Last week the subject was staying current with your dreaming self. I enjoyed hearing your responses to the line of poetry that came from my dream: she paid a dear price in lemons once.
I played with the idea of the price we pay in lemons, in mistakes– and the gifts that come from our errors, from time. There is the possibility of a new perspective– a big view that alters how we see. I think this is what the title means: not to think so much about going somewhere, as becoming, becoming- not reaching to be more like someone else, but more like oneself. You do not go to heaven, you become it.
I went to visit my friend yesterday, who is a painter, and he was telling me about his friend, who is a jazz musician. His friend was feeling discouraged, saying what the hell, I will never be a Bill Evans. My friend said, that may be true, and I will never be Picasso– but with any luck, I will become myself.
Other dream images worked their way into my sketchbook (above), and this week I wrote the poem below:
The soul becomes a luminous eternal being, a wandering star on the wheel of the sky. –Susan Morrow, The Dawning Moon of the Mind
She paid a dear price
in lemons once, mistaking
cleverness for candor.
Beauty is not commerce
is not counterfeit or contained.
It is, say the word, faithful.
Grace is not a false god.
With the authority
of one who’s lived long,
old man elephant slowed
along the road
his ink eyes charging
the silence with kindness,
his citrus skeleton
Time begets transparency,
bones become plain.
Lift up your face–
A column of yellow stars
is shifting across the night sky.
A white falcon sits
in utter stillness
upon the turning wheel.
Part of the power of reading The Dawning Moon of the Mind is that I had a dream about the falcon on the turning wheel just before I began reading the book– here is my dream:
I am called to walk outside into the black night. There is
a large wheel, about the size of a house that is spinning
several feet above ground. I wonder how it is suspended
there. When I look closer I see the wheel is divided
into three sections, three concentric circles, and each section is filled
with humans, naked, lying face down, grabbing hold of
one of the circles with two hands. I understand that this is
the effort required to keep the wheel turning.
In between the people are interspersed something like jewels.
In the middle of the circle is a creature with the head of an animal
and the body of a human.
Then I see that perched on the top of the turning circle, in perfect
stillness, is a falcon. As I watch it, it suddenly darts in a straight
line into the black night, retrieves a blue and white songbird,
and resumes its position at the top of the wheel.
All this takes only an instant.
The falcon is a central image in the Egyptian pyramid texts (a few thousand years old), so I am riveted by the resonance to my dream reflected in these words by Susan Morrow:
The english related word (to falcon) is gyre, circle....rising away in peregrine circles from all that dies: the universal shamanic image of the spirit rising from the body in the form of a bird. The rising falcon is the soul rising like a star....time as the turning sky....holy falcon with its glittering wings is the sky as revolving time and the arising and dissolution of all living things.
The falcon is the fastest animal on earth, moves in circles, denotes a sense of turning, the wheel of time– and can retrieve something out of thin air. And there it was in my dream, a blue and white songbird being retrieved out of thin air!
When I make room for the night– and dreams and images take hold– it is like entering a slip stream that cross pollinates with daytime. There is the feeling of something coming toward me. Ideas come while I am working, and just before I wake up.
Things come toward you when you walk. (Wm Stafford, A Course in Creative Writing)
Do you find direction from your dreams? I'd love to hear from you.
*Title from Dawning Moon of the Mind, Susan Brind Morrow