Monday, November 22, 2010

Dream a little dream...

So, full disclosure: my spiritual beliefs are pretty... well, what some would call "woo-woo." I believe in ghosts, and that there are spirits all around us. I believe, like many of the authors I study, that the trees and grass and wind and sky and all living beings have a spirit. Given this worldview, perhaps it's no surprise that I would think of dreams as being special.

Except I've never been one of those people who has deeply symbolic, rich, or prophetic dreams on a regular basis. To be honest, most days I can barely remember my dreams within five minutes of waking up. I'm a bit envious of folks who have rich dream lives and who can talk about their dreams the next day.

A few years ago I did an exercise: as soon as you open your eyes, start writing what you remember of the dream you've just had, and keep writing until you feel your consciousness kick in. Once you stop, put that piece of paper away and get the next day's blank sheet ready. At the end of the week, look at what you've written.

It worked amazingly well--each day, I had something to write down, and I was able to tell when my consciousness would wake up and make itself felt, usually in the impulse to edit or correct punctuation or something like that. And at the end of the week? I could barely recognize my dreams as my own. They sounded like some strange fiction someone else had imagined. With one or two I could remember the image I woke up with, but these were hazy; it felt like I was trying to grab hold of fog. It was amazing! I'd like to try it again sometime...

For the most part, I think those of us under the influence of western thinking tend to think of dreams as being a key to our psychology: if we just interpret them correctly, we will understand something of our deeper (sometimes darker) thoughts. A dream becomes a key to unlock something--a utilitarian tool, really.

But I kind of like the idea of dreams as prophecy, as vision, as second sight. Sometimes I wish for that kind of dream...

Recently I remembered a ring that we bought for me years ago, when we really couldn't afford it; it's a round opal in an unusual setting, pretty as can be. Back when we bought it, I'd heard it was bad luck to wear an opal if it wasn't your birthstone, and it's not mine, but I'd just had a baby in October, and I figured I'd earned a special dispensation. I loved that ring, but was afraid to wear it for fear of hurting it. And just recently I decided that we didn't buy it so it could spend the next 10 years hidden away somewhere.

But where was it?

I looked in the jewelry box, the other jewelry box, the sock drawer, the bowl of treasures; everywhere I could think of to look, I searched twice and three times, emptying everything out, to no avail. I even checked the dresser we moved to the basement years ago. Nothing.

So I decided to ask for a dream to help me. As I fell asleep one night, I asked whatever spirits might be able to help to show me some clue to finding the ring. I woke up seeing a gold coin purse--the one my grandmother had given to me some years before she died; it had belonged to her mother, and she was giving it to me. I kept a pair of earrings and a pin in it that my grandmother had worn, and that I'd been given after she died--they were just costume jewelry, but they reminded me of her, and so they were precious. I hadn't seen the coin purse in my searches, either; where was it? I was given the idea that the ring and the coin purse were together; time to take one more look.

Back into the closets and the places I'd already checked. Except this time my eyes laid on a little drawer I used to keep on top of my dresser (before we'd had our remodeling). I opened it, and there was the coin purse. I took out its contents, thanked my grandmother again--for the best hugs in the whole world, and for letting me know she was looking out for me. But where was the ring? I had nearly emptied the little drawer of its contents when I finally spied it. Just as promised, the ring was with the coin purse. And I'd dreamt it. Cool.

Thanks, Grandmom!

(knitting and reading; what could be better?)

I'm wearing it every day now, taking it off sometimes (to wash dishes and such), but really enjoying it. I was never much for pastel colors, but I love the way it seems pink sometimes, blue sometimes, green sometimes. I love the way the white surface just barely covers all those colors waiting underneath, the colors that come alive when you look at them...

(Can you see the setting? I was having trouble zooming
and taking a photo with my left hand...)

May you find something lost, and may you have interesting (in a good way) dreams!



  1. Oh, I love opals. I had a pendant I loved, was heartbroken when I broke the chain and lost it.

    And in answer to your comment on my last blog post, yes, it is crazy-making when the Superintendent of Schools in a state has never taught a class in their life. Grr.

    And I was supposed to be headed to South Dakota on Wednesday but it looks like the weather is going to keep me at home. *sigh*

  2. Kari, I would hate to tell you what our weather was like today... Let's just say it was unseasonable.

    Too bad about not getting to South Dakota. My next trip there is planned for March--taking students on a spring break service-learning trip to Rosebud. Which means I also get to visit some friends and catch up. Yay!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Howdy Hankashi Karen, Tom here in seasonably warm....Minnesota. :-) Well Kari Lynn, on your way to SD? I try to drive to the Rosebud Rez a few times each year. Perhaps to do a tree inipi ceremony with some of my teachers. Anyway, Karen, with the dream thing.....great intention. Have you thought about going on hanblechia some time. Our MN tiospaye goes out in June often around the solstice. We can talk sometime. Wopila tonka, waste'. My kola, Florentine B T called me this AM to wish me a happy thanksgiving. Grateful for all my friends among the Lakota Oyate/ Be well. wichozani. From a gounded short woo woo kinda guy :-). Tom

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, sic'esi Tom! Good to hear from you. We keep seeing the very cold weather in Minnesota and remembering that we like it there in July. :)

    I hope to be able to do a hanblecha some day... I need to learn some more songs first, though!

    Wichozani waste, sic'esi. Toksa!