Had an odd dream last night, the only part of which I remember clearly was standing in a forest of very tall trees–a Pacific Northwest style forest, very open, rather than one of the more tangly East Coast ones. There were steel cables hanging down from the trees, and I saw a bird tangled up in one. I thought it was a kingfisher, but it was very high up, and I had a hard time reaching it. I managed to get the end of one of the cables and unwrap it–it was caught in a couple of loops or something (the cables weren’t behaving much like cables, frankly)–and let the bird free. It flew to a tree, became a red-bellied woodpecker (with the usual logic of dreams, it definitely was NOT a red-bellied woodpecker before, as the fluorescent red head would have been impossible to miss.) and scuttled off around the trunk.

Dreams like that always seem like they SHOULD mean something, like they’re rife with Important Personal Symbolism and dripping with Serious Significance. But since the rest of the dream is usually about fending off South Sea cannibals and trying to go Christmas shopping inside an elevator or something, occasionally with walking smelt and Weave boots and the Joker thrown in, I am skeptical. It always reminds me of this newsletter we used to get, way back in the day, from the Breitenbush Hot Springs, which was full of articles by well-meaning people with names like Starmoondreamfeather and Moonwolfjoyraven and similiar explosion-in-a-Mercedes-Lackey-novel monikers, who would tell you about their dreams and sweat lodge visions and whatnot, which usually involved personal growth and getting in touch with the universal spirit of healing love.

And it probably shouldn’t be my place to judge these people, maybe they did dream in clear, lucid, concrete symbolism, but I always wondered if they were leaving out the bits from their dreams where they had a conversation with the Joker while trying to get the Christmas shopping done.

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