Saturday, October 11, 2014

Alchemy and Amulet

"The same pain that can blemish our personality can act as a creative force, burnishing it into an object of delight."
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Alchemical Wisdom
"around my neck hangs an amulet ..."
Rima Staines
My on-line writers' group has been re-opened with prompts, tickle lines, to draw the inspiration up and out. One of the prompts is "The dream tasted ..." I drew the next word like the Jack-o-Spades. Odd. I took the prompt and began to write. "The dream tasted odd." The pain that can blemish was working at my deep self seeding my dreams with memories and different endings that I could not predict. That is the alchemy of dreams. Skilled dreamers like Robert Moss lead dreamers through the protocol and landscape of the multiverse; I am not so skilled and practiced. Yet, the seeding of my dreams led me to be with my Dad. The cat-skinner and bulldozer operator who cleared many pathways and roads during the 1950's through 1970's came in my seeded dream. With smooth and uncalloused hands we sat together. Few words. That was just the way we spent time, mostly. Few words, grunts and facial expressions filled in where words would have been over-kill. We traveled in the dream and avenues of uncharted potential cleft the pain of clear-cut. In his day, that was the work he did. Done in the harsh environment of man's work my father cleared trees for roads, reservoirs peoples' wants. The dream was odd. It was a burnishing dream, buffing at the hard edges I have on my heart. Writing becomes my polishing cloth. The dream the torch's flame.
I read Rima Staines' entry and pictorial journal as she creates an amulet, and connections are made.

Yesterday, when Pete and I packed up early in the morning for a day trip out of Dodge and out of the forest our first stop was Home Depot. Yes, the forest elves shop at the big box just like all the contractors and DIYers. Not often, but sometimes we do this. Pete would do it more often if the huge store wasn't an hour's drive. But anyway ... yesterday we stopped at the big box to find more mylar-wrapped bubble insulation for our Quonset floor. Winter comes, and soon the floor that is only a tile away from bare earth will get very damp and cold. We will layer the floor with that insulation (which I can tolerate) and cover it with our cotton rug.
Pete found the insulation as I sat in the passenger seat reading another chapter in the latest library-borrowed novel I am devouring. Blue Plate Special. Kate Christensen's autobiographical memoirs has contributed to the seeding of my dreams. In the early pages of her memoirs she describes the harsh yet real pain that is her relationship (or lack of one) with the father she so adored as a girl. She is the first-born. Quickly I related to her 'shyness' with her father who could never, and never did allow for closeness. Like the swipe of wipers over the fog-stained windows of our car that morning in the big box parking lot, a plaid flannel shirt and a well-worn baseball hat dressed a medium tall man. A dad. He and his daughter, dressed in a long-sleeve tee shirt and black gloves walked in a bubble of precious time in front of our Subaru. Neither was conscious of the two old people in the green car. The faces of joyful interplay was impenetrable. She clapped her mittens and made some small talk that drew her father closer. Laughing and then she did this pat pat pat with her mittens-gloves like the patty cake of nursery tales on the man's back and belly. I know that gesture of alchemy. Love. Her Dad surrounded the girl with his left arm and gave her a knuckle sandwich, that playful stuff that makes time stand-still.
We watched this silently. Then, we looked at each other "That was something!" Pete said. "Yeah, he will never forgot that. And, she might forget it happened until years later when the fog is thick and she puts on some black cozy mittens." The alchemy of forgiveness and memory is an amulet.

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