In the dream, I'm flying. Flying high above the
Planet with Raven. The blue curve of the Earth
floats beneath us. I want you to see this blue.
It's the color of gladness. It's the color of
dreams. It's the color of Hope.
We descend into the blue, which dissolves beneath
us into the green of mountain meadows, seemingly
As we fly lower, I notice a human figure, dressed
in feathers and bark garments. Singing, with great
ceremony, he pours a red liquid into a
"What is he doing, Raven?"
"Go ahead and ask him." Raven cocks his head at
We land at a polite distance, wait for the man to
hail us, and then my question bursts forth: "Why
do you pour a red liquid into the river?"
"Ahhh," says the man, "I am putting this color
into the river to mark it as the property of my
people. This will prevent others from claiming
it, and the stream will belong only to us."
"Huhh, now I have seen everything," Raven remarks.
As we jump back into the air, he turns to me and
says, "What ever happened to 'Share and share
We fly over continent after continent. Six
continents and six beaded and feathered shamans
later, we have witnessed orange, yellow, green,
blue, indigo, and violet liquids being poured into
six more rivers. Raven keeps muttering to himself,
"I don't like the looks of this!"
It was dusk now. We were flying over the ocean,
approaching land. At first I thought the colors
in the water were a reflection of the sunset
colors, but that was before I saw the animals.
The colored rivers had created an oil slick, its
rainbow colors almost pretty until I realized that
the blackened and bedraggled creatures all up and
down the beach are in trouble.
But I see people, too, on the beach, working to
clean and free the animals. We circle above, and
then I see these are not just any people and not
just any animals.
That's van Gogh, cleaning a sunflower with fierce
concentration. I'd know that yellow hat and ruddy
OFFSTAGE VOICE: "Nobody sees a flower really
it is so small we haven't time and to see
takes time like to have a friend takes time."
Wait, I know that tiny dumpling of a woman with
the deep dark eyes and silvery bun. Georgia
O'Keefe's beautiful hands caress a moonflower,
tenderly stroking away the black oil with a
As we fly along the beach, I see scores of
storybook creatures, covered with oil, each one
being cleaned and cared for by its author.
Over there it's Marguerite Henry, struggling with a herd of
wild ponies from Chincoteague.
And that animal making such a fuss over by the
driftwood is Toad from The Wind in the Willows,
being vigorously toweled by Kenneth Grahame with
Mole and Rat.
OFFSTAGE VOICE: "If stories come to you, care for
them. And learn to give them away where they are
Who said that? Oh yes, I remember now. That
priestly looking man over there with Badger
must be Barry Lopez, and those unrecognizable
creatures they're working on have to be Crow and
Then, as we fly even further up the beach, I see
that the oil has pooled in tar pits: tar pit
after tar pit up the beach as far as the eye can
see, with creatures struggling inside. Beside each
tar pit lies a sleeping figure.
I wonder at this as we glide along this section of
beach. No one is helping these creatures.
Suddenly, with a shock, I recognize creatures
far more familiar than the others on the beach.
No, these are creatures I know intimately:
they are the ones who live inside
my own dreams
We land on the beach near the sleeping figure I
recognize as myself.
the singing red lizard, silent now and exhausted
with struggling in the sticky tar,
an old sea turtle, blind in one eye,
a tattered and broken sunflower,
and a writhing raccoon.
The figure seems to be wearing armor. Her helmet
lies to one side. A silver-grey cat licks the
crown of her head. At her feet crouches an Angel.
On one side is an alembic, a gourd-shaped vessel
that seems to be filled with water. On the other
side is a silver flute.
As we approach, the creatures recognize me and
begin clamoring, "You have to wake them up! Who
will tell our stories?"
The Angel rises.
"As their stories go untold, these dream creatures
sink deeper and deeper into the tar pits and are
silenced. The tar pits grow ever larger."
Raven shakes his head solemnly. "Nevermore..."
Just then the Neverbird floats up in her nest, a
large broadbrimmed hat.
J.M. Barrie runs past, with Tinkerbell fluttering
behind. She looks at Raven and says, "Silly ass."
And I remember how Peter Pan saved her life: "Do
We all listen. ...Silence...
I grab the alembic and run down the beach,
splashing water on all the sleeping figures.
"If you believe, wake up! Tell their stories!"
The trapped creatures take up the cry.
And right before my eyes, Raven turns into Johann
Sebastian Bach, and music wells up out of nowhere
and suddenly all of them are singing the great
cantata, Sleepers, Wake!
Sleepers, wake! and hear our voices,
The Earth and all of her children call to you
O listen now and hear our call!
Wake, it's not too late to save us!
O tell our tales, o let our stories live!
The time has come to heal the Earth.
As Wisdom is revealed,
Our Planet will be healed through our stories.
Awaken now and sing along,
Encircling Earth with shimmering song.