Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Basho Pops My Dream Bubble of Jungle

Picture and Poem by Matsuo Basho

Still I have always been drawn by windblown clouds into dreams of a lifetime of wandering.
—Matsuo Basho, Narrow Road to the Interior, Translation by Sam Hamil

I walk into an ecological sanctuary where exotic plants and fish thrive in a hot greenhouse. The humid air transports one to a transcendence of spatial dimensions, wherein time breathes with the quickening pace of an intensified microcosmic environment. Jungle leaves brush against my face as lotus-bloomed lilies freshly spring from the fish-born soup of breathable life in the density of my deeply woven surroundings. A plant scientist and professor live in a nearby hut within the transplanted immersion of moderate rainforest. Also an active marijuana enthusiast, he keeps to himself, remote behind a fastened wall of swollen wood. I and a few friends meander through the delicate passageways, magically mysterious fruits and vines hang down with a gift of flowering beauty unknown to our Massachusetts scents. Our eyes glisten in the cool dank inner workings of such magnificent spires as they that mount upon the blank calm of a recess and serenity in this isolated outgrowth of our Earth’s most advanced biological developments.

As we glide effortlessly, weaving in and out of the rejuvenating corridors, a glint of an eye sparks in an unseen corner. The walls open to encompass the ever-widening viscera of inbound flora. A blue panther sneaks beyond the encircling brush, masked by the glowing façade of a charged, fearful night. We are unprepared. Dropping everything, we rush headlong into the deepest corridor, seeking refuge. This otherworldly animal, prehistoric and enigmatic, bleeds into the folds of any remaining sensation of physical security. We manage to find refuge beneath an enclosure of tables. Frightened beyond the immediacy of thought, we smash the external glass of the sanctuary and carefully stretch outside into the neighboring cold, modern presence of the un-bubbled Earthly night.  
"The jungle in dreams represents the wild, passionate side of your personality. How you feel about the jungle in your dream indicates how comfortable you are with this side of yourself." (iDream)
swung & cushiond by a sacrament of fear

fine heard at the doorstep 
launch into the outer, outer face
punishd by grub 
bleary & entwined 


encouraged to bleed freely
whitish as the granted 
millions of empires 
hunting forgotten, manmade laws
strapped to so much matter 
wholed or scrappd
left out, dried
mushroom fat, swollen spiritual 


- excerpt from "stir.


  1. More great phrases: "swollen spiritual mind," "encouraged to bleed freely," "the cold modern presence of the un-bubbled Earthly night."

    By way of serendipity, I saw on Friday a rain forest movie full of spirit animals travelling and sacred stone and plant spirits transmuting into magic, an old movie I can't believe I never saw before, "The Emerald Forest," about the Amazon's indigenous peoples that was so detailed about their spiritual rituals (and the less savory ones of the "dead people" (white man)) that one could not look on this as some Avatar-like noble savage mythos, or as some political screed. It was all too real, as I take it your perception of that otherness was in your dream.

    Speaking of dreams (and movies), I'd like to share an interesting one I had last night (with your implicit permission). You've made me understand through your journal the importance of capturing the nuances of dreams, because it leads to a greater perception of the ubiquity that we are in the center of...(dream follows)

  2. I was in the back seat of a cramped old Plymouth with my wife and ex-wife. In the front driving was Brenda, the designer from work who is also a theatre director. As we all talked, Brenda kept looking back at us with her big eyes, driving over the high-speed expressway while not appearing to even be looking at the road. It was like weren’t permitted to point this out, although we muttered among ourselves our concerns. Someone said “that’s just the way she drives,” and Brenda replied “believe me, if I needed to look at the road I’d be looking at the road” (said while changing lanes on a vast, high-speed bridge).

    The conversation turned to how and where we all grew up, and arguments about the reality of life developed from this. I made my one contribution by asking everyone how many rich and poor people were around them growing up. Brenda and my wife replied they were a few people who had a little more and a little less, but it wasn’t an issue, everyone was about the same (somewhat sneeringly). I then, speaking also for my ex-wife, said the difference between Oklahoma and Wisconsin where they grew up and the East Coast where we grew up was there were 10% rich, some very rich, 20% poor, some very poor, and a much smaller band in between. That’s what led, I concluded, to such different perceptions of people and their motivations. This deft use of statistics seemed to awe and satisfy the others, for they finally quieted down, at least until directions to the movie theatre were argued over. My wife, driving now, had a secret knowledge of how to get there that she wouldn’t share, despite the protestations of the others of the wrong turns and directions she was taking. It was a quite circuitous route through the heart of a large and ill city, but we ended up in the back parking lot of the movie theatre. Other cars had passengers still in them, as the theatre doors were still locked.

    I don’t remember what the movie was, but I recall being very tired, and thinking I needed something to keep me alert and engaged through a long film. I spotted at a great distance the distinctive Starbucks sign, and decided to go off alone to it, just five minutes before the movie was supposed to start. Walking there was like walking through an Escher maze, a combination of a cantilevered Hyatt-like hotel and a high-end shopping mall. It felt like Baltimore but I thought it was Atlanta. I finally got to the Starbucks, to find it, surprisingly, full of poor African-American people, who all spoke pidgin English in thick Jamaican accents. They quickly picked up their orders, so I went up to the counter, grabbed a bag of coffee to go with the cup I’d already poured (I apparently needed all of that for a movie in the impeccable dream logic). The barista wore a turban around the braids of her hair, and started commenting in her thick Jamaican accent on how healthy I was. I saw that she had pulled up my entire medical history on her terminal, everything from my most recent prostate exam to a bout with chlamydia when I was 20. She evaluated this list carefully, with a moralistic pause at the sexually-transmitted condition that stuck out like an unpaid bill on a credit report. I was thankful, though, for the coffee, and I took it leaving quickly, hoping it was not too late.

    1. That is some breathtaking detail. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous outpouring of mind with such freedom. I want to offer a couple interpretations. First, to be in a Car during your dream is said to symbolize your ambition to navigate from one stage of life to the next. Consider the conditions of the drive, and what that may reflect; also whether you are driving or in the passenger seat. The car can symbolize the ego-function and also provide valuable information in regard to a long-standing theme in your life's journey. I think this is interesting with regard to your attention to poverty, I recently saw an interview with Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West about their recent book, "The Rich and the Rest of Us" on Democracy Now. It is certainly not trivial how greatly the experience of poverty affects our entire worldview as well as our social and personal conditioning. I am reminded of Buddha who was unable to find compassion until he merely witnessed poverty in its many forms. In dreams, Poverty is said to be compensatory, meaning it juxtaposes with forms of wealth you may be experiencing in life and when appropriately reflected / acted on can lead toward psychic balance.

  3. Thanks for the interpretation! I shared this dream with my wife, and have been mulling aspects of strong females (long-standing theme), the use of intellect instead of instinct to navigate, the escape from the movie "objective" through addiction (coffee), the transformative symbolism of the many bridges in the dream, along with the life-stage and ego navigation aspects you point out. I hadn't considered the striking amount of poverty in the dream, and how that is in effect a cry for balance, in my case to really look at my poverty in creation and healing because of my need to be "in-your(sp)face" and "right" as defense and play. Destruction impoverishes and creation enriches.

    I saw that interview on Democracy Now, or something very much like it, a debate on poverty where Cornel and Tavis spoke so much eloquent truth it was like a bolt of lightning: why don't we get this in our mainstream political discourse? At least they talk about the Buddha on OWN (a welcome change).