Electric Dreams

A View from the Bridge
A Peace Dream Voyager
December 2004 - January 2005

Olivia Strand

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Strand, Olivia (2005 January). A View from the Bridge:
A Peace Dream Voyager. December 2004 - January 2005. Electric Dreams 12(1).

For many I guess the image of a bridge suggests one of reaching out, or of closing, or bridging, a gap. When Jean welcomed me onto the Bridge, after last month's DaFuMu dreaming, I instead had a completely different image - I thought of Star Trek! And the more I thought about this simile, the more I liked it.

Most of the time it looks as if the crew on the Bridge have an excellent view of space ahead, much as a jet pilot can see through the windows of his cockpit. Only the space ship has no windows, instead the ship's sensors scan the surrounding space, and display what they 'see' on a large screen. At other times the screen acts as a communication link, as the S.S. Voyager encounters alien races on its journey home through the Delta quadrant.

My computer works a bit like that, with a 56K modem functioning as 'sensors' and where my flat screen displays messages from, well, not exactly aliens, but dreamers from all over the world. And if you regularly read this column you will by now have figured out that Jean has taken a holiday, and I can tell you that this particular dream view from the Bridge comes to you through the eyes of Olivia.

But oh, how busy the past four weeks seemed, on the Bridge! Never before did I belong to a group where so much information flowed between its members. When I first joined, and hadn't checked my email for about three hours, I had 24 messages!

If I felt almost overwhelmed at first, I have since found the World Dreams Peace Bridge an interesting group to belong to. Many things get discussed, and I for one have found it refreshing to again share views on topical and political matters. How many of us can go weeks and months without anyone in our family, or at our workplace, ever mentioning the news, let alone the ongoing war in Iraq? In the UK, where I live, coverage of Iraq has become reduced to a mere trickle, since the Black Watch returned home - in time for Christmas, mind, just as Tony Blair had promised - with media highlighting only some of the most violent flare-ups. However, many members of the Bridge have alternate sources of news, often from inside Iraq, and news and links get shared amongst us.

The Bridge received new members during the past month, as well, this time adding to the number of Muslims in our inter-faith group, and providing us with more direct links to Iraq. Iraq has seemed very much the focus for the past month, with much discussion and many members sharing dreams, dreams that often seemed as if through the eyes of one of the Iraqi people, as they try to go about their daily business.

The subject of dreaming itself came up for discussion, as in whether or not dreams will bring peace and feed the hungry. "No, they won't," seems the simple answer, and yet, if we lose our dreams, we lose a vital aspect of our humanity. The Turkish have this wonderful saying, "You make things come true as long as you can dream," which to me illustrates not only a deep spiritual truth, but resonates with the very reason I joined the Bridge. As I understand it, one of the cornerstones of the work of the World Dreams Peace Bridge, part of its foundation, rests on the principle that only that of which we can dream - in the widest sense of the word - can become a manifest reality in the physical world.

Perhaps one of this group's main tasks centres on holding the dreams of peace, and of a just and fair world, alive. Alive, for those who cannot in the moment feel or know peace, love, or serenity, because they no longer have a home to return to, or they have lost those near and dear, and lack even the grim consolation of a grave to visit, or their children waste before their eyes because they can find neither food nor medicine.

No, dreams alone will not bring peace, justice, or food, to those in need. Vision needs grounding, ideals require implementation, and many of the members of the Bridge engage with precisely that, raising money, not least. And not only members; a group of eight high school students from Vermont, who found the Peace Bridge by googling "Iraq" and "Children," managed to raise $1,500 for the Seasons Art School in Baghdad by holding an art show at their school. Jean has received a package of photos, articles and quotes, and we will soon add a page to the World Dreams Peace Bridge web site to show what they have done. Thank you, guys!

Another main event of the month just gone by saw the launch of the first of the monthly DaFuMu dreaming events. We settled for the 15th of each month, a date easy to remember, but chosen in honour of one of the greatest outpourings of peace ever, as the world rallied against the impending war in Iraq on March 15-17, almost two years ago. The overall focus for the monthly DaFuMus centre on the image of the mandala, and indeed several of this month's submitted dreams echo that theme.

And as I close I would like to come back to the subject of Star Trek, once again. While a great fan of the first four series, I can't quite close my eyes to the fact that, futuristic vision and idealism aside, Star Trek seems permeated with a Western world view, and that "To boldly go where no man has gone before" only too easily can read "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread," not least if one takes the war on terror, and the war in Iraq into account. And yet, it represents a dream, and perhaps, if peoples of all nations and faiths join the dream, each adding their images of hope, love and wisdom, we might one day know a sustainable peace.

The World Dreams Peace bridge is open to all people who dream of world peace: http://www.worlddreamspeacebridge.org

or discussion group: worlddreams-subscribe@yahoogroups.com