Ask your dreams for signs and you shall find many gifts awaiting. There is no doubt in my mind that dreams – if reflected upon – have the potential to reveal insights and secrets, not just for the dreamer but also for the receiver or witness. There is great power in the act of sharing dreams, in a safe environment and with the assurance that if we listen to the dream, we will know the steps we need to take. There are no maps for the landscape of dreams, only an inner compass to guide us.
Last week, Maskan Aat hosted a five day dream retreat with Jennifer Cabrera Fernandez, Alisa Minyukova and Lana Nasser (from the Dream Mapping project.) During previous DMP workshops, each participating artist shared one dream, and we worked on each one, finally synthesising the collection of dreams into photo installations, films, and live performances. During this latest workshop at Maskan Aat, we focused in on one dreamer (Jennifer) and a series of her dreams.
On the first eve of the workshop, we heard the dream accounts and abstained from commenting, asking questions or probing. We then set the intention to incubate dreams that would guide us in our process.
The next morning, as every following morning, we began the day with a dream sharing. While we were eager to begin working on the dream serie, we let Jennifer’s incubated dream lead the investigation. Not surprisingly, the dream provides valuable information to the dream serie and the dreamer’s life-setting. You can say, it gave ‘the big picture.’
We then listened to the detailed accounts of the dream-series, delving into each dream, using various methods including projective dream work, gestalt techniques, role-playing, a hint of family constellation, dream theater, staging, and spontaneous ritual.
The days blended into each other, sliding in and out of the dream realm and a reality that was so dream-like that it was not always clear which was which, only taking breaks to nourish our bodies with soups from the harvest at Maskan Aat….and at night some wine and cheese.
On the last day, we honoured the dream with a ceremony. We did not know how it will look like. We let our intuition guide us. Jennifer, the dreamer, created an altar of the dream image that she chose to bring into the light. She gathered objects that represented her dream elements. The three of us then went into the forest and gardens and collected pebbles, herbs, flowers and shells. Without making a plan or giving instructions, we began our ceremony, which closed with a feeling of calm and peace. Complete.
The dream gift was wrapped in old letter paper and cotton string, for the dreamer to take with her. And the dreamers parted, but not for long, for we will be meeting again in the new year. The fruits of our workshop at Maskan Aat will be presented in a performance at the Fridam Gallery in New York City on January 10th, along with a screening of the DMP art-film ‘Estecada dreams.’
Stay tuned for details.