Guest blog by Wanda Burch
On May 10, I will be participating in the The World Day of Active Dreaming by inviting dreams to breakfast among a group of people interested in vernacular architecture. This is architecture of the everyday folk whose built environment reflects the social and political trends of their surroundings. The people at this breakfast table will understand the dreaming of the people who lived on the land and they will readily identify their personal dreaming with the cultures they study.
How do I know this? I live next door to a nineteenth century general store, a store of “the people,” with a pot-bellied stove, old creaky floors, and a daily breakfast gathering of farmers and folk that you would not think would be interested in sharing dreams. They might be the first to say, “I don’t believe in dreams,” but, knowing who I am, if I am in that store, they always add, “but there was this one dream…” Then everyone stops drinking their coffee and eating their toast to hear that one dream and to see where we go with it.
They have enough community experience with one another to begin with…”reminds me of that time when you…or I…or whatever comes to mind in their experience…” and they go on. “Reminds me of that time” is their own way of saying “this is your dream” but “I just might have a memory that will help you with that dream.” And they always want action. One man loved the song “76 Trombones.” Everyone else hated it. So he dreamed one night that I was in that dream and told everyone in that store that they had to buy or bring in a kazoo and sing that song with him.” You know what, the next time we all gathered, everyone had a kazoo and they played and sang “76 Trombones” so loud that that farmer had his fill for a long time and to this day tells the story.
Others come out of the kitchen or up to the table and say, “I had the weirdest dream” the other night; and they stand – or sit down – and expectantly wait for people to share in their dream. The results are always satisfactory, even if sometimes a little outside the box. I have heard of the dead visiting with obituaries [no the dreamer didn’t want to see it because she was ready to go whenever that event might happen]; a future husband hanging in the closet; and a dream of ethereal voices rising from a boulder in the middle of a farm field.
The experience of breakfast dreaming in my hamlet gave me – an outsider moving into a 200 year old town – a voice and a special place in the community and gave voice to the dreams of people who never thought they would be sharing such intimate inner life experiences with one another. They were already people who worked close to nature and close to the land; now they understood a bond with one another they never “dreamed” existed. That’s how I know that the breakfast table will be humming with dream stories on May 10, 2014.
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