Finding the Deeper Meanings

Three parts to last night’s sleepless-disturbed dreams:
I think the cats were doing Goblin Parties in the night, because in the dream I am watching a family of lynxes in the field across the road. It’s sunny and snowy and they’re walking through the corn stubble. Two are either fighting or mating or playing, because they’re yowling and tussling (cue the cats). The interesting thing about the lynxes is that they’re tiger-lynxes. They’re shaped and sized like lynxes, but striped like tigers, with black and white fur, and a ridge of rusty orange along their backs. Later, they’re in the house, and I can get them to come out of hiding by banging on pots and pans.

Then Jon and I are finding our way into a park somewhere, up on the top of a hill, through the woods, sort of like the drive in to Rocky Ridge Park if we were coming from the other direction. There’s a camp at the top, beautiful old buildings, sunset over a lake where a meditating woman is doing yoga in the water, even though it’s winter. We park by the lodge and go in to see if our reserved room is ready. The man who is in charge of the rooms, cleaning and renting, seems to have forgotten that we were coming, or was hoping we wouldn’t. He starts slamming around the halls and rooms, swearing under his breath. Another guest sits with us in the hall as we wait, chuckling at the angry cleaning guy. I am pretty sure that I have been in different versions of this camp in dreams before.

Then I am in one of the high-rise hotels that I often visit in dreams. This time I am there as a teacher, or for a teachers’ conference or something. I go to visit one of the older and very experienced teachers. He tells me the logo on one of his school flags, which he finds very humorous: “Please Pick Up the Machinations.” (I think I have that correct. It may have been Don’t rather than Please.) He thought it very witty. I head back to my office room in the hotel, which is open to the hall (more of a cubby than a room, actually), and one of my friends is there (not someone I recognize as a being I know in waking life, but someone I am very attached to in the dream). He says he is there to eat with me, and I am really touched that he realized I was feeling lonely and confused. I offer him the lemonade packets that were left in my office space by the hotel folks–he doesn’t want any coffee.

All of this wandering through spaces semi-familiar, places that exist on the margins of reality, where I return, again and again, in dreamings. I know I am feeling confused about finding my way through some really important places in my waking life, and it makes sense that I would see it here in dreamland. In the last two sequences, one person was angry that I had appeared, and a second was helpfully offering me advice, and a third was quietly willing to be present to me in my confusion. If this is indeed about my confusion regarding how/whether to publish, and what to work on first, and how to go about it, perhaps I need to seek out a friend who is willing to listen and be present, and a publishing mentor or life coach (I’ll take lemonade and witty jokes). I feel like the mentor has given me a message to pay attention to. Unfortunately, unless I can remember whether he said Don’t or Please, and until I can decipher what the heck it means, I don’t know if I can make much use of it.

Oddly, I have dreamed of lynxes before, and it was also during Twelvenight. Lynxes are secretive and elusive, watchers. Lynxes see things others miss. Tigers are about courage and will and sensuality.

1. Walking around the property yesterday, I caught a strong whiff of Fox. I learned years ago to distinguish the scent, and I often catch it for a brief moment in wild places. I always second guess myself, but yesterday I walked back up hill for thirty paces or so, and walked back down, and caught it again. Fox is one of the guiding archetypes in the wisdom cards I received for Christmas, and just that morning I had been meditating on a card of a little fox family.
2. The gleaming surfaces of freshly-scrubbed copper-bottomed pots. I like the way they seem to take on an extra shine in the twenty seconds after you finish scrubbing.
3. Lattes. These mornings, I have been making coconut or almond milk lattes with coconut oil and vanilla and honey. A lovely way to start the morning.
4. Synchronicity. I have been contemplating the word gnosis (deep, more intuitive spiritual understanding of the world), and this morning on a FB thread, where my friend Hussein (a first-language Arabic speaker) and I were discussing the role of breathing in poetry and speech and communication, he mentioned his love of fiqh, the study of deep meanings.
5. Continuing in Time Out of Time. Oh, I’ll do work this week, too, but it’s a gift to be in this space of restfulness and contemplation.

May we walk in search of deep understanding.

Honoring Kwanzaa with those who celebrate it: Today’s Word is one of my favorite Swahili words: Ujamaa. Cooperative economics. How can we create local systems that develop economic justice for all? How can we share our finances in ways that build up the community?

“Don’t let the tamed ones tell you how to live.” —Jonny Ox

“The best way for us to cultivate fearlessness in our daughters and other young women is by example. If they see their mothers and other women in their lives going forward despite fear, they’ll know it is possible.” —Gloria Steinem

Mark Twain: “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Frederick Buechner:
“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

“A night finally came when I woke up sweaty and angry and afraid I’d never go back to sleep again. All those stories were rising up in my throat. Voices were echoing in my neck, laughter behind my ears, and I was terribly, terribly afraid that I was finally as crazy as my kind was supposed to be. But the desire to live was desperate in my belly, and the stories I had hidden all those years were the blood and bone of it. To get it down, to tell it again, to make something—by God, just once to be real in the world, without lies or evasions or sweet-talking nonsense. It was a rough beginning—my own shout of life against death, of shape and substance against silence and confusion. It was most of all my deepest, abiding desire to live fleshed and strengthened on the page, a way to tell the truth as a kind of magic not cheapened or distorted by a need to please any damn body at all. Without it, I cannot imagine my own life. Without it, I have no way to tell you who I am.” —Dorothy Allison, from “Deciding to Live”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov:
“Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”

“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

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