Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Crystal Vision


I’ve been out on a wind-blown walk on the forest. That word will, for many, conjure up an image of trees but the forest here is made up of open heathland as well as woodland. I am lucky to live here, on the edge of England’s seemingly well-kept secret; on any day of the week, I could find beautiful places to walk and ramble (if I had the strength for it) for miles without coming across more than a handful of people. As they are almost on my doorstep, the forest and the heath, each spring finds me ready to make resolutions to walk every day. I can’t of course, but still I find it necessary to keep making resolutions – to state my intentions and wishes, as it were, to make a space for the possibility of some of them coming true. I have always believed in magic. A defence against unacceptable realities, perhaps, a survival strategy. Keeping a dream journal does after a while give me the sense of being on the edge of extraordinary possibilities – not that my dreams in themselves are particularly extraordinary (in fact it irritates me just a little that so much of them have - quelle surprise - endless sequences to do with food and the preparing of it. Last night it was cakes, I think). But the recording of them, the bringing of night-vision into day, has a way of changing the way you look at and remember things. The day’s events, mundane as they might be, become lit and pregnant with meaning. I think it was the Jungian analyst, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who said that dreams are like coded messages. You don't read them in the ordinary way. I think too that the messages are like Matryoshka dolls - you open them and find another, and then another.

Of course it may be that I really am losing the last of my marbles. But anyone who says so is a mashed potato. Talking of which, I am not eating them right now; nor bread, rice and pasta or sugar and coffee. It does (I say this in a whisper) seem to have the effect of giving me just a little more strength. I know in any case, from experience, that separating starch and proteins is always better for me, less tiring. But still – in case it seems that I’m off into the blue with the sail set fair, well I’m not – just yet. But a friend with a definite tendency toward sign-reading said she looked at the ball of crystal (that one up there she photographed) and it told her things concerning me: much writing, on white paper, and laughter, and a lightness... and in believing this will all come true, I have nothing to lose but a few marbles that were never much use to me anyway. So I do.

17 comments:

Kahless said...

But anyone who says so is a mashed potato.
lmfao!!

I never dream food. Well, not that I recall.

And yes, the smell of vanilla is still in the air is it not Signs?

Reading the Signs said...

kahless, and I should have added that they might have been in danger of being eaten up - were it not for the fact that I'm not having them right now.

Vanilla - well yes, now that you mention it. Or so I make believe.

Nicola said...

I am glad we are making similar intentions to walk daily - you along the edge of your forest, I along the side of my valley. I went for a short one this morning among the bluebells. Up on the hill the first cowslips are appearing. As ever, walking, I had to stop to catch the words that were in the air.
Thank you very much for the Estes reference. I have never heard of her but this is exactly the kind of writing/healing work that my course is about. I want to know why her name has not come up. I've never before come across the term 'hard-scrabble welfare mother' (wiki)either, but I know how it feels.
Wishing you light and woody walks, dear Signs.

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola,I think she is best known here for Women Who Run with the Wolves. I think you'd like it. What course is it that you are studying? I'd be interested to know.

Collin said...

I thought this post was going to be about Stevie Nicks...

The only heath I've ever walked across is Hampstead Heath, but I have walked across some wild and windy moors.

Get on with that writing. That's a good prophecy.

Nicola said...

Oh Signs, that was a real 'look me in the eye and tell me no lies' kind of question and I didn't see it coming. Ok, here goes...
the course has the cringe-worthy title of 'creative writing for therapeutic purposes.' I know, I know. It's not exactly training but learning, from people already working in the field, how to facilitate writing groups in different settings where healing is needed eg hospices, prisons, rehab units, burns units, schools etc. The course also requires one to develop a greater self-awareness. On a good day I feel that for me it may be a second vocation after 'mother' but I am a late starter and have dark, questioning days.
If you were able to return to work I wonder if it is something you would consider? In a way, it's what you are already doing so well here.
My course is at postgrad diploma level but there are plans for it to become a Masters in a year or two. The leader in the field is Celia Hunt who directs the MA at Sussex.

I've picked up the book you mention twice in the last few years, the last time about ten days ago (unusually, I didn't note the author), but, I don't know why, I've always put it back on the shelf. On your recommendation, and knowing a little more about Estes now, I am going to give it a go.

Reading the Signs said...

I thought it was probably that course, Nicola - do not cringe, but I'm sorry if my question kind of forced it out of you. I know about the Sussex course and am, as 'twere, connected. I hope you are finding the course good for stimulating your own writing also - that it's proving to be a creative path for you.

Reading the Signs said...

And Collin - hello! Hampstead heath isa real bit of countryside in the middle of London. I love it. Used to go on donkey rides there as a child.

witnessing am i said...

Been thinking lately about you, about signs, and reading them. I just finished "The Alchemist" and while I didn't really care for it, it did heighten one's introspection. While I profess to not being able to read the signs like you, I do admire your constant desire to "state my intentions and wishes." I need to follow suit. I guess with maturity comes . . . age. And hopefully a little bit of wisdom.

After all, as you so beautifully said, we have "nothing to lose but a few marbles that were never much use (to me) anyway."

Reading the Signs said...

I didn't much care for that book either, David - got tired of the portentousness, I think, though I admit to being a little drawn in at the beginning. I'm not sure at all that my approach has much to do with maturity. As I've said before, I'm a very late developer, though I'm perhaps not such a total dunderhead as I was in my young days. Stating intentions and wishes is really something I should do each day.

trousers said...

Losing your marbles? Naaah, unless in the most literal sense, ie you had a bag of marbles and you can't find them :)

Just read this after you popped over and commented on my latest, and I responded - what you say about those dolls, in terms of layers of meaning, concurs with some of my thoughts about this: but you've explained it far more neatly!

I do like the dream journal idea too, in a sense forming an overlap or interface between the internal/external, conscious/subconscious, magical/mundane and so on.

Reading the Signs said...

Come to think of it, Trousers, I did have a rather neat bag of marbles - dashed if I know where it is though. It takes marbles to find marbles, if you know what I mean.

Actually I liked the clarity in what you said at yours about dreams. I didn't manage to catch any today. Too groggy.

trousers said...

Same here - I woke up and had a vague memory of one, but now it's gone. Quite a relief after perhaps a month of very vivid dreams. Oh I'm glad my comment made sense - I was whacked last night, so I really wasn't sure :)

Zhoen said...

(o)

Thanks for the visit.

Reading the Signs said...

A pleasure, zhoen.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

There is a helluva lot to be said for cutting out carbs and sugar from one's diet. The old bod seems to take a while to get used to it, but it sure seems to flush out any sugar-loving nasties living in the system - them wots so often the cause of all sorts of health problems.

And I'm with your friend on the crystal gazing. Go for it - the future is yours to shape and soar in!

And what was that about the smell of Vanilla in the air...??? :-)

PS - huge fan of Women who Run with Wolves, Sister Signs.

Reading the Signs said...

I was wondering when you might hear that, Vanilla. You are, it appears, everywhere right now. Even in the plum crumble I made at the weekend (Spelt!) - special treat and it did have sugar.

Sealskin/soulskin the one I keep coming back to, I think.