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.

11 thoughts on “The Needle Dream

  1. What a beautiful dream. And how wonderful that you remembered it.

    I prefer to feel mended now rather than healed. I am quite happy with my patches as reminders of holes and tears. They have become part of the fabric and pattern themselves.

    May we all continue stitching. 🙂

  2. Dear Quinn,
    The dream reveals something about you that has so often been my experience with your words as they greet me in the morning session at the computer…mending….words that touch pieces of my experience that have challenged or been unclear and frustrating. I open your blog and before me are words written just for my day, my challenges, my little bump in the road…and in your words there is a pause to breathe and the steps before me that day are lighter and have lifted me from the place of feeling like I could fall down.
    I do not write to you each time your words do the mending and lifting action in my day; my gratitude for the mending words is expressed in how the day unfolds for me…and I find myself saying ever so often, “thank you Quinn for steering me to positive, energized, relaxed, pleasant word stories in my mind.”
    Your dream and the song from one of my all-time favorite duos has given me the mending thoughts and course corrections I need for this day. Thank you for writing to me today.

  3. Lovely metaphor your dream handed you and I’m taken with the honesty of translation. I’ve always taken issue when people call themselves “healers.” My belief is that individuals heal themselves – perhaps with a bit of facilitation from those of us who are in the guiding professions. I’m sharing this post on my FB page.

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