I dreamt of the moment where you were given to me and I wrapped you in my arms for the first time. Something broke inside of me… the you who, just a little while ago, had been so deeply a part of me had now entered this world. Every pretense and barrier crumbled. I wept deeply; I sobbed as the love I have for you hit me in waves. I felt as if I was drowning in love…
I was with a group and we had traveled to a foreign land. It was ancient and beautiful, with stunning vistas. The warm coloring of the late afternoon fell across the giant stone buildings and the surrounding jungle.
A long table was set for a meal, and at the head of the table was a young man. I could see Wisdom on him, and he was so full of it he nearly shown. He then asked us if we believed that a single Westerner would be saved at the end of times… confusion seemed to rise around the table. “Why would they be? Let us look.”
I suddenly felt as if I were watching a movie within myself. I witnessed my country’s treatment of those who are homeless. The hatred towards the soujourner in our land. The neglect of widows and orphans created by an unjust justice system. Starving people left with crumbs by gluttonous, all-consuming machines (“You call them people”), prioritizing their rights over those marginalized within our society.
“Would you call this a fast? An acceptable day to the Lord?”
And I saw the Church, and she was weak and sick, covering herself with makeup and veneers of brands and cheap gimmicks. And she was rejected.
I then began to sense hungry people around us, in the shadows, quietly watching. As if in answer to my question, I hear him say, “You have your feast now, but they will feast in heaven.”
I was standing in a room that was familiar to me, but I didn’t recognize it. I was elevated; at least a couple stories up. In the room there was a giant window, swung open, across from me.
I walked unhurriedly toward the window. The curtains didn’t move; the air felt dead. When I was towards the center of the room there had clearly been the noise of a great commotion on the streets but as I reached the window it was silent. Not even an insect chirping. The world looked on fire. The light cast over the cityscape around me was red and orange. It made the room I stood in seem sterile and white in contrast.
Leaning out the window, the fiery colors seemed to originate from the sun, but it was larger than any sun I’d ever seen. It was the color of blood and it seemed to swallow the sky. The air moved like waves, visible to the naked eye, yet I felt no heat.
Appearing on the horizon was a giant cube built with smaller interconnected cubes. There seemed to be as much empty space within the larger cube as there was space occupied by smaller cubes but it was hard to tell. The smaller cubes moved together but it was unclear how. Their movement was less mechanical and more like the flow of water, if water were cubes which defied the laws of gravity. This whole thing, perhaps the size of a 2 or 3 story building, was surrounded by fire. I understood that what I looked at occupied higher dimensions than I could comprehend. ‘Strange. Surreal. HOLY.’ I thought.
The cubes that were more than cubes hovered in a way that seemed weightless, and it seemed as if somehow, the cubes weightless rotation moved it down the road and towards me. It’s fire was different; where the light around us felt like it hummed with wrath, the fire around the object felt alive and purifying.
As it drew close, level with the window I leaned out of, I noticed writing on the various smaller cubes. It was in a very weird language; it felt ancient. I looked closer and it appeared to be a merging of pictures and symbols but in a flowing script.
Suddenly I was aware of the meaning: here I looked upon the name of God and the mere name overwhelmed me. There were many names but I only KNEW a few of them. I knew these were not names of many, but the names of One. As the burning, rotating Word drew close to the window, I dropped to the ground. I was utterly fearful of the holiness. I was acutely aware of all my “deficiencies,” but it didn’t feel like shame or judgment. I felt filled with a holy awe and tremendous gratitude. Eyes closed, it felt as if I was being cleaned of things I didn’t even know were stealing my life. Leaches I didn’t even notice. Without looking, I felt it directly in front of me. Without thinking, I began to worship. I didn’t even know why I did it or what I sang except it was my only possible response to the situation. Every cell in my body cried out in praise.
My sister and I are walking with all the other women up to the big, white tent at the top of the hill. As we draw closer, we can hear the rhythm of the instruments and the sound of voices singing.
Then my vision changes.
The sky is so lovely; the bright white of the tent pops against a sky that’s so blue I feel like I could dive into its depths. And the voices, the songs, sound so beautiful! I feel them soak into my very core. They fill me with joy and love. My sister and I look at each other and laugh; the joy bubbles and spills out of us like children breaking out of the school doors to summer break.
Then I notice there are other voices singing. It seems to be coming from the beings of light that are around us now, but not quite. Almost as if their voice is the wind, as if they make the very molecules of the air rejoice. As I pass by one of the light beings, my heart responds to it as if it knows it, like this saturating and abiding peace that envelopes me is as recognizable as a face, a laugh, a fingerprint. This one somehow I know.
I smile widely in the beings direction and begin to sing as I reach for my sister’s hand. I answer it’s peace with love, with gratitude. With thanksgiving. I am sure this is a friend who has been with me all my life. My Comforter and Protector. Tears fill my eyes as my sister and I begin to dance; jumping, twisting, laughing.
Suddenly I see us from outside myself, like the being of light was revealing to me for just a moment what it was seeing. And my sister was 4 and I was 8 and we were lost in our joy, and surrounded by other girls laughing, dancing, hugging, singing. We glowed, Light spilled from us, and we were surrounded on all sides by innumerable Light beings who moved, a dance wholly unlike any dance I’d ever seen. And in the field and space where colors were more than colors and light more than light, the universe suddenly expanded into this fixed moment and I glimpsed the infinite.
And then I was back, and the world was small, and I was just one of the many grown women out in this totally unremarkable field. And yet the beauty of what was happening here was not lost. Here in this moment we had let go of all the things the world had laid on us and we danced as we did when we were children, reckless in our Love.
I dreamt of you, the one I don’t know yet. I heard the sound of our laughter ringing like bells, echoing across time. We were oriented toward one another and I sensed your hand before it settled on my neck or played with my hair. We were surrounded by people we loved, but as we spoke with them our fingers would seek the others and our bodies gravitated towards one another until we touched. I knew you by the feeling of comfort you gave me, by the love you had for me that wrapped around me like a wooly cocoon. And in my heart I was reminded that I was living a life of answered prayers.
I dreamt it was dusk and I’m looking in the mirror. I’m in a very simple, pretty wedding dress and outside I can see the twinkle of hundreds of white lights against the sky set on fire as the sun disappears. I’m alone. I smile at myself and head down the steps.
The building is silent but when I open the door I walk into a crowd of people, people I know congratulating me and giving me gifts. I grab a drink and manage to mutter “thank you” as I try to reorient myself. Several people say, “I’m so happy for you and ______!” But they keep saying the wrong name, the name of a man I’m not meant to marry, and so I gently remind them I’m marrying ________.”
I’m standing at the edge of this square and a guy I don’t recognize (but I know him in the dream because he’s the best man) runs up to me. “Kara, how long are you going to keep him waiting? He’s standing up there, waiting for you.”
“Oh no! I had no idea. I didn’t know where I was supposed to be! Let’s go.” And he grabs my hand and guides me through the crowd. It’s dark now and the twinkling stars are echoed in the tiny white lights crisscrossing above me. Inside I panic a little. It’s time. It’s here. I’m about to get married.
I freeze and close my eyes as our friend pulls on my hand. I open my eyes and he’s looking at me. “It’s okay, Kara. It’s going to be great. Trust me.” I take a deep breathe and step forward. The crowd suddenly opens up and there’s a path from me to my future husband. This tiny town square is full of people we love, and they all quiet down. String music begins to play somewhere and I smile at our friend as I let go of his hand and walk towards the one I’m meant to marry.
From July 21st
I look down and there’s a cow carcass. As my view expands and I see more and more animal carcasses: elephants, goats, pigs, all sorts of lifeless creatures reaching to the horizon. The view is gray, foreboding, desolate. There is no “nature,” not a tree or a flower in sight. There is no sun or moon.
Then a man (impression of Josef or Francis?) is standing near me and I sense he is a saint (but I don’t even know what that means). I can’t tell if it’s his voice or Gods that speaks: “You’re missing so much of me.” A great and heavy sadness settles on my heart. “Are my creations not facets of me?”
I feel confused and start to wonder if I was somehow responsible for so much death; this innumerable loss. Yet even in my confusion and sadness I feel a compassion surround me, like warm sunlight. I feel how finite I am; I sense how little I know but it is reassuring. I get the sense that if I were to understand, it would be too much for me. I would be unraveled by the burden.
Overall though, the feeling of mourning and loss dominates this world.
I was at an alt grunge EDM concert, but they were also performing the third part of The Pelleas Trilogy. I was there with my sister and a few friends I’ve made at church (I remember thinking it was not my usual concert going crowd).
I wandered around, immersing myself in the show as I drank from my flask. I’m talking to new people and I start smoking again (and in the dream, I got the sense that this wasn’t unusual for me because it was a concert).
I spot my friends and head towards them. They scrunch to make room for me on this hill and next to them is a guy I haven’t seen since high school. We talk real life, the nitty and gritty, about our struggle and how different things looked from how we imagined. Towards the end he said, “You’ve changed a lot too. You really believe all that holy crap?” I smile at him and lean against a wall. “I went through some dark times, Cass. I found Someone who brought me out. So that’s where I put my faith. Can you blame me?” And he mumbled no, that he wished he had that.
Apparently the concert ended and the sun is starting to rise. My flask is empty and all my friends are gone. We walk to his car and he starts driving me around looking for mine. I keep reassuring him, comforting him because he seems distressed. We finally make it to my car and he said “You’re unbelievable, you know that? You never realize the effect you have on people.” And he’s upset with me, about how oblivious I am. I want to calm him down so I tell him I had really liked him in high school. I asked him if he remembered the art trip and he laughed. All the tension left his body and he replied softly, “Yeah, I remember. And I liked you too.”
Somehow we seemed a bit entangled, so I carefully extracted myself from him and exited the car. I waved as I got to mine but he was already driving off.
I saw this moving picture of me standing face to face with a man, and neither of us were wearing anything above the waist. We had nearly matching symbols that look like a tattoo on our ribs, mirroring each other. I didn’t look like me; we were dark skinned, and we had dark hair.
It was a fairly ornate symbol, nearly the size of our hand (his was slightly larger) and there was a script around it that I couldn’t read but I knew what it meant. Mine meant something close to “Formed from him by God,” and his said, “From me God formed her.”
About a year or two ago, I had this idea, this burning vision, that I was trying to understand. It mobilized me so much that I wrote people, met with organizations and even pursued a grant. But then I had this sense of not now, not yet. Today I remembered that vision and asked myself, “Had I just misunderstood it?”
You see, this vision was this big room, and each Cincinnati neighborhood was represented by the a 8′ tower that looked like a building. There’s 52 neighborhoods in the city, and there were 52 pillars in this vision, laid out in a grid pattern, so as you walked through it, almost as if you were walking the a city.
Each tower had the name of the neighborhood and a couple infographs telling the story of racial and economic disparity through the decades. On the other side of the towers (in the “windows”) were pictures of people from the neighborhood as well as the places they took pride in or that served as the heart of their community. Lastly, there’d be some kind of audio that would share people’s stories, but only if you were close to their “neighborhood.”
On the other side of this installation, we’d have a video sharing a few stories of what it’s like to be in Cincinnati and some of the big obstacles we are facing.
So, that was the vision. Today I suddenly recalled that vision and thought about where God has put me, in a role where it is possible for me to potentially engage with people across the city, possibly from every neighborhood. And as I work through the classes I’m in right now and ask myself what this vision meant, I’m beginning to wonder if the dream wasn’t some massive project for me to create, but instead it was a visual expression for what my path would look like. This vision was meant to be a means of education: to reveal the HUMANITY that exists in every single neighborhood (give them faces), to recognize our successes while also opening our eyes to places of total failure. To stir hearts to become reconcilers in this city (not necessarily the same as peacemakers).
I really don’t know yet but I do feel as if I’ve gained some kind of understanding around all of this. It’s as if a fog is lifting and I can discern shapes and movement but none of the details.