Saturday, May 29, 2010

There's a Place...


...in a dream was traveling somewhere...at first, some kind of urban square at night...people sitting around a fountain...someone offering something...enticing, yet unnerving, dangerous...declined...but not without regret...

...moving on to a trail...apparently, at first, a high desert canyon I know in Arizona, but heavily wooded, and crowded...like that hill in Gettysburg, overlooking the valley where the worst fighting took place in 1863...gallons of blood shed in trying to get to where we stood looking at historical markers...but also still the Wet Beaver Wilderness...(no, not a dirty joke...one of my favorite places in the southwest...about fifty miles south of Flagstaff, twenty east of Sedona)...and a group of people were getting off onto a rough side trail into woods so tangled you wouldn’t think there’d be a trail there at all...voices shouting about how rough it looked ahead...

...continuing along the gentler path, alone, and around the next bend, a line of gigantic rock formations rising up above the trees, amber yellow pillars, like sandstone...but more solid-seeming, strangely geometric, like something Picasso might sculpt if he was a god and feeling particularly cheerful that day...bright beneath a clear cerulean sky....in the valley below, a stunningly crisp multicolored lushness surrounding the broad stream...maybe a river...but a quiet, shimmering blue...cool and slow...flat, glimmering stepping stones arrayed across the water...

...standing on one of those flat stones, struck, in the dream, by the very existence of this place...that if I was down, in pain, depressed, I could come here...to its water, its rocks, its trees...its sublime clarity...

....turning and looking back the way I came, was surprised to see I was closer to civilization than I'd thought...but the buildings I could see back there at the head of the canyon were gorgeous, too, like some mythical Northern Italian hillside village....though it seemed the rock under me, maybe the entire landscape was moving, and there was a strange sound...the phone...a friend wanting to tell me about her new job and asking if I wanted to get lunch...which was only reasonable at nearly 11:30 in the morning...and, really, there are worse ways to wake up...




*note on the the title of this post: it comes from here*

7 comments:

ted said...

I've driven that stretch of I-17 many times, passing Dry Beaver Creek with a chuckle, then a short time later passing Wet Beaver Creek with an "Attaboy!"

Bob Weisenberg said...

(Hi, Jay. My last comment on "Dreaming..." is even more directly relevant to this wonderful blog than that one. So I'm repeating it below. If this is too much, just delete it from "Dreaming..." or don't publish this one.)

Did you know that the various states of consciousness between waking and dreamless sleep are one of the favorite preoccupations of the ancient Yoga sages who wrote the Upanishads? Consider this passage:

The human being has two states of consciousness: one in this world, the other in the next. But there is a third state between them, not unlike the world of dreams, in which we are aware of both worlds, with their joys and sorrows.

In that third state of consciousness there are no chariots, no horses drawing them or roads on which to travel, he makes up his own chariots, horses, and roads. In that state there are no lotus ponds, no lakes, no rivers, but he makes up his own lotus ponds, lakes and rivers. It is he who makes up all these from the impressions of his past or waking life.

As a great fish swims between the banks of a river as it likes, so does the shining Self move between the states of dreaming and waking.

As an eagle, weary after soaring in the sky, folds its wings and flies down to rest in its nest, so does the shining Self enter the state of dreamless sleep, where one is freed from all desires.

--Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, translated by Eknath Easwaran


See why I'm always telling people (like a broken record) that the Yoga Sutra is incomplete without the Gita and the Upanishads? The Upanishads are chock-full of spiritual poetic rhapsodies like this.

Bob Weisenberg
YogaDemystified.com

nothingprofound said...

As always, beautifully written. Nice to have a place like that to return to in one's dreams of natural wonders and sweet serenity.

earthtoholly said...

What a beautiful dream, especially when you turned off on your own...seems things got much more dreamy and serene at that point. I loved Flagstaff and Sedona the only time I was there...probably blew through too quickly to remember Wet Beaver Wilderness. Maybe next time.

And about your fabulous post title, drjay, I hope you don't mind that I borrowed this to post here: "That's one of those songs that, though I've probably heard it literally thousands of times, when put it on when I haven't in a while, I think "damn, that's good..."" Thanks!

Brooks Hall said...

I think that it's true that, as a part of the dual nature of experience, there is always a place to go for spiritual refreshment.

It sounds like a nice dream.

And it's good to be reminded of this as people face difficulty. Even in difficulty, there is reprieve. The trick, psychologically, is just not to escape. Spiritual technology can absolutely bring relief, but we also have to come back and do whatever needs doing.

In your dream, it sounds like going back looked better after the side journey. May it be so!

Lana Gramlich said...

Sounds wonderful. We never did get there, when I took a road trip to AZ years ago. I really do need to go back again someday...

It's A Yoga Thang said...

That's it, I'm planning a road trip back to nature. OX