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not a dream!

This morning as I was walking to work I saw a tiny doggie sniffing around on the sidewalk, right across the street from where I used to live at 18th & Alder. He looked like maybe some sort of chihuahua/terrier mix. I stopped to say hello and pet him for a bit. He sniffed my hand and seemed happy for the company. His tiny body was shaking -- it was chilly this morning, and he didn't have much hair. There were no people around. I admired the tiny doggie for several minutes, hoping his owner would suddenly appear around the corner, but noone came to claim him. He had a collar and dog tag, but no address or phone number.

I picked up Tiny Doggie and walked up to four or five different apartments and houses and rang doorbells. No answer at any of them. I said "Tiny Doggie, what should I do with you? I have to go to work and meet with a big important client in half an hour!" Tiny Doggie wagged his tail. I put him down and said "Tiny Doggie, lead me to your home!" Tiny Doggie wagged his tail harder, and then took off trotting east down Alder, glancing over his tiny shoulder to see if I was following him. He kept trotting and glancing back, and I kept following. We got to 22nd. Tiny Doggie took a right, and started sniffing around a day care center. I said "Tiny Doggie, is this where you live?" He wagged his tail and sniffed. I picked him up and rang the doorbell. A large black woman answered. I said "Is this your dog?" She said "No, we're a day care center! But he does look familiar ... he might belong to the folks down the street. They have one big dog and one small dog that kind of looks like this one. Try them, they're the house on the corner with the big brown fence." She took another look and said "He does get around! I saw him earlier this morning in front of the Boys and Girls Club!" I said "That's near where I found him!" I thanked her, and Tiny Doggie and I made our way to the house on the corner with the big brown fence.

I opened the gate and walked up to the front door. There was a sign on the door saying "In Session. Please come in and have a seat." So I opened the door and took Tiny Doggie  inside. There was a closed door off the hallway with a sign that said "In Session". Tiny Doggie sniffed at a dog bed that was in the corner. I whispered "Tiny Doggie, is this your home?" He wagged his tail and sniffed. I looked around some more, and saw a wood burning stove with a framed photograph on it. I took a closer look and it was a picture of ... a tiny doggie! It looked very much like my Tiny Doggie, but I couldn't tell for sure. I needed to get to work. I took a piece of paper and a pen out of my backpack and wrote a note explaining my story, saying I really hoped this was Tiny Doggie's home. I left my name and my phone number. Then I petted Tiny Doggie and left.

Halfway down the block I saw one of my yoga students across the street walking three doggies, one large and two teensy. I crossed the street and said "Hey Ajax, are you missing a tiny doggie?" He said "No! In fact, I just rescued one! This little guy was wandering around on his own!" I said "That's so strange, I just found a tiny doggie too!" and told him my story. When I got to the part about the day care lady telling me to take Tiny Doggie to the house on the corner with the big brown fence, he started laughing really hard. I said "What's so funny?"  He said "That's MY house!" I said, "Well, I left Tiny Doggie there for you!" He laughed even harder and said he'd take care of him and try to find his owner. I said goodbye and continued on my way to work. I'm glad I didn't ride my bike this morning.


might as well cook a goat

Dad had given me an hour. After that, he was going to come back and kill me. I wasn't sure why he didn't just kill me then -- it was kind of like one of those bad movies where the villain talks on and on and on about how he's going to kill the hero, giving the hero enough time to wiggle his hands out of the ropes and smack the villain down. Anyway. He was coming back in an hour. I weighed my options. I could try running away, but I was afraid he'd catch up to me eventually and I didn't want to be on the run all my life. I decided I better kill him first.

The straightforward plan would be to lie in wait for him and shoot him as he was approaching, but for some reason it seemed necessary to do something more elaborate. We had a few booby traps left over that were still in place. There was one at the bottom of the hill that looked like a small chunk of chicken. If you picked it up, your hand would get impaled with a hook and the attached wire would yank you up into the air, suspending you by your impaled hand over a tree branch. I had to figure out how to get Dad to pick it up.

While I was devising my plan, I noticed three mountain lions nearby, fighting with each other. One of them approached me and started swiping at me. I wasn't sure how to defend myself. I started wrestling with it, doing my best to avoid getting bitten or clawed to death. We were moving closer and closer to my friends, putting them in danger as well. One of them said "throw it back towards the other mountain lions!" I managed to toss it in the general direction of the other two, and it picked itself up and started fighting with them instead.

The hour wasn't up yet, so I decided I might as well cook a goat. It had been slaughtered, but no one had bothered to use the meat. So I started hacking off pieces and preparing it for grilling. I got most of it picked away from the bones. Then I saw one big hunk that looked promising. I pulled it out of the carcass to put in the pile of meat. As I laid it down, I noticed it was squishy. I poked at it and saw it was full of shit -- it was the goat's bowels. I tossed it aside.

I took the plate of prepared goat meat down to the picnic table at the bottom of the hill. My friends were gathered around. Dad was approaching. Somehow, I was going to have to persuade him to pick up the booby trapped piece of chicken. Just in case, I had a hammer stashed nearby. I thought I'd be able to smash it into his head. I envisioned the side of his head caved in, blood gushing out. My heart was beating fast. Part of me felt hopeless, like he would always have the upper hand no matter what I tried. I grabbed my hammer and hoped for the best.




The other night I dreamed I was in the trauma unit of a hospital, in the office area, waiting for a counseling appointment. Through the office window I could see victims of terrible accidents being brought in, a woman with her head nearly severed, blood everywhere, many other grotesquely mangled bodies. It seemed to be the normal state of things. The office manager told me it would be at least 2 hours before anyone could see me. I sighed and got ready to settle in for the long wait. Then I paused, and it suddenly hit me quite clearly that I didn't need to be there. I realized I was there out of habit, that I had been coming there for years and years, but I no longer belonged there. I didn't need the appointment, I didn't need to be there. I got up and left, passing the bloody bodies on my way out.

so much for composting

I feel stuck and frustrated. My response is to eat. I'm clinging to the branch of one tree while trying to reach another one, and I can't quite reach it without letting go of the one I've been clinging to. But I'm afraid if I let go I'll fall and splat all over the sidewalk. And now I'm not sure if the other tree is substantial enough to hold my weight.

Ugh. Extremely frustrated with myself. Anxiety dreams galore. I don't know what the hell I was dreaming last night but I'm so glad Hosie woke me up. I was completely freaked out. Had to get up and stay awake for an hour before I felt ok about going back to bed. Dreams about being in charge of toddlers who are in danger -- one who was trying to run into a busy street, another on a plane about to crash. Also having to perform in concerts and plays without knowing what I was doing. Oy.

Why am I frustrated with myself? Partly because I'm afraid to fully commit to a decision I thought I had made a couple of months ago. Partly because I feel like I should be doing more to reach that other tree. I feel unfocused and scattered and unproductive. Also, my back hurts.

Just glanced over and saw a book I had fished off the bookshelf for Hosie last night -- "There is Nothing Wrong with You." I opened it and saw this sentence: "Whatever is struggling or discontent or suffering or afraid is that which needs to be accepted." Ok. Deep breath. I'll go see if I can find some acceptance for my frustration. To be continued ...


Last week I dreamed that I was looking at a huge pit filled with organic matter. There were some bodies in the pit as well. Everything should have been decaying, since it was all organic and it had been there for awhile, but apparently the pit was too full for anything to compost, so all of the bodies and everything else were just lying there. I wanted to put more stuff on top but we were running out of room.
So, I think this is about a certain situation I've been having a hard time letting go of. I need to let it compost and decay, to provide soil for new things to grow. I have this pattern where I make a big life decision, and then I get scared and start second guessing myself and cause myself a lot of angst and stress. I realized today that I've been doing that again. I've already made the decision, but I'm scared and fighting it, even while I'm moving forward with plans for the change. I'd like to stop fighting myself. It's ok to be scared, but I want to fully embrace my decision and move forward with a clear mind and heart. I want to fully trust myself. I do trust myself.

Language and Perception

I have a friend who's training for a marathon, her first ever. Last year she did her first half-marathon, and also her first triathalon. I greatly admire her stamina and determination. In addition to training for these events, last year she completed her masters degree, got her certification in IMT, and took on many challenges at her new job.

The other day I asked her what pace she runs. She said "oh, I run slow -- 11 minute miles." That got me thinking about language, and how we describe ourselves, and how that can perpetuate ideas we have about who we are and what we're capable of. Yes, 11 minute miles is not Olympic pace. It's slower than some people run. And it's faster than other people run. It made me wonder why she felt the need to qualify her statement instead of just saying "11 minute miles."

I was thinking about this in the context of how I describe my ability to do certain poses, and the relative flexibility of my body. My body is not naturally super flexible. I am less bendy than all of the other teachers at my studio. I'm less bendy than most yoga teachers I know. I've been working with accepting that and being content with the body I have, and trying to use neutral language to describe how my body moves. But I realized the way I think about my body is limiting.

This same friend was recently helping me with some backbends. I said "my back doesn't like to bend much." She said "Really? It looks like it's bending just fine to me." When she said that, I could feel my perception shifting. Just those simple words of hers made me think "Oh, maybe it's not so bad after all!" My spine didn't change, but my perception did. That shift in perception gave me the courage in class the next day to try a backbend I've been avoiding for awhile.

So, how can I think about my body (and my life) in a way that acknowledges the reality of the moment, and at the same time is expansive and unlimiting? When I'm teaching and demonstrating a pose that's challenging for me because of the tightness in my muscles, how do I describe what's going on? I've been saying things like "this pose is challenging for me because my hamstrings aren't super flexible." Which seems like a good neutral way to describe it, and is hopefully encouraging to students who experience tight hamstrings. But is there another way to talk about it that leaves more room for possibility?  And ultimately, does it really matter how much my muscles stretch?



Tonight in my Sanskrit class, as we chanted the declension of the feminine noun dharana (8 cases [nominative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, locative, vocative] *  3 numbers for each case [singular, dual, plural] = 24 endings), I got all teary over the sheer beauty of the language.

Sometimes I really like the way my brain works.


nightmares and breakthroughs

Dream the first: Hosie and I were asleep in our bed. Suddenly, I became aware of a looming presence. I opened my eyes and M's dad was standing over the bed. He said "Hi there! I just wanted to come in and hang out with you lovely ladies." I was freaked. I tried to yell "Get out!" but my voice was just a whisper. And I couldn't wake Hosie up. I kept trying to yell but my throat was all tight and nothing would come out. I was terrified.

Dream the second: I was learning to be an air traffic controller. I was looking at the screen with all of the little bleeping radar points. It seemed fairly straightforward, but then I realized I didn't really understand how it worked.

I had a friend who was learning at the same time as me, which I was grateful for, because I felt like I could ask him basic questions that I wasn't comfortable asking my teachers. He explained that each air traffic control tower was responsible for just three planes coming in, but I didn't understand how they figured out who was responsible for which, or how you guided the planes in. He said "I think you just need to jump in there and try it out!" I told him I wasn't ready. I also told him that it was rather ironic that I was becoming an air traffic controller, given how terrified I am of plane crashes.

I was mulling this over when he said "I'll show you how to do it!" and went striding over to one of the control panels and practically shoved the person there out of the way. He took a hold of the steering wheel (yes, there was a steering wheel. And a joy stick) and confidently started giving directions to one of the incoming planes. The plane swooped down to land, but we could tell it was going to overshoot the runway. So while it was still about 50 feet in the air it aborted the landing and went swooping back up into the sky to turn around and try again. My friend was not so cocky now. He was a little tense. The plane banked to turn around. It looked like it was turning too sharply, and for a moment I was afraid it was going to spin out and crash, but it righted itself, headed back toward the runway, and make a perfect landing.
Interesting that I had one dream that was a classic  recurring nightmare (being threatened, not being able to move or yell for help), and one dream that feels like a breakthrough. I've had so many plane crash dreams since I was little. Having a dream where not only does the plane not crash, but I'm learning to be an air traffic controller, for godsake, seems significant. Having both dreams the same night was kind of trippy.



Within an hour of deciding to go out of town this weekend, I had arranged (a) a free car for the entire weekend (b) needed camping gear (c) kitty care. So we're going to leave tomorrow, camp out Friday and Sat evening, and come back on Sunday. Woo! I guess it's meant to be!

must. get. out. of. town.

Plans for Friday

- do my quarterly business taxes
- finish application for IMT advanced training in Nov
- figure out if/when I'm going to Mexico
- figure out how to get to Lake Bronson this weekend, at least for the day
- check out ticket prices to Israel. Buy tickets????
- make more Israel trip plans so I start to believe we're actually going
- go for a bike ride or work out at the gym
- watch Lost with Hosie
- stop feeling bad about myself

I am restless. I definitely need to get out of Seattle for awhile. Hosie's burner friends invited us to go camping up at Lake Bronson, and I was all "I'm not interested, you go if you feel like it." What's wrong with me? Hosie offered to go camping with me and I'm turning her down?? Sheesh. The lake sounds amazing and I want to go. Not sure about the camping part: (a) we'd need to arrange kitty care (b) we'd need to find camping gear (c) we probably wouldn't get much sleep. Hmmm. Those do not sound like insurmountable obstacles. Oh, and we need to find a car. So what. It sounds like fun. I want to go.