Dreaming the Foreign Familiar

I wake at 2am to a word burning through the layers of dream time.  It is a foreign word, not of my native language, yet as I sift between sleeping and waking, I know its meaning without thinking.

I’m aware enough to realize I’ve been bestowed a jewel from the depths of dreamland.  I hold it precious and repeat the word, keep it close until I’m conscious enough to move across the room and write it down.


I studied Spanish in high school and college but have found virtually no place to use it in the last twenty years of my life, living in New England, Canada and Hawaii.  I have often fantasized of residing long enough in a land of foreign tongue that I would begin to dream its language.


A good friend was recently visiting the island.  She’s teaching herself Portuguese.  With Spring in the air and newness budding, our conversations often turned to dreams and visions.

“If you want to make real change, Jess – to really have something different happen in your life – you need to learn a new language.”

In the beginning was the word, and the word was good.


Matter is made manifest through vibration.  A microscopic world of atoms dancing.

Our thoughts and feelings resonate through the channels of our throats.  Minuscule movements reverberate and sound the curving lines of alphabet and release them to the air beyond our bodies.

Habitual thoughts bring tired words falling through our mouths and re-creating the familiar.

New language brings fresh undulations.
New matter.
A new world.


masculine noun
1. birth (de niño, animal) ; sprouting (de planta) ; hatching (de ave, reptil)
•    de nacimiento -> from birth
2. source (de río)
3. origin, beginning (origen)
4. Nativity scene (belén)

A mere reporter, I consider this foreign-yet-familiar word and how it has threaded to my dreams.  Woken me from sleep at 2am in all its Source and birth and newness.

24 hours of nacimiento life threads lay before me with no specific form. No answer.  Just a collage of curious details.

Nacimiento, the name of a road in Big Sur.
Nativity.  The birth of my son.  How I had my own kind of angel tell me of his coming, long before his conception.
The man on the sandy road yesterday.  Passing by with the 12 inch cross tattooed across his heart.
The Shroud of Turin depicted on the book cover beside me, “Love Without Conditions.”
Nativism.  The philosophy proposing that our minds are born with certain innate knowing.
Yesterday’s walk along the tide line of the Source.  Where I found the simple reminder etched into the sand:  FLOAT.