I was a little way from home, up in the northern, more rough-and-ready part of our county, walking along a path strewn with autumn leaves. The light was overcast, no brightness in the sky. Up ahead I saw three young women. They noticed I was coming and their leader made them stop and wait for me to catch up. All three of them were wearing small hand-crafted wings, sewn to their jackets between their shoulders. These wings couldn't be seen from the front, but of course I'd come up behind them. One of the girls, the one with the alpha attitude, was intent on bullying me; she gave me a shove as if to tell me I could go no further, that this path belonged to them. "Okay, I guess that means you don't want me here," I said, or something to that effect, with just a self-satisfying hint of irony. This exchange took place at a spot in the path that I noticed opened out onto a small but unmarked road—the transition of the pavement was partly obscured by fallen leaves, easy to miss. I decided it would be wise not to engage with the girl's aggression, so I left the path and began to make an arc around the three.
[Enter fuzzy segue into next scene.]
I found myself in a room with them. I initiated questions, invited them to tell me about their wings—what did they mean? and what did they do for the girls? Suddenly there were other young women in the room too, all wearing these little wings, part of the club, or whatever it was. They sat in wooden chairs scattered all around the room, a group, but very separate from each other somehow. I had directed my questions toward the original three, specifically the tough girl, but it was a small, slightly nerdy girl who first answered me. She was seated directly facing me, wore glasses and a white hoodie. She gave me an unexpected response, given the expressed temper of the group to this point; it was an answer of faith. She shyly told me that the wings helped her remember the prophet and his counsel. The feeling in the room changed for me; I realized I was in a teaching moment, and that these young women were open and ready and on. I continued asking my questions, and waiting for the girls to respond—one here, one over there. I can't remember now the different sorts of things the rest of them told me, but each who took a turn talked to me about her own wings, and what they were to her. It was the asking and the listening that provided the teaching, not a lecture. It was a wonderful experience, heavy with importance—in retrospect, it was emotionally much like picking a basket of perfectly ripe fruit and happily eating my fill while working.
At one point toward the end of the dream, I was so enthralled by what the girls were telling me that I realized I should be capturing the stories. I thought about trying to recreate the scene later by calling the girls back together when I was equipped with a microphone and a recorder, but knew that could never work. I heard an inner "Augggh!" and said to myself, "Looks like I'm just going to have to take my recorder with me everywhere from now on!"
13 November 2008
I was up late last night, doing some sound editing. Once I finally went to bed I thought sleep would never come—the sleep assassins were out in full force. I must have managed to doze off at some point, because I was deeply involved in dreams when Rob gave me a gentle wake-up nudge, gratefully a bit later than usual. I've had lots of nonsensical dreams lately, none of them of any apparent significance, unless you consider something like a cameo appearance by the Osmonds deeply indicative of an unresolved issue. (Pipe down, peanut gallery.) It's funny, because one of my darlingest dears has been engaging in dream-talk on her blog this week, and I've been fascinated by her process of interpretation, but for once coming up short with my own eyelid movies and personal symbolism. Dull times in Dreamland. But this morning, I woke up with that "Pay attention!" hanging like a mist in my head. I'd had a dream, and there wasn't one Osmond in it, and it felt . . . important. I will be meditating on this one for a while.