I doubt many of you noticed, but I never got that June newsletter off the ground. Not for lack of trying! I had a series of vivid dreams, all set in white churches, that I wanted to write about as being relevant to our collective work with racism these days. But no, this series of images has more to teach me before I write.
So I want to share just one simple phrase which applies to dreamwork and any kind of emerging work or wisdom. It’s been helpful to me in many ways, and is especially useful now as I navigate through Covid-based social/family/school challenges; antiracist learning and unlearning; work and financial disruptions, and general dismay.
Here’s your phrase:
“Not yet speechripe.”
Isn't that beautiful?
Not yet speechripe comes from the poetic, image-rich Anglo Saxon language, the precursor to modern English. It means exactly what it says. It means something has come up for you. You kind of get it, sort of see it, but you can’t really say yet what it is. It’s a state of dawning consciousness, in which the mind is just about to grasp something of great significance. It’s on the tip of your tongue, but words are not how you can experience or share the experience.
In dreamwork, that not yet speechripe feeling is often indicative of a big change in progress. Something that will rearrange your sense of who you are and how you fit into the larger picture.
The dreams I can't yet write about are helping me viscerally experience something of white supremacy. How pervasive it is in my life and culture. How calmly powerful. How it has shaped everything I know and do. And how it limits my imagination about how I can contribute to a just society.
How this era changes us may be not yet speechripe for you– but certainly it will change you and all of us.
Please, let’s do two things.
And let’s do better. I love what Layla Saad says, in Me and White Supremacy, “Just try to be a better ancestor.”
How? Dreams do help. When I dream repeatedly of white churches, I am looking at the “white church” part of myself as well as the influence of white churches over time in my culture. The dream doesn’t show me one church: it shows me many different ones, and only a few are familiar. As I begin my dreamwork, I can list all my associations – personal and collective – about “white church.” I can learn more about how white churches chose and didn't choose to serve justice in the civil rights era and beyond.
And I can also simply put myself … literally… at the threshold of an actual white church, and see what comes. Lately I have been doing just that – spending time outside my own literal white church each morning, and meditating on the blessings and burdens in my legacy of being a lifelong white churcher. There are many. Understanding where I stand - the setting I am in, both in dreams and waking life - helps me catch on to my perspectives from here. They are limited, but open to a vision of justice and mercy and full inclusion for all people.
Lately, the young neighborhood hawks and their parents scream to each other all day. I can't imagine what they could be going on about, but they start at dawn and keep it up all day. Their cries are like the words - from dreams, from newscasts and podcasts and books and articles and each others' stories and the streets full of protestors- that challenge everyone in earshot to get woke and stay woke.
So I'm getting woke. Meanwhile I'll wait, not yet speechripe, for whatever is truly mine to say.
Time to Sign up for Fall...FIRE BY NIGHT DREAM GROUPS
I've moved all my groups online and it's working beautifully! Some dreamers say the focus and depth in virtual groups is even better than an in-person group.
NOW you can dream with us from anywhere!
Fall dream groups begin the first week of September. 8 meetings, every other week.
Let me place you, or gather your own group of 4-6 dreamers.
What do you do in a dream group? You will -
Email me to schedule a conversation at laura@firebynight and
learn more at firebynet.com.