Now I am Dreaming
Visions and Dreams Between The Veils
Dreaming September 11th
by Jennifer Esperanza
A few weeks before September 11, 2001 I sat in my first Ayahuasca Ceremony.
During this sacred experience I saw visions of what was to come in New York City.
The morning of that fateful day I slept late, tired from a family camping trip.
I dreamed of it while I slept in New Mexico, as it was happening in New York.
After this happened I kept meeting people who dreamt 9/11, before the event.
Here is what I wrote about my dreams and visions.
I am the girl at the party who always dances first.
I am laughing in the back of the bar with the boys, eating & drinking.
Now I am dreaming.
In my dream there were bombs, fire, planes and helicopters everywhere, people were screaming. It was like the end of the world and I had one thing on my mind, climb the two tallest buildings and find my children, Emily and Gabriel. Death was everywhere.
As I dreamt this in New Mexico it was happening in New York.
The phone woke me. It was my brother in law telling me that someone had just flown a plane into one of the twin towers. For a long moment I thought I was still dreaming.
Later my husband Philip went online to buy us sub-zero sleeping bags, needing to protect us.
Some of the elders in his family were put in death camps during the second world war.
Often now he has tears in his eyes.
Furiously, I write and forward e-mails about Peace. I pray that some radio station will broadcast speeches by Martin Luther King 24 hours a day. The thunder of his words breathing hope across the air waves.
Dream waves brought a vision to Angela, my daughter’s young friend, that same September night. She once lived across from the twin towers and that night she dreamed of a plane crash and war in New York City. She saw herself running to find her grandmother who was taking care of people who were hurt.
Night after night Philip sat for hours chanting Tibetan prayers for the souls of the dead.
We believe the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead becomes thinner with each prayer.
As a girl I was caught in this veil. In the ocean I was swept up by an undertow. I hit my head on a rock, images of my life passed by like a film clip, it was beautiful.
The grip of death was strong but I was pulled back into the pain of this life.
Death came licking around me often. In my thirteenth and fourteenth years I was raped bloody,
struck by lightning, hit by a car and I caught my hand on fire.
These experiences took me deep inside myself.
Often as a teenager I would sit in math class and turn my brain into a bird, letting it fly out of the window. In that time I became friends with a pale, thin boy who told me stories of dressing in his mother’s slips and dresses when she was away.
Sometime later in school I learned that many Native American people believed that men who dressed in women’s clothes were sacred, Two Spirits, living between two worlds, magic.
The veil of sleep wove through my sister-in-law Lisa’s dreams on the night before September eleventh. She saw herself walking alone in blackness and office papers were falling all around her from the sky.
As Lisa dreamed this my parents slept in their house in Virginia. This house was an estate called Indian Banks, built in 1699 atop land that once was an Indian settlement. Later it became a tobacco plantation. The decedents of the slaves that worked that land, now live just down the road from that place. In her gardens my mother dug up artifacts daily. All around that area are the graves of war and suffering, this is how death feeds us.
Soon after my birth the ghost of my great grandmother came to visit me in the cradle. She floated in surrounded by light and feathers. After her visit ghosts kept coming or did I follow them? They call to me in whispers, around corners, they rush around me, they throw things and comb their hair in the mirror. They come to me in the sound of a swarm of bees, dogs see them. They touch me and wrap me in cold air, unlocking doors and they sit on me rocking back and forth.
My first camera was made of hard black plastic, the squeeze of the shutter had a clunk of a sound. The catch of an image is a ghost hunt, a walk between the veil of the worlds. My soul is the press of a camera and I have walked with ghosts.
Poems fall through, they fall into my head. I dream that we are all made of star dust, bone, blood and heart muscle. This life is a death dance. The ground writhes under us with the bones of the dead.
I am a mummy in Peru, sitting in a cave for centuries. Once a young girl, now dead forever, my hands eternally fixed in prayer. Now my hands are dancing, making shapes, making mudras. My hands are making tortillas. My feet are pounding the ground forever, my hips roll back and forth, my skirt makes circles as I spin.
Philip would hold me and I would shake and tremble with expectation, like finding mica and sea shells, like ocean grasses, like eating almonds just dropped on the ground, soft in my mouth.
Ravens circle above our heads.
Great Spirit is everywhere.
My friend Sharon who slept six blocks away from the towers on that night of dreams, dreamed of the building she was in coming down. She reached out into blackness for Marc, her boyfriend, holding him as they fell, one floor at a time.
God is everywhere.
My children, you are my teachers. Emily of Raciel, warm honey colored skin and a unicorn soul. Gabriel of Philip, triple fire in your hair and birth sign.
Goddess is everywhere.
We all breathe in the poison of every war. I send prayers like little birds to wash the feet of the children of Afghanistan. I cry for them in yoga class and while driving. Often tears just fall down my face, where ever I am.
At night while flat on my back I open my heart in the form of a beam. I will not hate. I will become love and then I will become more love.
When will we turn our brains into birds and fly them, moving between the veils, breathing out nothing but love?
Written for September 11th, The Santa Fe Stories
Months after I wrote this piece I met a 15 year old boy who I sat next to on a plane. He had been visiting his grandmother when the towers went down. That morning he slept late. When he came downstairs to eat pancakes with his grandmother he asked her for a pencil and paper, lots of paper. He then drew just over one hundred drawings of planes crashing into buildings. His grandmother had not had the television or radio on, they only found out later what had happened in New York.
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September 11 Monologue by Ariane
Blog, My Photo Essays, Social Justice & Earth Justice 9/11, Ayahuasca, collective, death, Dreaming, epic, ghosts, God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Jennifer Esperanza, Kindness, Love, New Mexico, New York, Ocean, Peace, Ravens, veils, Visions