Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Had a Dream..........

Not as grand as Martin Luther King, of course.

It was a dream of doe hunting, a few recent books I've read and kayaking.

They somehow were all mashed together, much like our wakening thoughts sometimes?

First the doe hunting. From my previous 2 posts it's easy to see why the doe was still in my thoughts. It tied into a book I just finished. A book I bought while up in Alaska last summer "Alaska's Wolf Man". How the book entered into my dream I think is a quote written by the subjects then airplane pilot as he killed wolves from the first aerial wolf hunt by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in Alaska. The pilot, Jay Hammond, went on to become Alaska's fifth Governor.
The quote is: Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves. This poem was by Wilde, but Hammond referred it to poet John Donne. In any case, it stuck with me. Many of us have heard the quote before, but after reading the book, it resonated more with me. Why?

Well, it seems the doe story put it over the edge, but it started a few months before that. After reading a couple books I found in Alaska. The first, The Only Kayak, goes into a story about the crowding of Alaska. How one guy "got his" and now, he thinks that the experience was so grand that seemingly no others, should be able to experience the same thing as he presumably wants to shut down the wild areas he so much enjoyed due to over crowding. A noble endeavor, for sure, but fair? What good is the wilderness if not to enjoy it? Here in the midwest we have the BWCA. An area of lakes where only a certain amount of folks can go that has numerous restrictions to try to keep it "wild" for generations to come. Is that what the author of "The Only Kayak" wants, or more yet?
Personally, that is why we go to Canada and head for the "wild" places. We don't like the crowds nor the artificial "making of the wild". We try to find it on it's own terms.

The second book was a book I really enjoyed. The Golden Spruce. I was impressed how the author got into the conflict of the wild vs. the destroying/preserving some of it for the benefit of mankind. It's not a simple story and he did a great job delving into it.

So, back to the dream and the last component, kayaking.
I was on a river, in an eddy, holding 3-4 other boats for people on our party to keep them and me from going downstream. We were on a mid-sized mountain river, 25-30 feet across with a nice rush of current. Somewhat steep sided river banks surrounded by much steeper fir covered hillsides. Reminded me of Clarks Fork west of Missoula, MT and some of our Canadian trips combined.
Around the bend to the right was a known entry into some class III or better water, but I couldn't see the entry.
As I was treading water, 2 guys I know from kayaking, Andy and Luke, paddled past me in their yaks followed close by 2 jet-skis. They were going to hit the rapids and the jet-skis were going to go for support and pull them in their yaks back upstream if they couldn't paddle the current .

They paddled right by me without even looking at me, let alone asking if I wanted to join them. (maybe it was Luke and Andy and not other guys I've been on rivers with as I was only a very small part of their trip down the Mississippi? ...maybe subconsciously I wanted to make that trip, too?...dreams, who knows what goes on in there?)

It seems it was my duty to keep the other boats corralled, but I could have easily taken them to shore and join them, if they would have asked and waited for me. The didn't do either and I think that is what really bothered me, not asking me. In real life they would have, I'm sure.

In any case, off they go down towards the rapids and the next scene in my dream they are walking/paddling back upstream fresh from their run. Luke (paddling back up) made the run but Andy (walking) didn't and as a matter of fact, he broke his paddle in the attempt.
I was bitter. When we all got back together taking pics and listening to Luke and Andy talk about their experience, I growled, "Why the hell didn't you even ask me to join you?"(as if I would have needed an invitation in real life!) Even though it seems I had already run these rapids before or ones similar. I believe I felt I was being left behind on purpose.....maybe I'm getting too old for this kinda stuff? What was the dream trying to tell me? Andy and Luke are both 30 somethings.

For some reason, at that point in the dream I awoke totally alert. The dream was so vivid and I was so upset I laid in bed thinking "what gives?" As I tried to get back into the dream, the doe came to me and "killing the things you love" was right at the edge of the whole thing. It started to come together....The Only Kayak author writing about the beauty of Alaska, then trying to get everyone to stay away, in effect stirring folks to head north to experience what he did, but not wanting them to come...was he actually also killing what he loves?.........In The Golden Spruce, the subject of the story going from a logger in the Northwest to a conservationist trying to protect the very trees he had been killing to the point where he killed possibly the grandest tree of all, the Golden Spruce. Getting so obsessed he lost his wife and kids and finally his sanity, it seems..... John Muir was credited in his writings of Alaska to be responsible for the start of the thousands of tourists each year heading up to Alaska. To enjoy or desecrate the very beauty he wrote about?....Ed Abbey, a writer I truly enjoy, brought how much commercialism to his beautiful Desert Solitaire? Was The Monkey Wrench Gang
his atonement for this?

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