The Effortless Motility of Being

motility: Of mental imagery that arises primarily from sensations of body movement or position. Having the power to move spontaneously. —The American College Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin. New York. 2000

It was a phase used often by my beloved analyst, Dr. Lee Roloff: The Effortless Motility of Being.  I think he told me once where it came from, but the source has faded from memory. Not a quote from Jung, but from a philosopher or artist. Perhaps Lee made it up himself. Its meaning was clear: the fluid, awake state of existence free of irrational fears or anxieties, self doubt, complexes, blame, aggression, or self-denigration.

I realize now this is an apt description for our relationship, as it evolved over the course of ten years of analysis. There was humor from the beginning, and excited gasps as we discovered that we knew the same quotes from Shakespeare, or loved the same Dylan Thomas poem, or hummed together a phrase from Finzi’s Ecologue for Piano and Strings.

Especially in the last two years, as I entered my mid sixties, and Lee his late eighties, the play of emotion, the ease of connection, anticipating each others sentences took on an art form of its own. Our laughter was more gentle, our movements less boisterous. The way we looked at each other held all that was unsaid between us: every single moment delightful, sometimes contentious, sheathed in the illusion that it would never end.

When I picked up a voice mail telling me that he had died, I was not shocked. The undercurrent between us had known this for awhile. Two days before, I had dreamed of my father’s death, and was eager to share this with Lee. Turns out, it was a precognitive dream of the passing of a man who was father to my creativity and my soul.

The morning after Lee died, I woke from this dream:

I open the door to my office and in the garden, two enormous columns of pale lavender flowers have grown up overnight. They resemble no flowers in waking life. One is a tall, strong, reaching to the sky. The other is bowing toward me, trembling, in that moment right before all the petals drop…..Then I am a little girl. My family is in the Witness Protection Program. We live in a cathedral. My mother comes to me and says, “Your cousin is here. He is so excited to see you.” I run down the stairs and open a door. There on the top bunk of a bunk bed is a boy, a few years older, wild yellow hair. He jumps down and we greet each other, so happy to be together.

I have come to see the tall, strong lavender column of flowers as Lee’s Eternal spirit, the one bowing toward me, the mortal Lee. Both are this luminous shade of pale lavender, of a texture so delicate, so beautiful. The color of his soul.

The Witness Protection Program? I was protected for so many years by his careful, gentle witnessing of my every feeling and fear. And our work was in a sacred place, where we found a space of our own, to play.

Not long after this I had another dream:

I have parked my car, which has a dream catcher hanging from the rear view mirror. I return to the car, and the dream catcher has been taken away. I am very upset. I notice a small note tucked beneath the windshield wiper.

When I woke up, I asked Psyche to tell me what was in that note. This is the response I received: “Dear Elizabeth, this is a great loss for you. I am so sorry. His desire to be close to me was very great, and I welcomed him with open arms, in the effortless motility of being.”

Whoever you are, wherever you are, may you come to know this place where you are held in a sacred space by a mortal being who brings you Eternal love.

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