I know that as a diarist, I'm expected to write about our recent Dreamland Festival, but I'm not sure where to start. One of the problems is that everyone attended "their own" festival, depending on which talks meant the most to them and on whom they met. One thing that worked beautifully, though: we all had LOTS of personal interaction with our attendees.
We all did this in different ways: Jim Marrs held court in a bar next to the hotel which was named, aptly enough, The Flying Saucer. Marrs is a delightful raconteur, and I saw him talking to his fans (who had now become his good buddies) about the theories in his new book "The Rise of the Fourth Reich." Jim is not the quiet type, especially when he's got a few beers in him (and the "Saucer" specializes in a wide variety of beers on tap), so the noise level got louder and louder as the evening progressed.
Linda Howe gave a fascinating talk about a UFO that touched down near Albuquerque, where she now lives, complete with maps and video footage. All during the Festival, fascinated fans buttonholed her to talk about the many science reports she's presented on Dreamland over the years.
William led an mind-expanding tour of symbolic Nashville, with two busloads of people. Whitley and I went along and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Before this, I was thinking that Nashville was not really my cup of tea--too jingle-jangley for my taste--but I'll never think of it the same way again after seeing it through William's eyes.
During the tour, I was delighted to see a robin hopping along a sidewalk. You don't see those wonderful birds in Los Angeles. I also heard a familiar song from my days in San Antonio: a mocking bird. Just as the novel (and movie) titles say, it really IS against the law to shoot them in Texas and I understand why: I can just picture some rancher lying awake in bed in the dead of night, listening to those mockers twilling on and on, going through their repertoire (which can be quite extensive, depending on their travels) until he just can't stand it another minute and gets the shotgun out from under the bed.
I had a rather amusing problem with Nashville:too many pretty women! It's not that I was jealous of them, it's that they all looked alike to me! (I've written before about how, after my aneurysm burst 4 years ago, I have trouble recognizing people). There were a whole host of beautiful, helpful blonde volunteers at our beck and call and I couldn't tell one from the other. I made some remarks to some of them which were returned by puzzled looks, making me realize that I had addressed the wrong person?AGAIN!
The speeches were all held in the same auditorium, and before they started, people kept coming up to me with their digital cameras and showing me photos they had taken of the empty stage, which was FILLED with orbs! We asked them to send some of those photos to us and will share them with you if they do.
Whitley gave a wonderful talk and led a great meditation, which even I was able to participate in (and for someone who plans to study Buddhism, I admit I'm not much of a meditator). I read some Communion Letters which I think provide evidence that the Visitors may be either time travelers, from a parallel universe, the dead--or all three. I told the group about a list of commonalties I created when I first began to examine the estimated half a million letters that I would eventually read. The last item on the list was "They [the Visitors] have something to do with what we call death." The final letter I read is an extremely poignant one that I also read out loud at a conference in Mexico City many years ago. That time, I broke down and wept while standing at the podium, but I managed not to do that this time.
I got a wonderful last minute addition to my speech from an extraordinary synchronicity that occurred the night before, but before I can tell you about that, I need to remind you of something Dr. John Lerma said on Dreamland.
Lerma is the doctor who tried, and failed, to remove the implant from Whitley's ear. He now works as a hospice doctor. He told us that shortly before people die, they always mention being visited by someone--not necessarily an alien figure, often what seems to be an ordinary person.
The night before we flew to Nashville for the Festival, we went out to dinner with one of the doctors who was instrumental in saving my life, along with the nurse who hooked us up with him and the nurse's sister. The sister told me about her Visitor experience: she had had cancer as a child and was in the hospital with a heart problem caused by her radiation treatment years later, when a classic, almond- eyed "gray" came in the window. She said to him, in her mind, "No, I'm not ready to talk to you now," and he went away.
Hearing what this woman said made me wonder if these hospice "visitors" aren't offering the patients they see the chance to die, if they want to. I remember that I was given that choice, when I heard a voice say to me, "You can keep going if you want to."
As we left for the airport, one person we were saying goodbye to put her hands together and gave a little bow, sort of in the Buddhist style. At the airport, I saw someone walking by wearing a long saffron-colored dress that looked almost like a robe. I thought, "That's a message for me: I'm supposed to be studying my Buddhism instead of reading all those mystery novels!"
Last, but best: I heard some reassuring gossip from a woman who lives in San Antonio about a dear mutual friend who is taking care of her twin grandchildren while her son-in-law undergoes chemotherapy in another city. This wonderful, selfless woman has met a man and fallen in love! I couldn't have been happier.
UPDATE: One of our Festival attendees wrote us the following letter: "I had a very moving, profound experience at the Bicentennial Park. When I arrived in Nashville last Thursday, I was embraced by spirits who told me that they were SO glad that I had finally arrived. I did not understand this until the last day. After William gave his presentation at the amphitheater and we started off [on the tour] to the court of 3 stars, I felt myself drawn to the right side of the park. As William began giving a talk about the 'heart chakra' part of the court, I wandered off to the right side of the park towards a little circle of old pillars. My sister also told me, 'You need to go over there.' As I got closer to the pillars, I was overcome by emotion and dissolved into tears! I stepped into the small circle of the pillars and felt immediate calm. As soon as I stepped back outside the pillars, the raw emotions came back (It was not just sadness, but a whole wide range of feelings that overcame me.) I headed up towards the Court of the 3 Stars and began to get grounded again. William and the rest of the group were still well behind me, because I wanted to experience the court with as much quiet as possible. At the Court of the 3 Stars, an older lady approached on her daily walk, with weights in her hands. She stopped and told me that she lived just outside the park, and to be sure and be in the Court when the bells began to toll on the hour. I stayed in the court for the next 15 minutes, tested out that personal 'PA system' in the middle of the stars and just soaked it all in. On the hour, those bells rang, and when they did, they also amplified everything I had felt back near the small pillars and I was once more overcome with emotion. I wandered back towards the small pillars to take photos. As I did, I heard the words, 'Thank you!' repeated over and over again. Once I arrived at the small pillars, whatever in raw emotion had been there before was now gone. I told my sister that I did not think it was a coincidence that right after this, the skies over Nashville began to clear up and the sun began to shine."
NOTE: This Diary entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.