In a YouTube video I recently watched, Paul McCartney spoke of the uneasiness of being suspended in the haze of the 1960s. His mother had passed away ten years earlier. She appeared in one of his dreams and reassured him that everything was going to be all right. He speaks of it as a miraculous moment when he felt like he was with his mother. His mind didn’t tell him to turn away from her because she shouldn’t be there. His mother realized that he was struggling. When Paul awoke from the dream he opened his eyes, exhaled and wrote “Let It Be.”
When Sarla, my wife who passed away last year was alive, she willingly spoke her mind. She was an open book. Many of her students and friends loved her for being so candid. Some have spoken to me of wishing that they could speak as freely as Sarla spoke. There were also times when her comments were unsolicited. For example, she opined that I could say what I needed to express with fewer words. She also offered unfounded driving advice when I was behind the wheel. Today I’m amused by these moments, even to the extent that I miss the interference.
Sarla has been appearing in my recent dreams. Mysteriously, she quietly recedes into the background of these dreams. When she was alive, I occasionally wished that she would put a lid on her outspoken tendencies. When she appears now in my dreams, I want her to tell me what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. Just like Paul McCartney’s mom, I want to hear her talk about trusting that everything is going to be OK.
Sarla’s lingering presence also shows up during many of my waking moments, mostly as an unexpected flash of a past experience with her. These moments are sweet. Though I thought my grieving had ended long ago, I think that Sarla’s appearance in my dreams and my waking moments is another form of grief. It’s bittersweet. As Paul described his sense of being with his mother in his dream, I feel like Sarla is with me in these snippets of time. Though death took her precious life away, she is still stepping in to remind me of her presence. It’s as though she’s being defiant, boldly challenging her departure.
“Let it Be” could be taken as a formulaic admonition to not worry because it doesn’t help. I’m keen to the difference between saying the words and living the message. But the message is universal and it’s pertinent every day in numerous ways. There are times when the hardest thing to do is to let go of a troubling experience. At the same time, it’s often the only choice.
Hello. This is Jimmy Lewis. I'm in Memphis, Tennessee. My golden doodle, Lola and I are leaving on a North American tour in May, 2021. We'll be traveling in a 2021 Jayco Melbourne 24L motorhome. We have neither time constraints nor exact destination specifications.
We'll spend May in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and then head north through New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont. If Canadians resume the practice of putting out a welcome mat for Americans, then we'll cross the border.
The seed for this journey began after my wife, Sarla passed away in May, 2020. Sarla was a yogi. An early yoga teacher of hers implored her to "Have what you need, and use what you have." As I prepare to close on the sale of our home on April 30, 2021, I'm deciding what I need based on the likelihood of using what I have. I give some things away without a flicker of feeling. When more meaningful items like the piano I inherited from my parents leave the premises, I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend for the last time.
Sarla's death lessened my attachment to the home we had enjoyed for 15 years and life as I knew it. I didn't need and couldn't possibly use a house that could satisfy the needs of a family with four children. I'll no longer experience residence, a concept identified with staying in a specified place, as I've heretofore known it. Life will never be the same, nor do I want to attempt to shape my future into a likeness of what I once knew.
I've set my sights on adventure. I want to be challenged by not knowing who or what I'll meet on the road. The outdoors is one of my default antidotes for stress. Other than my rig, I won't have an indoors base. Whereas others might opt to downsize so that they have the stability of a landing spot, I won't be able to go "home" as I've known it. I'm jazzed about the prospect of being at the whim of the muse, to go where my finger lands on turning pages of the Rand McNally atlas.
My dog, Lola is indifferent even though I've been talking to her about the journey every day. She looks quizzically at me when I enthusiastically say we're hitting the road together. I'm confident that she'll do well. We've previously driven together to and from a destination 12 hours from home. She curiously gazed out the window and occasionally snoozed in the passenger seat. She didn't express displeasure about the podcasts and music selection that I chose to entertain and inform me while driving.
This trip isn't driven by personal goals. Will I learn more about myself? Will I take advantage of the opportunity to reflect? Will I be lonely? Will I be uneasy? I'm motivated by a curiosity to follow the questions.
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5 thoughts on “Let It Be”
I do know what you mean. She shows up in my dreams too, although you’re often there too, along with her. And every time she makes an appearance, I’m always grateful. How could anyone with so much presence in life not continue to be present in the after-life?
Missing you. See you next time you’re back in Memphis.
Thanks for this comment, Anne. Sarla looms large.
And thanks, Jimmy, for sharing your beautiful touching insights.
So moving and beautiful, Jimmy. Wonderful that your dreams of Sarla are peaceful, meaningful and without ambivalence or judgement. You had a powerful bond and have a powerful love.
Agree with your meaning for Let It Be – it ties in to the fundamental way of being mindful.
Thanks for your sweet message, Brother. I’m glad to hear that Greg’s music compilation is alive and well in South Africa.