Dream time-zones

Would there be some sort of polarity between dreams and reality? Do they represent a reflection of conscious reality, similar to the roots of trees that mirror their branch formations? Could they stretch across unlimited time zones?
I touched on the subject of dreams before. They defy generalisation.
It's not easy to relate them to the ideas of eminent psychoanalysts or philosophers, that 'a dream is a psychosis', or that 'the lunatic is a wakeful dreamer.' No doubt they make a point, but such suggestions seem to oversimplify, almost disdainfully, the depth and mystery of this phenomenon.
The vision of artists and writers is far more preferable: that life is a dream from which only death awakens us , or that All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.. or that- ..we're all mad here.. as logically explained to Alice by the Cheshire Cat.

How does one scientifically explain the conviction of having experienced something previously in a dream? It could be a scene, a sound, a particular movement of someone or something, but one is convinced of having experienced exactly the same thing before. There are also dreams of premonition, when one is forewarned of what is going to happen in such a way that one feels a real urgency to act accordingly. These may be rare, but for at least one very good reason I'm absolutely convinced of their validity.

The blind might dream they can see, and the deaf might dream they can hear. They negate their handicap so convincingly that when they first awake, they are convinced that it's true.

One of the most wonderful dreams is to be able to fly, just by stretching out one's arms and legs and gliding a few inches above undulating moors, confident that with a little effort and practice one would be able to gain height. This can be a recurring dream and one wakes up with the elated certainty that one can really fly.
The general, obvious interpretation of this particular dream is the state of being on top of whatever situation one is faced with, or being in control of one's destiny, but this also seems too simple. It doesn't explain the surprise, the elation and the real conviction one has of being able to fly, even to the point of wanting to try it out when one first wakes up! 

A particular dream that still haunts me despite the considerable passage of time, relates to the First World War. At the time there was no reason whatsoever why I should have had such a dream. I was a simple soldier, but in civil life I was a tailor. In the right hand pocket of my coarse, brown, army trousers I kept a piece of fine, grey, worsted cloth. Ever so often I would nervously feel and knead the material between thumb and forefinger. It was a way of holding on to my identity and what was left of my sanity, reassuring myself with this vestige of finesse and civilisation in the middle of the unrestrained, intolerable madness and horror of what I saw and was subjected to.
The dream was so spontaneous, vivid and real that I have often wondered about it. It even seems plausible to imagine that perhaps that person existed. The details were such that it would have taken real experience, and more imagination than I could ever boast of having, to dream them. And when I awoke I was convinced that it was true. I was sure that I had been a tailor, thrown into that mad, bloody mire, the nightmare-reality of the Great War, perhaps in another, far less fortunate life.

Text and image © Mirino (PW) June, 2010

The Rainbow

The crow scowled at the sun as it peeped though the ragged clouds. Cursing, it flew from its tree-top perch towards the dark clouds that still grumbled in the distance.

The Rainbow smiled, upside-down it's true, but then there is no top or bottom for rainbows, only ends and beginnings.
The rainbow smiled down upon a stream that proudly gurgled and bubbled as it rushed along, swollen from the rainfall. It laughed as it ran over the smooth pebbles.

'Why are you laughing?' asked the rainbow.

'I'm laughing because I'm well fed and going places of course.' replied the stream cooly.

'Can I come with you?' the rainbow then asked.

'I only travel alone!' gushed the stream without even a glance behind, and it rushed on rudely pushing aside everything in its way.

And the rainbow's smile gently faded as it disappeared.

The sun shone and the earth felt rich and comfortable. She spread her wealth generously, allowing the flowers to grow and the trees to wear new spring clothes of fresh green. The days grew longer before the rain-clouds returned.

The old crow cawed contentedly as it led the way before the storm. Then it perched on the top of a dead ash-tree and lifted its murky wings to dampen them beneath as the rain fell.
But the wind scolded the dark clouds on. The crow looked up, ruffled its feather's in disgust, then flew off after them.

As he left, the rainbow came, pleased to be back again.

It leant down gracefully upon a lake where a fleet of water-lilies paraded their fine colours. The rainbow smiled to see them and asked if it might stay for a little while.

'We don't need rainbows to brighten our colours.' replied the largest water-lily stiffly.
The rainbow politely bowed then gently faded away.

The following spring came late after a long, harsh winter. Snow lay deep on the hills and the earth was frozen hard. But gradually the earth softened to the warmth of the sun and let the snowdrops announce the thaw.

The little stream, so used to having its own way, was very much put out by the melting snow and ice. It rushed on as fast as it could go but it soon grew quite out of control. And when the melting snow on the hills caused a land-slide to block the stream's course, the water over-ran the banks, swamped the fields and washed into the lake where the water-lilies grew.

The lake tried hard to contain itself but it soon had far too much. It too broke over its banks washing away the reeds, rushes and even the water-lilies.

As the days passed, the waters settled with resignation in all sorts of places. Some became modest lakes, others little ponds and even puddles, for a while. The little stream had lost itself everywhere.

One of the ponds was in a nettle patch. Loosely bedded in the pond was what once had been the most magnificent water-lily of the lake. Now it was quite alone. When the flower finally managed to reach the surface of the pond to bloom, it could only open droopy petals with brown tinges.

It gazed sadly into the sky as the dark clouds gathered, and it shuddered as the breeze freshened and the first heavy rain-drops fell.
The crow flew overhead, looked around and cawed with satisfaction.

The dark clouds billowed and thundered, but they were no match for the wind. And when they were dispelled once more, to the annoyance of the crow, the sun began to appear. The raindrops shone like sparkling jewels, and then the rainbow came.

When the pond and the water-lily saw the rainbow smiling down, they waved and rippled hoping that it might join them and help make their sad, lonely state more colourful. But the rainbow, arching gloriously across the sky, didn't see them. It simply smiled as it gently faded away.


(Having recently rediscovered 'The Rainbow series', a series of short stories first written for all ages several years ago, I thought I could post one of them each month on Viewfinder.
None of them have been published, so it might also be a way of preserving them, assuming they are worth preserving. 'The Pine Tree' was also one of this particular series. The original idea was that all the stories, illustrating the elements and the circle of life, be connected. This was also symbolised by the complete circle of the rainbow, half of which would be its lake reflection, for example. They might also represent part of a simple, personal philosophy). 

As from 'The Pine Tree', in the small rainbow vignette below, please click on 'Rainbow' for the following story, and 'From' for the preceding story.


 For the 'Rainbow alphabet  doggerel' please click here
Text and image © Mirino (PW) June, 2010 


On la dirait, mélangé avec une bonne dose d'ironie, et on est servi presque tous les jours. Lorsqu'on en est trop servie et on la déteste, c'est d'autant normal de vouloir la faire remarquer.

Une des dernières séances orchestrées, était (pour certains esprits) encore une victoire pour la cause palestinienne. La recette n'a pas changé. On provoque les Israéliens et on ajoute encore quelques victimes aux listes des 'martyrs', et c'est forcément la victoire, car Israël, piégée de nouveau, est discréditée de nouveau, donc encore plus vulnérable, et ceci soutenu par quasi tous, y compris, comme d'habitude, les N.U. Mais ces dernières n'ont jamais fait de cadeau à Israël, et lorsqu'elles croyaient être en mesure de le faire en 1947, comme si un tel geste ne pouvait que venir d'elles et n'avait pas grand chose à voir avec les israéliens eux-mêmes, la Ligue Arabe le refusait en bloc. Depuis Israël, et bien entendu les Palestiniens, sont obligés de vivre avec les négatives conséquences interminables, sans trop d'engagement des N.U., ni pour l'un, ni pour l'autre. Le prix, en ce qui concernent les Israéliens, pour le privilège d'y vivre. Et un comportement curieusement ambiguë de la part des N.U. à l'égard général de cette question épique.
L'ironie, c'est que malgré eux, et au fond, les Palestiniens ne peuvent pas vivre sans Israël, et on dirait que les pays Arabes ne peuvent pas vivre sans leurs éternels bouc-émissaires palestiniens.

Puis on a toujours la triste affaire Polanski, le célèbre cinéaste toujours assigné à résidence en Suisse. Un crime avoué, une première peine purgée, un arrangement privé établi entre coupable et victime, mais ça ne suffit pas pour le système de 'justice' Californien qui semble s'acharner à vouloir le détruire totalement. Nous lisons des commentaires de certains Californiens convaincus que jamais Polanski n'aura le bénéfice d'un procès juste et impartial en Californie.
Et en même temps, pendant que les chiens enragés déguisés en bons coeurs crient au scandale et attendent avec impatience leur tour de mettre en morceaux ce 'criminel impardonnable' (mais ils étaient où quand le gang Manson faisait leur affaire atroce quasi tranquillement?) les innombrables prêtres pédophiles ne semblent pas être en mesure d'inciter autant de haine.
Pourtant, se rapportant seulement à un cas parmi des mille, plus de 200 jeunes handicapés étaient systématiquement abusés sexuellement par un prêtre Catholique en Wisconsin, USA, qui non seulement n'a jamais été puni, mais il n'a jamais été déchu de sa prêtrise.
Si le Vatican commence à peine à faire face à ce fleau, avec un peu trop de retard, c'est parce que les bons vieux remèdes pour sauver la face et la réputation de l'Eglise, ne fonctionnent plus, et qu'aujourd'hui c'est bien plus difficile de cacher quoi que ce soit.
C'est fini donc de faire partir d'un pays à un autre un prêtre pédophile, ou d'offrir des sommes considérables d'argent pour acheter le silence, comme si le silence à ce sujet diabolique n'est pas un crime aussi odieux.
Citant un article de Philippe Coste de l'Express (29 Avril, 2010) "L'homme qui accuse le Vatican", où l'avocat américain Jeff Anderson a établi l'évidence que le Saint-Siège est le pivot d'une conspiration du déni :

"C'était de petites gens, affolés par la dépression de leurs fils, qui avaient caché ces viols pendant des années. L'évêché avait muté le prêtre avant de leur poster un chèque de 2000 dollars. Moins d'un mois plus tard, alors que le lawyer s'apprête à recevoir un dédommagement d'un million pour son client, l'avocat de l'Eglise lâche ce mot malheureux : 'J'attends, en contrepartie, le silence habituel.' Les yeux de Jeff brûlent encore de colère : "Habituel!? J'ai convaincu la victime de refuser le chèque, convoqué la presse et mis le feu au tribunal. Le silence, c'est un crime, et je ne suis pas payé pour ça."

L'ironie, c'est que malgré les efforts de certains rares représentants authentiques de la justice, non seulement ce silence règne toujours, mais on se persuade que celui directement lié à cette particulière affaire abominable de Murphy, est l'épitomé même de grandeur et de bonté.

Moins choquante, mais peut-être aussi mise dans les oubliettes, est la question de la burqa. On a même l'impression que l'on ait fait marche arrière prétendant qu'une telle loi pour l'interdire serait 'inconstitutionnelle'. Mais cette prison mobile ne représente pas seulement un risque de sécurité et de santé; pas seulement un rappel constant et peu judicieux de servilité imposée sur la femme; elle est surtout une arme politique imposée sur les propres fondements de la démocratie. Cette dernière raison devrait suffire à elle toute seule pour que la burqa soit interdite en Europe toute entière.
L'ironie ici, c'est qu'il y a trop de femmes musulmanes militantes qui veulent continuer à la porter, peut-être plus pour la 'cause politique' que pour leur maris, et comme si la burqa s'agissait aussi de leur identité, ou de leur non identité.

Evidemment il y en a beaucoup d'autres exemples, comme l'exploitation de l'accusation de 'racisme' comme arme politique, surtout quand les sacro-saints accusateurs n'ont aucune autre arme d'opposition politique digne et plus intelligente.
Et combien de chef d'Etats aujourd'hui, y compris celui des Etats Unis, qui trop soucieux de leur image publique, ne montrent pas leur tendance tartuffienne?
Exemple: On condamne, naturellement pour bonne cause, BP à un enfer éternel de procès légaux, faisant ainsi plaisir au petit peuple, quand l'ampleur de la catastrophe aurait nécessité plus rapidement une aide et une coopération réelles des moyens techniques sous-marins sophistiqués.

Puis, pour en finir, nous avons aussi notre chère monnaie unique dont on ne devrait pas trop en parler, sans risquer à provoquer encore une chute de sa valeur.
Au détriment de la plupart des pays européens, sauf peut-être l'Allemagne qui a toujours prôné une monnaie forte, la BCE n'a pas cessé de la soutenir hors de proportion avec ses taux d'intérêt forts depuis trop longtemps. Cette habitude, 'pour que le monde ait confiance en l'euro', (sinon avec l'ambition cachée de remplacer le dollar comme devise internationale) a continué jusqu'à la crise économique mondiale, et comme des vieilles habitudes meurent difficilement, la BCE n'était pas trop pressée de lâcher les rênes. La zone euro serait forcément donc la dernière à en sortir, mais on n'en est pas encore là, car en conséquence l'Europe est trop endettée, commençant bien évidemment avec la Grèce, avec une dette impossible à rembourser.
L'ironie dans ce cas, c'est que l'euro tombe finalement à sa juste valeur établi au début. Il est même probable que cet été nous allons accueillir enfin en Europe quelques touristes américains. Il a fallu donc la crise monumentale de la Grèce, au dessus de la crise économique internationale, pour revenir au point de départ, et cela n'a certainement rien à voir avec la politique myope et isolée de la BCE, où depuis, on dirait, là aussi le silence règne.
Text and image (1979) © Mirino (PW) June, 2010 


The Freedom Tartan, above, was designed and woven in Islay, in the oldest woollen mill of Scotland, to celebrate the Declaration of Arbroath and everything it stands for. It's beautiful, old colours well evoke the eternal Scottish sentiment and aspiration. The pride of heritage, of identity and Clan, and the æonian love of freedom.

The well worded declaration of Arbroath, written in Latin and dated the 6th April,1320, was a formal declaration of independence bearing the signatures and seals of 38 Scottish lords. It was presented to Pope John XXII who fully ratified it.

The most famous, immortal lines of the declaration read as follows-

'For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any condition be brought under English rule.
It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom, for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

The Scottish are always generous enough to pardon, but they never forget. They'll never forget their heroes such as Robert the Bruce, (an instigator of the Declaration of Arbroath) Rob Roy MacGregor and William Wallace who live on in every Scottish heart. For Wallace-
'So long as grass grows green or waters run, or whilst the mist curls through the corries of the hills, the name of Wallace will live'.

The last, major Scottish victory against Redcoat government troops was the Battle of Killicrankie. Some Highlanders (Jacobites) were still loyal to James VII of Scotland (James II of England). This despite him being a generally unpopular autocrat, as well as his having fled the country to the protection of Louis XIV of France. In fact in March, 1689, one month after William and Mary were offered the crown as joint sovereigns, a Parliament Convention held in Edinburgh voted that the Stuart Catholic, James VII had forfeited his right to the throne of Scotland thus ceding it to the joint rulers, Protestant William of Orange and Mary (James's daughter and son-in-law).

Under such circumstances Scottish loyalties and sentiments were divided, causing clansmen to fight clansmen. Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel and John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, both loyal to James, had mustered about 2000 Highlanders of which 240 were Camerons. They were to engage against General Hugh Mackay whose force numbered more than 4000. Many of his troops however were raw recruits, and as the government forces made laborious progress through the Pass of Killiecrankie, the sudden attack of the Highlanders wielding their broad swords (claymores), their plaids removed and shirt tails tied between their legs, was so ferocious that those of Mackay's men who were still able to, fled.

Here's an account of one soldier, proudly remembered in Scotland despite the fact that he was engaged by Mackay. The Scottish soldier's name was Donald MacBean, renowned for his famous 'Leap', also to freedom. He recalled the event in his memoirs of 1728:

'The sun going down caused the Highlanders to advance on us like madmen, without shoe or stocking, covering themselves from our fire with their targes; at last they cast away their musquets, drew their broadswords, and advanced furiously upon us, and were in the middle of us before we could fire three shots apiece, broke us, and obliged us to retreat.

Some fled to the water, and some another way (we were for the most part new men). I fled to the baggage, and took a horse in order to ride the water; there follows me a Highlander with sword and targe, in order to take the horse and kill myself. You'd laught to see how he and I scampered about. I kept always the horse betwixt him and me: at length he drew his pistol, and I fled; he fired after me.

I went above the Pass, where I met with another water very deep; it was about 18 foot (almost 5.5 metres) over betwixt two rocks. I resolved to jump it, so I laid down my gun and hat and jumped, and lost one of my shoes in the jump. Many of our men were lost in that water.'

One can still see the exact spot of the famous 'Soldier's Leap' over the river Garry that wends its way through the Pass of Killiecrankie.
As well as a third of the Highlander force, the irreplaceable Viscount of Dundee was also killed in the battle. He was hit by a musket shot as he turned to urge on his small cavalry during the initial attack. He too was given a hero's burial, and his tomb can still be seen in the ruins of St. Bride's Chapel.
Without his brilliant leadership however, the Jacobite's cause seemed doomed, at least for a quarter of a century.

The Battle of Killicrankie is only one of many conflicts that represent the Scottish fight for independence and freedom. There are many other unforgettable, historic episodes, many of which have left much deeper wounds.

Each time one passes through Glencoe, for example, the noble hills often shrouded in mist, like eternal Highland memories of noblesse, tragedy and unpardonable treachery, one can feel this. It's easy to imagine a muffled, distant lament of the bagpipes. An eternal, soulful reminder of duplicity, injustice, and the henous betrayal of noble, Scottish hospitality, woven together like the restless, curling mists. A timeless tribute to Scottish freedom.

With thanks to The National Trust for Scotland. Text and images © Mirino (PW) June, 2010