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More on a dream, 11.25.16

November 25, 2016


Imagine the people in the dream who were members of the exclusive writing club: they attend meetings every week, where they do writing exercises. Presumably they also attend competitions with writing students from other schools (a la Harry Potter 4).

They have special teachers.

And yet. Dream-Mea shows up, not knowing anything about any of that. Not even knowing this ritual is related to writing. She sits for an unknown exam — no studying, no practicing — and she passes.

Her results card contains (at least) 4 letters. They all indicate… something of interest.

Why would I need the super-special-exclusive club?

Why would I want it?

Maybe sitting the exam wasn’t to show them I belong with them so much as… show me we’re already peers, however I got there.

And having gotten there — to writing (well), by my own devices — what could they provide me that I could use?


I wasn’t accorded the lovely calligraphy, you’ll recall: I got block letters. And since I never actually saw my name spelled out, I’m not sure I even got that. All I saw for sure was the card conflating me with my friend, as if we were one person.

Maybe we were, at that. It’s clear to me that Cathy Fj was a trickster figure in this dream. How did she know about the exam at all? Did she sit for it? Was she just there to convey me to the right place at the right time?

Which perhaps argues I have within me what I need to hold my own.

Why Father Lennon then?

Well, who else would’ve brought to mind exactly “Glen Ellyn and Naperville” without any excess emotional baggage? He wasn’t a proctor; he wasn’t a student. He didn’t speak to me at all.

He was familiar, which was grounding. But he didn’t ask anything of me. His presence just signaled… you know who you are. You can do this.


I did well on the exam.


A week or so ago, I suddenly realized the name of a former blog… should be a glyph. Except how would I construct a glyph? I searched Inter-Library Loan for any book that mentioned glyphs, and have begun reading. I was reading about Mayan glyphs before bed last night/this morning.


I had to leave it so I could love it, but there are many Indiana trees I still think of fondly, to this day. Not just types that I learned to identify, but individual trees that were my friends. If living in Indiana had been more Mea-with-trees, and less Mea-working-in-human-environments-where-she-is-always-a-misfit, maybe I could have stayed there.

Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve been Mea-with-trees.

I’ve generally worked, too, though, so I’ve also been Mea-the misfit. But here in Maryland, I worked in 2 jobs, which comprised a little less than 9 months. By the time I began blogging in October 2009, 16.5 months after we’d arrived, I was (although I didn’t know it yet) permanently unemployed.

Here in Maryland, as nowhere else adult me has lived, I’ve been free to be Mea-with-trees.

Mea-with-(Maryland)-trees began blogging 7 years ago, and still blogs. Mea-with-(Maryland)-trees began writing poetry 5 years ago, and still writes poetry.

Since she began tracking, in 2011, Mea-with-(Maryland)-trees has read 600 books on literary topics, including 38 anthologies of essays, 106 poetry anthologies, 226 poetry collections, and 19 chapbooks.

Mea-with-trees, Maryland or otherwise, has a sensibility I’ve not seen anywhere else, including amongst nature writers or poets.

{{Mea-with-trees should probably be a glyph.}}


The last time I lamented on this blog that I didn’t receive the kind of feedback from other humans that I wanted, I received feedback that led me to stop allowing comments on this blog.

Maybe the D, L, E, C notations on the yellow card in the dream would’ve been similar.

{{Yellow is a power color for me.}}

What do I really need to hear from other people?


On the rare occasions that I’ve received positive feedback, it generally didn’t tell me what I actually wanted to know. So I had to try to contort how I asked for more, to hopefully receive a better class of data. People get tired of my questions long before I receive anything in the ballpark of what I was seeking.

What I would want from other people is data I can’t gather on my own. For instance, input from sensors I don’t have; streams of data I can’t perceive.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever received feedback like that. Instead, I get 1) what other people think I should want (possibly what they think they would want, if they were me), or 2) what other people feel is appropriate for someone-like-me. Often, the other person shames me for wanting things I don’t “deserve”.

Probably in the dream, I was supposed to feel like I should earn “deserving” to know the D, L, E, C results. But in all likelihood, D, L, E, C, would’ve been meaningless and irrelevant to me.

Why do I even want feedback on my writing? Well, largely because I want colleagues to “talk process” with.

Maybe I’ve been searching for colleagues for the wrong type of process: not writing process, but spiritual process?

Which perhaps frees me up from having to seek out human colleagues, with their clunky worldviews that I don’t understand.

Maybe seeking feedback at all is part of another problem I’m creating for myself.


I keep trying to stay friendly and accessible before writing so that once I have something in hand, I can ease into showing more bits of the real me to people who think they know me. I spend so much energy on “friendly and accessible”, I have little left for, you know, the writing that addresses what I need to mull over.

I’m 50 years old, and I’ve just realized, today, that I’m Mea-with-trees?!? My priorities are a tangled mess.

All the people who aren’t going to take seriously 1) what I say/write, or 2) who I am, are people whose opinions about me, about anything, I can stop paying attention to. Now.

What would Mea-with-trees write?


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