Synchronous Fish

I walk along our stretch of beach a couple of times a week and have done in all weathers for the last three years. It’s never the same twice, and that’s why I love it. There’s hardly anyone there, often utterly deserted, or with a few fishermen with lines out to sea. Dogwalkers are often the only people you see and as the weather deepens into winter, only the really hardy venture out. The wind comes in off the North Sea tasting of Siberia and the waves are wild and high, even when there’s no storm.

It’s interesting to see what washes up or is thrown up but anything edible, from stranded fish to discarded sandwiches the fishermen leave behind is gobbled up by the ravening hordes of sea birds that patrol the shoreline incessantly. I’ve been seeking to find a photograph of a fish out of water, to illustrate a novel I wrote a few years ago but in the three years I’ve been here, I have never come across a stranded and unmutilated  fish. Apart from a few pipefish, which hardly look like fish at all, I’ve never seen a fish lying on the shore. I’ve found lobsters, and crabs and even a young seal but never an intact fish. Of course, I could always have found a photo somewhere, but that didn’t feel right.

Today in sunshine and brisk winds, I reached the shore and after  few moments, I saw it.  About six or eight inches long, black eyes staring sightlessly up at me, this discard from the fisherman nearby, lay a silvery fish. Cursing that for once I had forgotten my camera, I whipped out my phone and took a snap with that and as I bent closer, the lower jaw of the fish moved and I knew it wasn’t dead at all. I picked it up and put in carefully back in the sea and when nothing floated belly-up in the surf, I realised I had found it in time and it had swam away.

We use the term Fish Out Of Water when we mean we are out of our element, out of our true and natural setting and feeling uncomfortable about it. The truth of it is that a fish out of water is very soon a dead fish. Today, with so many things whirling round my mind, I had a sign that not only was I to be returned to my natural element and be revived but also that some of my plans are heading in the right direction. I can’t explain any more than this because there are so many other factors involved but this incident felt so very numinous and powerful beyond measure.

I think the fish might be quite pleased too….

Dreaming of Honey

I’ve yet to explain the events of yesterday afternoon but I shall get round to it when I have ordered my thoughts.

But I want to share this section of dreaming while it’s still fresh; it’s down in my dream journal but I would appreciate feedback.

I dreamed that I was out in my garden and discovered that bees(my bees? I don’t know) had built honeycomb not it their neat little national hive but in the branches of our forsythia tree. This is a shrub/tree that produces a wealth of yellow-gold flowers in spring; ours is a small tree. The bees had built masses of honeycomb all through the branches and as well as being busy with bees drawing out the wax and filling the cells with pollen and honey, the combs were dripping with glorious golden honey. The combs were easy to reach and I could have scooped them up without having to stretch.

Now yesterday’s ritual ended by being visited by a single bee who flew round and investigated all the ritual objects and me before flying away. Bees shun the area immediately around their hive/nest because that’s where they “do their business” as well as dispose of any rubbish and dead bees, so it’s actually rare to see a bee around my garden despite having a hive there.

I don’t know what it means but it certainly feels like a good sign.

One-eyed Dreaming

The night before last I had some strange dreams that seemed to me to be full of symbolism and meaning.

I’m not entirely sure of the order of all these dreams but I think it was about like this:

The first dream I dreamed I looked out of a window and down to the ground where a raptor of some sort looked back up at me. As I look closely I see it is a Merlin, the smallest of the British birds of prey. I call to it and it flies up to me, and tried to land on my hand, but its feet are somehow deformed as if the toes have been broken or dislocated. I steady it with my other hand and after a short while I see the feet are again normal and the bird is able to fly off healed. I’ve had similar dreams about injured birds on a fair few occasions but this is the first time it’s been about a raptor. I’ve handled a lot of birds in real life, including birds of prey, but while I’ve seen Merlins in the wild and in captivity I have never held one. For me, the significance of the name is quite something.

The second dreams is also related to one I have had a lot over the years. A massive bull has broken loose in a market, an old-fashioned cattle market like the one I grew up near as a child, with stalls and pens and conrete floor and a maze of runs made of moveable boards. I see the bull gore and toss someone who lies very still and I and my unknown companion seek safety within the confines of the market itself. The bull is seen again but from being a typical British bull, roan and white and with a curly coat and a ring through the nose, it has become a huge black Spanish bull. In previous dreams, the bull (though it has also been a wild black stallion, a rhino, an elk stag and even a massive bighorn ram) pursues me with supernatural determination and skill, outwitting my every move to escape and I usually wake up sweating and terrified. In this dream the bull simply doesn’t show up again and the dream fades away and into the next one, which may be related.

In the next dream, I realise that an abdominal wound is bursting open. In real life I have had abdominal surgery a number of time, though keyhole style so the wounds are quite small. In this case, the wound seems to cover most of my belly, but it’s not quite like a wound at all. It’s like the skin has been tucked up and folded up and then sewed together, like making a tuck in a garment. I look down and see there are two other wounds beneath this wound. One is obviously surgical, a straight bloody line with stitches visible, that is pulling at the edges as it is wants to burst too, but may well be healing cleanly. The other wound is older and does not look surgical as the edges are ragged and round, like the wound a weapon might make. It seems partially healed but as I look and touch, the edges start to gape and first a little blood and then pus start to emerge, making me feel very sick. It’s clear that this wound is festering and going bad. I touch it again but the pain is too much and I leave the dream behind.

The next dream woke me and left me crying.

Two kids approach me carrying a notebook each. I guess they are in the higher teens, but I don’t recognise them. They ask me if they can put my name in their book. I ask to see the books and when I look I can see they have already put my name in. Above my name are two other names, with various things written after them which seem to be the titles of books. One book is entitled something like The journey to God  and I begin to realise that this is each kid’s list of books that have helped them on their own individual spiritual journey. My name is third in their lists and when I try to see the title of my books the dream begins to fade and I wake up crying. I am not sure why I am crying just that I feel very emotional. I also feel very stupid because I didn’t understand what the kids wanted from me before it was too late and the dream slipped away.

I woke up to a cup of tea waiting for me and a little later, still one-eyed and tired and still a bit wrung out from the day before I went back to sleep and dreamed again.

This time I dreamed a bird had become trapped in my house. It was a little and very fast moving bird, so fast I thought at first it must be a humming bird. I’ve never seen a humming bird in real life so then I wondered if it were a humming bird moth, which have begun to appear in Britan. I chased this creature around the dream house as it battered against surfaces trying to get out, and eventually I saw it had feathers, confirming it was indeed a bird and not a moth. At last, I managed to catch it in both hands and saw that it was actually a gold crest, a relatively rare bird, a cousin of the wren and in fact the smallest bird native to Britain. It struggled a little and was still as I took it out of the house to release it.

Last night was much more disjointed and the only dream worth reporting was a lucid dream. I was in a bookshop and I realised as I took out one book and it became another book altogether, that I must be dreaming. I asked someone in the dream if this was a dream and they told me it was. I also told them they must be another dreamer who had strayed into my dream. I do rather enjoy lucid dreams so I floated down some steps and went off in search of anything interesting. I met a Spanish girl in a wedding dress and I asked her where her bridegroom was, and I was explaining I knew him from work when I lost lucidity due to my cat scratching and mewing at the door which then fully woke me.

I don’t know really what all these dreams mean but it seems an odd coincidence that such a full night of dreaming should occur immediately after an eye injury. Odin hung for nine days and nights on the world tree before he received inspiration. 

Maybe the next seven days will bring changes for me too.

The Bird Dream again

I had a late night last night waiting up for my husband to get back from Brussels; he’d set off before midnight on Thursday night and had endured the journey from hell, so I wanted to be sure he was home safe before I went to bed. This meant that we could sleep in this morning, no alarms, and I often find that the dreams I have on this sort of morning are both memorable and interesting.

I dreamed I had found two injured birds and had one in each hand. I have quite small hands and though neither bird was big, it was hard to hold them without crushing them. Each had a duff wing, but as I held one, I realised it was getting better, so I allowed my hand to open. I expected the bird would either fall to the ground and still be unable to fly, or for it to fly away completely. It did neither. It fluttered a short distance away and then it came back to perch on my shoulder. I don’t know what happened to the second bird as I woke up then.

Now given what is happening in the waking world for me, I can only take this as a very positive dream.