The Needle Dream

Here is the dream I have had three times in the last two weeks:

I am sitting at the laptop, getting to write something–nothing clear in the dream.
Next to the computer is a tapestry needle, threaded. Like all tapestry needles, it’s bigger and heavier than a sewing needle. I pick up the needle, and notice the thread is not regular thread, it’s words. There is a long thread of words on the needle. I don’t know what they say, but I know what I am supposed to do.

Needle and words. ©Quinn McDonald pen, ink, watercolor. 2012.

I pick up the needle, and carefully begin to stitch it though the computer screen, where the words begin to stitch themselves into a story. Somehow, the story seems to be three dimensional, as if I were stitching an event.

As the needle comes up toward me, I notice is it covered with uneven, etched letters. Looking closely, I see they say “mender.”

[In waking life, I have always shrunk from being a healer. Others in my coaching class talked about being healers, of having sacred powers, of being shamans.  They were certain they had been called. I did not doubt them, but was not one of them. I did not feel worthy to heal, or called.]

In the dream, Paul Simon’s song, “Fakin’ It” begins to play.  Part of the lyrics are, “I’m such a dubious soul,
And a walk in the garden
Wears me down.
Tangled in the fallen vines,
Pickin’ up the punch lines . . .

This feeling of fakin’ it–
I still haven’t shaken it.

Prior to this lifetime
I surely was a tailor, look at me…
(“Good morning, Mr. Leitch.
Have you had a busy day?”)
I own the tailor’s face and hands.
I am the tailor’s face and hands . . .”

As the song plays, I continue to sew the story, and I am filled with the knowledge that I am not a healer, I am a mender. Fixing tears in the sky, rips in souls, gathering the frayed edges of unraveled lives. I cannot heal, that is the work of those who need to be healed. My work leaves visible stitches, the mended part will always show, but it holds together. Knowing this comforts me in the dream, and I continue to stitch.

Quinn McDonald is a writer and a creativity coach.