You know, trees have become very important to me. Here’s a picture of the most common tree in Southern Alberta, the Southern Albertan Cottonwood:
Recalling that the security agency had locked up the River Bottom park the previous night, I decided to change my destination for Paxson’s exercise. I set off for Pavan Park, which is another of Lethbridge’s beautiful spots in nature that can be found on the shore of the Oldman River. I didn’t even get down the hill before the SUV approached.
It was Paladin Security. Now I KNOW I’m in a dream. Wikipedia defines Paladin as:
Paladin (Dungeons and Dragons): The Paladin is a holy knight, crusading in the name of good and order, and is a divine spell caster.
It allllllll makes sense now. Anyway, I’m just having fun here.
I asked the paladin which parks were open. He told me to go to Henderson Park, which looks like this:
So, lots of trees. And super-close to where I work. So I head over and find a super-tall, super-straight, very healthy looking cottonwood. I introduce myself and put my hand against her trunk. This time, I’ve brought an offering in the form of water. As I stand and do the ward from the book, a jeep drives into the parking lot and rudely shines its lights in my direction. I stop what I’m doing and nod, smile, and bare my teeth ever-so-slightly to indicate my animal nature. The jeep drives away from my subtle death glare post-haste. I’m going to call that my sig-glare.
I left the water, and I connected with the tree and it was soooooo nice. I gained comfort despite the biting cold of the wind. I had a great relaxation, followed by a nice stretch. The meditation was phenomenal despite a less-than-phenomenal day. I forgot one thing that seems to happen to me during times of increased spiritual practice: people.
There’s no way to describe this, but I’ll try. When I start doing ritual, people I know from around town, and sometimes even from around the world, naturally find me. When they find me, they want to talk. When they talk, they don’t want to stop. The most extreme example was running into someone in the Kamloops, Canada bus station a few months after she had taught me yoga in Rishikesh, India and “coincidentally” being on the same bus at the same time going to the same destination without having known if we were even in the same country. It’s not always that extreme, but mind you, I was doing some extreme meditation.
So first, it was a couple I know. Then, it was a mutual friend, and she wanted to talk for a while. Then it was the friend of the mutual friend calling me up and trying to meet with me for supper. Then it was a bunch of people in the heathen group I’m in on facebook. Then I exposed some ignorance and felt awful. All day yesterday, I was zooming from place to place for my work, crowded by people, all telling their stories. This morning it was a stranger at a table next to me with some odd stories about his life of crime. I almost didn’t have time for Tree Meditation, almost. It’s all good. It’s all practice. It’s just very… overwhelming.
It was so overwhelming that today I went to a cafe where I don’t know anyone, just to do my writing. I have a novel I need to publish, and so far, my energy has not extended into the book publishing world. Ultimately, that’s one place to which I’d like to extend my energy.
So, that night, I had this odd dream:
“On the corner of a field at the edge of a Korean town was a car dealership. I was talking with someone about owning a car and I realized how much effort it was and how poorly made the cars were. I could envision the town well, but I know for a fact that the car dealership is fictional. It felt like my hometown of Lethbridge was being superimposed, as if somehow one town was just a metaphor for the other. Also there was some chat about Arizona. Someone really wanted me to go to Arizona.”
In case you wonder why my dream writing is slightly more juvenile than my lucid writing, it’s because that’s me at 4am, when I get woken up by the people whose residence I look after. My occupation is… complicated. Anyhow.
If I were to hazard an interpretation, it would be this:
- I’ve never been a big fan of automobiles- I’ve prided myself on being a bicycle guy. The only reason I now drive a minivan is because I work with people who need to be transported everywhere. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t bother having a vehicle.
- As for superimposition, take a look at the lake park in the city in Korea I moved here from (below). It’s a man-made lake, not unlike Henderson Lake. The town is one of the Church capitals of Korea. The town I now live in is one of the Church capitals of Canada. They’re both University cities, they’re similar sizes, and they’re similar distances away from their nearest big city. The level of technology and character of people is roughly equivalent. How is it that I’ve moved halfway around the world, but I really haven’t moved at all? I’m basically in the same place!
- As for Arizona… Maybe my publisher is there? My dad did always tell me that American markets are more lucrative.
So, what is this all trying to tell me? Anything? Here’s my anxiety: I don’t want to read too much into things. Sometimes a dream is just a dream. Sometimes our desperate grasping for meaning yields dead-ends. I usually go with the flow and see what comes of things. Trance is a gift of itself. It makes life purposeful and intriguing, as if guided by some grand narrative. But I’d like to know if I’m deceiving myself, because that happens too.
So how do I distinguish?