Static on the radio…

“Take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy”

-The Eagles

It’s been a very busy couple of months.  In addition to my “regular job” I’ve been seeing patients every weekend without a hitch.  There’ve been workshops, journeying circles, sweat lodges and medicine wheels – and we’ve even managed to squeeze in the occasional social event.   The pace has been almost non-stop, but until recently, the edges hadn’t begun to fray.  Just the other day that started to change, and I spotted the inevitable burnout on the horizon.  “Just a few more weeks of this, and I can relax,” I told myself. 

I got into the car for my morning commute, and turned on the radio.  The station I normally listen to was almost completely static.  I turned to another station and got the same result.  A quick trip through the presets showed all the stations to be the same.  I looked out the window and noticed my antenna was missing.  (I was so tired that it never occurred to me that there wasn’t an antenna on my car – a vehicle I’d owned for the last four years – in the first place).  I turned the radio off and continued the drive. 

A few blocks later on a whim I turned it back on.  Every station came in loud and clear.  I immediately knew that someone was trying to tell me something. “You’re not receiving the message.  You need to shut down and be silent for a while, and things will sort themselves out.” I heard the words as clearly as if I’d spoken them.

I thought of my hectic schedule, the patient I’d be speaking with that evening, and the ones I’d be seeing over the next few weeks.   “Just a few more weeks of this, and I can relax,” I repeated under my breath.

Then a few nights ago I had an important dream.

I was walking through the large grassy back yard of what appeared to be a farm house property.  I encountered an enormous mangy dog that looked as if he might have been rabid.  He was very skinny and disheveled, and was gnawing on a bone that was so old it was bleached white.  I knew I had to get past him in order to get home, so I thought I would distract him by throwing him another bone in hopes he would leave the path to chase after it. 

As I looked down at my right hand, I saw that I held an old dry bone, even more bleached than the one he was currently chewing on.   I decided to throw it anyway.  When I did, he immediately caught it.  He dropped it to the ground, ran up to me, and closed his jaws around my right hand.  I pulled my hand free of his mouth and noticed that although he hadn’t broken the skin, the indentations of his teeth were still clearly visible. My hand almost immediately began to swell.  I turned it from side to side to examine it more closely.  The skin remained stationary, while bones beneath it moved. 

I journeyed on this yesterday, and discussed the experience with my teacher.  Wolf accompanied me, which only seemed appropriate.  My teacher informed me that he had sent the dog to deliver me a message.  The dog, he said, represented my life – shamanically and otherwise, and the bone was the attention I’d been giving it.  He informed me that I’d been spreading myself too thin lately, and that I needed to slow down and nourish myself.  He also informed me that he’d been at the root of two of my patients cancelling this weekend in order to allow me to do this.  He said they’d return when they were ready, but that I really needed to rest and rebuild my strength.

I thanked him for taking care of me, and providing me with a couple of days to relax.  He smiled and pointed over my shoulder.  There stood the dog surrounded by an energetic glow.  At his feet was an enormous bone covered with fresh meat.  He began to tear at it greedily, as if he hadn’t eaten in months.   I merged with the dog momentarily, and tasted the meat.  I could feel his strength returning with every bite.  The merge broke as the dog began to shimmer.  He faded away only to be replaced by Wolf!   I started to laugh and Wolf cocked his head quizzically to one side.  The two had been in cahoots all along.  I thanked them for their care and their teachings, and left the journey a little wiser than when I’d started. . .

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6 Responses to “Static on the radio…”

  1. As Robert Johnson once said, “Dreams tell us what we should know, but don’t.” The Dream Maker is looking out for us, telling us what we are too busy to notice, and even provides a little static in ordinary reality to get our attention. Then our Spirit Guides can be consulted and the meaning embraced and integrated. I wish my spirit son’s Wolf were as smart as your guide. His Wolf can’t sort out his fears when they are projected onto the people around him, so they get acted out instead of integrated. I guess we are all at different stages on life’s path. Maybe that’s the lesson for the Eagle this time.

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  2. Different stages, indeed. And the lessons we need in time, I guess. I remember facilitating a power animal retrieval for a guy once; his sheer disappointment at finding out his power animal was Crab. He was upset that he didn’t get a “cool animal”.

    After I explained to hi,m that all animals have their medicine, and that the Hawk is grateful for the Mouse because it provides him nourishment, he said,” Yeah, well what can Crab teach me?”
    I said, “Well, that’s for you to learn, but take a look at how crabs work. They’re covered in a protective shell. They never approach anything straight on because they walk sideways. And when they do decide to move in, they charge in, snap and back away.”
    He stood there for a few seconds with his mouth hanging open.
    “Oh my god,” he said, “that’s exactly how I am.”
    “You get the Animal you need,” I told him. And suddenly he got it.
    You may be right about Eagle. Wolf’s teaching for your Spirit Son may lie along a different path. . .

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    • Lee Whitlock Says:

      Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
      Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
      Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.
      Now hear the word of the Lord.

      Or, in your case, “Now hear the word of your teacher.” This first verse is based on Ezekiel 37:1-14. Ezekiel has been placed in a valley of human bones baked white and dry by the desert sun. There is no doubt that a large battle has been fought in the valley. We don’t know the specific valley, but the symbolism is clear. Israel was defeated. Worn out. The Teacher (God) asks, “Can these bones live?” (v.3) The way the Hebrew is written invites only an negative answer. It’s the same answer we want to give when we feel tired and brittle.

      What does Ezekiel do? He stops. He listens. As he does, the dry bones begin to clank, clink, and rattle. They join together. They begin to form skeletons. Still dead, but moving toward wholeness.

      Then God tells Ezekiel to speak to the wind. Wind in Hebrew is Ruah. The word also translates into breath and spirit. Is the Teacher (God) telling Ezekiel to speak to the wind or his own spirit? When Ezekiel obeys, “Dem dry bones” begin to take on flesh. They come alive.

      What’s the message? To me, in this context, it is the obvious one. Our Teacher tells us to stop and speak to our spirit. Our lives made brittle by “getting and spending we lay waste our powers.”

      Listen to the Spirit. Listen to your spirit.

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  3. Wise words indeed, proving that Spirit is universal, speaks only one language, and is there for the greatest good of us all. It’s an immesurable power, yet it becomes lost to us like a whisper in the wind if we fail to stop and listen for it.

    But if we do…

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  4. What a splendid, direct dream! Yes, one does need to set aside time to recover, play, and just goof off. Sometimes, desire trumps common sense. It’s good when the spirits bring us back to ourselves. Sometimes we need a vacation.

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