Tuesday, February 05, 2008

bear medicine.

Last night I dreamed of a bear. That sounds dramatically prophetic, doesn't it. Seriously though, last night I dreamed of a bear. I was out in the woods with my mom and grandma. To get there we had to drive down a really long dirt road--more like a logging road than a real road. We were traveling towards land that we had spent a lot of time on. And, although the place doesn't currently exist in my waking life, it was somehow our land and we felt very comfortable going there.

When we arrived I parked the car. We got out and started walking towards the camper that was parked on the edge of the woods when a huge brown bear came around the front of the car and started to follow us. My grandma and mom went into the camper right away where they started cleaning and unpacking and doing whatever grandmas and moms do to make a place feel homey and alive.

I, on the other hand, did what I could to distract the bear. Nervously, I went back to the car. The bear just lumbered slowly after me. When it wouldn't leave I turned the car on, backed up, and honked like mad. Still, the bear was not phased by my shenanigans.

Finally, I went back to the camper, the bear following me all the way. But once inside I realized that the door wouldn't shut properly and kept falling open. As I tried over and over and over to shut it, the bear just stood outside looking in at me with his face pressed close to the door. As I reached for the handle he took my fingers in his mouth and gently pulled at me. He had this expression on he face like: "pleeease, either let me in or come out, but I just want to be with you." He acted as if he wanted to play or talk or something. I was so concerned about getting rid of the bear that it wasn't until I woke up that I realized how gentle he had been all along. He simply wanted my attention.

Inside the camper, Louis was laying on the bed with a stray puppy that had apparently been found under the mattress. They looked like long lost siblings lying side by side, kicking their legs at one another in a soft, playful sort of way.

* * * *

I woke up with a very interesting feeling--a gentle sort of realization. I can't quit put my finger on what that realization is, exactly. But it is a feeling, a sensation, a reminder to listen to those gentle tugs--even if they come from unexpected places.

After getting up, I looked up the meaning of the Bear and found that "the strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. . . .To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary." From the book of Medicine Cards I read:
"To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb-cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void. The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.

Many tribes call this pace of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge. . . .It is in the Dream Lodge that our ancestors sit in Council and advise us regarding alternative pathways that lead to our goals. This is the power of Bear.

In [dreaming about] Bear, the power of knowing has invited you to enter the silence and become acquainted with the Dream Lodge, so that your goals may become concrete realities. This is the strength of Bear."
At the very beginning of Be Brave, I had a dream of a snake. Although I am horribly afraid of snakes, that dream was a catalyst for a lot of change in my life, causing a much needed shift in attitude. Dreaming of the Bear makes me realize that I have now entered another stage in the process of dreaming-myself-into-reality.

I'm also realizing just how deeply this Be Brave journey has been ingrained into my thoughts, my actions, my dreams, my life.

This post could go on forever, but what I'm noticing is that this dream has given me a lot to think about. And so today I am going to honor that need by entering my own quiet place of hibernation. I'm going to turn off my computer, turn off my phone, and I'm going to spend the day in that quiet space within myself--painting.

8 comments:

Annie Coe said...

Bears are so cool. That is a great dream. Thank you for coming to my site and commenting. You can view my
paintings there if you click on the side bar called my paintings. I will be posting some on the blog later
too. My work is very different from
yours, but I used to paint cats and dogs long ago :-). Blessings, Annie

Deirdre said...

That's an amazing dream. I believe dreams tell us the things our busy minds can't hear during waking hours. You have some serious power going on here. I'm looking forward to seeing where the bear leads you.

Loralee Choate said...

I never get any cool dreams. Sigh.

(And? I interviewed the coolest artist for my blog post today. I'd love to see what you think.)

Some of the questions I asked her reminded me of you (Like about her studio)

GreenishLady said...

Jessie, I want to take some time to come back to this post to read about your dream. I've stopped by just to let you know that I have awarded you a You Make My Day award.

And that I love that portrait! This is so exciting!

kikipotamus said...

Oh, what a special dream. You've been sent a guide! I'm so glad you are listening.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the bear respresents introspection. As I was reading your dream I felt the drive through the oddly familair woods was a journey into yourself. To me, the bear respesents a kind of threat or something you have struggled to rid your mind of, something that really isn't a big deal at all in reality - it is just the way you are looking at it or the assumptions you have in considering this "bear" a threat. I thought it was intersting that you drove into the woods with your Mum and Grandmother, only to stop deep into the woods, to get into a camper van, a place that your mum and Gran enter into quiet happily and peacefully, while you remain outside for a time, attempting to ward off the bear - for some reason I am getting - dare I say it (especially since this is the first time I have ever read your blog)... motherhood. Is this something you have been thinking about?

Jessie said...

Thank you Anonymous for your interpretation of my dream. I really think you are on to something. As for the motherhood part, that makes sense. I also felt like that part was a validation of my desire to foster and rehabilitate stray/abused/unwanted dogs, which is something that my husband and I have recently decided to seriously start working towards. This wanting to nurture animals on this level--yes, it's very much like the desire for motherhood. You've added an interesting perspective to my own interpretation.

Thank you!

Amber said...

Wonderful. Don't you love it? we have soooo much support from God/Spirit to help us live out our lives here. Amazing.

;)