I try a little more but I am tired. I am tired of drama, trauma drama. I dream and dream and dream. I dream that my ex touches a live bat. The bat changes in my dream, from a tiny brown nose bat to a huge fox bat with fur and stripes. It is unconscious.
“Don’t touch it! You touched it! Now we have to take it to the Health Department!” I am eyeing the bat and thinking of throwing something over it. A container. It’s huge.
My ex laughs. “No we don’t.”
“Yes we do! Rabies! It could have rabies! If we don’t take it in, you’ll need rabies shots!” Poor bat, I think, it will be killed to test for rabies.
My ex keeps laughing. “I’m not going to be tested, I won’t have shots, and the bat is fine!”
“WHAT!” I say, “No, you could die!”
I wake up. What was that dream about? Oh. It’s about you, refusing to test for Covid after being exposed. You said you would hike with me. “Not if you won’t test,” I say, “I can’t afford to get Covid again, I can’t be around you for 15 days if you won’t test.”
And you go silent.
And I try a little more and I let go. You will have to break the silence if you plan to keep your promises. Will you or won’t you? I am supposed to trust you. But people say trust me, and then sometimes they are drunk, and lying, and you can’t trust them. “I will never hurt you,” is a lie. Try this instead: “I will try not to hurt you and I will listen if you feel hurt.” And change, maybe?
I wrote about the two dreams I had one night, with seven people. Two babies, a boy and a girl. Two professionals, a woman physician and a male policeman. Two rebels, a woman and a man, the man lying or at least misleading the rebel woman. The rebel woman trying to do something that she suddenly realizes is not important and is, in fact, foolish and dangerous. And a quiet woman.
I have been thinking about the quiet woman ever since. My Meyers-Briggs type in medical school came out INTJ, but we are not one thing or another. We have preferences, but we all have to use all the skills. I can be extroverted. I had to work on feeling, that was the really difficult one for me after a frightening childhood. I can pay attention to facts though I sweep them into the intuition very quickly. Medical school is facts and facts and facts, except then there are parts that turn out to change as science changes.
The eighth person is a quiet man. He is not present in the dream. I am thinking about him. I wonder if I will have another dream when I am ready.
I am attending some workshops on line for treating trauma. It is quite fascinating. They talk about working with clients who have aspects like my dream: a small child with trauma. A “fake adult”, aka “adaptive child”, with the tools that the child develops to survive in their childhood. Helping the “fake adult” recognize that some of coping tools may not be helpful or necessary any longer. First, they thank the “fake adult”, for protecting the traumatized child and for surviving at all and for not giving up. I think this is so important, to acknowledge that we have to thank that part of ourselves that did what it had to, that did what it could, to survive. And this can include things that we are ashamed of or fear that others would hate us for if found out. We had a temporary doctor at the hospital who described being a boat person escaping Vietnam at age 8. They were picked up by pirates. “We were glad to see the pirates, because we had run out of water. If the pirates had not picked us up, we would have died.” So there is perspective: death by dehydration or pirates? And she went from a refugee camp and then through medical school and became a physician. Survival and success and I hope that she is thriving.
I like it when a dream has such recognizable symbols. My now retired Unitarian Universalist minister says that we can sit with dreams for a time. What do the symbols mean to me? What is the dream telling me? My dream is in part telling me that I do not need to have the rebel woman lead: she can rest and let the quiet woman take over. And that I am very tired of rebel men who mislead me or run away. I woke up and thought, oh, yes, I see! I am tired of that and ready for change.
Change and transformation can happen throughout our lives, at any age. I welcome it.
Blessings and peace you.
The photograph is Sol Duc and Elwha enjoying doll bunkbeds. And acting like siblings do sometimes. And then they curl up together.
Two dreams last night. In one I am in a hospital and trying to finish up and go home, but there are two babies. I check and one is my daughter. I check the other and it is a boy. He has a label saying “Call police.” The story is that he is sent from a smaller hospital for some testing that I am not sure about and that the mother was supposed to pick him up. She has been discharged but has not picked him up. I feed him and my daughter, feeling anxious. Where are the nurses? Why is my daughter here? I will take her home, but I have to make provision for the boy first. I feel sorry for him, abandoned. Both babies are clean and alert and swaddled, but the nurses are not around. I wake up.
In the second dream, I am still married to my first husband/but it’s a more recent gentleman friend at the same time. We are in southeast asia. I want to go home but for some reason we have stuff, including skis. My daughter is in her 20s in this dream. We take the skis to a house. Right before we reach it, there are police nearby, having a shootout with someone. Gangsters. This worries me and my daughter/friend. My husband/the guy meet us there and he boasts that a rich friend lets him use the room in the house. “I can have it for a whole month.” I am unimpressed and don’t care. I want to go home. My daughter/or it’s a woman friend and I go back. I think that my husband/guy is getting the car, but I hear his voice. He is singing in a karaoke bar. It is a very trashy glittery place and he loves it. I do not like the lounge style of singing and I decide to get the car myself and with my daughter/friend, get out of there. I hear my husband/guy making excuses and calling after us, but I am leaving. He lies to me and he excludes me, he wants to be the center of attention with his rich friends and when he sings, he’s afraid I would take attention away from him.
My daughter/friend and I retrace towards the building where the skis are. We have to walk on the edge of a massive fountain, with a cliff on one side. We are in a city. I think that we are retracing but then we come out into an open area. There is a police car parked there. I know we are visible, with a full moon reflecting off the fountain pool, so I wave with no concern. Just tourists here. I study the edge of the fountain to see if we could go in the water and climb to the next section, but it is not safe. I can’t tell how deep it is nor how fast the current. We will have to backtrack. The city is beautiful, with a giant lion building on the skyline and buildings with the Thai curved rooftops stacked up. It is gorgeous. Suddenly the other person is my friend and I worry: where is my daughter, where is the baby? I wake up.
My daughter is in her twenties now, not a baby, but in the dream she was a baby and then later in her twenties. When I wake I think, who cares about the stupid skis? Get out of there and leave the stuff. The babies are most important.
The first dream has three people. The second has four, because I can see the policeman. All the people are aspects of myself. My husband who is my ex now/a recent gentleman friend and then a male southeast asian policeman, though the police car is one of the large blue SUV style ones that I see at home. All of these complicate elements. Both my children have been to Thailand but I have not. Dreams are definitely time travel for me.
The problem With Intelligent Design Is those old bones Those dinosaurs
Also that of 10,000 dreams of creation One would be right And the followers of all the others Consigned to hell If so, I go gladly, clutching Dinosaur bones to my chest And will enjoy the diversity Not the narrow heaven with a narrow Small-minded deity
But is evolution right?
Well, I think it’s on the right track
But wholly done and all correct?
After all, think how often Medicine has been wrong Think of tobacco and vioxx Think of Galen, over 2000 years ago Thinking that evil humors built up in the uterus Causing hysteria External pelvic massage was the cure For over 2000 years For old maids, widows and nuns Who had no male to cleave unto Massage was a treatment into the early 1900s And now we wonder about prozac too
Evolution is an evolving science
I think of when my son was four And he watched “Jurassic Park” Against my wishes Because I thought it was too violent He studied it carefully many times
One day he asked me, anxiously, “Mom, is DNA real?” To check that it wasn’t another of those Santa stories I was able to reassure him Yes, I think DNA is real He was pleased
A few days later he announced That when he grows up He wants to be a plant and animal scientist Extract DNA from amber And grow those dinosaurs
A laudable ambition For any four year old
If God left the dinosaur bones Around to fool us And they never lived She has a nasty sense of humor And my son and I will not forgive
Disclaimer: I am not Native American. I am not male. I did not live here when the ships arrived. I wrote this thinking about a dream a friend told me, about a bear. So it’s the fault of a dream bear, this story.
One I am wailing. I am crying. The Bear came today, our bear, the tribe’s bear, our Spirit.
But he didn’t just walk through camp and take fish and his tribute.
He took my son.
He walked right up to where my wife stood still, as we must when he comes, and he lifted the boy in his paws. The boy was quiet and still, he did well, he was brave, but when the bear turned to leave, he called once.
Then our bear dropped to three legs, my son in the fourth, and turned and left.
My son, my son, my heart, my joy. Spirit Bear, return him to me! Two We fought, argued, for a very short time. The Shaman said that if Spirit Bear wants my son, he shall have him.
He does have him, I said, but I want him back. The Shaman knew that was true. Some shook their heads and say that my son is already dead, but most agreed with me. We were on the trail nearly immediately. The bear should not be able to move as quickly as usual when he is carrying my son. I dread evidence of my son’s loss, that he will be eaten. But that has never happened, in the history, in the songs. The Shaman said as much. But neither has a bear taken a chief’s son.
Three Spirit Bear is moving amazingly fast on three legs. He is headed for the mountains. Not a surprise. My son may get cold. But bears are warm. My son has not been eaten. Four We have to make camp. I am so angry that we have not caught Spirit Bear. Out of our home camp he is fair game.
We do the Bear Dance, four times. We did not bring the masks and the young men dance the women’s part and one sings the woman’s part. We made quick rough masks and costumes. The Spirits will forgive us. This is past all understanding.
What does a Spirit Bear want with my son? Four years. No one knows.
Five Day again. I am up before dawn praying for light, for my son, to find the Spirit Bear. Six We are hot on the trail. We find that Spirit Bear did sleep and rest. My son is dropping beads. Smart boy. Each bead means that he is still alive and relatively unhurt. Seven We have spotted them. Spirit Bear stood and looked down at us, my son tucked against his side. My son very slowly raised his arm, so he knows. Eight We are approaching the peak. Everyone is tired from the climb and hungry and thirsty. Yet we keep going. No one complains. Nine We reach the peak and Spirit Bear and my son. We arm our spears and arrows, but my son shouts “No! Look!” We turn. We see the water. There is something in the water. It has tannish wings that are filled with wind. It is huge compared with our boats.
We turn to my son. He stands and Spirit Bear leaves, ambling down the mountain, quickly, gone. I hurry to my son, sweep him up. He starts shaking and then cries, leaning his head into me.
We turn and watch the tan winged thing, which is coming against the wind. It comes at an angle and then turns, to the opposite angle, yet still it comes. We know this is new and that there can be terror or joy, we do not know which. There will be learning, we know that.
My son falls asleep. We carry him down to water and camp. We are all singing quietly, the song of new things, fear and joy. The Shaman will welcome us when we are home, and we will prepare for the winged thing. We do not know what it will bring.
We thank the Spirit Bear for warning us, for telling us to prepare.
Refugees welcome - Flüchtlinge willkommen I am teaching German to refugees. Ich unterrichte geflüchtete Menschen in der deutschen Sprache. I am writing this blog in English and German because my friends speak English and German. Ich schreibe auf Deutsch und Englisch, weil meine Freunde Deutsch und Englisch sprechen.