Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lion Confrontation and the Gelatin Hockey-Puck Gift

Lion  from dream
mixed media
soft pastels and acrylic
click image to view larger

Lion Confrontation and the Gelatin Hockey-Puck Gift

I am with a group of people that includes Sara and Erin at a wild animal Park with free-ranging wild animals.  We are on foot, not in expedition vehicles.  I leave the group briefly to climb to the top of a large hill, and from there, I see below me a huge maned lion chasing a wildebeest.  There are 4 or 5 wildebeests running ahead, but he has his eye on one and as the other veer off to the sides, he follows the one.  The lion and the wildebeest are running from my right to my left, approaching me at an angle.  Suddenly, another lion appears from the left and rears up, roaring, confronting the first lion.  The wildebeest escapes.  I realize how close they both are and am frightened and run down the hill to where the others are to warn them.  I am afraid, but the tour guide and others seem to think we are safe.  That the hill between us protects us.

We continue our conversation and at some point later, I show Sara and Erin that I have this hockey-puck-shaped gelatin block with which I am going to make a gift for Alden. Saturday, September 19, 2015

What does this remind you of?

First, the dream was very long and complex and I feel sad that I can only remember such a small part of it.
I am, of course, much sadder that I am missing Alden’s babyhood, Frankie’s childhood, and the other three grandchildren, too. L  I wish I were rich enough and healthy enough to travel much more frequently to see the grandchildren.  (And Sara and Erin et al!)  And I wish we weren’t estranged from the other three grandchildren.

I know that female lions normally do the hunting.  However, I dream most often of male lions, and they seem very threatening and scary in my dreams.  I may dream of male lions because I am afraid of men.  Especially roaring (angry) men.

When I was hiking alone in Colorado, at one point, I came out on the top of a cliff and looked down into a marshy wetland and saw a grizzly bear.  I had read about female hikers being mauled and killed by grizzlies and was a little worried and fearful. The cliff I was on was not very tall, maybe fifteen feet.  It was however, very steep, vertical, and I knew the grizzly bear could not climb it.  I also knew from experience that is it often possible to climb around a cliff.  However, the bear paid no attention to me and continued on its way. 
If I were in a shamanic frame of mind, I might consider the lion(s) to be “spirit guide(s)” with something to tell or teach me.

Yesterday, I went a field trip with my Japanese woodblock printing class to see an exhibit of prints at the Lawrence Street Gallery.  There were some gelatin prints there and I told Lori and Joan that I had considered buying gelatin plates to make monoprints at Utrech when I was there with Sam and Joan (and other times).  At the exhibit, there were books handmade from prints, and I told Joan and Lori that that was why I had originally signed up for the printmaking class, besides thinking it would be fun.  I thought I could maybe make children’s books with woodblock prints.  I had no idea, never having taken a class in woodblock printing, how complex the process was.  Cindy and Lori both take a YEAR to make a single print.  That would totally not be conducive to making gift books, which would need a number of prints. (Maybe potato prints would work better!)  Also, yesterday, I picked up a circular piece of plywood upon which I considered making a painting to go with the others I have tentatively made for Alden (which need to be framed.)

Which brings me to the topic of guilt, I wanted to make books and art for Frankie and Alden, but I have so many ongoing projects and there’s been such upheaval in our lives that I haven’t been able to complete any in quite some time (including one from two years ago that is partly done, Frankie goes to France, Italy, the Pinery, Welcome Home Alden, New Kid, The Welcome Home generic, and one I started for Gail that was supposed to be for last Christmas.  That was a version of one I made for Frankie, but I wanted to include the new painting, since I finished the painting—I only need to clear the gutter and upload it. And then there are a number of kids’ books I’ve written and thought I shouldn’t do until I finished the others.)  So I feel sad and guilty.

Once a project gets on the back burner, it’s difficult to pull it forward again. L  Because I’m immersed in my current projects, such as carving the blocks for my Japanese woodblock printing class.  Which I’m having insufficient time to work on because of my novel and the other things going on in our lives.

Speaking of guilt, I got to bed later last night than I intended.  Since it was early, and I didn’t get a story, I read a chapter of The Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland, which I am loving.  Then, I read a chapter of How to Fix your Novel.  I was only going to read one chapter, and go to bed, because I was feeling utterly exhausted, but the chapter was short and I continued reading.  I read three chapters, and of course, that book has assignments having to do with the novel you are currently working on and one of them seemed particularly relevant, so I started working on it and then next I knew, I was eating (some salami) and working on my novel and the next thing I knew, it was 11:41.  I dropped everything and went to bed, but I’d meant to go to bed early.  And for me, being in bed does not mean being asleep.  I couldn’t sleep.  My goal is to get to bed by 10:30 and get up by 7 AM or earlier, and when I sleep later (or lie in bed later, more like it, because I am tired, but can’t sleep), I feel guilty that I am wasting time.  And I feel guilty for going to bed late, because then I am more likely to get insufficient sleep and waste some of my morning work time.

Speaking of guilt, I was reading a (“stoopid”) article about type A personalities which said that they are most likely to die of a heart attack.  I don’t want to be a type A personality!  L  (I don’t want to die at all, I have too much to do!)  You’re a Type-A Personality if your to-do list is ever-present (and ever-growing), if, in fact, even your to-do lists have to-do lists (or, at the very least, lots of highlights and annotations). “You know you’re a Type A person when you go over your to-do list first thing in the morning and you’re multitasking to a superhuman amount,” says Melissa Heisler, stress-reduction expert and author of “From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop ‘Doing’ Life and Start Living It.” So use your affinity for color-coding and list making to your advantage. Capitalize on your organizational skills to help your non-Type A family members and coworkers and motivate them to do well without setting unrealistic expectations, says Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology. Take charge of planning your next family vacation, volunteer to head up a new project at work or organize a weekend getaway for your friends. But maybe, just maybe, learn to delegate some of those action items.  (I don’t want to do any of those things—I want to organize my novel, my kids’ books, my art, and my love for Keith.)
I’ve been keeping color-coded to-do lists for years.  And I feel guilty about doing it and guilty that I don’t get everything on it done.  But there is more on it than anyone could ever do!  But I can’t leave anything out!  (Except what I finally forget!)  It stresses me out and the things I don’t have on the list also stress me out (like cleaning, for example!)

I have other characteristics of a Type-A personality as well, but I am getting OFF the topic of the dream and have much else I MUST do. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hypnogogics: The Puppet man, blood on the cinch and other images of insomnia

Puppet man, Scary evil man with sharp teeth
hypnogogic image from last night
Blood on the cinch
Hypnogogic image from last night
Avocado, watch, toll money, jelly jar
oil pastels on textured paper in handmade sketchbook
Insomnia painting/sketch for me
by Heidi Chester
watercolor, oil pastels, colored pencils.

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(Click the back button to return to story)
Heidi's bouquet
watercolor, by me
Last night, I suffered from insomnia.  This is, unfortunately, fairly common for me, though I've discovered that if I avoid certain foods, I sleep much better.  Last night, I did not sleep well at all, and as often happens, I had weird and scary hypnogogic images so bright as to be almost hallucinatory.  Those are the first two images.  The third I drew ("painted") with oil pastels at the motel when I was awake at night.  The fourth image my friend Heidi drew for me in my handmade sketchbook when I was visiting her, and the lsat I painted of her bouquet right before bed.  A delayed bedtime, due to doing art.

In the blood on the cinch painting, I was rubbing blood and a beautiful highly decorative cinch on my horse.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beater Mess

Beater Mess

I am standing by the front door with a group of children, nearly ready to leave with them to go someplace when my mother hands me a beater to lick.  It is thickly covered with super chocolaty batter.  One of the kids bumps me and the beater with its batter falls to the floor, which is covered with a very new and clean-looking rug.  I immediately pick it up, but a huge amount of batter sticks to the floor.  I say to the milling kids, be careful not to step in the batter, and one boy comes over and intentionally sticks his foot in the batter on the rug and then backs up, tracking it to the door.  He stands with his back to the door wiping batter from his foot on the door.  I am horrified by the mess, guilty and worried about getting it clean again, but I do nothing about it because I want to get the batter licked off the beater before I move to try to clean up.  I worry about the kids tracking through the mess and making it worse.  My mother reappears and the mess is miraculously cleaned up without a trace or stain.  I feel relieved but guilty that I didn’t help.  Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What does this remind you of?

I am reading the book, It was Me all Along, by Andi Mitchell, about food, over-eating, obesity, which was given to me by my daughter, Sara, for my birthday.  In the opening section, the author describes, among other things, licking raw cake batter from bowls and beaters.  Her mother gives her one to lick.  My mother did that too, and of course, I continued to do that as an adult.  Probably, reading It was Me All Along yesterday stimulated the dream.  I loved to lick beaters.  It’s one of the reasons I rarely bake anymore, because licking the beaters and the bowl etc. is so very tempting to me, even if I am cooking something I shouldn’t eat.  A huge discrepancy exists between what I would like to eat and what it is safe for me to eat with my allergies, food addictions and health issues.

I also have issues around messes, messes I make, and messes I have to clean.  I feel guilty about making messes and about not keeping things as clean as they “should be,” but I absolutely hate cleaning; it is one of my least favorite things in the whole world. (Although I do like things to be reasonably clean, neat and organized, getting them that way is not my forte.)  And I worry specifically about the expensive cream-colored rugs in our house, including under the dining-room table! (Seems so weird to have a rug under a place where people eat!)  The amount of batter on the dream beater was way out of proportion to what a beater could actually hold.  And it kept expanding, like the amount of anything sweet and chocolaty that I would want to eat if I ever allowed myself to do so.

In the dream, I also felt guilty that I had a beater to lick and none of the other kids did.  That didn’t seem fair, yet I was unwilling to give it up.  I have guilt about having things that other people don’t have and need, about not donating money to worthy causes, etc.

The boy who came over and stuck his foot in the batter reminds of my brother Robert and Graham, their contrariness, of which I have a large dollop as well.

On my recent trip to Syracuse and New Hampshire, I felt guilty that I did not help more with cooking and finances. Also sad that I lost time at Heidi’s dealing with the phone.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Forest at Night IV
by me, Mary Stebbins Taitt

“Ya cain’t get they-ah from Hee-ah!”

I am going to a personal retreat at a rented cottage that seems to be (in my mental map) south of Syracuse (Tully, Pompeii?) in the hills.  I am driving my normal little silver Cruze headed down there, happy and excited.  I start feeling a little confused, like I’m not total sure of the directions, but I think I can find my way there.  I come to a construction site and the road is totally torn up, the pavement is gone.  I consider continuing on the road past the ‘closed” signs until I see ahead huge earth moving equipment.  Then I become a little nervous about continuing and decide to turn around.  It appears from the tracks that other people have done the same thing and I follow the well-worn tracks of a U-turn that takes me onto a different road that seems to be heading the way I want to go.  But a little while later, the road diverges west.  I keep turning on other roads trying to head back south, but every road takes me in the wrong direction. The next thing I know, I am walking south, determined to get where I am going.  I run into other people also trying to get to cottages in the same area and we talk about the cooks that will be preparing our meals.  The cooks are fat.  The other people are younger than I am and walk faster.  The trail we are following takes up over what appears to be a mountain pass.  It gets progressively more difficult and dangerous.  The people ahead of me enter a mass of huge, pointy rocks and boulders.  I follow, but a few minutes later, they return.  “You can’t get through?” I ask.  “No,” they say.  I consider going to look for myself, but they are younger and fitter than I am, and if they can’t get through, I probably can’t either.
I wake up distressed.  Dream, Thursday, April 24, 2014

How does this make you feel?  What does it remind you of?

“I consider going to look for myself, but they are younger and fitter than I am, and if they can’t get through, I probably can’t either.”  I need to remember that that statement is not necessarily true—think of climbing Seward, Donaldson and Emmons, when I was only one out of 26 people, all younger than me, who made it to the top.  (Speaking of which, a “secret” inner goal of mine is to be able to climb again, but I feel very discouraged about that happening [which is why it is secret].)

I am feeling confused about where it is that I want to be going.  I want to be healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually), I want to deepen my relationship with Keith and with Frankie and my kids and I want to publish my books.  I want to be lean.  But there is also the feeling of something deeper.  In the dream, I seem to be going to a personal writing retreat (not an organized one, but one I set up for myself, like the one at 7th Lake.)  But since this dream theme is constantly recurring, I need to explore it a little. I would like to do some special work on it, including writing and journeying, as well as talking to Brian and friends).

I feel as if I need to pick ONE project that is the most likely to succeed and try to keep it on or very near the front burner until it is finished.  But meanwhile also look at the trajectory of my life and deep goals and see where I might be failing or headed wrong, or how I can remove the roadblocks.  I also feel that for me, it is OK to work on more than one project at a time, because they act as mind cleansers and feel each other and give me a break when I feel mentally exhausted from.  But not more than 2 or 3 on the front burners.  (A regular stove has four burners, so maybe that’s a good symbolic analogy-2 on the front burner, two on the back burners, the rest in the fridge and freezer.)

In the dream, I feel sad and thwarted.  In my phenomenal life, my health, my writing and other aspects of my life (tidiness, cleaning) seem to meet with one obstacle after another.  Some are internally generated and some are from outside myself, or seem to be.

The Forest at Night III
By me, Mary Stebbins Taitt
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Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Lesson and the Game

The Lesson and the Game
digital composit of images harvested from internet
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The Lesson and the Game

My first round of practice teaching occurs at a mixed-race, inner-city school.  Most of the kids are black and the teacher is also black and male.  The two student teachers are my friend and classmate, Hank (Henry Phalange) and me.  Hank, biracial, is equally at home with whites or blacks and can switch speech and mannerisms in the blink of an eye.  I, on the other hand, in spite of having been here for some time, have trouble making out the speech of some of the children.

The lesson for the day is trees, tree ecology and tree identification.  We study trees in math, social studies, reading and science.  During science, Mr. Hollinger passes out leaves to each student, and to Hank and me. The leaves seem to be hand-carved out of ebony or some other dark expensive looking wood, but they also feel very strong.  Each leaf is on a black chain and can be worn around the neck.

Hank’s is an American elm, Mr. Hollinger’s a white ash and mine a sugar maple.  Mr. Hollinger’s looks fragile, with its separate leaf-lets, but I finger it, and it seems sturdy.  Chantelle has a big-tooth aspen, Tyrone a cottonwood, Egyptia a red oak, DeShaun a white oak, Jonas an American beech, Micah a chestnut and so on.  We talk about the characteristics of the trees and walk in the new school arboretum so that each child can find his or her tree.  We learn three things about each tree, as we go around, and then, when we stop at the end, the kids each recite the three things about their own tree and the other kids repeat them.

My three things are that we can make maple syrup and candy from the sugar maple, that they are used as shade trees, and that they are part of the beech-birch maple hemlock climax forest in this area.  Also we say the Latin name, for me, Acer sacharum.  I didn’t learn the Latin names of trees until I got to college, so it seems strange to be teaching them to these kids.

When we come back in, the girls in the class are sent next door to Miss Johanna’s room and her boys are sent to our room.  Mr. Hollister pulls down the room-darkening shades, leaving only a slit of light visible at the bottom of three of the shades.  The room falls into darkness.  He directs our class sit on one lab table and the other class sit on the other.  Then he says we’re going play a game called pickpocket. I am immediately concerned, and wish I had been sent over to Miss Johanna’s with the girls.  I am guessing they are not playing pickpocket.

The object of the game is to acquire as many leaves as possible.  He does not say if the leaves will be returned, and I feel fearful of losing my own leaf and of other kids losing theirs and being sad.  I think that this is an inappropriate game, and I am unhappy about it.  However, I am the student teacher, and at this point am only observing, so I keep my opinions to myself.

When Mr. Hollister blows the whistle and the game starts, I back into a corner and hope that everyone forgets me.  The room falls into pandemonium, kids dashing everywhere, hooting and laughing.  Unlike me, they seem to be happy.  At one point, a whole crowd of them sweeps past me, and someone grabs one my arms and I twirl helplessly into the running mass of kids and bang against a lab table, not hard enough to hurt, but I am surrounded by bodies moving, thumping and laughing.

Then I realize my leaf is gone.  I pat myself down and I definitely don’t have it.  I feel a sense of loss and grief and also anger and something akin to hatred for being forced to play this stupid game. It seems to go on and on and I make my way back to the corner and sulk.  I have no desire to touch male students in the dark searching for hidden leaves.  The whole idea seems ludicrous and inappropriate to me.

Finally, Mr. Hollister blows his whistle and the game stops.  Kids turn on the lights, pull up the shades, and hold up their trophies—the ones who have trophies.  The others stand back, but they don’t look sad.  They look surprisingly cheerful.  Hank comes over to stand by me.  He is grinning ear it ear.  “I got your leaf,” he says, and holds out his hand.  I stare at all the stuff in his hand.  “Here,” he says, “take it,” and pushes his hand closer. 

Hanging from his hand is my leaf, my camera, my necklace, and laying in his hand is my cell phone, my wallet, a pen, a paint-brush in a metal tube, my glasses.  Everything is intact.  I look in my wallet and my money and cards seem to be there. 

Hank looks pleased with himself, and happy.  He seems to think I should praise him. But I feel violated and sad.  I wonder if he or anyone else has taken anything from me and not returned it.  Something I will miss later, when it is too late.  We stand staring at each other, our face inches apart.  When he leans and gives me a small kiss on my cheek, I steel myself against drawing back, not from Hank, who I love, but from this terrible game and his acceptance of it.

Dream April 5, 2014

Sugar maple leaf by me,
Mary Stebbins Taitt
How does this make you feel?  What does it remind you of?

It may have been influenced by Reality TV, movies and books, such as Hunger Games.  I have fearfully been avoiding seeing or reading any of them, but they leak into my consciousness anyway.  I guess I am a big wimp.  I hate even the idea of them.

I worked for a number of years teaching in inner city schools, but never played a game called pickpocket.  I have no idea where that came from except perhaps because I have jury duty coming up and worry about the pickpockets downtown.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Dream of Floating

A Dream of Floating
acrylic, envelope
I painted this dream theme on an envelope.  I don't know how well it will hold up to the journey.

I am still sick, do not seem to be getting better.  Doctor tomorrow.  :-(

Monday, June 17, 2013

little dream sketches

I am in a sketchbook exchange program and these are little dream sketches for Aya's pocket.  The pocket is in the back of the sketchbook.  Aya's pocket says, "add dreams here" (Or something like that).

In my flying dreams, I am not always sure
if I am flying or falling.

Sometimes, I can walk through walls
in my dreams!
Click images to view larger.
These are just little, done with gouche on red-colored card stock.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Lion Nightmare

Nightmare:  The Lion
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We have out-of-town company and I am sick.  When they are sitting around talking and drinking, I keep them company in my nightgown doing art.

In the nightmare, which woke me up in literal terror, I was at the coliseum watching the lions about to eat the Christians when one of the lions spotted me in the stands, bounded over the wall and up over the seats toward me.  He was coming for ME.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nightmare: Not what he seemed

Nightmare:  When you get him home,
he's not what he seemed
(Glass eye, wig, wooden leg and silver nose.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Worst Nightmares

"When Confronted with our Worst Nightmares
I like to fight back with Flowers"
Collaboration Andrea and Mary
mixed media
water color, acrylic, pigment pens, colored pencil
click image to view larger

I have a lot of dreams of being chased down dark alleys by men who intend me harm.  They are nightmares, because I wake up terrified.

Click on the image to see it much larger.

I am still sick and my work is going slowly.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sexual Propositions and a Giant Leech

Sexual Propositions and a Giant Leech

I am in a bar at a resort with a lot of other people and am sitting at a table with friends, wrapped in a towel.  Eric Potter comes up and, standing behind me, slips his hands down under the towel to cup my breasts.  He makes lewd suggestive sexy remarks about having sex with me and I am feeling aroused by his touch.[1]

Someone suggests skinny-dipping.  I am standing on a dock (wooden walkway) with another woman looking into the dark pond/lake.  The water is cold and somehow threatening and people standing around naked are hesitant to go in.  I dive right in and immediately feel as if I have made a mistake.  But I’m not sure what the mistake is, and I swim out to the middle of the lake.

Suddenly, a giant leech the size of a boa constrictor attacks me.  It is black, with a head like a planarian and a big mouth which is struggling to attach itself to me, I fight with the thing, which is very very strong, and I am tiring and the mouth, which I am trying to hold away, is getting closer and closer.

A boat comes up (a houseboat-like boat) and a woman with a syringe and needle tries to subdue the giant leech.  I am worried she will kill it, and even though I do not want to be bitten by it, I don’t want her to kill it.  She struggles and struggles and finally, the thing goes limp.  Friday, February 17, 2012

What does this remind you of?


Sex!  Unpleasant and unwanted sex, rape.

Okay, starting at the beginning, Eric Potter was my second lover and the one who broke my maidenhead.  (OUCH!)  Somehow Peter Black did not manage to do that.  We had to stuff ice cubes up my crotch to stop the bleeding.  (Eric is now an old, fat man in a nursing home who says “he can’t get it up any more.”) (And I am an old, fat woman!) L

The dark, threatening waters remind me of: sex, the unconscious, nightmares, therapy sessions.

I rarely swim any more, because Keith doesn’t like to.  I used to love to swim, and when I was younger, would dive right in.  Now, on the rare occasions when I swim, I go in more gingerly.

The giant leach is shaped like a huge black penis—like a big horse’s penis.  The idea of being attacked by a “giant penis” reminds me of rape and unwanted sex.

I used to see a lot of horses penises while doing my horse research, and always wondered why women might want to have sex with them—didn’t make sense to me.  Too big!  Some Russian Czarina, Catherine the Great, was supposedly killed trying to have sex with a horse.  What a horrible, crazy idea.  L (The claim that her death was caused by a sexual incident involving a horse is a myth and apparently has no basis.)[2]

It also reminds me of the time when a real boa constrictor tried to kill me and Rachel, my boss, “rescued” me, after Bob ran out of the building.

There was a period of time in my life when I lived in a commune and went skinny-dipping with my fellow commune members and other local hippies.  I was never entirely comfortable with it, although I do like skinny-dipping in safe places with a single companion or alone.

The leech, going limp at the end, is also phallic.  When the giant leech goes limp, the threat is over.

I no longer go to bars often, except occasionally to hear music (friends).  I used to go fairly often with friends when I was younger and one time, sitting in a bar yukking it up with friends, I suddenly had an “epiphany” (or, in this case, moment of clarity) that I wasn’t really having fun, and I stopped going.

In what ways do I feel that I am making a mistake and am going ahead anyway?
Ø  Over committing myself
Ø  Taking this poetry class[3]
Ø  Being too busy to work on and complete already started projects.
Ø  The Rolandale House
Ø  Marriage (sometimes)(Though less and less often, but still sometimes.)
Ø  Attempting to mother or not mother Graham.[4] Finding a balance.

[1] I may be having more sex dreams because I am getting less actual sex lately.
[2] Although grossly overweight, Catherine loved men - a great many of them, in fact - over the course of her 34-year reign. And then, it was rumored, she died during a botched attempt to make love (if it can be called such a thing) to a horse. The rumor may have been spread by Catherine's Polish enemies, who resented her for annexing much of Poland. (On the list of European royalty's leisure activities, "overrunning Poland" has historically been a close second to "Sex.") At any rate, Catherine never had sex with a horse, and one wonders why anyone felt compelled to make up such a story, since her actual death was plenty humiliating. While straining on the toilet, she had a stroke.  (Like Keith’s first wife, Florence.)(Hope I don’t go that way.) Also confirmed in Wikipedia.
[3] I am vacillating between feeling misunderstood and unappreciated and feeling worthless and incompetent in this current poetry class.  L  It makes me want to give up poetry.  Or at least poetry classes and competitions.
[4] I had a really nice “bonding” time with Graham helping him make a tie-dye T-shirt for his trip to Italy for the Aquarius song. We went to the store together, picked out a kit, came home and I helped him fold and tie it and explained how to dye it, and he did and it came out nice.  Made me remember, miss and wish for the time when he liked to sit on my lap and I felt closer to him.  L

Monday, February 13, 2012

Save my husband!

Save my husband!

We are at this strange pool place that seems to be some kind of installment rather than a swimming place, but people are swimming in one of the pools.  There are a series of pools with narrow cement walkways between them.  Somehow, Keith falls into to one of the pools and disappears.  I run to where the people are and scream and scream for help.  They are so slow coming I say over and over and over, please hurry, every second counts.  They don’t hurry, but eventually the come and walk slowly through the pool.  One small obnoxious man finds Keith and gives him CPR and Keith revives.  I am so desperately relived and grateful—I keep thinking the man, even though I don’t like him and want to give him a reward but he goes off with the other people back to the other pool.  Keith is kind of limp and exhausted and his eyes are wrong—he looks as if he is blind or as if his cornea has separated from his eyes or as if there are shining discs inserted.  Or weird contact lenses.  I am gathering our things and Keith disappears.  I don’t know if he walked off or fell back into the pool.  I look in several pools—one of them is opaque and milky.  I wake up in a panic.  Monday, February 13, 2012

+++++++++What does this remind you of?

My good friend Pam’s husband just died this week (last week, 5 days ago) and of course, she is bereaved and terribly lonely and upset.  My good friend Hal recently lost his wife.  Herb was Keith’s age, and Ann even younger.  They both had cancer.  Reminders of mortality.  Anyone could die at any time, but the older you get, the more likely you are to die.  I want to KEEP Keith and myself alive, for as long as reasonably possible.  I am afraid both of suffering and of death itself.  And I have a lot to do. (A lot I want to accomplish!)

Bruce’s cousin David Farnsworth’s daughter Ellen fell out of a boat into a lake and lay at the bottom of a lake for like half an hour and then was revived and was OK—that was 35 years ago or so and she is still alive and well and married and has children—the 40-degree water stopped the brain death.   Thus my shouting, “every second counts” over and over—I wanted to save him and to not have him be damaged.  I wanted him alive and well!

The pools installation was sort of like an old-fashions sewage treatment plant—but the water in most of the pools was clean.  (Perhaps it had once been a sewage treatment plant, but wasn’t full of sewage now.)

I was thinking about what you (Brian) said about how in my dreams, I am always the one who knows what to do and other seems to be stupid or slow.  I do not think that is always true, even in my dreams.  In real life, it is certainly NOT true.  However, there are many times in dreams and in life when other people do not see a need I see or believe in or are slow or stupid or otherwise impeding what seems necessary to me. I observe every day people who are smarter than I, know more than I, are more organized than I am, better writers, better artists, etc.  I do not, in waking life, consider myself the best at anything.  On the other hand, there seems to be a vast crowd of dolts and idiots surging around.  Watching other drivers can frighten one off the road, for example.  Reading things people forward (a bad habit) can make one question the intelligence and sanity of the sender.  (I think some people forward everything they get without a moment’s thought to its value.)  In this dream, when Keith disappeared, I did not know whether he left or had fallen in or what I did NOT know what to do.  (I often do not know what to do.)  In the first part, however, I knew we needed to walk across the pool hand-in-hand to find him, since we couldn’t see to the bottom of the pool.  (These were not regular swimming pools, and were old, and brown rather than blue and the water wasn’t entirely clear—more like pond water, but not sewage. Thus the foot-dragging for location.)

The human chain to locate possible drowning victims was a part of my past, a constant part of my childhood and my children’s childhood.  It always frightened me, especially as a child.  I was also frightened when my kids were little.

Interesting that I have to wonder if my sometimes (often) being in charge of things in dreams is a bad thing, and whether you (Brian) were pointing out a flaw in my personality.  Or is it a good thing?  Or is it just a thing?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crow Man and Heidi

Crowman and me
After The Crow Man, by Winterwolfe

Crow Man and Heidi

I am at the premiere presentation of Crow Man.  Scientists have taken a real, living crow and added human chromosomes and done a series of operations.  They intend to make him fully human, but have not finished yet.  Crow Man is about three feet tall.  His skin color is nearly a normal human color, pinkish, with a little grey left from the black.  His spine has been straightened he walks erect, his beak has been removed and his face looks human, though slightly strange.  He still has the beak, which has been expanded.  He holds it up to his face and he resembles a crow, he takes it away and he’s human again.  His hair is jet black and feathery.  His hips are wrong, still, and his has trouble walked and especially turning.  His feet are long and somewhat crippled—and bare.  They curl in such a way that he mainly walks on the outsides of his feet—more operations are scheduled for the hips and feet.  He walks around awkwardly and comes to where I am sitting talks to me.  I ask him questions and he replies.  He takes a like to me and gives me a kiss.  Not a romantic or sexual kiss, just a friendly kiss.  When he turns around and walks back the other way, I wipe the cooling drop of his spit from the side of my mouth.  Then, I look around in hopes no one saw me do that because it seems rude.  I don’t want to wipe away the kiss, only the spit and any germs it might contain.  But it seems like a fine line.  The audience, however, is engaged in watching Crow Man.  Or seems to be.

After the presentation is over, there is a reception, and people are sitting at picnic tables still listening to the scientists answer questions.  There will be food and beverage, but I want to go take a walk before it gets dark.  I go over to Heidi.  Keith is somewhere, too.  But Heidi doesn’t want to walk; she wants to stay and listen to the questions about Crow Man.  She says Keith wants to stay too, though Keith is not in evidence at the moment.  I try to talk her into coming, but she won’t come.  Finally, I go out to walk alone.  It seems to me that the questions and answers are all a rehash of what has already been said anyway. 

I am sad and a little upset and angry because the delay has caused it to get dark. I am in a strange and unfamiliar place and don’t know my way around.  I know there is a lake at the bottom of a long gradual hill and decide to go there first.  I can see the lake faintly in the distance and also a long lawn running down to it—all in the very dark dark. I walk down toward the lake and in the dark, I trip on a pipe or some pipe-like object protruding from the ground up to about mid-calf.  It hurts and I stumble and wake up.  Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What does this remind you of?

Ø  Shamanism:  First, and dream with talking animals reminds me of Shamanism, which I studied, including dream Shamanism.  This is bad time for me, right before Christmas, to work with the dream Shamanistically; I am too busy and that takes time.  Crows are very intelligent.  They are also thieves.  They steal food from farmers, and they also sometimes steal shiny things, like a magpie.  They steal babies from other birds.  They supposedly have been known to poke out the eyes of human who try to attack their nests—they are protective.  Because they are black, they are sometimes considered to be evil.  It would be interesting to consider what such a creature would have to tell and teach me.  I miss my Shamanistic practice—I seem to have less time for everything. I had no partner and no kid living at home back then.
Ø  Walking:  Walking is essential to my well-being, but sometimes difficult and painful.  I need to try to cram it into every day, no matter how busy. This causes difficulties for my family, my friends and me. I don’t mind walking in the dark with a companion, but prefer to walk during daylight hours if I walk alone so I can write while I walk.  Also, if in unfamiliar territory, so I don’t trip and possibly injure myself!
Ø  Not wanting to walk:  When Heidi was here, she and Keith made it clear that they did not want to walk in the mush-puhsh.  I was secretly a little disappointed that she, my great walking companion of old, who lives in the wilds, was (in those instances) so prim and prissy.  And wimpy.  However, part of the problem was her shoes, and later, she got out a better pair of shoes.
Ø  Ethics and Morals:  Although I was very interested in Crow Man in the dream, and still am, sometimes it seems as if scientists do thing they should not so, and this might be one of them.  I just finished a book where the protagonists did some bad things, which is always upsetting and disappointing to me.  I like the protagonists to be the “good guys” and gals; they can and should have faults, but it seems to me that the good guys should not go beyond a certain point and if they do—they are no longer good guys but bad guys.
Ø  Bare feet:  remind me of childhood, of nature, of savages (the primitive) of being in contact with nature.
Ø  Tripping in the dark: Hmmm.  I trip a lot, both literally and figuratively, and more often in the literal and figurative dark than in the light.  I could ask myself, “in what ways am I tripping myself up?”  There are many answers and I have little time right now—I trip myself up by walking at night, by eating bad foods, by beating myself up, by taking on too many projects, by not finishing the ones I have, but not submitting my work.  By getting angry.

"Wherever crows are, there is magic.  They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.  They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.  They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us." Ted Andrews

Ø  Magic:  If I look at Crow Man is MAGIC rather than as a scientific teratogenic monster, it serves to remind me of the magic and creativity and love in life.  Of transformation.  And of joy and happiness, and gives me a surge of hope at a time when I am feeling overwhelmed and depressed.

"Since Crow is the keeper of sacred law, Crow can bend the laws of the physical universe and "shape shift".  This ability is rare and unique.  Few adepts exist in today's world, and fewer still have mastered Crow's art of shape shifting.  This art includes doubling, or being in two places at one time consciously; taking on another physical form, and becoming the "fly on the wall" to observe what is happening far away....
     "Crow is an omen of change.  Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time.  The Ancient Chiefs tell us that Crow sees simultaneously the three fates- past, present, and future.  Crow merges light and darkness, seeing both inner and outer reality."
Sams and Carson Medicine Cards

Ø  Shape-shifting:  This is powerful Shamanistic stuff.  Since my crow shape-shifted (with the help, in the dream, of the scientists, it reminds me of the studies I did with Robert Moss in shape-shifting, of being in two places at once, of sending the mind-spirit out to hunt.  This is what we do also as poets and artists.
Ø  The inner and outer reality:  Seeing both is like the healing process, bringing the subconscious to the conscious and becoming aware.
Ø  Being chosen:  The fact that Crow Man chose me in the dream—did not kiss anyone else—reminds me of my fear that I am chosen by men bent on hurting me (abusers), but also by this powerful but as of yet crippled figure of Shamanistic power.  (This reminds me of the Mogur in The Clan of the Cave Bear!)  It gives me a sense of latent power, strength, and ability.
Ø  Twisting:  I notice that I am twisting the apparent meanings in the dreams—the surface meanings, into something more positive.  I do not necessarily see that as a bad thing, because being in touch with deeper feelings mined in this manner have given me more energy and cheer at a time when I needed it.  Energy and cheer are useful.  J
Ø  Stopping:  I notice that the work I do after I decide I “should” stop is more important than the work before that.  And were I to go on, I might do better work yet.  BUT I MUST STOP.  I have other things I MUST do.  L

I would like to do some art to go with this, but that ain't about to happen immediately!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

The green shirts

I buy a bale of pale yellow green T-shirts, really cheap.  But when I open them, not only are they more poorly made than I imaged, but also, they each have named inside the colors and are obviously used and frayed.  One has many names.  They seem to be children's shirts from camp, ad I am afraid they won't fit.

Monday, December 05, 2011

My Brother, his Novel, the Hidden Chair and the Security Unnecessary Guilt and False Accusations

My Brother, his Novel, the Hidden Chair and the Security
Unnecessary Guilt and False Accusations

My brother Robert lends me a book about a 14-year old girl that he thinks I would be interested in.  It is a novel interspersed with pictures, poems, and scrapbook items.  It has a cheap red cover and has fallen into two pieces, which are in danger of splitting further.  The threads of the binding are hanging out.  I am sitting at the dining-room table in someone else’s house reading and enjoying the book.  There are maybe eight other people in the house, and they are expecting their grandmother and when she arrives, they all parade into the dining room.  I consider moving, but do not.  Someone complains that there aren’t enough chairs.  Because there seems to be one chair too few, about half the contingent returns to the living room.  I stand up and point out another chair that was half-hidden behind mine.  But no one returns to the dining room.  I feel guilty, even though I don’t think it is my fault, and I leave the house with my brother. 

My brother has never been here, to this location before.  I tell him about the ancient graveyard behind the house and we walk up the stone walkway up the hill to the graveyard.   It is not like old American graveyards, but like old European graveyards.  I am excited about this and telling him about the ones we saw in Slovenia, Italy and Australia. 

At the back of the graveyard is an old low stone building, and we go inside.  We are immediately drawn to a large glassed-in cage full of hermit crabs.  There are robot arms with gripper jaws that can be used to pick up the food for the crabs and deliver it from the plastic bins, which can be filled from the cage, to the crabs.  We each have a turn doing this.  I get an old rotted-looking brown onion and try to deliver it to a certain crab, but it rolls away down the rocks and half in ad half out of the water.  I hope the crab will get it.

We leave the building and Rob is going off somewhere.  I tell him there are snow-clad mountains just beyond here, but he says I can show him later; he has to do something.  Because I’ve only been here maybe once before, and I am not sure I am remembering correctly. I decide to check to be sure I’m right about the mountains.  Also, I remember, there are other interesting ruins.  I walk past some appealing ruins and come around a bend in the trail and can see the mountains in the distance—they are tall, thin, and rocky with bulgy rocks rather than rock faces—very strange formations, with patches of snow like alpine glaciers near the top.

I want to walk closer, but there is a large school bus blocking the way.  I consider crawling under it to continue my walk on the other side and bend and look under the bus, but it is covered, under there, with thick black grease.

A security guard comes and is upset, thinking I want to vandalize the bus.  I explain that I am just trying to follow the trail to the mountains and the bus is blocking the trail.  I go around the bus, but the security guard follows me.  She is haranguing me.  I stop to defend myself from her accusations and a line of people walking toward the mountains comes by the narrow space behind the bus where we are standing.  Among them are Bruce and Debby.  They do not appear to see me.

I follow them.  The security guard follows me, making false accusations.  I just keep walking toward the mountains, ignoring her.  Sunday, December 4, 2011

What does this remind you of?

Ø  a way to write a novel
o   (Reminds me of a novel series that was popular maybe ten years ago)
o   (Might be a fun way to write a novel)
Ø  unnecessary guilt
o   that I was taking up a chair needed by someone else (someone who was welcomed and wanted whereas I was not welcomed.) but there was, in fact enough chairs.
Ø  false accusations
o   the missing chair: I was accused of making it so there were not enough chairs, when in fact there was
o   the security guard: I was accused of wanting to vandalize the bus when it had never even occurred to me.
o   I REALLY HATE being falsely accused.
Ø  various failures
o   The hidden chair
o   Feeding the crab
o   I am sad and upset when I feel that I have failed
Ø  successes:
o   Remembering the cemetery
o   Remembering the mountains
o   I am pleased to have remembered correctly
Ø  things that engage and interest me
o   the novel
o   the old cemetery
o   the robot arms and the crabs
o   the ruins
o   the mountains
Ø  ignoring the security guard
o   Ignoring my false inner voices
o   The security guard is like my inner voice that tells me I am “bad” when I am not. 
o   In one case, I gave into it (the inner blaming voice of guilt) and left the house where there were sufficient chairs because I felt bad
o   In the other case, I totally ignored the persistent accusations, knowing in my heart I was not guilty.  The haranguing of the guard was like a mosquito buzzing around my ear, an annoyance but not heartfelt.
o   The difference is, I think, that I was partly blocking the view of the last chair and therefore felt that I actually was PARTLY to blame for the anger of the woman who chastised me.  In the one case, I knew for sure I wasn’t at fault, and in the other case, I felt somewhat responsible and also unwanted and unloved.  But even in that case, I wasn’t really to blame.
o   I feel as if I am often falsely accused or blamed for things.
o   On the other hand, I do actually make mistakes and do things wrong sometimes.  L  I really HATE being wrong and/or stupid.  (I want to be perfect, but I am NOT!  Darn!)