Dear President Trump,

I have another story for you today; this one is from the Ojibwa tribe. The Ojibwa believe that Spider Woman is the mystical protector of their people. As the tribe grew and spread out over ever vaster territory (originally the upper Midwest and Southern Canada), Spider Woman needed to figure out how to keep her people safe so she taught them to make dream catchers. You’ve seen one, right? They are made by hand and consist of a hoop laced with a spider web-like lattice and embellished with feathers and beads. Mothers made dream catchers and hung them over their children’s beds to catch the bad dreams while the good dreams passed through for the children to enjoy. In the legend, the bad dreams are destroyed when the light of day comes and burns them up.

There are so many layers here. Spider Woman (not Man) is the people’s guardian and she teaches the women how to extend her protection to the far corners of the Ojibwa lands by creating little gates to hold the bad dreams at bay and to allow the good ones through. I didn’t mention this before, but the beads in the lattice are meant to represent the good dreams that sometimes get caught in the webbing.

Yesterday I said Bryan (Stevenson), Emma (Gonzalez), Sam (Zeif), and Naomi (Wadler) are all stonecatchers, along with the elderly woman who sits with people in that Louisiana courthouse. Well, they are also dreamcatchers. Yolanda Renee King is one too; she’s helping make sure the shining bead of her grandfather and his dream are remembered. Paul McCartney is also one; he’s making sure the shining bead of his friend John and all he imagined stay in our consciousness. There are millions of us who are holding the dreams of loved ones who died violent gun-related deaths. Sadly, the bad dreams are not burning up in the light of day and we are amassing far too many beads caught in the web representing far too many precious, unique beings who didn’t get to pursue life, liberty, and happiness because a few people have elevated profit above the common good and a few others have allowed them to get away with this. And yes, I’m talking about you and the GOP.

May we keep all the children safe from bad dreams.
May we be happy to be dreamcatchers who pass the good dreams to all the children.
May we understand that health rests on a foundation of safety, both real and perceived.
May we see that peace is not going to come from better active shooter drills or armed teachers.

Tracy Simpson

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