Last night my dreams were active, full of people and a sense of place. In one part of the dream, I gazed at two owls for a while. One was ordinary in coloring, and one was highly rare and unusual, with beautiful blue feathers mixed in with white and brown feathers. I studied them wondering at them, and marveling at the blue feathers. Then the dream shifted and in it I had awoken one morning to discover there had been a 3.5 earthquake. I remarked that I had not felt the earthquake but had sensed something odd in my sleep. (This actually happened once years ago–I dreamed of strange winds blowing and tornadoes, but woke up to learn there had been a small earthquake). Now that I’m awake and thinking of the dream, I remember, too that during the dream I pondered what it would feel like to go through an earthquake inside a building vs outside, on the ground. I thought I preferred to be outside if ever I experienced one. The other thing that registers for me is that owls can be symbolic of messages, signs or omens. I do wonder about that, and that I saw them in the dream before the earthquake in the dream. Any thoughts? Does this dream resonate with you at all?
Part of life seems to be to work around the contours of a great cosmic force, trying to consciously grapple with the fruits of mystery in our universe and the practicalities and rules of law in the material world. We wake up and have to roll with it all, responding in whatever way we choose. Bad hair day or not, we’re on our way into another day, another chance to get to know who we really are by what and how we choose.
I never dreamed that whale watching would turn out the way it did. I thought we’d be lucky if we saw a spout in the distance. I kept saying prayers from the heart, “Please come see us dolphins and whales! Come close to us!” I believed that would work because I had read that a native girl of Australia or New Zealand could summon whales by simply asking them to come (and of course I LOVE the movie Whale Rider).
I don’t take credit for it, but I will forever rejoice that what we saw was so spectacular, I can’t adequately express the thrill of it. Dolphins came so close to us, it was is if we were friends. Over and over they frolicked in the wake of the boat, and played with the whales, keying us as to where to look. We saw a great number of hump backs and fin-backed whales close by (unbelievably close) as well as many, many spouts and tails in the distance. Over and over we saw them come quietly out of the water and sink back below. We were mesmerized. I kept thinking of how whales symbolize the “Akashic Records”, the records of life, of everything that has ever happened. We each have our own personal record where everything we’ve ever experienced is recorded. It is sacred to see a whale because of the depth of the meaning of the Akashic Records. I rarely post photos here on Illuminara.com, but today I have to share a few of these photographs in honor of the gift of seeing whales so close and so in abundance all around us.
Turtle keeps coming up in readings and dreams, leaving the feeling of a deep and rich presence of calm. In one dream, there was an enormous turtle (as big as a car) with layers of turf, dirt on it. Grass literally covered it’s back. When I saw the turtle in the dream, I said (in the dream), “Oh, yes, I know this turtle. She has always been here.”
I’ve read that turtle symbolizes Mother Earth. The turtle in this dream gave a sacred calm as she was nearly one with the earth, a thick layer of grass on her back. She could rise up, and she could sink down low and be unseen. We’d walk on her grassy back and never know it. Just like we walk upon the earth and mostly never give it much thought. Maybe we’re walking on a giant, calm, sacred turtle.
I am almost always, without fail, a figurative artist. But every now and then, something gets to me and I have to push color around in a different way. I am not even sure what I was getting at here in this, but I felt great with the symmetry and color play. I didn’t question why this was what felt right one day, I just went with it. I don’t think we have to logically explain all our creations.
I grew up observing the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. The dramatic and somber ritual of following along retelling the story of Jesus carrying the cross and then being crucified always felt deeply real to me, and I connected my own sorrows and placed my own woes about the world into that ritual. My favorite part was when Veronica pressed a cloth against the bloody face of Jesus, and the impression of his face was perfectly visible on the cloth, like a holy mono print. I don’t even know if that is an official part of the Stations of the Cross now that I look back, but the most tender moment of all, besides the part where Mary, his mother and Mary Magdalene weep at the foot of the cross. In my mind, this Jewish man who had words of wisdom was persecuted for the wisdom he had, and I never understood as I grew, why Christianity and Judaism is separate, and how Christians could have persecuted Jews over the centuries when the God that Christians pray to is a “God made man”, a Jewish man. So I’ve devoted much of my adult life to studying Judaism and keeping the Jewish rituals, in my own private way. Nobody would have me, as I am expressing faith in a way that means I kind of don’t belong to either Christianity or Judaism, but in my mind I’m part of both traditions, and I distinctly feel that way inside. It reminds me of when my two sisters were fighting, and in their rage they both turned to me for my opinion. I saw two angry faces staring at me, awaiting my answer. I said, “I think you’re both right”, hoping this would help, and instead they both came after me. Oh well, it is what it is! And when Jesus was asked what is the most important prayer of all, he answered, “The Shema”, so I say it (the short version, but the long version is beautiful enough to bring me to tears, so I think I’ll start saying the long version) every day, and in Hebrew.
Here is the Shema:
“Hear O Israel, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might.”
When I was young, waking up at Grandma’s house, I’d hear voices whispering and open my eyes to see the two French ladies with poofy hair hanging in frames on the wall beside the bed, in conversation. I remember being very still as my sleepy eyes were barely open, watching them and listening. The whisper sound may have been my face and hands against the soft downy pillow, but no matter, it felt real to me to hear the French ladies. Years later, I had my own room in a house which had been designed to be “tornado proof” as it was in Topeka, Kansas. The room had splotchy wall paper. Every single morning I woke up, I’d discover someone I’d never seen before in those splotches, they, too talking. There was a mustachio man and a dancing lady, a forlorn child and horses running, their delineated faces clear as ever, but also hidden in the splotchy wall paper design.
If you’re relaxed and quiet enough, you might see and hear the walls talking. If you do, tell me what they say!