Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let the haunting begin

I had an opportunity to visit with my favorite neighbor for a while yesterday evening, and we got to talking -- as we often do -- about dreams. So of course, when I woke up with a somewhat bizarre dream still festering in my head, I was more attentive than usual, and spent some time looking at it during my meditative process.

But dreams are a bit like photographs: you can read lots of different things into them, depending on who you are and what's going on in your life at any given time. I'm particularly aware of that after yesterday's post: both comments and emails revealed lots of different ways of reading that image of the two different boats.

So now I'm thinking -- wouldn't it be fun to start a new blog, a cooperative one, where I'd just put up images and let people dialog about what they see in them? Because I think we could learn a lot -- both about ourselves and about each other -- from our responses... I've often thought it would be fun to lead retreats that just consisted of posting photos around the room and inviting people to respond to them.

So this morning I found this image in my files, and liked its haunting quality. I like the rows converging in the distance; the way the fog obscures the mountains and trees; like the structure in the distance -- is it a tent? a pavilion? -- and love the brightness of that lone orange pumpkin in the foreground. But there are SO MANY different ways I could approach this story, and the choices are so colored by the discoveries of self-critical thought patterns revealed by the dream that I find I just want to stop here and let you tell this story.

This week in Lesser's book, The Seekers Guide, we're dealing with the foes and demons that rise up in meditation. And now I see the foes and demons aren't content to interfere with meditation; they seem to want to leap to the foreground in dreams as well. But rather than lay the shadows out before you here I think I'll wrestle with them in private for a bit.

All of which brings to mind the lyrics of a Talking Heads song called "Name."

There's a word for it
And words don't mean a thing
There's a name for it
And names make all the difference in the world

Some things can never be spoken
Some things cannot be pronounced
That word does not exist in any language
It will never be uttered by a human mouth

Let x make a statement
Let breath pass through those cracked lips
That man was my hero
And now that word has been taken from us

Some things can never be spoken
Some things cannot be pronounced
That word does not exist in any language
It will never be uttered by a human mouth

Give me back my name
Give me back my name
Something has been changed in my life
Something has been changed in my life
Something must be returned to us
Something must be returned to us


Joyce Wycoff said...

Incredible image! It's always easier to say this about someone else's demons ... but, could you embrace them rather than wrestle with them?
(You have permission to hand this cliche back to me when I need it! ;-)

Maureen said...

If you look at the image in just the right way, that structure, if it is that, takes on the appearance of a pointy-headed giant wearing shades and just about ready to get up from all fours and come out of the mist and into full view. And the object of its attention is, of course, that pumpkin. The giant's tired of greens and prefers just once a bite of something of another color. Especially as its the only one of its kind.

(Having read that, you might want to ask what I had for dinner.)

Yes, lots of stories could come from this image. And I love your idea for an Image Room and letting us be projectors.

Louise Gallagher said...

What do I see?

I see a runaway pumpkin eager to get on with life, not willing to wait to be picked up, she's rolling on down the road. Away from where she hid out as the pumpkin pickers scoured the row upon row, looking for ripe juicy pumpkins to carve up.

She's hid out in the mists down the row, in the pavilion, beneath the eaves.

And now, she's ready.

To get going.

To get it on.

she's one fine brave pumpkin!

Diane Walker said...

You guys are amazing: Monsters! Runaways! and Brilliant Advice!

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!