The Power of Women's Stories
Day 50. I am having so many more dreams. Today's dream is the only one I recall that I would dare to call a vision.
Today is evidence that being alcohol-free does not ensure freedom from anxiety. I felt that familiar chest tightening and wild heartbeat this afternoon. I realize I have a lot of fear to work through after my husband’s cancer scare last year.
In an effort to calm my mind and body, I laid down and turned on the “Drift Off” sound on Headspace. I must have fallen asleep, as I found myself in an incredibly vivid dream/meditation. I awoke with a start and raced down to my laptop to capture the details before they could escape…
I am floating on the ocean, feeling the warmth of the sun on my body and the water holding me up and cradling my skin. I then begin drifting on a river of water, inexplicably connected, though time and place. I can see the beautiful scenery above me. The greenery of exotic rainforest trees, vines, and flowers; a sleepy English countryside with a small creek; a sultry and wide Southern river with a hot summer sun beating down on muddy riverbanks.
A closer inspection of these vistas reveals a river of women through the ages. I see women washing clothes at the river’s edge, laughing as their young ones splash in the water. I see a worn-down mother of holding a wailing infant while she handles a pot on the coal stove, other children waiting to be fed. I see strong women working in the fields under the hot sun, doing what they must to survive and keep their family as safe as possible. I see a mother cleaning up the kitchen and weeping after her family has left
I feel hands slowly rising from the water, hands of all colors and wear. They rise to hold me up and pass me along on the continuous river. The water becomes a flow of beautiful hands; holding, helping, lifting, carrying, comforting, caressing.
These women are in me and whisper to me the secret all women know deep down: “We care for the soul of the Earth.” We, the mothers, sisters, daughters, workers, scientists, artists, poets, and saints, yearn for the sacred connection of life — that silent but powerful energy between us all.
We are in the river of pain and suffering; the river of beauty, laughter, stillness and peace. I come to the river’s end, my river’s end, carrying me back to my life today; this Thursday afternoon in Decatur, Georgia.
I belong here; right here, right now. Whatever I feel today, one of these women has felt — she sends me her strength and determination to carry through. She tells me to rest when I am weary, to rise when I am strengthened, and to add my hands to the river.
I am ready to hear the call and continue the journey.
I'm also going to run out and get a fresh copy of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. This book was so powerful to me when I first read it and reminds me of the power of telling our stories:
"The truth is, in order to heal we need to tell our stories and have them witnessed...
I also needed to hear other women's stories in order to see and embrace my own. Sometimes another woman's story becomes a mirror that shows me a self I haven't seen before. When I listen to her tell it, her experience quickens and clarifies my own. Her questions rouse mine. Her conflicts illumine my conflicts. Her resolutions call forth my hope. Her strengths summon my strengths. All of this can happen even when our stories and our lives are very different."