Dream paraphernalia

dreamcatcherLast night I was telling my son about the dream of the house where nothing was what it seemed, everything shifting, slippery, treacherous and untenable.
We stood under the overhead lights in the kitchen, he towering above me as I said I thought it was about the job I quit on Tuesday.
“Oh, but you don’t know that”, he snapped with annoyance – one of mom’s hare-brained, hippie inclinations at work again.
He is a computer science student with a rare flare for mathematics. He is an excellent student, top of his class. I see the pages of his homework, a language of ciphers and glyphs that I will never ever in my life understand even a spec of.
Dreams, however, I know a little bit about – I’ve spent some time with them.dream shelf“It’s not like math, it’s an interpretive art”, I said to my too-cool-for-school, skeptical son. My son who insists it’s not that he doesn’t remember his dreams, it’s just that he doesn’t have them.
On a similar note, a number of the new visitors and commenters here on followyournose have mentioned they rarely remember their dreams.
So I’d like to share a few of the authors and influences I’ve come across, in case any of it might be helpful to someone.
I was telling Poshpedlar and Agniva how I keep a dream journal, THE single most important tool, I think, if you want to start remembering dreams.dream journalIt sits open beside my bed with a blank page ready in case I want to scribble in the dark in the middle of the night, and also for the blurry morning fragments, captured first thing, before turning over or getting up, any fleeting whispy images.
A good source for some of these fundamental things to try is dream-master, shaman-teacher Robert Moss – he’s got a Tools & Techniques page, very helpful.
Although the dream journal is one key tool, personally I use kind of a bunch…like kind of a lot….like I’m so heavy into the dream thing, it’s kinda way out in woo-woo land. In an exchange with jethag at Jet Lag, I allowed as how there may be “dream paraphernalia”…
For example, the dream catcher at the top of the post. Of course.
For example, this silver bowl – silver dream bowlIt sits on the bedside table with water in it – I refresh the water regularly.
This practice came from Ohki Simine Forest, a fascinating shaman-woman who lives in Chiapas, Mexico, though she’s originally Canadian (Québécoise / Mohawk). I got the silver dream bowl practice from her book, Dreaming the Council Ways, a book I loaned out to someone and along the way have forgotten the particulars of the why’s of this practice, but I still feel some magic quality, some mystery in the aquatic reflecting vessel by my bedside for facilitating, channelling dreams.
Also beside the bed is this buffalo fetish –
buffalo fetishHe reminds me of a dream I had some years ago, a dream of a buffalo in a zocalo, a town square, and of how I followed the dream to a place, traveled to try and find and understand the dream, and along the way found him in a shop just off the zocalo of a town that looked an awful lot like the dream.
He reminds me that I’m willing to travel for my dreams, to follow them to the places they show me, to think about what they are trying to tell me.dream crystalsThese crystals are quite tiny and special in a way that is so far out in the land of woo I can’t even describe it, I’ll let you explore for yourself here.
But I love putting one under my pillow each night, as a kind of promise to myself to try and pay attention to any dreams that come.
This little ritual emerged from a fellow student in an online dream workshop, Dreamwork with Toko-pa, a lovely experience. Toko-pa also has some tips for dream recall in a video on youtube – a nice way to get some ideas and introduce you to her fabulously exotic west-coast self.lion biting - brighterAnother favourite thing to do with really strong, vivid dreams when they come, is to draw them or paint them – it’s a great way to spend more time with them in a visual, visceral, sensual kind of way.
The lion above was from one striking dream I had, and the panthers below another strong onepanther collage - brighterEach of these practices is essentially about one thing – I am telling my dreams and myself that I’m listening. That I want to hear from them. That I respect and value what they have to tell me.
Some years ago I took a series of dreams I’d had to an elder, Joanne Longboat, a woman Robert Moss writes about in Dreamways of the Iroquois, referring to her as “Turtle Woman”.
She said to me, “They say the Spirits will come talking to those who listen.”
So I’m listening…

Letters from the alleyway

20140425-180623.jpgLately has been a patch of such intensity, so much pressure in every direction, that each glimmer of tenderness, of humanity, of a hand reaching out in the chaos has felt like a branch that must be held onto tightly in hopes of slowing the relentless slide down a slope.
20140425-180449.jpg20140425-180709.jpgThat dream the other night of a house where everything you touch turns into something else – you pick up the umbrella, it turns into an eel, you grab the doorhandle, it turns into a salamander.
A house of so many tricks and false faces and turns and complications, and in the dream I am trying and trying to leave, to take my son and go live with a man I’ve met by the seaside, a fisherman, to go and live a simple life, the three of us, if I can just escape this house….
But – 20140425-180553.jpgBut I can’t leave.
I can’t extract myself.
Yet.20140425-180419.jpgA couple of nights before that it had been a childhood home, passing through the kitchen and my mother making dinner and instructing me on how I should go out and do all the right things to get this man, to hook this rich guy already and get myself taken care of, fer chrissakes.
He is waiting for me outside, this guy. A producer I know – bit of a hot shot.
He is just up the street, and is impatient there in his fancy car, a sports convertible – he wants me to hurry up and get in the car.20140425-180350.jpgI am annoyed at being hurried.
All I want to do is play in the mud…20140425-180521.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Letters

Easter Sunday Interlude

A few words from T.S. Eliot today –

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness
on darkness, and we know that the hills and the trees, the distant
panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away—
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long
between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness
deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious
of nothing—
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without
love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the
dancing.

And a link to some beautiful animal images by Hua Tunan, including a bunny…
splatter bunny

Happy Season all <3

April Showers & a Monumental Symbol

Dearest Blog-Friends,

Over the past few weeks I’ve heard privately from a few of you, asking me where I am, why I am so quiet…colour, feet, stumbleI hadn’t realized I was being quite so quiet as to draw attention to myself, but there you have it.  Things have been a bit overwhelming in my world, much much stuff going on.colour, cross, crowdApparently there is a Grand Cross forming in the sky (planets opposed to and squaring each other, like a big monumental Easter hologram in the heavens), producing a lot of stress, pressure and change for a lot of people.  Seems I am one of ‘em.colour, close on young manMeanwhile, one of the things I’ve been tinkering away with, slowly here and there, is trying to get another site going, just for photos.  I’m thinking to make Follow Your Nose a bit more of a writing / musing / iPhone space, and to make the other site, KathAphoto, a place for more finished photography.
It’s still new, still taking shape, just a couple of posts up, but I’m hungry for any kind of feedback, of course, so if you’d like to stop on by at some point, I’d be most grateful.
And for now, some more old scans, of Easter, of that monumental Christian symbol, in other lands –
colour, 2 in a rowHope to be more vocal soon
Mucho affection
Happy spring
Kat
colour, wide of streetWeekly Photo Challenge – Monument

Threshold

Threshold of the subway doors, humans and hints of animal beyond – wolfman on subwayThreshold of a slinky bus, during a morning commute, he studies his phone, bathed in light – 20140406-193526.jpgThreshold of a cliff, of the lake, of the edge of the city, of the transition from urban neighbourhoods to the wild beyond – 20140406-193632.jpg
Threshold of a smile, of the beginning of life, of nascent love…20140406-193701.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Threshold

Abandoned Photos

runner, truckThey’ve been sitting in a folder in the basement, old old work prints that never quite got finished, and are here scanned. I’m thinking to join a local photo co-op so I can scan some of the old negatives and revisit them, give them some love, resuscitate them from their state of defunctedness.boy w fridgeThey are moments of abandon, in different meanings of the word – a moment of wild running abandon; an abandoned fridge and perhaps child as well; and losing oneself to the abandon of sleep…sleeperWeekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned

Three Hearts – alleyway art evolving

art in the alleyIn the alleyway just down from my house, there’s the expected graffiti on the garage doors, but more unusual are the bits of installation art that appear.
This one of the heart has been most striking.
It began on one side of the alley, on a kind of plywood sliding wall, and has morphed over time, its paper images and fold-out doors peeling away in the weather, then magically sprouting new imagery in its centre.
After several incarnations on the plywood wall, one day it had been moved to the other side of the alley, near someone’s rear doorway. alleyway heartIt continues to evolve. The images continue to shift. Over time it’s become a highlight of the walk down the alley – to see what new elements have arisen in the night.
I’ve been thinking I must contribute to it at some point, adding some new element, some small sprinkle of love before we leave the neighbourhood.

20140225-113954.jpgWeekly Photo Challenge – Three

Treasure Two

Over the weekend I was thinking about treasure, personal treasures, and I remembered this piece of stalactite from a cave in Spain, reminding me of a time and a place of beauty and freedom and adventure, and a person who was special to me, Seanna the American.
She was a bit of a wild thing, divorced (which seemed slightly exotic at the time) and living in Spain in a funky little house in a small town not far from our small town. She’d come visit now and again and she and my dad would have martini parties and laugh loud late into the night.
We’d gone to the caves together one day and before we left she bought this slice of stalactite from the guide and gave it to me as a gift, one that I’ve kept all these years, hanging in the window so the light will come through.stalactiteAnd taking photos in the afternoon sun, I noticed how this piece of orange calcite glowed so beautifully, a hint of gold to the orange, and was thinking actually maybe this was more of a treasure-looking thing –
orange calciteAnd turning it this way and that, trying to find the best angle, I heard a crash behind me –
kitty w featherAhhhhh, she’s at it again…
You see, treasure one lives in a box on the table in my room, and someone else seems fascinated with feathers.
She knocks the lid off the box, pulls the feathers out, throws them up in the air and licks them, leaving them scattered in a sodden mess around the room. kitty w feather 2One morning I woke up with a feather clutched in a fist and figured somehow in the night she must have brought it into the bed and it ended up in my hand…
Treasure indeed…
Weekly Photo Challenge – Treasure