American-Made Car in Flames
I am driving our American-made car. I can’t get it to run properly. It starts and then dies out. This happens twice. Both times I am able to restart it. Then I see the car from the back. White smoke is coming from the tailpipe, a bad sign. I’m looking through the tailpipe; it’s wide enough that I can see the whole interior of the engine. It’s all in flames. I would expect low flames to keep the engine running, but the whole engine has bright red flames in rows. I’m afraid it will explode. What should I do? First I need to turn the car off. I go to my mechanic’s shop and say, “I need to talk to the mechanic who works on American-made cars.”
Before I do healing work, I ask for information and guidance from my dreams (with the client’s permission, of course – very important when one is intentionally dreaming for someone else). In early June, I asked for dream guidance for a client I was seeing the next day. This was my dream.
My client had recently injured her back, and I was experiencing lower back pain at the time, so the dream likely reflected that inflammatory physical condition for one or both of us. I was intrigued by the repeated reference to American-made cars. My intuition was that the dream had a wider meaning. In my experience, and in the dreaming framework I have learned, a single dream can have many layers of meaning simultaneously – all true and relevant to the dreamer and his or her situation.
Later that day I spoke on the phone with Lisa Iversen, a warm, wise woman who is extremely skilled and experienced in facilitating Systemic and Family Constellations work. She had just returned from presenting a workshop at the Third Annual Reconciliation in America Symposium sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation. The Symposium was held in Tulsa, OK, where the Tulsa Race Riot occurred May 31-June 1, 1921. During the riot, whites burned the Greenwood District, a large and prosperous African-American community, to the ground. Whites used airplanes for surveillance and aerial fire-bombing. Over 1,000 homes and businesses burned, 10,000 people were left homeless and, depending on what source you use, 50-300 killed. Information about this devastating violence was omitted from history books and even private conversation; my partner grew up in Tulsa and never heard about it until well into adulthood.
The flames of the Tulsa Race Riot have long since gone out, but their searing pain lives on. Racism still divides this country and systematically disempowers people of color. Anger simmers just below the boiling point about the ways the burden of suffering from the economic collapse of 2008 has fallen on those who have the least power and influence. And our Earth heats up more every year. Truly it feels as if the engine might explode at any moment
Who is the mechanic I seek in my dream – the one who works on American-made cars?
After the riot, Buck Colbert Franklin, John Hope Franklin’s father and one of the first African-American attorneys in Tulsa and Oklahoma, worked on behalf of victims from a tent because his home and office had been destroyed. When the Tulsa city government passed an ordinance designed to prevent African-Americans from rebuilding their homes, he took the case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court and won. John Hope Franklin was one of the most important American historians of the 20th century. His many writings included the book From Slavery to Freedom. In the early 1950’s he served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team which helped develop the case for Brown v. Board of Education. Lisa Iversen leads workshops which help reveal and heal stories of ancestral injustice and wounds. I highly recommend her book, Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul.
We each have our own set of tools and gifts, our own style of coveralls. We each do what we can to help repair our country and restore balance to the Earth.