27 January 2010

life story: dreams & open hands

sometimes you don't need to take hold of something when it's offered. i listen to my dreams as i'm able, some of which i remember, others escape memory before the eyes are fully opened. when words people use return to me in dreams, i ask myself if the words matter as words or phrases or if the words represent a larger image.

much of my current retreat imagery is centered around our hands. there are indeed times to which we use our hands to bless. i remember the sacred heads of so many young children in Africa who bring their heads to your hands to receive blessing. you place your open palm on their head and speak words, SOPA, if memory serves spelling.

there are times to create with our hands. from the daily bread we make (i'm learning to bake more each week) to brushing one's teeth in keeping good health. we use our hands to sew and bake, paint and praise.

of course, we are reminded by memory, story, or scars that hands are sometimes used for violent acts. sometimes hands are withheld strategically and that is hurtful and harmful.

in my adult life, i often move through the day without much reflection on the hands that touch me. my son's hands, my husband's hands. those who i meet for the first time and we shake hands. i don't count how many, many times a day i wash my own hands: more when visiting the hospital or my son's day school and a fair amount on any given day.

the dreams that i have dreamed recently are something of my own doing. i'm caught in a little tug-o-war within my thoughts: recognizing ideas that i generated now claimed by others and the moment of one's asking to piggy-backing on my dreams then becoming a dream of another. should i talk more openly to these? does it really bother me or am i just remembering words in dreams and that's that? i have let these thoughts go and then they only return again...

recognition isn't real. whatever illusions i have of seeing "my name in lights" isn't permanent. when i think of the words mentioned above & conversations of the past, i'm certain these would remember their words differently. i'm also pretty certain i'd blessed their paths, blessing the piggy-back for a while.

i teach of and speak of the importance of naming. and yes, i do copyright my words and material online: words & images. so, claiming your own work is important, too. the path i tread is not a new one, but one in which others have tread. my feet, my presence are what make the experience unique. words are spoken and tossed around all the time, but my words strung into phrases, sentences, and hopefully soon a book, those words are unique because they flow through me. so...what's the approach now?

my hands are open, outstretched, ready to take the moment as it's given to me. i'm not holding onto the past because it weighs down my momentum. i'm releasing these words into the air as i type, permitting their journey to places unknown. no harm will come to me or others unless there is guilt that another wants to hold in their hands. i'm living with my sleeping dreams and releasing the words each time i remember them, each time i open my eyes with that sleepy memory.

and i do not wait, but move in each moment using my hands to touch, heal, bless, create, love, and caress. i will use my hands for the purpose of healing: myself and others, and not to hurt. i'm not taking hold of the words or actions of others that bind me. i choose to hold onto what frees me: what makes me whole in each moment. these steps of centering my focus, releasing the sticky burrs that catch, and moving forward with open hands are the steps that carry me to my most whole self.


  1. i looked at my hands the other day and realized how weathered and old they are...much like my core. ha!

    seriously though, my hands have been through it all. even if they look 20 years older than my person, i wouldn't change it for the world. i would rather them be ragged and used than to have never touched a thing...or lived their life.

    love you. mean it.

  2. simply beautiful, your words, your photos, all of it. thank you for the beauty you bring to the world.