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Cello Dreams and Synchronicity

I have been having dreams lately of cellos.  The cello is my favorite instrument and I have always wanted to learn to play sometime in my life.  The first two dreams were brief:  In the first I am lying down on a bed and a man hands me a cello and tells me to play horizontally and I can beautifully and it brings me great pleasure.  In the second dream a woman is teaching me to play cello, she is very demanding but only because she knows I can play well, and my fingers get raw from pressing the strings.

Yesterday morning I awoke from a dream where my husband and I had moved to a new neighborhood.  In the dream I am walking around talking on the phone to a good friend of mine telling her about what I am seeing.  First I see this giant monolith a couple of blocks away from our home called Buddha Mountain because Buddha’s face was carved in the side.  Then down the block I see a music store, a beautiful place filled with gleaming hand-carved instruments including cellos and I tell my friend excitedly on the phone and ask her what this means since I have been dreaming of cellos.  The dream ends before I hear her answer. 

With all of that happening in my dream life it would be enough to make me pay attention to cellos and what the invitation is for me.  Then yesterday morning I went for a nice long walk in my neighborhood with my camera.  It was the first day of clear skies here in Seattle in a while.  On my way back from the park I decided to walk by the Cornish College buildings on the corner of Harvard and Roy Streets because about a month ago I got some pretty pictures of the trees reflected in the old leaded glass windows and I wanted to see what it looked like now without the leaves.  I don’t usually go by this corner on my walks but literally felt drawn there.  As I approached I could hear some music playing and on the front lawn I saw a woman playing the cello.  She had short-sleeves on presumably for range of movement even though it was only 45 degrees out and she was playing passionately.  I honestly wouldn’t believe I had seen this if I hadn’t taken the photo above.  This kind of synchronicity definitely feels like a call to pay even closer attention.

So I am of course very intrigued by this unfolding of events.  I hesitate to take the dream literally as simply meaning I should take up the cello since dreams rarely speak so plainly.   That may be one aspect of the invitation.  I am listening for the wider call of the cello for me.  The cello is for me, an instrument of deep longing and passion, and one that helps me also tend to grief.  So there may be an invitation in that connection to continue to tend my own grieving process.  I also sense a significance in the fact that playing the cello is one of those things I want to learn to do before I die purely for the pleasure of it and so I sense an invitation to make even more space for the things in my life I don’t do for work or with any specific goals in mind.

Right now I am playing my favorite CD of Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello, I may need to do some lectio divina with a piece from it, and I will be having lunch today with my friend I was talking with in the dream to see if there is something she can shed light on for me.  As I mentioned in my previous post, dreams are multi-layered, and so I sense that there is much for me to mine in this image and I may be living into its invitations for a while.

If this were your dream, what significance might it have for you?  What invitations do you hear?

May your weekend be filled with the sweetest of dreams!

-Christine Valters Paintner

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5 Responses

  1. When I first picked up the cello, almost ninen years ago, after a lifetime of playing woodwind instruments despite a strong desire to play the cello, I was sitting on the delta Shuttle in NY,awaiting a flight to Boston. Who should walk onto the plane? Yo Yo Ma. And where did he sit? Next to me, whereupon I introduced myself, a neighbor of sorts as we lived in the same area of Cambridge. I told him I had recently started playing the cello. He was very excited and encouraged me to read a book that I will encourage you to read. I will also encourage you to go rent a cello and start playing. It is, as the title of the book Yo Yo Ma suggested, “Never Too Late.”

  2. You are so very welcome Kayce, I am glad to hear this touched something in you since I do believe our dreams can offer gifts to others. Grief and dreams, hmmmmm, sounds like a message worth paying attention to! Blessings to you, Christine

  3. christine– who knows why we are drawn to certain things? i cannot understand why i am awake at4:30 this morning and was drawn to read this entry. i have never had a particular passion for the cello but as i read your dream, i found myself near tears and so am quite drawn to the aspect of grief. sitting in my inbox are two e-mails from friends–one addressing the topic of grief and the other, dreams. coincidence? i think not. cello dreams and synchronicity. hmmm….as always, thank you for your beautiful words.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bette, I will sit with these images you offer, some of which resonate with how my friend responded to the dream at lunch. Some good things continuing to percolate in me and the dream speaks to them. I will try my hand at carving very soon, I have all of the soft block materials and some time just beyond the horizon there.

    Your dream is so very Eucharistic to me!

    Blessings to you too, Christine

  5. What a beautiful dream. To me, playing the cello horizontal makes me think of your need to rest and to achieve your heart’s long desire to play cello. I get a sense of balance in your life with both the man and the woman. Perhaps the strictness of the woman is you, being strict with yourself, yet knowing you can do it you have self-confidence.

    For you to see Buddha Mountain and handcarved instruments gives a feeling of inner peace and the handcarved part being wood (coming from trees which you love) gives you joy. The carving part of your dream means that you need to carve woodblock prints!!! Hahahaha! :)

    Thank you for sharing your dream. This morning I was able to capture one of my dreams and wrote it down. And I was able to remember a fragment of another which I will share. The image is a body of copy on paper, all seen in sepia color. I said to someone, “I will share a piece of this body with you.”

    Blessings, and I hope for a wonderful weekend for you.