Several things stand out in my dream:
- It’s early morning; I’m walking uphill, not downhill. (encouraging signs)
- Though I don’t describe it, I’m wearing shoes. I’m not barefoot. (encouraging sign)
- I’m in a semi-official capacity without being the leader of the team. (I like this)
- My father is doing something I never saw him do in his entire life. (It astonishes me)
- Three themes stand out: reclamation, improvisation and music. (How are they connected?)
- The sound of music is important in the dream. (Yay!)
- At least one of my sisters appears in the dream. (I’m surprised)
- My instruction to team members takes an unexpected theological turn. (I’m speechless)
Assumptions I’ve made:
- All participants in this dream, including me, are reclamation projects.
- The team will do for others what others did for them–reclaim persons put out with the trash.
- I’m not part of the team, and I’m not in charge. Someone sent me to do a task, not to lead the team.
- My task won’t take forever; it’s the last phase of orientation for new team members.
Two questions came to mind right after I woke up:
- Is this about blogging? Lately I’ve had several dreams about blogging.
- Why did I go all theological with the team there at the end?
Here’s how I’m thinking about the dream today.
I’m one of Jesus’ reclamation projects. I also have countless others to thank for helping pick me up from various trash heaps.
Some trash heaps were designed specifically for women. Sometimes I seem to have chosen a trash heap on my own. I say it that way because part of being reclaimed means understanding the dynamics of coercion, seduction and being set up for failure. Nonetheless, I’ve been reclaimed many times over.
In fact, it’s reassuring that this team is going to look for discards (people). I’m happy others are out there looking. Maybe they’ll find me again someday.
My father was a great improviser. Not of music, but of solutions to things that didn’t work properly (machines, not people). He kept a shed and back yard full of what some people would call ‘junk.’ The kinds of things Depression-era women and men valued for their as yet unknown future use.
So here I am, a reclaimed woman, musician and now a blogger who happens to be a theologian. What do I offer women and men who visit and read what I write? And where does my ‘junk’ come from?
I offer the mostly improvised music of my heart, mind and soul. I use memories, bits and pieces of knowledge I’ve collected, old photos, new photos, and other people’s writings that move me. I also use my experience, including what happened and happens to me on the inside. Things like secrets and less-than-beautiful behaviors.
I can’t do this alone. I need others who show me how they do it, or who ask me tough questions. I need to hear them play their music. It doesn’t matter whether it’s overtly theological or not. If it moves me, it rings true. It brings joy, tears, thoughtfulness, challenge, clarity of sight, grief and sadness, or the knowledge that I’m alive and not alone.
As a blogger, my reclamation project is about recovering parts of my life that got trashed along the way, internally and externally. It’s also about being alert for pieces of your lives that inspire me to write yet more unscripted posts that reclaim some of my personal ‘junk.’
Whether it comes from you or from me, it’s music. It doesn’t banish the pain of life, or focus only on what’s beautiful to divert attention from what’s real. Rather, it’s music that accompanies all of life, inviting both sadness and joy to be heard, heeded and shared.
My father’s unexpected improvisation on his guitar is a sign. It shows what can happen when other music, especially from strangers, inspires me to improvise songs I didn’t know I’d lost along the way.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 26 August 2015
Image from 123RF.com