North is the bright notion that has now become a familiar road. It is the night loons in the distance making their faraway noise and you know but the inky madness, the hungry ghosts, the black silhouette of the pines in darkness and you wish it was 1958 you want to be 1975, you wish you had a station wagon the one with the wood panels the one you rode in as a child. That child would have set out. That child would have explored. Now it is up to you to make those yearnings true.
The road had since appeared to me in dreams as my mind attempts to catch up on my travels. I again have no life lessons, those parts of me that are older and empty remain old and empty. I have been to places I never meant to see again, and cliffs and barrows I have never seen and now wish all night in the frightening evil hour to again return. I wake up in the night and again worry about 1. bills 2. health 3. worrying about bills and health will impact my health 4. do I have my keys.
Last night I dreamed that a friend had a dead whale in his yard. It did not seem out of place. It must have come from that bone your found, she said. The whale was behind a fence. It was rather small, for a whale I thought. I asked him if he was to hide it, but he was proud that this creature had expired in his front lawn. Is my spirit animal a whale? Not as romantic as the wolf, but I guess we can’t always pick our totem.
I have again returned to work, which in this season means to travel again but not in a free and open way. It is to shuffle after airplanes and attempt to find hot spots, unguarded plugs from which to quaff my iThingy. I am back to burning down the very forests I wondered at.
My mind continues to attempt to catch up, and in dreams I see people turn in and out of wood and always there is movement.
The road is blue and there is a city on a hill, but then there is always a city on a hill, we know this from the stories. The past snaps at my heals, the hounds of heaven nipping and as curs and as fantastic seraphs mourn and beat with wings at once those of rabid bats and fantastic dragons. The sky molts the dank clouds and glows in improbable colours.
I did not dream as I traveled. If I did, I no longer remember those visions.
What is it to dream when each day is so unlike the rest, vistas and the journey, what is it to dream when each day was, since we were in a car traveling down a dust road, the same.
North is that small town where all the fishermen are still asleep. As we rocked past the campgrounds we had not stayed at (since we got a better deal in town on a quaint cabin and needed not war against the bugs), I wondered about the ranger lady. Was she awake? Did she look for us or wonder what had happened?
The winds blew and I had returned to the city, to an endless house a place I see often in my dreams. This is the Black Lodge, and in dreams I am always there. Always trying to return to a place I used to live, or finding a place in the city I forgot I lived, friends who I had had and lost but my stuff was remained. Like the coasts of North, the city is surrounded by green fields cut short, and cliffs to which water crashes and flows about.
It is to the traveler to make those places foreign and to that to make those people from those lands into epic actors in a drama that, considering their daily lives, not as fantastic as the traveler makes out. In the world of post-post-post modern, we “othered” them. However, this exercise allows for one to see the world apart from the work-a-day. Perhaps to bring some of that magic back and see that you are that same traveler at home, no matter how dull your adventure back home seems to have become since your eyes have lost the luster of seeing where you are for what it may be to others, what it may really be. To other travelers from those distant lands who come to see your small tender part of the world you may now occupy some traveler’s tale. Perhaps you are in a photograph of an epic vacation, even if you appear just in the background, an accent mark of an adventure that changed someone’s life and to which you but provided some small detail that you have since forgotten – directions, sold them a bagel, or drove by in an unlikely car held together by baling twine and coat hangers.
In another dream there was a skull of a large animal. Again this was in a house, to which I forgot I had lived and had fallen into disrepair. Under the porch was a grave, a tombstone marking some lost love atop of which was a marble statue of a fisher – the little weasel.
Was this a symptom of being on the open road? Too much sun? I have searched for any lessons from taking a trip of over 4000 miles, one which to not my ancestors but to my own parents is unimaginable as to my great grandparents it was unattainable except to great human risk and cost.
We travelers have returned to setting up our lives. I have no Great Truths to offer. Yet…. Perhaps that will come in the churning of the dreams.