I’ve been struggling a good bit of late. I’m reading a book by Susan Cain called Bittersweet, and it’s helping me to reframe some of those struggles.
So, the other night I had a dream that a woman was sitting at a piano. Several stacks of papers of varying sorts were piled on top of the piano, and she said to me, “Please hand me the drought paper.”
I didn’t understand her at first, and so she spelled it out for me, “D R O U G H T”, adding, “Don’t you know what drought paper is?
I didn’t want to lie to her, but I also did not know what “drought paper” was, and so I took a piece of sheet music—a hymn, I think—from the middle stack of papers and handed it to her without comment. It seemed logical to me that since she was sitting at a piano she would want music. She did not. She wanted drought paper.
I did not possess the humility to admit that I didn’t know what drought paper was. She neither shamed me for my not knowing nor for my absence of humility.
Instead, she gently rose, returned the sheet music from its original pile, reached to the pile to the left of the sheet music, and picked up a childlike yet beautiful painting. I had never seen anything like it.
It was more than 3D; it was alive. I stared at it in awe. I wanted to be IN it. A part of it. The colors were so thick and bold. Vibrant oranges, blues, reds, and yellows. I couldn’t help but smile.
I did not know what all of the images were but I knew there was a house, people, some animals, and a tree. One of the images seemed to be a little girl holding a bright yellow balloon.
The woman at the piano looked into my eyes and said, “That is you. You made that painting when you were very young, and you used drought paper because drought paper makes everything more brilliant and alive.”
I told the piano woman that I thought another of the images was my mother. She smiled at me and said, “Now you are getting it.”
When I awakened from the dream, I googled “drought paper”, wanting to know if there was such a thing. Apparently, there is not. What a shame.
Having taken a few days to journal and ponder the dream, my takeaway is to remember that my dry times—the scrap and scrabble times—the drought times of my life can be the paper upon which I create a beautiful, lively, and brilliant life. May it be so in my life and yours.
PS—for anyone wanting to build connectivity, growth, and healing during 2023 below is the link to our FREE Zoom “From Surviving to Thriving” meeting every Thursday at 11 a.m. Central Time. Hope to see you there!
Meeting ID: 849 2870 2034
Love, your sister along the journey,