My friend, Kathy, in the center
My first cousin twice-removed, Lila, with a blue piano in a forest
Leonard Cohen in Greece in the 1980s
Detail, stamp collage by Laura Sindell, in hallway of University of Washington Medical Center
Oboe in the sunlight next to my art and music table, with elephant and Tyrannosaurus Rex
Early this morning I dreamed that, at the urging of a mysterious someone, I checked on the three Coast Redwood seeds that have been in my refrigerator for nearly 45 days. My plan had been to wait until December 1, per the seed packet instructions, before bringing the seeds out of the refrigerator so that they would sprout, according to their nature and according to the instructions on the seed packet. By checking on the seeds prematurely, I was going against my better judgment, something I do frequently, with predictable negative consequences. I dug down in the bedding soil in the first pot and found a tiny redwood tree and experienced great joy. Then suddenly, as things can sometimes go in dreams, the tiny redwood tree was nowhere to be found. I looked and looked for it with increasing grief as I realized it was gone. There were two more pots to check but nothing to be found growing in either of them. In my mind, I went to what I call "the dark place," which is a place of remorse, regret, guilt, shame, blame and everything that takes the joy out of my life. Then a man, close to me in age, appeared with his own three tiny bedding pots. He was someone I had never seen before. His demeanor was calm and peaceful. He wasn't following the instructions on the seed packet. He had placed small smooth multi-colored ocean stones on top of the bedding soil. He told me that he planned to place the bedding pots in his car for the 45 days. I came out of "the dark place" in my mind, seeing the light surrounding the man who was following a different set of instructions, following his intuition. I felt curious and hopeful for all of us.
Now, awake, a few hours later, I am grateful that the Coast Redwood seeds are still untouched in my refrigerator. Last week, a friend whose passion is bonsai told me to put the bedding pots outside as soon as I take them out of the refrigerator. I had planned to keep them inside, despite his suggestion. Something in me rebels against any authority, no matter how benign. Sure, I can take suggestions from a seed packet without feeling rebellious, but what is it that makes me bristle when a friend suggests not following the instructions?
We'll see what happens between now and December 1. I'll know what to do when the day comes.