The Numinous Pine

The Numinous Pine

Look here, the tree says.
There is a path, a road
Winding toward a cabin
Deep in a shadowy forest.
Finding the glowing pine
Is not enough. I need to travel
Down the winding road
To the decrepit cabin
Full of cobwebs, broken boards.
Even deeper, I need to go,
Below the foundation,
Down to the level of packed dirt,
Down to the damp, dark place
Where memories sleep in fits,
Pushing like roots in the soil.
New Dream Journal

I’ve kept a log of my dreams for years and years, ever since I was a teenager, but lately my nightly visions have slipped away from my conscious mind.

As is my custom, I keep a notebook next to my bed where each night I write, “I want to remember my dreams tonight,” or something to that effect.

If no dream is in my mind when I wake, I write, “No dream tonight.” I have a long list of many nights in a row with not even a fragment to hold.

I’m wondering if my inner dream maker is feeling neglected, because I have had several vivid images come to me in dream form during the last year, but I haven’t really paid them any mind.

So now I’m breathing life into the dreams (at least I hope), by drawing and writing about them. This particular dream came to me in the winter, before my mother-in-law died.

I have a recurring image that includes this cabin in the above drawing, and often this place is *Katherine’s cottage* in the dream.

In life, every summer we used to go to her house in the countryside of West Stockbridge, Mass. It was tucked into a sort of tree-lined grotto at the end of a circular gravel drive, a short distance away from a brook.

But this dream cabin always appears as a secret place my husband and I had forgotten about. It sometimes shows up as *Katherine’s first cottage* where she has been living far away in the deep forest, like a fairytale witch.

I don’t like to over analyze my dreams, but it does give me a sense of wholeness when I invite the dream images into my art. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide what the cabin would mean if it were your dream, or the tree, as well.

Plant People, Watercolors, and Escape

I’ve learned a bit more about using watercolors from London Drawing Group and their wildly brilliant series, A Feminist’s Guide to Botany.

Also, I’m still riding a wave of inspiration from December 2020 and their web event titled, A Surrealist Saturnalia Solstice.

It was a delightfully pagan evening with automatic writing to paintings by Magritte and Dorothea Tanning. The teaching artists wore horns, which I loved. We took inspiration from Max Ernst’s paintings of plants turning into birds with muscled arms.

Drawing at sunset on a still cool spring evening. Such a balm to immerse myself in fantasy, to tell stories to myself about plant people among the trees, bringing them to life while sipping a Juneshine, listening to Ella Fitzgerald and the birds.

Plant people cavorting at sunset. View from my back porch

What I Need Is More Yoga

Tree in tree pose

Tree in tree pose

When I woke up yesterday morning the light in the room was still dim. The closed door, stained dark walnut, looked like an open portal, a deep black tunnel.

At the end of yoga class yesterday afternoon, when our teacher said to allow the mind to go into the deeper states of consciousness, this ink black portal, a door made of shadows, opened before me once again.

Corpse pose is a preparation for death, not a moment to fear, but rather a letting go. I slide into the velvety, warm blackness, this state of consciousness where poetry is born.

Spirit Hawk

A hawk lifts from the pines and flies toward me across the lake.

It lands on the grassy slope next to where I’m sitting on a blanket.

The hawk grows in size, becoming bigger than I am.

Its eye dominates my field of vision.

I ask the hawk a question about how I should proceed,

and in answer it flies away, back toward the pines.

I try to follow it, but as I reach the middle of the lake,

the hawk dissolves into the sunlight.

HawkMy drawing of the hawk from my visualization.

Day four, five-minute mindful writing, a small stone for Writing Our Way Home. 

Sudden Transformation

Dream: I look in the mirror and realize I have turned into a young Black woman. I have beautiful dreadlocks that sweep away from my face and fall over my shoulders. My eyes are big and wide, and my mouth is full. I’m surprised and pleased at this sudden transformation, but there is also the recognition that this woman has been inside me all along.

Before I had time to recall my dreams in the morning, I picked out a few poetry collections to bring on our road trip to Chicago–Nikky Finney’s Head off and Split was one. While reading the first piece in the book, “Resurrection of the Errand Girl: an Introduction,” I remembered my dream.

It’s an inspirational book. It looks like my car ride to Chicago will be a good one.




Last night’s dream: I am taking a poetry exam and have the option of choosing my own essay question. I’m excited to write about the influence metaphysical poets had on T.S. Eliot.

In actuality, this was a question on my recent M.F.A. exams that I chose not to answer, because I didn’t know much about the link between Eliot and the metaphysicals. I have a vague memory that he might have been related to George Herbert. I just found Eliot’s essay on the subject in a collection of John Donne’s work, and I’m planning on reading it.

I think the answer would involve a close reading of Ash Wednesday and The Four Quartets. So that’s next.