Emerging from the Fertile Mud

Posted by on 04.07.07 | No Comments
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A vivid and lasting memory that continues to live and grow in my heart from the WomenSpeak 2007 Conference is that of Immaculee Ilibagiza. A beautiful young Rhwandan woman speaking eloquently and soulfully of the genocide of family and friends. A mesmerizing story and such a gift to those of us listening. It left me with a special gift I would like to share; a gift that returns to me in my dreams as validation of the evolving Spirit within me.

Immaculee spoke about her confinement in a three foot by four foot bathroom with seven other women for three months. She spoke of the terror in her heart as the persecutors marauded around looking to kill more victims, about her dialogue with God, with Spirit, throughout this terrifying ordeal. and about her grief and the writing of her story. What has stayed with me is the quality of that dialogue with Spirit. It was to me passionate, directed, purposeful, and deeply authentic – certainly urgent under the circumstances. There was time only for what was real and in the moment.

Since hearing her story, I have been reflecting on the inner voice I have been speaking with and trying so hard to listen to. That voice has been soft, confusing to me at times, but then isn’t the Spirit suppose to be gentle and soft? Immaculee spoke to a strong, determined passionate African voice – the deep resonant voice of her authentic Self – certainly a compassionate voice that led her to facing the murderer of her family and finding forgiveness and release in that encounter.

I began listening differently and thinking about my own roots. I come from an Italian mother who married my dad during World War II. My father’s parents were Puerto Rican, although much of his history was kept a secret from me. It was only a year before his death that he revealed to me his Puerto Rican roots. I knew in my heart that I didn’t have the whole story. I had been told many times as a young woman that I looked very much like Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rican actress. My husband and I once landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the way to the islands, and my first reaction was that so many people in the airport looked like my dad or my brothers! Well, I am digressing. . .

So, I have begun speaking to the Spirit within feeling as if somehow I am moving ever closer and deeper to that inner place of knowing. I am listening to Her as she evolves and rises up within me bringing with her the ethnicity and the history of all that I am – an American, Italian, Puerto Rican, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, a 60-year old woman coming into her own wisdom at last. I like this Spirit. In fact, I love this Spirit within – she’s passionate, creative, hot, edgy, unafraid, direct, funny and quite sassy at times. Frankly, she scares the hell out of me, but I trust her implicitly – even when she tells me to write. Wow! What has been unleashed? Thank you, Immaculee, I think!

You may be wondering what this has to do with dreams. Everything I believe – because dreams confirm and validate what is profoundly true for us and always lead us toward our authentic spirit. I would like to share a recent dream that continues to inform me about this process. It is not finished with me and has much more to reveal – but Spirit told me to write NOW so I listened!

Dream of March 6, 2007 titled: BIG DIRT MOUNTAIN and subtitled “The Buried Treasure”

I am climbing up a huge mound – as tall as a small mountain. It is all unpacked but firm brown soil that could have been mounded by a gigantic shovel truck. In the soil there are round indentations for my toes to fit in so it’s easier to climb. Although I’m getting up there, I’m confident because there are footholds all the way up. My focus is only on my climbing up so I don’t really see what is around me or down below. As I reach the top, my dad is bent over on one knee as if in prayer and digging around with his hands looking for something buried. He finds something that looks like a knife or chisel and he’s glad. I have a sense that it is something from the past but it looks shiny and new. I bend down and find a tin Christmas ornament. I bend it slightly to regain its shape and place it down on the mound top. I have a sense that the top of this dirt mound is hundreds of feet high.

The feeling of climbing took me back immediately to being a 10-year old climbing the green hills around San Pedro, California, covered with succulent ice plants and clumps of orange and white daisies, looking down at the vast Pacific. I can still feel the warm sun on my face, the exhilaration of the adventure and the sheer joy in the freedom of just being and looking for hidden treasure – just being with God and the sun and the salty ocean breeze.

My Dream Circle sisters helped me explore this dream. The footholds represent to me the teachers and friends who have made this journey toward authenticity before me. My father represents that part of my history that was buried; the treasure a part of me that is being “reshaped”. Even the brown soil of the mound reminds me of my dad’s beautiful unlined brown skin. The exhilaration, joy and sense of adventure is what is staying with me daily as I venture in the hills and become reacquainted with this part of me. In my Dream Circle, we have been rewriting our dreams into poetry which seems to transform them and give them another dimension.

Up and up I go,
One foothold at a time.
Climbing up toward the sun
Smelling the rich soft dark soil below me
Feeling the sun on my head as I ascend
A feeling of being on the moon –
Adventure and delight with every step
No fear only direction and anticipation
My father kneeling as if in prayer
His joy in finding his lost treasure
My shiny cutout malleable tin ornament
A symbol of what? The newborn within me?
I hold it with awe and gently release it
Back to the earth for someone else to find.

This dream, as all dreams, is a dynamic flow continuing to inform my life. It has much more to say. I have just barely begun to unwrap this package. As we all continue our conversations with the Spirit within, I urge you to listen to your dreams, record them, share them with others and on this site.

We are all dreamers within a bigger cosmic dream and we can all learn and grow from the dreams of others as we explore the imaginal world. Working with your dreams is indeed finding treasure! I would appreciate your input and would love to hear about your treasure hunts into the dreamworld. The sharing of dreams and the collective wisdom within is why this website exists.

Toward sun
Joy, adventure within
Finding the
Treasure. . .

Sweet Dreams!
Maria: Dreamer, Listener, Tea Drinker

Note: Maria Wattier, therapist, spiritual director and magnificent gardener, will be writing regular journal postings on this site exploring both her own dreams, and the fertile work of ‘dream tending. This is her first ‘blog’!

The Virtual Tea House is considering facilitating an interactive dream group. After reading her posting, let her know (by sending her an email at mariawattier@msn.com or by commenting at the end of the blog, or by sending her an email through this site) if you’d be interested in participating in such an interactive forum on this site–we’re assessing interest. We will also be offering help in setting up your own dream circles through Maria’s blogs. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy Maria’s rich exploration of what is being catalyzed in her soul through WomenSpeak 2007; of course, this is the culmination of a life-time of hard work on becoming ever-more authentic and human . As a grateful member of Maria’s Dream Circle Sisters, her work is true, deep and transformative…Beth Patterson, Host, Virtual Tea House



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