“The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of dry bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were dry. He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O LORD GOD, you know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!'” ~~ Ezekiel 37:1-4
Two Fridays ago, I spent four trips back and forth between the decrepit Mountainaire Hotel and my lakeside condo’s well-maintained structure as I attempted to put the final touches on my Dreamscape installation. If my friend Sharon hadn’t been with me, I wouldn’t have been able to go clean myself up for the opening party. I was on the go for nearly twelve hours straight, a reminder of my old days in ministry. As I was leaving at 9:30 pm, I stopped to chat with the young folks who were still going strong. About halfway through our little goodbye, my tired body gave in and Erin began to laugh: “You are SO tired! all your professionalism just washed out of you in one big flush!” Oh yes, when I go, everyone can see it!
That night I really enjoyed interacting with the artists and the people who came to visit the Low Key Arts So Many Open Houses. I got to talk about my art, my space, my dream, and my ministry of ARTANDICON, where art and faith meet at the crossroads of life. We connected because all of us share a love for these old beautiful buildings, we all need restoration and renewal in some way, and we each need a dream to give our lives a purpose and a focus. I realized some folks knew my name because of my cousin, some had seen my article in the Arkansas Free Press, and others were excited that my work would continue beyond this event. Perhaps it was the personal connection I was making with the visitors to the Dreamscape Bedroom, or maybe it was the spiritual ambiance of the space, but many spoke of the peace and calm they felt in my room, and the renewing, hopeful energy that they felt. They felt I had the “best” room in the building, in the sense that it was the cleanest and the best smelling. I did come down every week the building was open to clean my room, to spray odor-ban and room freshener in it, and I also did a final spiritual cleansing with sage smoke in the American Indian tradition. My music for the Dreamscape contributed to the room’s positive energy and had themes most of us have in our Dreams: love, peace, prosperity, relationships, hope, justice, and spiritual connections.
My bed sheets–The Dreamscape–have so many great dreams, and some very ordinary ones, but I am enjoying dreaming and sleeping on this community work of art. By opening myself to the hopes and dreams of others, I offered my gift of art and prophecy to a dry valley, to people who want to hear a fresh and inspiring word, brought in a new way, that lets them come alive again. One lady recently lost her husband and has moved here to Hot Springs; her dream is to “live significantly.” Another wants “peace in the Middle East & people to use their turn signals.” The younger people let their bodies be traced to sleep and dream on the bed with me, the older ones would write their dreams on the bed. Some wrote Christian hopes, some wrote spiritual hopes, some wrote their name, and some wrote their pain. May God bless our dreaming and our waking, our sleeping and our working.