Here you’ll find musings on the necessity of solitude, re-thinking perspectives, new paradigms for relationship and intimacy, living creatively, guidance for hard times, questions about what’s essential and some of my own poetry. May you pause long enough to listen and so recognize your own heart-wisdom and beauty in these reflections. Enjoy!
Image: Marc Chagall
“And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.” Shakespeare, from Hamlet
The Dream Title: “wondrous strange”
A woman walks with astrologer Rob Brezny and his rabbi friend, a silent yet friendly bear-man, in a large park filled with old trees. They stroll slowly and quietly, pausing occasionally.
Rob looks at her, matter-of-factly, says: Your lips move before your feet are grounded. She begins to protest. Rob and Reb Bear remain silent. She: Say it again. Rob: Your lips move before your feet are grounded. She considers the grain of truth in his words and smiles, softer now, nothing to defend. They walk on.
Rob stops by a stone wall. Using chalk, he draws a coat of arms, then points at the drawing. She nods in understanding. They walk on.
The word pray rises in her mind at the very moment he says: pray. She notes resistance arise and is about to tell him there’s no one to pray “to,” nothing to pray “for.” Before she opens her mouth to question him, she decides to take it up within herself and contemplate. They walk on.
Time to part ways. Reb Bear hugs her good-bye. Rob’s eyes say good-bye. She silently expresses gratitude and wanders off. Time now for solitude.
This dream came nine months ago. It feels like a poem to me. Since then, I’ve turned it over gently, absorbing its richness. What does it mean? There’s no correct answer, no fixed meaning. Dreams, like poems, give of themselves over and over, offering infinite possibilities, revelations and guidance.
The dream was given to me, though you can make it your own if you imagine it as your dream. Let meanings, energies, associations and guidance of your own emerge. That way, we wisely circumvent the tendency to interpret one another. Another imperative when considering dreams or poems is to use a soft gaze. I never place them under harsh light, insisting on answers.
For me, all aspects of a dream reflect the dreamer’s landscape. Though they often carry archetypal patterns that can be instructive for others, like this one, which is why I’m sharing it. It’s no accident I feel moved to extend this now, after mid-term elections. Make your own sense of this.
One Possible Meaning of “wondrous strange”
Engage the astrologer-seer within. Pay attention to your inner night sky. Become adept at reading the stars, planets and transits of your life. Welcome friendly spirit Presences, human, animal and tree, and you’re in good company. Respect their silences. Let them teach you.
Send your root deeply into the ground before you let words pass through your lips. Wait until the wellspring of silence inspires and fills you. Words can benefit when they move from that universal pool of wisdom.
The coat of arms is an ancient a symbol that evolved to represent one’s alliances, home and lineage. To what and to whom are you faithful? Offer thanks; take refuge in those sources of goodness, strength and nourishment.
Overflowing with gratitude and love, who cares about the what and who of prayer? Let it go. Praise! That devotional experience is the Heart’s language. Praise and praise again in the face of the world’s sorrows and joys.
You’ve been given all you need and more. When you say your good-byes, give thanks. Remember you are not going it alone. Every being you’ve ever loved, every being that’s ever loved you, remains in your Heart. Wondrous strange!
*** Does this dream resonate with you? Does it have relevance for you in these times? If so, make the dream your own. Feel free to let me know where it takes you!
Avec amour, always, Krayna
What if you tell the truth of your own experience?
And what if in so doing, the wound you sustained is not denied, but liberated?
In their 1999-2000 report, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) categorized and/or redefined “truth.” Their purpose was to heal trauma and horrifying violence that victims experienced during apartheid, as the country forged ahead with a new, democratic government. I found their process incredibly instructive and see applications to not only for countries, but for communities, families, couples and individuals. In this time of painful truth-telling, this can be a roadmap, a lamp, a way forward. Here are the four types of truth they illuminated:
1. Forensic Truth – What happened to whom, where, when, how, who was involved. This can include verbatim reports, addresses, graffiti, photos, facts surveying the human condition. This can also material taken from medical charts, war and peace reports, statistics. Facts describe, they don’t interpret.
2. Personal Truth – This is truth of one’s personal experience, of recollection and memory. In the words of the TRC, “Memories of pain, however flawed with forgetting…” are witnessed and honored. Not debated. Personal stories are not the whole or full truth, “but they are integral to the truth that leads to new justice.”
3. Community Truth – “I” becomes “we,” “us,” “ours.” Multiple forensic and personal truths are woven into the community’s story, as in: This is how we – our culture, our land, our memories, our language, our children, our community – were affected. According to the TCR: “The truth of experience…is established through interaction, discussion and debate…the process of dialogue…includes transparency, democracy and participation,” all of which make ground for reaffirming dignity and integrity.
4. Healing Truth or Public Truth – This truth exposes past events to bring about public awareness of wrong-doing and harm done, such that we collectively agree: “no more” or “never again.” Out of the matrix of the three proceeding truths, we begin finding the way beyond what was. This is a perspective changer. We see ourselves and our pain in a new light. We endeavor to work it out together. Forming a new unity, we talk back to darkness.
Should you decide to share the truth of your experience, make sure it’s to someone who can listen. Without interfering. As in giving advice, telling you it wasn’t so bad, offering opinions and the like. There is no one truth any of us can claim, but we can speak to our own experience, and in so doing, walk into a new possibility. Bless you.
(My thanks to Kim Stafford for reminding me of the work of the TRC.)
Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu (399 – 295 B.C.) illuminates the hazards of fixation on outcome. His words are as relevant now as they were centuries ago. Notice how you relate to this.
When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets —
He is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him.
He thinks more of winning than of shooting –
And the need to win drains him of power.
Reflection: What happens when you’re attached to outcomes in your plans, activities or relationships? This includes the need to win, be right or possess. What happens when the need to control outcomes is relaxed?