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Trust Your Canoe

Dreamed 2012/8/16 by Wayan


My sister Miriel calls. She's a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, so I ask her about Chinese herbs I could take for this recurring mystery fever I get. She gets mad at me just for asking, says "You obsess on illness, making it worse. Just get on with your life."

Tried that for a decade. Failed. I hurt. I NEED to focus on health to get better. Nor is my 'obsession' that costly in effort, money or time. Illness is what costs me.

Well, I asked. And got no help. Do my own research!


I'm on my bed. Every surface in the room is covered with dream-art, as if I'm looking through all of it. A short slender woman climbs on my bed to read a small dream-painting on the coverlet. It explores how worry and paranoia sicken me from stress. She says "True, but you'll never get well till you quit indulging the sickening part." She gestures around the room, and I realize she either considers all my art illness-obsessed, or merely DOING art a sick process!

Hm. I didn't think I focused much on illness much. Out of dozens of artworks, I see only one more even mentioning it. Now sex-obsessed, maybe; dream-obsessed? Definitely! But the art she's waving at just isn't very concerned with illness. Unless she means that simply doing art is inherently unhealthy. I'm careful to avoid toxic materials, so I don't buy that either.

The only sickening process I see here is her snap judgments.

Art surrounds me on my bed. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

I paddle my dugout canoe north along the beach. Not across the cove, on the beach. My canoe glides along wet sand, paddle-less. I sit quietly. Don't know what makes it glide, but we do a steady 8-10 kph. Along one cove-beach, through a sandy defile between boulders on its north point, into a bigger cove. The bluffs above are all dry golden grass and scattered oaks. No road, no homes. A preserve, or an isolated ranch?

I look for creeks. None. Ah! Low, curved stone walls that may be a well, and then a hanging valley with a tiny pond--barely bigger than a puddle.

A third cove, wetter. Here, in one hanging valley, spot a hidden waterfall. I like this cove! If I had to live in one, this'd be it. Though on a crag above, I see a guy with binoculars. Whale-watching, or a spy? I know in the dream there's some intrigue here.

At this cove's north end a cape juts far out. My canoe heads instead up a trail toward a low saddle. But I'm not sure its mysterious motive power will push it uphill on dry sand and over rocks. If it fails, I'll have to drag it back down (and am I strong enough to? Dugouts are HEAVY) and try paddling round the point. Hard without a paddle! Will I need to carve or burn one?

Paddling a canoe up a hill! Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

Now wait--I sure lack faith in my magic dugout! And it hasn't even slowed yet.

Trust your canoe, dummy. Trust your canoe.



I didn't chart my worrying, but noticed sooner how I paid for worry, and stopped sooner. I did NOT give up my 'obsession' with health. It led to real improvement. Charted my health daily, testing various diets, herbs and medicines, keeping the best... and despite a residual tendency to worry & overwork, I slowly went from sickest of three siblings to the healthiest. Miriel's struggling; has faced multiple operations.


I had NINE dreams that night, totaling 1200 words. These are just the two I found the most self-explanatory. Because I'm so lazy.

Dream 1: my sister Miriel - dream health-advice & advice in general - negativity - the arts - studios - workaholism vs. creativity
Dream 2: beaches - boats - magic - power - ascent - negativity, pessimism & worry vs. trust -
General: that dream explaining what worry does to me: Paranoid Habits - a similar escalator leads to Making Progress Standing Still

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