Forest Dream #1

5.21-22.2014

clearingI found myself standing on the perimeter of a graduation ceremony of sorts that was taking place in the forest. It was really a beautiful day; The sunlight was visibly streaming through the treetops and into a small clearing.

In this clearing were neatly arranged folding chairs, all taken by about-to-be graduates; All were sitting calmly. There was no talking or joking; All heads faced front. There was a wooden stage facing them and I was facing that stage, but was on the left side near the back – out of sight.

I noticed a girl (around my age, but a little younger) make her way over to a podium on the age to speak. I remember everyone looking very young. This was definitely a high school graduation/school function of sorts. I could just tell by the age of the student body.

As this girl was going up to speak, I immediately became disinterested. I really wanted to get out of there but felt hesitant about leaving. I was trepidatious; I didn’t want to break any rules, nor did I want to get in trouble for leaving. But as I continued to think about it, I realized how silly it was to feel that way; I remember inwardly reasoning something along the lines of, “I’m independent. This is my life. Why should I feel obligated to stay somewhere I don’t want to?” I was resolved to stick to my guns and not be so easily manipulated and pressured by a feeling/notion that had no logical basis. So as the speaker began, I started to walk away.

Imagine this - but in a sky blue color
Imagine this – but in a sky blue color

Leaving the clearing behind me, I approached a sky blue bridge. Before I could cross it, I was stopped by an administrator of sorts. He was definitely an older gentleman; Think along the

Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge
Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge

lines of a younger Cornelius Fudge. He stepped in front of my path with his back to this sky blue bridge.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked.

“I’m leaving,” I said. “I don’t go [to school] here”

He refused to let me pass, but I defiantly blew past him anyway. I went over the bridge and on to another part of the forest. He did not protest, but followed me instead.

We immediately came across a small house made of large, roundish stones (like a very rudimentary cobblestone house) that was understood to be a chapel.

Imagine full scale walls with stones stacked like this.

From the window, I saw the ghost of a priest clothed in red and gold vestments doing the Communion rites, holding the Eucharist up and whatnot. Everything inside this chapel, including the priest, was absolutely transparent. After witnessing this, I began to become very interested in going inside this small church/chapel. I told the administrator (whose role seemed to have gone from adversary to guide) to let me inside. I thought maybe he had a key.

We were on the side of the chapel, so we went to approach the front. But to my surprise, as we entered the vestibule area, the Communion scene inside was nowhere to be found. Instead the interior was full of cobwebs and dust. I thought I felt a bug on my skin and freaked out a bit, trying to brush it off.


Though that was pretty much the end of the dream, I also remember a small tidbit that came afterwards. Although, I’m not sure if it was cohesively generated as I think I woke up and made myself fall back asleep to “see what was next”. The next scene went as follows:

I found myself back in the clearing but after the “graduation ceremony” had ended. There were groups of people socializing.

I remember approaching the speaker and apologizing for walking out. She was very nice about it, assuring me not to worry. I remember her showing me the program for the event/ceremony. She pointed to the pictures of 3 girls who were in the program in black and white. She told me she had spoken on their behalf, to remember and memorialize them as they had died very recently. I did not recognize the girls nor do I remember their faces.

Forest Dream #2

I was at a relative’s house. The dream house was pretty accurate to the house in reality: A large house, with an extensive backyard but – There was a mountain range in the distance; As one looked out beyond the yard the mountains were prominent as ever. It looked beautiful as the sun was setting. The yard wasn’t that large as I noticed the other surrounding neighbor’s yards were nearby, but there weren’t many fences dividing the yards up; It was pretty open and connected.

This relative was saying mean and disparaging things to me. Again, not far from reality; This relative has always been slightly condescending and ambiguous towards me, but would never stoop so low to say some of things that he was saying to me in this dream; In short, repetitively saying to my face how worthless and useless I am. I kept telling him to stop but he wouldn’t, continuously pestering and pushing me to brink of explosive anger.

Another relative from the same house, stole my phone and I caught him looking through it. He was at the bottom of some stairs (In a basement, I suppose. The interior of the house was not based in reality) and I was peering from the top yelling at him for doing so. I didn’t appreciate him violating my privacy. He ran away and I went down to retrieve my phone. After this occurred, something else was said to me of condescending nature (by who I don’t specifically remember) and I flipped; I yelled, cursing everyone out in the house and booked it – out of the yard and towards the mountain range.

I ran very fast. Faster than I ever could in reality and without tiring. I went the length of the entire backyard from the back of the house onward, until I came upon a metal gate that was attached to a larger chain metal fence. I opened the latch and continued to run and run and run; Through the other neighboring yards on and on. I ran so fast and so far, thoughts blacked out by my anger, blinded by my rage (I had no idea where I was going. I just needed to run), until after a time I decided it might be appropriate to stop. OHT Pic 4387 Open forestI had cleared the “suburban backwoods” and now found myself alone and isolated in a forest.

But I wasn’t afraid. I was suddenly calmed in the realization of my aloneness. It was peaceful, quiet. I don’t even remember hearing birds chirping or crickets singing. The forest wasn’t very dense but was actually very open. I noticed a sign across from me that said something along the lines of: Visitors must leave the forest before dusk. I remember the word DUSK specifically, in bold and all capitals.

The shape was something like this, though the material was not finished wood. Imagine a light tan, beige-ish color instead.
The shape was something like this, but the steps were bigger and more triangulated. And the material was not finished wood. Imagine a light tan, beige-ish color instead. I don’t remember a railing either.

In my contentment, I continued to look about the forest and noticed (across from the sign) I was standing next to a spiraling staircase to a treehouse. But there wasn’t just one staircase – there were two. The inner one was made of wood and the steps were large and somewhat triangular. The outer one was made of highly ornamented wrought, black iron. I remember looking up the staircase for awhile, pondering it. My memories then came flooding back as to what had transpired: The argument, my flighty tantrum. I did not ascend the staircase, but began to head back to the house. By the time I got back it was dark.

Instead of announcing my return, some other relatives (including my brother) decided it was best to sneak me in and not tell parties previously involved that I had come back; So that they would be worried and look for me and waste their time and emotions doing so. I remember lying down, hiding with my brother behind a jungle gym while the relative who stole my phone headed out to look for me. After that, my dream starts to get hazy, unclear, and watercolored. I woke up soon afterwards.

Dragonfly

You ever feel like the universe is trying to send you a message, either through certain happenings or symbols? I think that those types of messages exist and I become more sure of it as time goes on.

For example, yesterday (and frequently when I have been driving lately) cars kept cutting me off, making me have to brake somewhat abruptly so I wouldn’t hit them.  No close calls or anything but all of these careless drivers could have definitely waited until I passed.  I noticed many of them even flew past STOP signs and just swerved out into the road.  Right turns, left turns; They were all going for it.  I was on a main street in my town (Franklin Ave and Centre for those who live in or around it) and was coming to a light, which turned yellow as I approached.  There are two lanes at this light: One to make a left and the other to go straight or make a right.  I was making a left but an Astro van in front of me (and the only car in front of me) had positioned itself between these two lanes, in front of the crosswalk with no directional.  The light turns green and this car immediately makes a left hand turn.  Oncoming traffic was heavy so I had to wait for all the cars to pass and didn’t make a left until the light was about the turn red again.

Okay, so I’m driving on Centre St. now.  I then approach the next light at Centre and Passaic, which is red.  I’m the third car in line.  Light turns green.  The first car (a Chevy Impala) is making a left and has to wait for traffic to pass, the second car goes around the first to go straight, and I am also making a left and wait for the Chevy now in front of me.  After the traffic passes, we make our lefts in succession.  Now this Chevy was going so slow, exactly 25 mph and braked for every slight turn, every person walking on the sidewalk, every approaching car, it even braked when the breeze was blowing.  It was so irritating.  I joked to my friend later on that whoever was driving was either a young new driver, extremely old, or high out of their mind.  If you know me, you know I love to drive somewhat fast preferably with my windows down and music blasting, so this was a bit of a struggle.  But I slowly breathed and told myself to have patience, the universe was telling me something – slow down. Don’t rush.  This pattern, especially while driving has been extremely recognizable over the past few days.

Much to my displeasure, this car seemed to be going exactly where I was – all the way down Park Ave and over the Lyndhurst Bridge.  We finally separated at the light that comes right after the bridge – the Chevy was making a left.  I was making a right.  As I made the right I couldn’t help but put a little more weight on the gas, so glad to be free of that tortoise driver in front of me.  I’m driving smoothly along with no lights, no traffic, and no pedestrians.  I was starting to feel so liberated.  Then I slow to 25 mph again – in front of me there appeared a white Honda Civic moving at the same pace as I was, and a garbage track in front of the Civic moving at a snail’s pace while smelling up the entire road.

I guess you can say these are all coincidences.  Hell, any skeptic could.  But I think the universe has a lot to say if when you keep your mind open, breathe in the open air, and take in everything with a clear state of mind.

So you might be saying, “Okay, fine.  So what?  You had to drive a little slower than usual.  Big deal.”  But something happened to me this morning that I am still in disbelief about.  The universe sending out more messages?  You be the judge.

After stepping outside this morning I was taken aback with how beautiful it was outside.  No humidity, cool air, and a slight breeze.  The sun was shining, birds chirping, and the air smelled so sweet.  Since graduating, I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading.  It sounds awful but I never could make the time for it while I was in school, specifically most of high school and all of college.  One of my favorite things to do now is to go outside with my book, a glass of ice water, my sunglasses, and just read.  My backyard has become such a soothing and peaceful environment to me lately.  So I put on my sunglasses, poured my water, grabbed Pathways to Bliss by Joseph Campbell, and went outside to read at about 9:30.  It was so quiet and beautiful out and I quickly became absorbed in my book.  At one point, I glanced up at a dead plant that was on my deck and noticed a leaf on it that looked like a dragonfly.  I paid it no mind and went back to my book, eating up all the Joseph Campbell knowledge I could about myth, the psyche, and the importance of archetypes.  About five minutes later, I noticed something fly over my head and saw the shadow in my lap.  I glanced back up at the plant again and noticed the leaf was a dragonfly.  It’s wings were translucent and had green lines towards the edge of all four of its wings and a green dot in the middle of each wing.  (I can’t find a picture of this type of dragonfly for the life of me, so if anyone knows what species this might be, let me know!)  I stared at it for awhile.  I don’t ever recall seeing a dragonfly ever, nevermind in my own yard.  Every time I looked away, I looked back.  It was near motionless on this dead branch of a plant in front of me.  The wind would blow hard enough to shake the trees and the leaves.  The dragonfly would sway but still remained locked on to the branch, looking at me.  It became difficult to concentrate on reading at this point, so I closed the book and stared at this funny little dragonfly staring back at me.  It was not afraid when I moved my arms and legs; It did not budge.  Sometimes it moved it’s head/eyes to the side but they always came back to me.  We were pretty close to each other, only about two or three feet away.  And we sat like that for 10 whole minutes.  I timed it.  After the 10 minutes, it flew away.

It left an impression on me.  What could that possibly mean?  I was shocked.  I had never had that type of experience before.  I thought about it all day.  In the afternoon I did a brief Google search on strange dragonfly behavior and found a few things that piqued my interest.  One thing that did is the folk tale that, “dragonflies have traditionally been one of a select few creatures that have been known to carry a deceased person’s energy (soul) to their loved ones. Contact from one of these simple, yet splendid creatures brings peace to a grieving soul.”  I have been thinking about my grandmother from time to time, who passed away in 2004 but because I was only 14 when she died, I never really mourned her death until this past Easter.  It kind of caught up with me then.  Could it have been her somehow?  Then I started reading about what the dragonfly symbolizes and this really got me going:  “The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.”  The dragonfly’s iridescent properties are believed to represent, “the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.  Well that’s totally what I’ve been trying to do!  I’ve been eating up the teachings of Campbell, Jung, and Sagan like crazy!  Trying to learn everything, rediscover myself, transition myself away from my student self which has died and transform into something great, something better.  I’ve been trying to remain objective about this rebirth, yet keep tabs on my subjective feelings.  As I was reading and discovering the symbolism of the dragonfly, I was in utter disbelief at parallels I was finding.  “The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis. This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly. The opening of one’s eyes The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds.”  Who knew this deep symbolism even existed?!  “In many regions and as a norm of this day, the dragonfly is considered to be an agent of change and presumably symbolic of a sense of self realization.”

If this isn’t the universe sending me a message, an affirmation of everything I’ve been doing thus far on my journey of self-discovery and personal enlightenment, I don’t know what the hell it is.  How do you explain these things?  Too many things make sense to me.  Too many things fall into place, so why fight it?  Let’s just go with it.  Might I also add that when I first went to go outside to read, I shattered a drinking glass and spent at least 20 minutes cleaning up, picking up shards of glass and vacuuming.  If I hadn’t stalled myself by doing this, would I have even had this dragonfly experience at all?  Think about it.  Sometimes these real life, waking dreams can have such an impact.  I can only encourage others to lead their own journeys of self-discovery and see what they find.  It can be hard work but it gives you the gift of understanding and the possibility of reaping infinite rewards.