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Sunday, April 12, 2015


scrambled eggs daffodil

Dreams the last few years have been like none of my dreaming before, and so much of a pattern I wonder about the pattern. In a dream I will reach out to shake hands with someone, or reach out to give or receive something, wake and my arm will be extended, hand reaching for dream hand or object. I've dreamed of cat, Tar Baby, jumping onto my chest while I was sleeping. He was standing looking at me willing me to wake. I woke and he was not there. One morning I was in bed dreaming I was lying in bed awake, looking at the window with mini-blinds closed and down. I woke looking at the same scene with blinds raised up all the way. A few nights ago I saw a six-inch ruler I've been looking for. It was lying on the desk in plain sight. In the dream I said to self, "It's not there. This is a dream." The pattern has become so frequent, I'm now recognizing in the dream it's a dream. Thursday, I intended to back the car down the brief hill to the barn to pick up three hay bales for the donkeys. The key was not where I keep the keys. Must have left them in the car, which I never, but sometimes, do. The keys were not in the car. I searched car and house the rest of the day obsessively. I only had a spare key for ignition, none for the trunk. I went through the trash, one item at a time, all the way to the bottom. Went to sleep frustrated that night, refusing to think about it further. Next morning, automatically, the search resumed. Finally, after looking everyplace they could be in the house and car multiple times, as well as the walkway in between, I told self to stop looking. Looking is not advancing the search. I stopped looking for them. Since action was getting nowhere, I thought I'd give inaction a go. Do nothing and see what happens. 

I put the keys out of my mind. The spare ignition key would at least let me drive the car as needed. I could call a friend to bring a couple bales from the barn. No problem. It was about this time I saw it that losing the keys was like a dream. I go to pick up the keys and they're not there. Only it's not a dream and the keys are materially not there. Much review of what I did returning to the house. I keep keys and change in shirt's right pocket when I'm wearing sweatpants, all the time, that don't have pockets, I remembered reaching into the pocket and scooping out the change with fingertips. I noticed I did not feel the keys. I didn't even look, took it for granted the keys were with the change and I just didn't feel them. I've learned my senses are so subjective they cannot be relied upon. They lack credibility. Later, it haunted me the keys were not in the pocket. Taking them out of the ignition, the pocket is the only place I would have put the keys, only two of them on a ring the diameter of a quarter. After thorough examination, I was satisfied the keys were not in the car. It meant they were in the house or somewhere along the path between car and house. Recalling them not being in the pocket with the change I so absently dismissed, narrowed the possibilities to I did not know what. I did carry them into the house in the pocket. They left my pocket somewhere between walking in the door and emptying the pocket. Deducing the keys to be inside the house, I'd looked everyplace they could possibly be and many they would not. Wherever they were hiding, it would be a place I could never think to look, having covered all the places I could think of.

In a place I would never think to look. This is where I bump against the infinite. I never thought to look on Mars or the Moon or, closer to home, Mongolia or Malaysia. I solved the problem of the hay in my head and could drive the car at will. Nothing left to do, but wait, be patient, allow the keys to come forward in their own time. If the keys were playing a hide-and-seek, slap-stick donkey trick on me, I gave them a good laugh. Decided to use the ignition key and drive to Carpenter's house to fill water bottles. Get out of my head for a few minutes. I carry two bags with handles, the plastic bags they sell at the grocery store for reuse, four half-gallon fruit-juice jugs in each bag. Parked the car, went inside to the kitchen sink. I placed the bags on the counter to my left, put four jugs in the sink and started filling one. Moved the bag from left side to right side where I put the filled jugs. Waiting for the second jug to fill, I put the first jug in the bag. In the bottom of the bag lay the keys. It was so nondramatic a find, exactly where I knew they would be, a place I never would think to look, thankfully closer to home than Asia. I carried the two bags of water jugs to the house with a lighter heart. The way the keys appeared was like the pattern in recent dreams. I see the keys in the bottom of the water jug bag, something seen where it otherwise would not be. Like in a dream, walking in the door and noticing Caterpillar's catfood bowls are missing. Or see a donkey walk by a window, wonder how it got out, wake up and see the donkeys at the fence waiting for carrots.

The lost key experience was so like a dream, I wondered if dream mind, the subconscious, and awake mind, the so-called conscious mind, could be merging, the imaginary line that separates them fading, the two minds dipping back and forth into each other. Or possibly left brain and right brain flowing together as conscious mind slows enough to interact with the flow of the slower moving subconscious. Sometimes I like to analyze an everyday life experience as if it were a dream to see what it has to say of itself. It's odd to have an awake experience the same pattern as present dream experiences, especially to the point the line between dream reality and awake reality went away. It's in a time of the life where I learn daily that nothing is as it seems, appears, or is interpreted. The opening lines to the verse from the Tao te Ching posted two days ago, number 53, stays in my mind, The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths. The flow between the conscious and subconscious is easy, there's nothing to it. So I take the side path of trying to figure it out. This is named one thing. That is named something else. Naming creates boundaries around that which has no bounds, compresses them into things, makes an illusion of something out of nothing. And then there is memory, the skyscraper of cards. One day the memory goes away and the cards fall to the floor in apparent disorder, returned to the flow of the great Way. The only way I can figure the keys fell into the bag occurred when I leaned over to pick up the last jug of water to put some in the kettle for tea. The keys slipped out of the pocket during the gesture reaching for the jug from the bag on the floor with right hand.

photos by tj worthington


1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of your dreams. It sure is interesting to think about and study dreams and try to figure out what, if anything, is there meaning. It is funny how in multiple dreams you found yourself looking at the same sets of blinds. I wonder what that meant. I also enjoyed the pictures that you included.

    Giovanni @ Coastal Contract Hardware