Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Waking in the Canoe

Revision - I've made some additions to this post. These are details that I glossed over when I hastily wrote down the dream - details that seem important in retrospect. I have added an analysis in the blog comments.

Today I share a dream that was with me when I woke up. It was in color.

We set out to canoe, descending a long, steep and muddy slope, so much so that the earth moved (as if it was a thick cake batter) as we dropped down toward the water through the forest. At the bottom, at the edge of the water, we could see that it was very windy out farther. A tugboat was seen to fly off of the top of a large wave. But, we were protected, sheltered by a wooded island. There was a fast river entering from the right.

My bowman (as in bow of the canoe), a real person, was an unreliable man, just as in real life. As we prepared to head off, or, more accurately, as I prepared for us to head off, he would disappear, show up, and wander off, over and over again. A second man was there also. He was nicely dressed and had a physical stature about him. When the bowman was absent, this second man would tell me what the bowman was doing. I do not know how he knew what the absent man was up to.

The bowman never seemed to know what he was doing and once, as I kneeled in the stern of the canoe waiting for him to get in, I looked up only to find him sitting backwards facing me. I had to tell him that he was facing backwards. In fact, I know that he does know what he is doing...he is playing the fool.

Finally, we pushed out, me in the stern, with the second man up front looking over the bowman's shoulder, even though we only had room for two in my canoe. We paddled in the sheltered waters behind the island, watching big boats bounce off of huge waves farther out.

I look up to find the bowman gone again. I return to shore and pick him up again, but soon, he disappears again. The second man, the one with stature and nice clothes, takes the paddle. He holds it well and with confidence and then takes two very powerful back strokes that I find impressive. However, it propels us backwards and drives us very hard onto shore. We hit the bank so hard that it hurts. I strike him sharply on the shoulder with the edge of my paddle, right where the long edge curves to become the tip ...hard enough so that it will leave a mark that will stay with him for some time (I can see through his clothes and see the mark) and I tell him, "do that again and the next hit will be on your head." This man, for all of his stature and fine clothes, knows absolutely nothing about the canoe, which is where he happens to be. He is of no value here.

The second man wanders off and returns telling me that the bowman has left without telling me so and he will not return. I tell the second man to tell the bowman to stay away from me, and he leaves.

A woman, in the form of a squirrel, appears in the center section of the canoe. She darts around, constantly moving and searching and watching. The center of the canoe glows lightly while she is there. Because of her constant motion, she is no good for paddling. Instead, she talks about the public art projects that she is in charge of, which I find entertaining. In fact, she chatters constantly, but listening carefully I find that what she says is quite interesting. We paddle out (although while she is there, the canoe seems to move with no effort on my part) into where the swift water from the river comes into the lake and the eddy spins us around. We return to shore and she is gone and I feel the loss.

Now, I am alone in a shed with the canoe. I take my kneeling mat, which is a finely woven rug, and exit, locking the door behind me. I toss the mat down and kneel on it and paddle off, thinking about how light and responsive the canoe is. Then I realize that I am not in the canoe, but just paddling on the surface of the water on the rug. This feels like I am kneeling on a water bed, buoyant and springy. While I return to shore, I take time to spin and turn the rug a few times on the tops of small waves. It is fun, but not what I intended to do.

Back in the shed, this time I take the canoe. Exiting through the door, I turn and lock it, and this time, I push the key very deeply into my pants pocket.


Bonnie said...

Now what do you think that means? All you really need to get around is a good paddle and a carpet---

Elizabeth Winder Noyes said...

A surrealist painting which when you have finished will tell you EXACTLY what you, a man in a suit, a bowman and a female squirrel mean. Look forward to seeing it.

Scott Schuldt said...

The analysis -
The muddy slope is steep and rolls slowly down hill. It would be exceedingly difficult to return.

I don't know what the big boats flying off of waves is other than they are out in waters that I cannot go to.

The bowman (as in bow of the canoe)
He was real at one time. A man who got through life by playing the fool...so long, in fact that he became a fool and his only real skill in life was acting foolish. His trick is to pretend to be stupid.

The second man is also a real man (or maybe a couple of real men). He stands tall, dresses right. In the real world he drives the right car, lives in the right suburb, goes to the right church, smokes the right cigar, etc. He exudes confidence and I am tricked until he is required to perform whereupon he shows himself to be unaware of his lack of knowledge and ability. He tricks people by appearance.

Striking the second man. Note that I strike him very hard. I intend to leave a long lasting but not permanent mark. There is some measure of mercy here as I strike him where clothes will cover the mark. He is warned that the next blow will be to the head, which will be visible for the world to see. I am highly skilled with a paddle, this blow is applied as deftly as a marksmen would hit his target.

The squirrel appears only as a squirrel, but somehow I know it is a woman. She seems to be of no value, but she makes the canoe glow and relieves all effort from the paddling. We also paddle out into a strong and dangerous eddy that grabs and spins the canoe, but we return safely. She is fascinating and when she leaves it is a loss. (When the two men left there was no more loss than throwing two stones into the water).
I think that the squirrel represents creativity.

Canoeing on the kneeling mat. This was light and fun, but it was pure enjoyment without accomplishment. Definitely not my thing.

The first time I leave the shed, I lock the door but never see the key. The second time I leave the shed, the key is in hand and is pushed deeply into my pocket.