Friday, March 26, 2010

A New Way of Engaging Our Dreams

I heard most of this interview today while running errands. I don't have much of an opinion on the efficacy of dramatizing one's dreams. Everything he says about it makes intuitive sense to me, though. However, I do concur whole heartedly with Mr. Lipsky's criticism of status quo dream analysis.  The entire dreaming process has always seemed to me personal and unique for each of us. 

I also couldn't help but imagine what acting out my bird dreams would possibly look like. Oiy! Just when I thought my dreams couldn't get any stranger. I'm sure for the next several months, every time I'm posting about one, this interview will cross my mind.

WAMC: Alan Chartock...In Conversation with Jon Lipsky 2010-03-26

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Mysterious Visitation

A good friend and I were in a cafe, located in the bottom floor of an old multi-story home.  It was quaint; one of those places where everything that could be made of wood was.  A hallway led from the main eating area back to a rear entrance.  Outside the darkly-stained wooden screen door, my friend's black Shi-poo was tethered to a bike rack.  He was whiny, scratched often at the door, and all around not happy with this arrangement. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) - male
Image online here

Early in the dream, I kept the pup "Ollie" company.   Play time was ultimately an effort to quiet and calm him down.  In a moment of poor judgement, I defied the rules of the establishment and let him in.  He made a beeline for his "mommy"; jumped upon her lap and showered her with kisses. 

Before I could even take a step toward them, I was distracted by movement and a familiar sound outside.  It was the blur of a very small bird and a high-pitched trill.  I knew immediately the source:  a male Broad-tailed Hummingbird!  He twittered from window, to screen, back to window frantically.  I believed he was trying to get my attention and wanted to tell me something important.
Just then an Austinite friend, and an earth science professor from many years ago, appeared next to me.  The Austin friend agreed the bird was attempting to communicate, while the biologist was not so sure.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) - a more typical view  
Image online here

The noises the hummingbird made clearly sounded like some form of communication; replete with cadences, pauses, inflections and emphases.  I pointed this out to my ex-professor Tim.  Listening for himself, he was speechless at first; but soon agreed we should attempt contact.

I opened the back door wide for the bird.  Sadly, I was not able to discover what all the commotion was for.  At first the hummer continued zipping to and fro. It then hovered within a few feet of my face whereupon it gradually, and steadily, grew.  By the time the dream faded fully, he was larger than my friend's lap dog! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Southern Vermont Surprise

Though not an image of a Vermont forest, I'm confident many there look like this.
Image online here

I found myself on the back of a motorcycle, with my real-world photographer friend, Eric, driving.  We traveled from western Massachusetts to an old-growth forest near Bennington, in southwestern Vermont.  After much trail riding, and walking, we found our destination: a fairly impressive series of waterfalls.

A good reference for the dreamscape:  the famous Bash Bish Falls in Mt. Washington, MA.

It was early winter, or nearly so.  Brown crunchy leaves blanketed the ground, branches were bare, with no snow to be seen.  Since it was winter, water barely flowed down the cliffs of the falls.  At their base, the streambed widened significantly for several hundred feet downstream.  Nests, most very large, perched among and atop the rocks; even in crevices in the face of the cliff.  They numbered in the dozens at least.

Most nests looked similar to this. 
Image online here

Eric informed me this was a rookery, though obviously not currently in use.  He brought me there, however, because it was a special one.  This was the oldest known to be in continuous use.  According to him, the first European settlers to the area made note of it more than three hundred years ago; although it was probably much older.

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) on cliffside nest; a common locale.

He said several species used the rookery:  Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Raven and even Broad-winged Hawk and other forest hawks.  Clearly this kind of arrangement wouldn't happen in real-life. Upon learning the amazing history of this location I was struck with awe, nearing reverence.  I took in the scene again, slowly scanning the nursery and its abundance of nests.  I unsuccessfully attempted to take it all in; that ineffable something-much-bigger-than-myself feeling of the place. 
Wanton environmental degradation - Yay!...  NOT!

Just then a couple of younger folk roared up the trail on four-wheel ATVs.  For the record, I'm not a fan. I flagged the first rider down, signaling for him to stop.  I emphatically recounted the story Eric had just told me, and asked him to respect this place by giving it a wide berth.  I also asked him to pass this information along to his friends and anyone else he knew who rode through there.  To my surprise he listened to my rant, and agreed to do as asked. 
The dream ended with Eric and I hiking back to the bike and riding south back to the Berkshires.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Trip to the Guads

Going north from Van Horn, TX, this is the view of the Chihuahuan desert.
Image online here

When the dream began, I was in an RV.  Out the window I watched the landscape change as we wove our way up from the desert floor, through Guadalupe Pass, and into Guadalupe Mountain National Park. Unfortunately, I never got to see or interact with the people I'm with on this trip.

View from a rest stop below the Guadalupe Mountains National Park headquarters.  El Capitan peak is in the foreground.
Image online here

As soon as we arrived, we found a trail, and began to explore.  Immediately we were rewarded with birds; most not expected there.  The first two we encountered were a male Northern Cardinal and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Northern Cardinal (Cardualis cardualis) - male in pines
Image online here

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Image online here

After a few turns up the trail I encountered a Bluethroat of all things.  And, finally a male Indigo Bunting among the high country pines of west Texas.

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
Image online here

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
Image online here

The farther I went the more things got... weird.  After exiting a particularly shaded grove, the trees gave way to a large open space of grass covered with sea creatures.  Yep, you read that right.  Anemonies, sea slugs, jellyfish, groupers, flounders and those freakish deep-sea things practically carpeted the small meadow.  This was a potently vivid dream, and it continued repulsively into this last scene.  On the bright side, at least the rest of the dream was breathtakingly beautiful.


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