Story: Phoebe

This is a TEACHING story – learning how to let go of a relationship that develops in unexpected and damaging ways.

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Read the story below


There was once a beautiful young woman called Phoebe who had a rare and valuable gift: she was a dream spinner. While people slept, Phoebe would feel, see and hear when someone needed help with dreams. She would catch nightmares in a fine net woven with a delicate white mesh and sift the fear, anguish and sorrow from the dreams, refashioning them into dreams of light, hope, love or strength.

One day, Phoebe was out walking when she heard strange haunting notes of music. She followed the music and found a flautist sitting beside a river playing a golden flute that reflected the sunlight. Music poured from the flute like liquid gold. Phoebe was entranced by the beautiful melancholy of the sounds. The flautist’s face was transported to what appeared to her to be angelic realms. Her heart went out to him and she felt a heady excitement like drinking champagne. His name was Julian.

Julian returned home with Phoebe and filled the house with music. After some time, when Phoebe listened to the music, she began to hear a strange discordance in it that she hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps Julian would realise and put it right. But he didn’t. And when Phoebe looked into Julian’s face, she no longer saw the sublime angelic expression but instead saw a boyish child’s face full of anxiety and fear. His eyes seem to plead with her. Perhaps it was a trick of the light she thought. And Phoebe’s heart, once filled with heady excitement was now heavy and full of dread as though she had drunk deeply of intoxicating wine that was now poisoning her body.

The years passed and Phoebe heard more and more discordant notes until she didn’t want to hear the music at all. She knew now there was something wrong.

When she looked into Julian’s face she could feel what was wrong and she tried to spin dreams for him as she did for others but although his need was great, he didn’t acknowledge it. The more she spun, the more he took, like a blackmailer who returns for more and more. He drained her dry of dreams. He filled up her dreamland space but as fear never abated and Phoebe was left exhausted.

Then, one night, Phoebe herself call for help and a dream spinner took the heaviness in the heart, the poison in her body and the weariness of her spirit and sent her three tiny delicate birds: one was white, one was blue and one was purple.

Phoebe gasped at their beauty. The blue bird spoke to her of truth, and as it did so it flew into her mouth. The white bird flew round her body and remained above her head shining healing energy through every part of her. Phoebe felt it renew and revitalise her, filling her with the strength she had not felt for years. The tiny purple bird flew round and round her creating: a transparent purple bubble.

When Phoebe awoke she knew that something had changed. She felt a surge of energy, a lightness of spirit and a deep well of strength and courage within her.

Packing Julian’s belongings in bags, she told him to leave. Julian turned his face to her and she saw the fear, sorrow and anguish she always saw now, but she knew she was not the one who could take them away. She spoke to Julian with her newfound courage. As Julian replied, his words hit the purple bubble and bounced off. Then he was gone.

And Phoebe? She is happier and wiser now, and is known and recognised as one of the finest dream spinner’s round.

Hilary Farmer