I woke up around 4:00 a.m. this morning, without even a wisp of a dream after four hours in bed. While I recognized that my body had been demanding some down time, pure regeneration, I was still a little frustrated that I had no clue as to what the rest of me had been doing during those night hours. This led me to write an earlier piece about how it sometimes feels, on waking, as if the door of a bank vault has swung shut, closing off the treasures and terrors and adventures of the night.
I counseled in the earlier piece that one of the things to do, if you don't have even a wisp of a dream is to "be alert for how the logic of the dreams you missed may now be playing out in the world around you."
This became a no-brainer for me today. As soon as I went out my door to take my dog for his first walk, a neighbor on his way to the office hailed me from across the street. We are on friendly terms, but had not spoken for weeks.
"May I tell you a dream?" he began as soon as I had crossed the road.
In his dream, he is on a train with his friends, who include a very warm and friendly bear. They are happy playing with the bear and giving him snacks. Then the train divides. The part of the train with food for the bear rushes away on a different track.
The dreamer and his friends are alarmed, because they want to feed the bear the food he wants, but now all they have are things he doesn't much care for, especially green bell peppers. They keep offering peppers to the bear, who is now very hungry, and the bear consent to munch what they are giving him, but clearly this is not the diet that he's used to and he's not happy.
Walking together on the sidewalk, we did some Lightning Dreamwork.
Title? "Which Track Has Food for the Bear?"
Feelings? Happy to have been with Bear. Concerned that Bear isn't getting enough to eat.
"If it were my dream," I suggested, "I'd think about all the Bear means to me as a spiritual ally and guardian, especially as an ally in healing. For me, the Bear is the great medicine animal. I'd be quite concerned that what feeds the Bear in me is on a different track than the one I'm on. I'd think about where in life I may have gotten on to the wrong track, in terms of what the Bear in me wants and needs."
The dreamer readily confided that he felt he might be on the wrong track in his job.
"I would want to see if I can find out where the two train lines lead. Maybe that would give me clues to the direction I need to follow now."
He agreed to do this.
As our ways diverged at a street corner, I thanked him for giving me a dream this morning, just when I needed one. As he walked away, I called after him, "And I would make sure to feed the Bear, quite literally, what the Bear wants to eat. For me, that would include salmon, berries and honeys. Bears do like to eat!"
So I will take the Lightning Dreamwork a step further than we usually do, by accepting this Bear dream as my own dream, on a morning when my night dreams were missing. I'll do what I encourage my neighbor to do. I'll think about switching-points in life where ways diverge,and the need to clarify the itinerary and destination on alternative life tracks. I'll make sure I am feeding my animal spirits, in every sense!
I am smiling over this prompt and simple demonstration that the world will give us a dream if we'll let it.
Gund railroad bear