Harvesting from the Dreamtime

The Dreamtime this year has been. . .dreamy. We have Covid in the house, so we cancelled all our plans to attend family holiday gatherings this year. It was definitely sad, and yet we’re all homebodies, so we’re fine, other than feeling like we missed out, and missing our families.

And although it has been dreamy, we have been getting stuff done. I’ve been knitting and crocheting, painting, organizing, learning a lot of Swahili. Jon’s been spackling and painting and fixing stuff. Josiah has been getting his room ready to repaint.

Yesterday, I finished going through files from my previous job: I let that be a ritual of release. Whoosh! It’s out the door, into the trash, out of my life. I kept a few things–poems, articles, notes of encouragement. So, of course last night in the dreamtime, I was finding space for myself in buildings, and trying to negotiate what my feelings should be in the context of other people.

Here’s the dream: I am going to a funeral with a friend. I think that she was probably closer to the one who died than I was, so when she decides to wait in the hall before our group goes in to sing, I wait out there with her. But she looks bored, like she doesn’t really care about what is happening. I long to be in the service, so I leave her with some others in the hall and go in. When we get up to sing our special music, the man who is holding the hymnal for a couple of us in the singing group keeps shifting it away so I can’t see it. I keep shuffling to get a better view and he shifts it away again. I think we must look ridiculous to the people in the audience, so I just shift into the back row and ignore hymnal-guy. He’s left standing awkwardly alone in the front row.

In the second half of the dream, I am finding office/living space in the basement of the church where the funeral was. There’s a lovely big heavy curtain walling off my personal area from the rest of the basement, giving me privacy. Someone is concerned about the smell of shrimp. We discover five or six large (lobster-sized) peeled shrimp lying around my space. They smell strongly–not rotten, just shrimpy. The dog has been chewing on them, but doesn’t really like them. I think maybe we can clean this stuff up, and hope the odor doesn’t last.

Perhaps I am hoping that the “odor” of the really negative energy that still remains will not mar my new experiences. I not only have to rid myself of the old files and things, I still need to deal with the lingering bad energy. In the early morning, I found myself dreaming–again–of explaining carefully to someone why I was forced to resign my job.

I’m glad that I made decisions during the funeral part of the dream to do what I needed to do instead of being led by others’ notions, to let myself be emotionally involved in letting go instead of sitting outside, to step out of the dance of someone else’s manipulations.

This year, I am not feeling the desire to choose a single word or theme for the year. Usually I end up with layers of themes anyway. A week ago, I had a moment with a friend when the words Curious / Cure / Curator came into focus together. I’ve been playing also with the connection between Curative and Creative. And there’s another one to add: Connective.

So maybe this year does have an overarching theme after all: Harvesting and Foraging for words and ideas that suit. It’s a free association process, following the bright trail of words and images, expanding the dreamtime from the high holy days of late December and early January to the whole year. I’ve started painting cards with some of the words. Perhaps I’ll stop after ten or fifteen. Perhaps I’ll do a word a day for the whole year. Maybe I’ll end up with my own personal oracle deck.

Curious curiosity cure curator curative creative creator envision vision embolden bold badass connective secret spaces wonder welcome belonging wildness winsome wisdom widen spiral. . .


Gratitude List:

  1. Holding a little house finch in my hand as it came back to awareness and life after hitting the window. How its heart beat against my fingers. How its eye shifted around to find me. How it settled into the warmth of my hand. How it suddenly lifted and flew off. Such perfect feathers. Such lightness of being.
  2. Rumination time
  3. How prayer and magic connect us
  4. Zoom. Even though Covid kept us from family, we could still participate in some important conversation
  5. Dreaming myself into the cure
    May we walk in Beauty!

“Beauty is not a luxury but a strategy for survival.” —Terry Tempest Williams


“Your suffering needs to be respected. Don’t try to ignore the hurt, because it is real. Just let the hurt soften you instead of hardening you. Let the hurt open you instead of closing you. Let the hurt send you looking for those who will accept you instead of hiding from those who reject you.” —Bryant McGill


“Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands.” —bell hooks


“I came from a family of repairers. The spider is a repairer. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.” —Louise Bourgeois


“When you have an ancient heart and childlike spirit you must feel deeply, but go lightly. To trace and learn the language of waves. How all the seas carry secrets, yet still move freely. I am still learning how to be water.” —Victoria Erickson


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor E. Frankl


“We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful… and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.” —Desmond Tutu
*:
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ―Anaïs Nin


Leave your windows and go out, people of the world,
go into the streets, go into the fields, go into the woods
and along the streams. Go together, go alone.
Say no to the Lords of War which is Money
which is Fire. Say no by saying yes
to the air, to the earth, to the trees,
yes to the grasses, to the rivers, to the birds
and the animals and every living thing, yes
to the small houses, yes to the children. Yes.
―Wendell Berry


“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So like children, we begin again…

to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke


Martha Beck: “The important thing is to tell yourself a life story in which you, the hero, are primarily a problem solver rather than a helpless victim. This is well within your power, whatever fate might have dealt you.”


“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

It seems that we Christians have been worshiping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey. The worshiping feels very religious; the latter just feels human and ordinary. We are not human beings on a journey toward Spirit, we are already spiritual beings on a journey toward becoming fully human, which for some reason seems harder precisely because it is so ordinary.” ―Richard Rohr


“What if nostalgia is not a fruitless dwelling on those irretrievable moments of the past, as we are taught, but an attempt by sweetness to reach you again?

What if nostalgia is really located in the present, like a scent or ambience which is gathering around you should you avail yourself to it.

As anyone who has been heartbroken knows, there comes a time when, long after loss has been well-lived with, a small melody of love always returns. And to your surprise, you may recognise the tone of that love as the very same love you believed you lost.

It’s then that you know that your love was always your love. And if you let yourself be unguarded to it, nostalgia may find its way back into the generosity of your presence.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“We often cause ourselves suffering by wanting only to live in a world of valleys, a world without struggle and difficulty, a world that is flat, plain, consistent.” —bell hooks

Following the Dream-Keeper

The Dreamkeeper, doll by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Every year at Solstice, I begin to watch my dreams very closely for images and ideas that might coalesce around a word or image that might become my theme for the coming year. This year’s theme was Embodiment, Magic, and Creativity, focusing on the word Embodiment. This year of Embodiment has been a doozy. I was attacked by parents at my school and ended up losing my job. My parents were both diagnosed with cancer and we nearly lost my dad. I got a new and incredibly satisfying job. I’ve learned to speak up for myself. My parents survived, my father almost miraculously. I’ve begun a new daily prayer practice which is fulfilling and connecting.

Part of me wants to kick 2022 out the door while yelling obscenities. Part of me wants to thank it for being a great teacher. Here I am on the first full day of a generous winter break with a little time to settle into the beginning of the process of year-end self-reflection, and looking forward to the future.

I am heading out soon for an over-due eye exam, perhaps my first word to put into the basket of consideration for the coming year should be Vision. Suddenly I have remembered that in last night’s dream, someone hands me a sheet of paper covered with exquisite drawings of eyes. I’m particularly caught by one eye with dark eye shadow and little white moons and stars along the upper lid.

In so many dreams throughout my life, I find hidden rooms in a house. I’ve always felt like it’s my Deep Self telling me that I am developing new inner capacity, or that I have inner resources that are not visible to everyone.

In Saturday night’s dream, I have been desperately trying to escape from people from a former job. A kind friend has been driving me all around the island, and we have managed to stay several minutes ahead of them, but they keep almost catching me.

Finally, I tell my friend to drop me off at my grandmother’s house. I grab my handful of special rings and quartz crystals and head through the first secret door. It’s in plain sight, but nobody ever seems to notice or go in there. Door after door, and stair after stair. Some moments when I’m almost discovered, but even then, there are more secret ways.

At one point, I accidentally come out of the secret part of the house into a library. I check out a book and tell the librarian to look out the window. When my pursuers ask where I went, he can honestly say he didn’t see where I went. I slip through a secret panel and back to safety.

I was so incredibly bothered when I woke up with how derelict the hidden rooms were. Sometimes when I dream secret rooms, they’re richly colored, with beds and couches and pillows, curtains and sparkling sun coming in the windows. The rooms in this dream were unfinished, filled with abandoned construction materials: wood and nails and broken things. Piled up by many of the doors were piles of filthy rags which people had dumped in there. There was a time this spring when I felt that someone had breached my spiritual spaces and dumped their garbage there. I have been expanding the safe zones inside myself since then, but perhaps this dream suggests that I need to get rid of the garbage that was dumped on me, create livable internal spaces, not just safe zones.

So I add Safe Space, Self-Preservation, and Moving In To My Self to the basket.


Gratitude List:
1. A generous break
2. Walking with a friend
3. Making all the appointments–catching up with the self-care
4. Moving In To My Self
5. Vision
May we walk in Beauty!


“Never miss an opportunity of noticing anything of beauty …” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” —Macrina Wiederkehr


Never Broken

I am my own Home, now.
Wherever I move
the Light –
It moves with me.
I open all of the windows and the doors
so that God can come and go easily.
I don’t know why God takes such delight
in this House I call “Me.”
This place
where hearts come to be broken.
At the end of the Long Day I always ask.
“God? Why, hearts to be broken?”
And God always replies,
“Never broken, dear Lover—
only Opened.”
—Em Claire


“Find the antidote in the venom.” —Rumi


“Only two more days of the walk into the darkness. I am so grateful for the way the light kept finding me today. I’m not really on the edge, and I am not losing it, but I feel the edges of the panic, the sense of claustrophobia. I like the darkness. I love the inward-turn of winter, but always, at the edge, there’s the. . .well, the edge. So. There’s the Sun. And Stars and a growing Moon. And Mother Darkness. Comfort me. Disturb me.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider (from several years ago)


“I wonder what Piglet is doing,“ thought Pooh.
“I wish I were there to be doing it, too.” ―A.A. Milne


“People make meaning like bees make honey. Gathering experiences and images like bits of nectar and synthesizing it into something new, rich, and uniquely ours. Respect the meaning you make. The family you choose. The wisdom you craft, sweet and golden on your tongue.” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist