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Groom Your Own Feathers!
dreamed 2008/9/18 by Wayan.
Sicily's clouds below. I'm on the lip
of Etna-Shasta, the fieriest
volcano on Earth. Red-dappled-gold
reticulate dancers, lava-limbed,
cavort within the summit-crater rim.
Sunk in that fumaroling brink
is a whitewashed bunker, clinging like
opal in rough matrix. And behind
its small brave face the holy caves extend.
Here live Volcano Monks. They pray
daily to Hephaestos and Pele.
Austere their lives, and a bit unsure,
though liquid flame last flooded their
stony halls centuries back. For
their redoubt's a thorny crag above
a shark-jawed caldera-gash
where lava vomits when the pool's
in spate. Etna-Shasta never cools
enough to plug, so the cauldron shan't
explode in suicidal rage. Sane,
unlike the apoplectic vain
Cascade cones I know back home.
A courteous forge! As well befits
the glowing blacksmith god below.
(They hardly ever virgins throw.)
The Monks agreed I may interview
their most renowned: a grayish-blue
alien bird, two meters tall.
A star-tourist, one of our first, he came
for a one-day peek and stayed sixteen
years. Who of us foresees the call?
We nest behind stone parapets and gaze
out on the fire-veined lake below,
and interview. "When you pray, do you
really believe a fire-god hears?"
"Well," says the big-headed dusky crane
"I know I am here
atop a live volcano where I pray
to luminous Pele. Of that I'm sure.
But I never did wish upon a fire
or feel I merit some reply,
so I really cannot swear
divinity's on the line.
But is that soulwork's goal?
All I can do is hold up my end
of the interview, and mind
my thought and word and act.
No god ever made us pure. We
groom our own feathers!
Shouldn't we? Does not Pele
have grander work to do?"
That's the end of the interview.
What more is there to say?
Under the heron's indigo eye
the fire-fountains sway.
- Mt Etna: Sicily's Mt Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
- Mt Shasta: giant volcano in California; currently dormant. I grew up thinking of it as my holy mountain. It's ringed by New Age cults who claim it's a portal between worlds; so it may stand for all things psychic: from strange spiritual paths to ESP.
- Nonstop lava fountains: I've been sculpting Jupiter's moon Io, studded with volcanoes like Tvashtar, whose nonstop lava fountains leap a mile high. But I didn't work on Io today; so I suspect these too stand for ESP; a glimpse of the molten sea beneath the thin crust of what we're sure of.
- Volcano monks: probably the parapsychologists in Russell Targ's Miracles of Mind, which I've been reading. Targ says his personal experiences of ESP have convinced him you need to still inner fears and expectations to make room for images to form. "Groom your own feathers"?
- Tall blue bird-monk:
- Songwriter Leonard Cohen, who lives in a Zen monastery on a mountaintop. Today I sang his "Tower of Song"--on monkish dedication to music. Like Cohen among the monks, I feel like a tourist around scientists, especially those working in despised, underfunded fields like ESP research. I admire their dedication, but I'm born for art. Beauty, not proof!
- That dour blue avian tourist in Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle, doomed to be an expendable bit player
- A blue cousin of Big Bird from Sesame Street
- Most likely: the Blue Blammor, a monster I dreamt of about 15 years ago (note the monk's been there 16 years, in this dream; about right). The Blammor stood for my inner fears. But it looks like my own nightmare has grown, over decades, into a saint!
- Prayer without reward: oops. Have I kept up my end of the interview? With lovers, friends, family, work (let alone the gods?), I'm eager for results, like a pigeon pecking for a food-cube, or a Christian praying for favors! But the blue heron says: "that's childish--vain & greedy. Gods aren't vending machines. Just nest where change happens; expect eruptions; ignore reward."
- This is Dreamverse #28. Every day, a dream-poem! Groom my own feathers.
LISTS AND LINKS:
mountain dreams -
scenic dreams -
austerity and monasticism -
herons and other
inner critics -
gods and goddesses -
transcendent dreams -
advice dreams - I'm a heron getting more sound bird-advice in:
dream poetry - the
Dreamverses project - the next Dreamverse:
King Kong Crab - Leonard Cohen sings, inducing a shamanic vision, in
Passin' Through - climb the holy peak in Lord Valentine's Castle, in
The Ill-Formed Tale
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