Reflections on Dream Part III

Christine Alfery

Posted on January 12 2022

Reflections on Dream Part III

Featured image: Red Winged Black Bird


Why can’t we get along? Why can’t we get along? I hear those two statements over and over today, which is why I started painting my series called, “The Middle Is Not Grey.” I am not sure why people think that all things are black and white, and I am not sure why some paint the compromise between black and white as grey. I believe the middle between black and white is anything but grey, my dream on December 24th, which I called a miracle the next day, reinforced this idea. That is why I called it a miracle, I have never had a dream so surrealistically real and yet talked to me the way that this one did. I have never had a dream that said to me, "Your journey, your belief in creativity is a good path to travel, stay on it and keep traveling."

I have written about the concept of the “individual” many times, but I have never said that there isn’t just one way to understand the idea of the individual. Generally speaking, the word individual used to mean; singular, separate, as being distinct from a group or class. But the word has changed. It no longer means singular as in the sense of one individual standing alone on an isolated road. Rather, it means that one individual is standing with 1000’s of others and they all are called individual because the group that they are standing in all have one characteristic that is like all others standing in that group. They definitely are not separate from a group. They are labeled as abstract expressionists, surrealists, black, brown, tall, short - you get the idea. But what about the one person in the group, perhaps you? What happened to the unique, one-of-a-kind you? I believe the individual you in that group no longer exists.

Many individuals who become part of a larger group of like thinking folks think that if we all think alike that it would solve the problem of not getting along. They believe that it would bring harmony to all, because everyone would have the same mutual understanding and good will goal that the others in the group have. Right there, that very thinking is where you lost your uniqueness and one-of-a-kindnesses. I used to paddle with groups of other paddlers to remote areas of our country. I was a paddler – but I was the only women in the group. Hummm – see what happens – that is just a simple example.

When you stand in a group that sort of, kind of, thinks like you do, but you notice there are exceptions and that not everyone thinks the same way, then you have to ask yourself, “Is this for my happiness? Will this make me happy?” Whenever you stand in a group, your one-of-a-kindness disappears, your uniqueness disappears, and you become grey.

This is why I say the “Middle Is Not Grey” but the “Middle is motley” not monochromatic. The middle is assorted, a conglomerate, diversified, mixed, rainbow colored, kaleidoscopic. The reason we don’t get along is just that simple. But do we really not get along in the middle? I think we do, but when we are labeled as a group and really don’t fit that label that is where the problems lies. I was a paddler and I was a women and I was in a group. We were all different. When we all are labeled and fail to recognize the differences within the group we begin to distrust the label and we become upset because we don’t fit. The middle is not one size fits all. The middle is made up of one-of-a-kinds and uniqueness.

In my dream, I recognized that the polarities that are created today cause a problem, and that the way, not the only way is to recognize the unique individual and be able to recognize the unique individual in yourself, your soul and your spirit. Another personal example is when I began to paint seriously. I used to tell myself that I needed a blank sheet of paper and I could let happen what happened and the art would become a thing in itself. I no longer believe in being able to get rid of yourself and create something that never existed before. All things come from something. I am sure my dream came from my thinking so hard about creativity and the imaginary. But, the difference with this dream was that something like that had never happened before. And it happened on Christmas Eve. I was being given a unique present and wonderful present.

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