.
Yes, well, it made sense at the time.
Since then, I have thought of that area occasionally, still with the sense that whatever it is, it is part of me, but not a problem. At one point, it occurred to me that I might have visualized an acupuncture point. I checked out the forearm of my acupuncture doll: My image sits at about Lung 5. So I looked up Lung 5 online and in one of my books, but nothing that was said about it or why it might be needled particularly resonated with me.
Later this morning, I will have an acupuncture session and will ask my acupuncturist to assess my right arm, and then will tell her about the image from my dream. I will be interested to know what she thinks.
Meanwhile, I feel good about getting these words out of head and down on “paper,” as I had come to feel the need to do.
It seems I have a psychic, 3-D tattoo. Children sometimes have imaginary friends. I have an imaginary 3-D tattoo….
PS: My acupuncturist didn’t think there was anything energetically unusual about my right forearm. Damn.