Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Missing the Train

Missing the Train

Keith and I are at some winter resort playing in the snow. Many other
people are also playing in the snow. We have all purchased tickets
for the train, which will take us further up into the mountains.

I slide down a very steep hill into a bowl of snow. When I reach the
bottom, I see that all the people have run up toward the top and are
disappearing over the edge and I know that the train is coming. I run
toward the steepest part of the hill, which leads to the train stop,
but it is very steep, like a cliff. I poke the toes of my boots into
the snow, but the snow has been melting and doesn't hold. My feet
keep slipping down. I call and call for help, but no one comes!

Eventually, I reach the top, but the train and all the people,
including Keith, are gone.

I go into the building through the back door, which is closest to the
hill where I came up. There are double doors with a room or entry way
between them (like in a darkroom), but someone has removed the handles
(knobs) from the insides of the center part of the double doors and I
am trapped between them. It takes me a while to pry the inner door
open. My mother is inside. She tells me the train will come back for
me in a little while and that she is making me pancakes for breakfast.
It seems I have not had breakfast yet.

I think I hear the train coming and rush out through the front door.
But once again, I am trapped between the two sets of doors. I pry the
outer door open by jamming my fingernails under the somewhat loosened
black screws that used to hold the handle, which has been removed,
just in time to see the blur of the train whooshing by. I yell and
wave my arms, but the engine is way past and it doesn't stop.

I sit on the ground and cry. My old college friend and lover, Chris
Burnett, appears, looking just as he did in 1970, forty years ago. He
sits in the snow beside me and I tell him the whole story of what
happened. I am crying. I am very distressed to not be with Keith on
the train into the mountains. I also feel abandoned by Keith,
although I realize that he thought I would catch the train when it
came around again.

After I have finished telling my story, Chris rolls over on top of me
and starts humping me gently outside my clothes. I say, "Do you want
to go to my cabin?" I am thinking about my mother inside the building
making pancakes for me. I am very hungry and the pancakes sound good.
I am thinking about Keith. Chris rolls over away from me and he has
a hard on and no pants (Earlier, I didn't notice him being nude from
the waist down). I notice his erect penis is small (and not is big as
Keith's!) and rather child-like and strange.

* * * *

I wake u p, disturbed that
I would offer to take Chris to the cabin I shared with Keith (and have
sex with him—that was the implication). 9-8-10

In my "real" waking life, I have not seen or heard from Chris Burnett
in nearly 40 years. Nor have I thought of him or dreamed of him in
that time, at least, not recently. I have no idea where he is, and if
he were to show up here, I doubt he would look like he did 40 years
ago, I doubt he would act like that, and I highly doubt I would invite
him to "my cabin" to have sex. (And of course, my mother is no longer
alive and I can't eat pancakes any more, due to my allergies).


• Missing the train—TWICE!
• Barriers to reaching my goals:
o the cliff
o the uncooperative snow
o the doors with no handles or knobs
• The missed breakfast with my mother
• The strange sex temptation (I have none in my "real" (waking) life)
• I miss my mother and the "unconditional love," acceptance and help
(and food) she provided me. (Not that I need the food).

Possible connections:

• Over and over, I keep having problems and barriers to completing my
work (writing) because of computer failures and other problems (health
issues, company coming, a variety of problems and issues to deal with,
lost manuscripts. I may be (I AM) afraid I will miss the boat (train)
with my manuscripts. And I might! [I got a form rejection from
Adams Literary. ]
• I keep having dreams of abandonment by Keith, but he has not
abandoned me as far as I know (two previous husbands did).
• (My mother's birthday was recently.)

I also dreamed about wolves earlier—they were like big old lazy dogs
lying in among a grove of skinny-ish trees and I rubbed my foot on
one, the way I would pet a familiar dog without bothering to bend
over. It had very thick fur. The coloring was also wrong; they were
like the Australian shepherds I used to raise, but they were supposed
to be wolves.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pursuit in Mortal Fear

Pursuit in Mortal Fear, Monday, April 26, 2010

Several men with guns (three?) who have already killed some people are
on the rampage wanting to kill more. They are chasing me/us. At one
point, I am in a school cafeteria warning people. We are temporarily
safe, but the gunmen are coming. I am mopping the floor. I crawl
under the table where the milk machine is to mop something that looks
like vomit. Then the gunmen arrive and we are all running again,
through the building, over and through fences, through the backyards
of nice suburban homes where we warn the residents, who are all out
enjoying their yards. More people join the fleeing mob. About 4-5
children of varying ages climb varying heights into a tree, and I say,
"get down, run, go for the woods—the have guns, they have rifles, they
can shoot you in the tree." We think we see some woods (where the
trees would offer some shelter), but when we get there, it turns out
to be a dead-end quarry with unscalable cliffs. (They are covered
with vines that from a distance looked like trees.) There are small
caves and tunnel-like holes and I stand with the others considering
what to do (terrified), worried the caves might be dead ends.

I wake up fearful and relieved to be awake and "safe."

Last night's reading may have influenced the dream . Blanco and crew
were chasing Ren, Amanda, Shackie, Croze and Oates. But I have lots
of these dreams even without the scary reading. Life is a fatal
disease. I don't want to die. Or suffer. I am fearful of what lies
ahead. (In this moment, I am OK.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Boy with the Guns and the Burned-up Lady

The Boy with the Guns and the Burned-up Lady, 4-24-10

1)The Boy with the Guns: A teenage boy has several guns and knives
and kills someone. He is a strange boy with a roundish body and long
thin but strong arms, a round face like a younger child. At first,
there are many people, but no one does anything, so I sit on the boy
and hold his arms and try to disarm him. The boy is very strong and
keeps getting away. Everyone else leaves, except Keith, and I keep
wrestling the boy to the ground and he gets away again. I get one gun
away and he gets another from a hidden holster. He wants to kill
Keith and me and is very angry and powerful. Over and over he escapes
and over and over I wrestle him down. I holler at Keith to bring
ropes to tied his wrists and ankles so we can call the police, but
Keith can't find any rope and comes back with adhesive tape but
doesn't put enough on and the boy immediately gets out and I wrestle
him down again and Keith applies more tape, but a little while later,
he escapes again. (The tape doesn't seem to stick well, and he
manages to peel it off.) This goes on and on and on. Keith does not
assist with handling the boy. He does not understand how strong he
is. I tell him over and over but he doesn't seem to believe me. The
boy also pulls a knife and later a third gun. I always seem to be
able to temporarily disarm him, but never get the final better of him
(never get him safely under control.) At one point, I am sitting in
a chair with the boy on my lap like a child (he is smaller at this
point), holding him like a child who is out-of-control. The boy's
brother comes in and sits down and we are talking to him. He is an
adult, but is very sick with some degenerative disease, so we cannot
get his help. He is unable to help us and we do not even tell him
that his brother has killed someone. It seems pointless to burden him
with this knowledge when he is so sick. The boy with the guns seems
crazy and somewhat unwell, but not in a way that affects his strength
or will.

2)The Burned-up Lady: A woman burns up from the inside, leaving only
a perforated shell (like thick aluminum foil) and a few small pieces
of charred bones rattling around inside.

* * * *

The second dream followed right on the heels of my waking up disturbed
from the first. After that, I was unable to go back to sleep.

The first thing that popped into my head is my struggle with addictive
allergies and food cravings, which can, in fact, be fatal, both
directly and indirectly. If the dream represents my food issues, I
don't know why a crazy boy with guns would represent it. But it would
explain why I am the one doing the wrestling. Or simply my struggle
with my weight, which alone could be deadly. It could also be my
brain tumor.

The burned up lady could be a hint about the first dream, or it could
represent my anger and my fears about it.

Everyone leaving during the crisis reminds me of the time the giant
boa was trying to kill me and Frank said, "Don't panic," and ran out
of the museum.

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Ski, Friday, March 12, 2010

One Ski

One Ski, illo by me, view it larger here.

I am with my father and my brothers staying at a ski lodge. I am feeling tired and low energy. As we leave to walk to the slopes to ski, I feel too tired to carry all my gear, so I take one ski. My plan is to leave it at the base of the slop and go back for the other ski and poles. The ski I am carrying is long, shiny and blue.

As we walk toward the slopes, my father suggests we walk up for the first run, rather than taking the lift. I don't understand the value of doing this, but don't argue. Other people have been doing the same thing, punching their toes into the hard-packed snow along the side of the trail, so there is almost a stairway there. We start up. My father, one of my brothers and I walk slowly up the side of the very steep trail. One of my brothers is walking up the center of the trail (and is way ahead of me). I think that is a bad idea, because he might get hit by skiers coming down (though none seem to be at the moment) and also might damage the slope with his ski boots. I call, "Tom, come walk up the side," but it is not Tom, it is Bob. He is a young teen, still small, and skis gracefully and competently down to my side and starts up again on the side.

I suddenly realize that since we are climbing the side of the very steep trail, that it is the expert trail, and I don't want to make my first run on the expert trail, since I am not feeling well. Then I realize I can't ski down with one ski; I need to go back to the lodge where we are staying and get the rest of my gear. I will have to climb back down the slope and should do so before I climb any higher.

I go back to the lodge to get the rest of my gear, but there are a series of complicated problems that prevent me from getting what I need.


I have HALF the gear I need to ski, 2 boots and one ski (3). I missing one ski and two poles (3). What is difficult to do that I am now trying to do with half the gear and not enough energy? Live? Love? Paint? Write? Heal? Keep house (clean)?

The hassles at the end (which I now remember only as hassles and obstacles, but in the dream were fully detailed and complex), are very much like all the things that happen in my everyday life that keep me from accomplishing my goals. Family commitments and obligations, required phone calls, doctor visits, driving Graham around on a variety of wild goose chases, complex messages from Ellen Bowen that I have to waste time deciphering, etc.

The skis in the dream are the skis I had as a teenager. And my brothers are teens and my father still vigorous and eager. But at that age, I wasn't tired (normally, unless I was sick) and would never have attempted to climb a slope with one ski—that's more like things that happen now. At the moment, I can't think of anything that happened then that resembled that, but it was a long time ago. Ski trips were something the four of us did together. My Mom stayed home at "Margaretto's Lodge" and kept the home fires burning and had a hot meal ready for us when we returned.

I was sad to leave my father's skis in his basement when we sold the house. L But I had no use for them, other than sentimental. I left all his books behind, too, including ones inscribed to him by his mother, my grandmother. L And I left all my aunt's books in her basement. She wanted me to take them and love them, but I didn't. I was too overwhelmed at the time to even take one.

Did something happen when I was 14 or 15 that's affecting me now?

There was a period of time when I had ski dreams regularly. One of my repeating dreams was of trying to ski when there wasn't enough snow. Moving from patch of snow to patch of snow. I realize this dream is different, but there's a resonance—I am trying to do something without enough of what I need to do it and with many obstacles. (Why skiing?) I'm just not sure what it is and how it relates to my family of origin.

And: why walk when we could take the lift? Later in his life, my father would not have suggested that. But we did do it, at his suggestion, in the early days, for some reason that I no longer recall. (It's not that I'm against walking for the sake of walking, but when skiing, why not take the lift?)

In what way(s) in my current life am I not taking a lift that I could be taking? How am I attempting to ski on just one ski when two are available? How (or why) am I taking just one ski along when it would be more appropriate to carry 2 and be prepared? In what ways am I unprepared for what I am attempting to do?

I don't know, but if I did, it might make an interesting poem because I love the metaphor of climbing a steep, expert ski slope with only one ski. (Am I failing as a poet because I cannot unravel this metaphor?)

A factor in all these things could be time. This is because I try to do more than is humanly possible in a multifaceted life. I am not carrying enough arrows of time in my quiver of goals to accomplish them all in the face of the complexity of the obstacle course I have to run. (I am mourning my inability to finish new work for the current green show that I wanted to enter and my probable inability to submit an air poem to the contest I wanted to enter and all the novels I want to complete and send out.) I may need to wrestle my ADHD and my ultra enthusiasm and drive to accomplish to the ground and pick one or two projects I really want to accomplish and do those and put everything else on the back burner. I also need to do a better job of balancing LONG-TERM goals with short-term goals. I tend to concentrate on one to the exclusion of the other.

BALANCE—that's what I need! You need two skis to be properly BALANCED! But I need a dynamic and changing balance to suit the variety of projects and interests and needs, family and personal.

Or, maybe I just need to relax a little and not be quite so upset when I fail to achieve all my (sometimes unreasonable) goals.

I would like to have a better system for prioritizing. Sometimes I waste time on petty or small goals or even distractions (ADHD!) and mess up on big important goals because of it.

OR, I could, as some people have done, learn to ski down the expert slope on a single ski. (But unfortunately, that seems unlikely). (I'd have to lose weight to do that—and don't get me started on that as a metaphor or I'll never get my tasks done!)

Maybe I need to learn to Snowboard. Yeah, add that to my to-do. Snowboarding is a bit like skiing on one ski. Friday, March 12, 2010