Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shamanic dream: Weeds singing out recipes

Alliaria petiolata GARLIC MUSTARDImage by gmayfield10 via Flickr

Since mid-March I have earned a significant percentage of my living by gardening, a dream job where I can learn about and from old and new plant pals, faithful friends from my childhood and fresh budding buddies. Most of these green companions are known as "weeds" and some are called "invasive" by scientists and officials.

What grows out of proportion in everyday circumstances can teach and heal also, in ordinary and non-ordinary ways.

I can pull up weeds enthusiastically, while noting with pleasure and admiration the truculent vitality and unrestrained beauty of these plants.

Many years ago, through shamanic dreams, I grokked that (earthy as well as many extraterrestrial) plants, though rooted to a location, are spiritually and psychically flexible, able to give themselves up generously and re-creatively for food, medicine and decoration (and even revel ferociously in dying and death). Plants trek, float, soar and sleep as seeds and can withdraw their photosynthetic life-flows instantly to other places and times, when someone commits carelessness or harm (and for many other wise or mysterious "whys").

I am not intending to express anthropomorphism here, because I mean plants life-shift according to the cosmic and natural laws of their essential be-ings and ordinary existences, in their own "vegetable ways" that humans can only intuit notions and inklings of along this earth journey.

Superimposing human thoughts, emotions and actions onto plant-kind(s) by imagining or fantasizing on purpose can deepen understanding. But such fun exercises might hinder knowing and lead to fallacy if the results are taken seriously or literally, instead of playfully.

Which weeds were dreaming songs into me this week? Dandelions and garlic mustard have been drawing my child-like attention aside, inviting me to eat them and even singing out recipes. Now the knotweed I am encouraging in back of my space is beginning to hum along.

These dreams from plant spirits are entertaining me with tantalizing recipe hints and images rather than distinct formulas. My attempts to transcribe the melodies and words of the recipe-songs before I return from dreaming to ordinary consciousness have not (so far) produced practical, publishable recipes.

But the musical alchemies being imparted through the colorful dances and phrases I experience are nourishing my soul and inspiring me to investigate the succulent concoctions that others have devised featuring dandelions, garlic mustard, knotweed and other edible weeds.

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