Thursday, May 1, 2014

"May your best dreams come true." - Robert Moss

We are all dreamers. In the recent time I remember more dreams than at, perhaps, any other time. Several events are conspiring to guide me into the spacious realm of imagining, it began with trauma and disassembling of physical reality but that was just the beginning. I will put myself into the flow of those events and let the words come from an open heart to express the goodness like mother's milk.
The events began oh my, when I was a girl no more than seven and probably younger. I started with a dream of a woman in a white dress, a long white dress a mu'umu'u (long sleeves, high collared and flowing to the ground). She was telling me something. I could feel that. It's important to my dream account to say that when I was a girl I was sick most of the time. Penicillin was a drug of common use. I received injections for tonsillitis monthly until I was a teenager. Though I am the older child, I was the sickly one. This dream only 'happened' once that I remember, and I woke from it saying "I have a bad dream," a common thing I'd say to both my mother or father. In this remembered scenario it's my mother who is trying to help with explanation. The explanations seem to have been what my mother could offer at the time, the best you could offer.

Sitting to write this now it makes sense, perhaps a little or a lot more sense, because sixty years later I realize that the missing 'explanation of dreams' or guidance with those dreams might have been my very early invitation to a different way to deal with illness; in this case tonsillitis. Without the spaciousness of imagination my body turned to illness as a way to soothe myself ... a pattern that has been a long and deeply trod road. It was during my early years as a girl with tonsillitis, bronchitis and bad dreams that one of my mother's favorite descriptions for me imprinted itself: "afraid of your own shadow." Lodged deeply in my gut, that description was my mother's way of dealing with the hyper-sensitive, and fearful Scorpio child who had a guide in a long white dress with the medicine stories I so needed. Without the support and guidance of the Dreamworld, it would be time ... the long time destiny that would connect me to the remembering. Lifelong dream explorer Robert Moss taught me this word: Anamnesis, the act of remembering what the soul already knows. I have only just met Moss through a series of coincidences. While listening to one of Robert Moss' interviews I learned that Moss calls coincidences "another way of keeping god anonymous."

I would and did survive tonsillitis and penicillin, out-growing my soul's call I ventured out of my fears. If I had access to teachers at an earlier age I might have been asked the Four Questions for what ailed me, instead of being injected with blue mold. If I had been lead to a kahuna or curandera she might have asked:

  1. When did you stop singing?
  2. When did you stop dancing?
  3. When did you stop being enchanted by the joy of story, in particular the joy of your own life story?
  4. When in your life did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?
These questions are queries that have shown up in the "youth of my elder years" as the recently passed teacher, cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien calls us in our sixties. Why so late in coming these vital questions? It seems it makes no never mind when, for I hear them now, and it is the PERFECT time. Here are the answers to the questions:

  1. I stopped singing when I auditioned for the high school glee club and lost my voice at the piano when the chords were played. All the best of the best were in that club. I didn't make it, and believed my voice wasn't good enough. I believed it for a very long time. 
  2. I stopped dancing when I believed I was too fat to be seen moving. I stopped dancing when I couldn't hula in the same direction and with the same motions as everybody else.
  3. I HAVE NEVER STOPPED BEING ENCHANTED by the joy of story, and it is in the joy of seeing my story as myth that I have stayed alive to magic! I write my 'medicine stories' to express that joy, and slowly reenter my best dreams to make then come true through storytelling from The Safety Pin Cafe.
  4. I HAVE NEVER STOPPED BEING COMFORTED by the sweet territory of silence, but that territory became more and more difficult to find. I have sought out the silence, and perhaps, in my seeking I have distorted the space within me that is silent at the core.
Sixty year old dream? You are clinging to a sixty year old dream? Well, yes and no. What I am experiencing sixty years later is the repetition of dreams that will not be prevented. These are the dreams that will not stop, and illness this time is the multiple chemical and allergic sensitivities that came to visit, and have stayed. In these insistent dreams I am sought after, capable and working in setting very similar to those of my former career. There are problems to be solved, a business is in trouble and needs help. The issues are resolvable and I lay out strategies that simply need to be implemented. In last night's dream the manager/man listened to my strategies, saw the 'brilliance' of it and then couldn't understand why I wouldn't implement them because I told him "I'm burnt out!" It had to do with writing the plan out. I am half-hearted about the effort or request.

How or why am I seeing this level of connection with illness and dreaming now? It seems to fit, that in my newest spring, when the ferns are unfurling in the movement of makawalu I too am reborn anew. Nature in her finest wildness is my greatest teacher. Surrounded by la'au ulu nui the forest of trees that reach a hundred feet into the sky while rooted in an island earth, I am being fed the memories my soul has known always. In the joy of my own story the mythic medicine of the Big dream offers me the present.

I have asked for help with the solutions and implementation of persistent issues that were probably imprinted with that description of 'being afraid of my own shadow'; someone very dear to me, and one charged with my well-being was telling me I was afraid of myself! Wouldn't she know more than a sickly girl? Well ... mothers, fathers, and every one else make mistakes and that is the truth of it. Sometimes, it happens that way. Rather than remain stuck in that old and debilitating dream, new teachers have shown up coincidentally ... and I will embrace them as ways of the gods. I have work to do, a voice to contribute, a story to tell, a dance to dance. Angeles Arrien says indigenous cultures across the earth believe "We are all original medicine." She cites contemporary science to document the uniqueness of every human voice; as well as the particular and variant coloration of the eyes between twins, or triplets; and an imprint which is mine/yours alone ... the fingerprint. Robert Moss begins his book Conscious Dreaming with stories about his years between the ages of two and eleven when he suffered twelve bouts of double pneumonia. I began reading Moss's book which I'd just picked up at our local library. In his words "the reward for long weeks and months spent in the half-light of sickrooms was an interior life that was wondrously active and exciting." Reading the introduction I had the feeling of coming home, and a relief that said, "this is it!"

The study of my life journey is my life work. Though it over time I come to recognize and embrace it as a celebration of my destiny: the destination of my life. To study, express and change the melody of my story is to answer the question  When did you stop being enchanted by the joy of story, in particular the joy of your own life story? with the answer ... I have NEVER stopped being enchanted by the joy of story and mean it with an open and full heart. It is true! Through that truth and with passion I continue to write the stories with 'medicine'. 'Medicine' is an old word for power. Indigenous cultures, including my own Hawaiian culture have always known, and still know that in the word is power. The chant, 'oli, the music, mele and the dance, hula, all conspire to remind us where the portal to timelessness lives.

The joy of my story, or the joy of your story, is in the living of it. Like tides that rise and fall, the journey is a rolling curve and though I stubbornly insist on stamping out the curve, my soul knows better. Life is a curve, a romp, a dream of multi-levels. I have asked for help and recognize I am in the kindergarten years of elderhood. Given that framework, I feel at home with my sandbox with the toys of elder years and a body that has tramped and fallen, and lost track too often to count. But here I am still. New companions, teachers, storytellers and dancers have adventures to share with me. The trees soar above the complaints I voice and can see a way through or around the obstacles.

The United States where I live today, is the youngest of countries on Earth. I am a woman born with the blood of ancient people: the Chinese, the Filipinos, the Kanaka. Surely I am supported with wisdom that is far reaching and deft at living with something to contribute to the child of a country that is America. With this new season of Taurus, Beltane, New Moon in Earth, I will study life with the company of new teachers: Robert Moss and Angeles Arrien and see what joy can be found in my dreams as well as in the sandbox of my early-elder years. I can't tell you how good it feels to be playing around in the sandbox once again!

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