Lending ourselves to what the poet Keats called ‘soul-making’, we are invited to make something out of what we’re being given. Every morning when we set aside time upon waking in order to tend dreams, we are therefore soul-making, tending the soul of the world.
Here is another soul-making practice you may want to try. Let’s call it Dreaming Poesis:
Poiesis (from Ancient Greek: ποίησις) is “the activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before.” Poiesis is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek term ποιέω, which means “to make“.
Step 1. Start with the dream as it’s being/been given to you from the Dreamtime presences. Write the dream down, speak it aloud, record it, draw it, whatever works. Just so that you have something to work with. Remember it need not have any attendant ‘pictures’ to be a dream—it can be a ‘mood’ upon waking, or even a bodily ‘symptom.’ If you write the dream down or speak it aloud, however, endeavor to keep it in the present tense. This will help keep the dream ‘open.’ This first step is practiced to acknowledge and thank the Dreamtime presences for what they have given you, regardless of the content.
Step 2. Next, try ‘painting’ a poem of the dream, making a living poetic picture of the dream images, feeling your way into what the dream is doing.
Step 3. Share these poetic dream paintings with others. Post them to social media, on the Dream-Centered Living Facebook page and on your own pages. Tag your friends and invite them to make something out of what they’re being given. And post them here, in the comments section below. If only we could begin an ongoing, intimate, and poetic conversation between dreams, dream tenders, and the holy presences of the Dreamtime.
To get the imaginal, dreaming ball rolling, here is a wee example:
Step 1. write the dream down (keeping it in the present tense)
Dream: Freezing the Capacity to Feel with Snow
The details of this dream are very fuzzy. I am not “in” this dream (as one of the players in the unfolding action). Instead, I have been tasked with bearing witness to what is unfolding. A couple—it seems a man and a woman—are looking back at the boyhood life of another man, as if trying to make sense of what he’s become, when it’s somehow revealed that as a young child he was an intense, connected-to-earth feeler. He would take himself out into the snow, with very little in the way of protection, so as to ‘freeze’ his capacity to feel bodily. Anything. This is how he eventually taught himself to ‘think.’ And this is how he became so far removed from the connectedness of earth and life. This is all that I can recall.
Step 2. make the dream into something of a poem
Freezing or How Not to Feel
Dreamer! Bear witness:
A man and a woman look back
at the boyhood life of another man,
trying to make sense of what he’s become.
What has he become?
As a young boy he was intensely connected
to Earth, a tender expression
of her emotional being.
But by the age of about five or so, the boy began
taking himself out into the snow, unprotected,
so as to freeze his capacity to feel anything bodily.
Thus the boy taught himself to think.
Step 3. Share. Please. Some of us are better at this social media thing than others, but it doesn’t have to be shared through social media. Share it across the breakfast table. Or in your dream group. With a tree. Or stones. The point is that it’s now more important than ever to encourage practices that help us to feel our way into the hidden-from-plain-view world, or, as the Sufis call it, ‘the place of nowhere’, the Imaginal Realm, and to establish ourselves as trustworthy practitioners and true friends of the Dreamtime.
I so look forward to hearing from you,