Friday, November 22, 2013


It's Friday.  Today was cold, in a good way.  Yesterday we had our first "real" snowfall of the year, dusting rooftops, lawns and streets with just enough white to make it feel like winter.  I must say, I like it.

The last few days have been interestingly peaceful here.  I seem to have more access to my memories than I typically do, and to my dreams.  I'm feeling more at home than I have in a while, and less worried about whatever's coming next, or what I have to do.  The illness that had taken hold of my body and my spirit for the past two months has apparently cycled its way out, at long last, after a round of cleansing fever this past weekend.  I'm finally starting to feel like myself again, thankfully--I'd been starting to resemble something more akin to a stink spirit. (Dear goodness, how I adore that movie!  Must see soon.)

I'm still feeling a bit run down from it all, but--shielded by the gentle heart-shadows that begin to cast themselves around this time of year--it seems I'm on the up and up...and not unlike an ill-considered yet somehow inevitable river crossing, I've reached the other side, even if I'm soaking wet and still have several hundred miles to travel and perhaps a few more rivers to cross. Anyway, it's good to be here.

This afternoon I ended up, through a series of events that started some time ago, listening to a podcast of a few middle-aged guys talking about Jung, and dreams, and their thoughts on all that and a few other things.  Despite my initial reaction--my tolerance for intellectual conversation seems to have diminished rather severely, for reasons that I cannot explain or do not wish to explore, ironically enough--their banter helped while away the last hour of my day.  On the way home--perhaps by mere coincidence--I remembered a pretty damn significant dream I had last night, or this morning, which reminded me, in turn, of a dream I had the night before, which was equally if not more significant.  

In the dream, I was exploring or simply traveling a beautiful shoreline on a large, deeply blue body of water, stretching to the horizon.  The shoreline was lush, and green, and not unpopulated; there were houses here and there.  I made my way to a tall tree, a pine I believe, on the edge of the water.  There I climbed the tree, or a very tall ladder, until I reached a small platform high above the water, at least two hundred feet or maybe twice that.  There was no railing; just a rectangular platform with a small cutout toward the shore-side where the ladder came through, and continued up to another platform just like it, up above.  As is the case in all my dreams of this kind, I was at ease with being at that height even as it made me anxious.  I looked over the edge, and took in the distance to the water below.  As always, once I became aware of my precarious position I was suddenly filled with the visceral fear of falling, that irrational state which renders one helplessly frozen, out of sheer terror.  And as usual, this is not where I fall, or wake up.  This is where I must climb further.

So I turn, and climb shakily up to the next level.  Upon arriving there, in a few clockwork motions which I may have inadvertently initiated, the platform detaches from the tree, or tower.  I realize, as usual, that I am about to fall a very, very long way, and I cannot possibly survive a fall of that distance.  (Though I will, of course.  This has happened to me in so many dreams, under so many different circumstances--once, in my Volvo wagon, no less--that I'm getting the hang of it by now.)  As the platform gives way, I suddenly find that I am in a small structure, much like an alpine gondola.  It begins to fall as I try to take control, swooping close to the treetops and the houses on the shoreline.  It's a wobbly ride at first--the dynamics of steering such an object are surprisingly realistic--but within moments I am cruising over rooftops and maneuvering through a town, which becomes a city, of architecture most organically beautiful... I'm drawn further in, not so much out of a desire to explore the city, which I am enjoying nonetheless, but because I am still not yet able to do much more than steer, and among all the buildings I have lost sight of the water, which I can see only as bright patches of blue, at the end of distant avenues... My heart sinks a little, as the shore seems further away at each turn I make, but the city draws me in, in its beauty, at the same time that I am resistant to let myself be influenced by its elegant affluence.  I am trying to make my way back to the water, but against my intentions I am pulled further and further in, passing through public squares and navigating through tight streets and alleys.  The place is like a cross between an Earthship community and Paris, France, with gorgeously sculpted surfaces everywhere, and glass, and gardens.  I've been in another city much like this one just once before, in my dreams.  In this one it hits me that I'm in Vancouver.  (I've always wanted to visit there; I hear it's nice.)  I'm now close enough that I am beginning to draw attention from people below, and soon I am negotiating the streets and sidewalks not unlike the way a cyclist might find a line through pedestrian traffic.  I am growing anxious to find a way out, but instead I end up inside a large atrium or mall, of sorts, where women and men are dining and having intellectual conversations about art and food and engineering, in the way that liberal urban-dwellers do. I would like to avoid all of this and fly back to the green hills and water, but I have taken a wrong turn, it seems, and I'm now deep inside this complex. There's a man at a counter in a store, making or selling or buying something that feels from a distance like glass or kaleidoscopes, or fine wooden tools... He seems to have some relationship to me or importance in the dream, but I am reluctant to engage him, which in retrospect was probably a poor decision on my part, even though I was dreaming.  I press on and make it outside, onto a greyish plaza, but I can see nothing but buildings, all around. This is all I remember.

I believe this is the first time I have ever flown a craft in my dreams--I've only ever flown my own body, before, as far as I can recall.  Anyway, I'm not sure what Jung or Freud would have to say about all this, but I'm interested to see what comes my way over the next few days--and nights.  Curiouser and curiouser...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tulip, or not tulip...

I planted the rest of the tulips today.  I'd started them on Sunday, but for various reasons--a sad call from a friend who'd just lost a friend, and heartbreak and football, and also having to re-think my entire planting scheme--I didn't get them all done before sundown.  I'd planned to finish them up on Tuesday, but for various reasons--mainly a really dull meeting that I probably should have just walked out of--it was practically dark by the time I was ready to get started, and I didn't feel I'd do a great job of planting by headlamp.  Anyway, I left work early today to finish the job, and they're all now tucked away for the winter, waiting to warm my mind and open my heart next spring...assuming they survive (and I will. assume, that is.  and survive, of course.).

There were, all told, forty-two tulips of six different varieties in various hues of purple, orange and yellow, along with sixteen graceful allium, though one of the latter had rotted to dust.  (Not exactly a spectacular number, but those babies aren't cheap, even when they're on end-of-season sale.)  I'd originally planned on putting them all out on the boulevard, among the native plants between the walk and the street, but decided instead to place them where I would more often see them: a small cluster near the front doorstep, and the rest out back where I might enjoy them on the walk out to the garage on a workday, or while sipping tea at the kitchen table over breakfast.  I think they'll look quite fine, standing behind the bright green shoots of garlic in the spring, and resting among bachelors buttons and poppies in the summer.

During my last-ditch searches for inspiration/insight about where exactly to plant them, and with what else, considering THE FUTURE (as if any of my long-term garden plans really mattered at that point, when I had all of forty minutes to get 'er done and get ready before I had to leave), I dug up several good suggestions for companion plants, one of which happened to be followed by the line "NEVER under estimate the power of a RED HEAD" (smiley face dancing)... which oddly enough was kind of just what I needed to be reminded today.  Why was I looking for someone else's advice on something I already know how to do?  So what if I have to dig them all up and start over again next year, not that it wouldn't be a whole lot nicer to build upon work I've already done.  Who cares if they're not part of the master plan, if there ever was (or will be) one.  Everything is temporary, and also, I have a knack for this sort of thing, so what's the worry?  Wherever they end up going, they will--no doubt--be amazing and beautiful, as long as they are alive.

It felt good to kneel, to feel my body sink into the soft ground, to pull out the still-tender calendula and shake the loose damp soil from its roots, to plunge a trowel into the dirt without meeting any resistance, to firmly press a bulb into the bottom of each hole, to pat the earth down and cover it with leaves... it's funny how something as simple as the texture of the soil can make you feel, sometimes.  There are days when it's a real challenge.  Today it was more like a favorite quilt.  Is that why they're called beds?  But I digress... 

And, speaking of amazing and beautiful, this evening I was absent-mindedly gazing at leftover images of tulips while talking with a friend on the phone, when one particularly lovely combination of yellow and pink caught my eye... I clicked through, but instead of the field of froofy flowers I had expected to find, I was met by these rather arresting images of skinless women.  Which in a way goes to show that you just never know what'll turn up in your garden. You just have to take a chance and dig in.

Monday, November 18, 2013

past full / on the way home

i wonder if you saw the moon, 
as it rose, golden as a foreign coin 
stamped from an ancient country 
whose unmasterable language 
i would learn by heart

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All Saints Day

I'm in the parking lot at the hospital, two hours from home and two hours from sunrise.  Our newest family member will be arriving soon, perhaps with the dawn.  He or she will share my father's birthday, and I have no one to tell but the whole, wide world.

I miss so much, sometimes...but I am so very blessed, so very fortunate, so very happy that I will not be missing this morning.  I have a feeling it's going to be a beautiful sunrise...
Peace, and safe passage to all traveling souls.