I am my grandmothers’ dreams

A white woman with brown, shoulder-length hair. She's wearing an orange shirt. Her body faces to the left, she's looking at the camera. On her left shoulder is a colorful peacock tattoo.

Someday soon, I will get back to telling stories about graduate student development. Today isn’t that day. Although, this story probably relates, too.

The Grandmothers spoke to me this morning.

A multitude of Osuns spoke to me. My grandmothers spoke to me. 

They made their presence unmistakable in a 4am dream. They were peacocks, a group of them, an ostentation, a pride. Their brilliant, sparkling, royal blue bodies and thousands of green feather eyes were vibrant against the fenced area outside a tall, drab-brown office building. Hard, cold, unforgiving, non-nutritive built environment of stone. 

The peacocks were activated, standing tall in a fenced area, like threatened ostriches about to run with their heads pointed the same direction. A couple birds poked their heads angrily through the wire fence, screeching, pecking, and snapping. 

The fence was a cattle fence with square holes and it prevented them from getting to their grazing area. Although the office building had a large overhang at the entrance, the birds’ pen was completely exposed to the elements. 

As we stood in the pouring rain visiting the birds, I complained that they needed a place to get out from the rain. 

I didn’t remember that I had this dream until I opened my email at the breakfast table this morning. I opened an email from pinterest of things I might like. Among the recommended pins was a picture of glass-bead earrings shaped like peacock feathers. 

The dream rushed right back into my consciousness and I let out a deep sob. The river of tears seemed to emerge from nowhere and everywhere.

A dream is but a dream

A dream. “A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.” Most of the time I have the kinds of dreams I think most people have – weird, random wanderings and encyclopedias of stuff that don’t make a lot of sense. Bits and pieces of things across time and space.

A dream. “A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.” Occasionally, my dreams are visions and messages, my subconscious conveying directions for life. My dreams remind me of my hopes and what I enjoy in life. They also relay insights about how to take care of my fears. 

Sometimes, my dreams are word ladder puzzles. Starting with the word “fear,” get to the word “love” changing one letter at a time. The connections unravel one step at a time. Sometimes the number of steps is short, direct, and literal. Sometimes the number of steps is long, winding, and completely metaphorical. Just listen, watch, pay attention.

Peacocks, Osun, life and death, nourishment and decay, wildness and confinement, beautiful and angry. Love is a Battlefield (Pat Benatar) and Patience (Guns n Roses) play on the radio. I have my Grandmother Myrtle’s toes, her wisdom for practical life, and her care for memory. I have my Grandmother Fran’s love of dancing, cooking, and hiking. 

There are three people on a couch. On the left is an older man in a tie and behind him an older woman in a blue dress. They are holding a toddler in a pink dress. They are all smiling and laughing. There's a lamp in the background, a lighthouse table statue, and a painting of ocean waves.

I am a temple to/for my grandmothers. I am my grandmothers’ dreams.



Live fully

Be free

Enjoy life

Get the house

Fix the damned toes

Be with people who make you happy

Eat what you want

Water yourself and shelter yourself.

Dance, for god’s sakes.

“The Grandmothers call us back to Ourselves through dreams and often demand that we get up and answer the call to wisdom,” says my wise friend.

“What is a good way to say thank you, I need to rest, I’d like to visit again soon, maybe we can play?” I ask.

“Rest and rest. Ask your grandmothers what they want as a thank you…Whatever your grandmothers could not accomplish or dream, you do it now, and for you.”

Book cover to Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto, by Tricia Hersey. Each line is in a horizontal color band of red, orange, and blue. A left hand is holding the book. A grey cat is in the top right of the image.

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