Enlightened Tree 2

The tree after the blackbird flew away.


I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.

from “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens

A week ago, I woke from a long stretch of lucid dreaming, in which I consciously entered one dream after another. Finally, a couple of hours later, I woke from the dreams and into a beautiful spring Sunday morning. I threw on a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and sneakers, and headed outside for a walk in the meadows.

It was a magnificent day. The air was dry, the light crystalline. There were no other people around at 8 a.m., so I was left alone to marvel at the delicate buds on the trees, the green of the mountains just beyond the river, and the new grass covering the fields. The whole world, it seemed, was newly awake.

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Then, stepping off the walking path onto the dirt road, I came upon a line of trees, and sitting about three-quarters of the way up in the branches of one, sat a red-winged blackbird. I tilted my head to look at it, just as the bird cocked its head to look at me. Suddenly I felt as if I’d stepped back inside my lucid dreams: the light intensified, and the air seemed to charge itself with a stronger current of aliveness. As if in a dream, the bird seemed to be conscious of me, as I was of it. The branches of the tree, the buds, the air, and the  hard-packed dirt of the road beneath my feet — all seemed to be  vibrant, connected, awake, aware, and alive.And then, the bird flew away, the magic receded, and the ordinary miracle of a spring morning returned.The memory of the ecstatic beauty was almost as good as having been inside of it.  I knew that though this waking lucid dream was over, it would always be there, just behind my ordinary experience of the world.

Enlightened Tree

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To learn more about lucid dreaming, or dreaming in general, visit Third House Moon.

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