Yesterday I said to my melanated best friend that the dreams people are sharing with me recently are about the culture of systemic racism in North America and the issues are so huge for me that I can’t make the video replies without crying. I asked him what to do. He says, “Tell them that.”
And then he tells me about a guy who was attacked by 5 cops and died. I hear him and my heart says a small prayer but at that point, I don’t know #hisnametyrenichols yet and I don’t know the circumstances and I don’t know if it’s immediately relevant to me.
We get off the phone and I’m thinking all day about how to make this video, which is sort of part one, to a series about how these amazing, talented people aren’t living their “best” life because the non-melanated people around them just won’t let it happen -consciously or unconsciously.
As I’m thinking about how to word my pre-cursor sorry-that-I’m-white video, my FYP starts popping’ with stories about Tyre. And then it hits hard. I hear from the black creators who I value, appreciate, love and respect just how painful it is, just how hard it is to be black in America (and Canada) today. “It keeps getting harder and harder to be black,” she says into the camera.
That’s when I begin to realize that the environment just changed. The collective just changed. It’s another Rodney King. It’s another #GeorgeFlyod
So now, the dreams are even more relevant. Even more timely. Even more pointed.
As I prepare to voice my experience, I’m preparing for the support & the backlash. But I will put myself out there because even though I can’t control the fact my skin looks white, I can control if I act white. And Lord, please help me never ever make that mistake.
The issue with #TyreNichols death by law enforcement is that all officers involved with his murder were black. The tragedy expands.
January 05, 2023
In the dream, I’m talking to an Indigenous man, about my age. We’re in a large lobby of a large auditorium for some sort of convention. As we’re talking, he looks up at the 12-16 ft rice paper eagle that spans the corner of the lobby and he mentions something about it. Just then, the paper eagle somehow gets unhinged from its latches and it swoops down and a wing hits the man on the head as it lands on the ground beside us. This is a sign, I say to myself. He knows it too and says let’s not talk about it.
Then we have another eagle symbol encounter. I’m beginning to think he’s meant to me my life partner. He thinks the same and surprises me by inviting me to his home in-between dinner and the evening dance at the auditorium. When we go in, he presents me with a ribbon skirt and beautiful ribbons and beaded jewelry for my hair, fingers, wrists and shoes. I put everything on, sort of in a state of overwhelm and shock and then he brings me into the main living area where there are dozens of aunties, uncles, and cousins. He introduces me as his girl friend and says even though my skin is white I have the heart & spirit of an Indigenous woman and even though some of his relatives give him dirty looks of scorn & disapproval, the majority of his relatives all do a ceremonial bow and they chant a thing which tells me that I’m not just his girl friend but his life partner and I’ll have a position of respect in the community because he is a spiritual leader but he didn’t tell me that so I didn’t know until I heard it in the song. The song is in their native language but someone I understand it all.
I’m just standing there, feeling happy and fearful, grateful and nervous and I just say thank you to them and smile and nod and then they get up and go back to what they were doing and I take his hand and we walk out and go to the dance.
This is my dream.
When we have positive dreams, it’s confirmation that we’re on the right path, with the right vision, with the right energy, doing the right thing.
Flying dreams are one of my favourites, when they’re positive.
Nothing beats the sensation of soaring above tree tops.
Last night, in my dream, I wasn’t flying but I may as well have been.
I was on an enormous swing, tied to an enormous tree, and when I got the swing going I would fly a kilometre into the air. I could spin and circle down and flip by pulling on the ropes in different ways. It felt amazing and I kept repeating it over and over.
Then someone joined me. We could now do new tricks as a team which added a whole new layer of excitement. People were watching from below and were amazed at what we were doing. It was fabulous!
This dream has a specific meaning for me because there was a time when I was having recurring dreams about swinging but I could never enjoy it because someone with a lot of jealousy would stop me. I grew up with having to deal with a lot of jealousy. It’s one of the most insidious of all negative emotions. My fear of what a jealous person would do to me used to stop me from living my best life. But not any more.
The work I did to break cycles of violence in my family of origin has been so successful that the next generation no longer needs to carry that burden. This dream of swinging safely in the air, soaring above trees, flipping and diving and spinning, had so much Joy and excitement in it.
Now I can bring that Joy & Excitement into my day-to-day life. What amazing bounties & blessings are flowing into my life now? I’m so grateful for all that I have and all that I am.