Outside a dream last night, I don't have much and, even if I did, I don't want to waste energy on it. Instead, I hope to get the scut work on a series of recollections of Soen Nakagawa Roshi out of the way ... a chore that requires not imagination or rumination, but clerical determination ... fixing the extant memories of others so that, with luck, they can later make it onto the Internet. I'll work on that for the next few days. It takes as much energy as I've got.
The dream -- more of a fragment, actually -- was interesting to me in the sense that it recalled other dreams of the past, dreams in which I was in dim, murky and somewhat frightening basements. Basements, by some Freudian reckonings, are the places of substructure, foundation, and secrets. Basements are places in which to store fears and those items that need to be camouflaged or hidden, camouflaged and locked down.
Last night's basement seemed to be part of a New York City apartment block. It was well-lighted. There was useful gear here and there, but the place was neat and clean to the extent that any basement might be neat and clean. It was also very large, with corridors leading from one place to the next. I believe I started walking the corridors, looking for an exit, with a group of others, but a little at a time, the group disbursed. I was slower than others and they went on ahead. There was no feeling of abandonment -- it was just that people did things at their own speeds. Each went down one corridor or another, looking for a way to the outdoors. Occasionally I would catch sight of someone up ahead or pass by someone who was working in the basement. Up one corridor and down the next. But at one point, I realized that we were all just going around and around, passing the same places, the same potential but unfulfilled exits. It wasn't stupid or frustrating ... it was just what was happening. Finally, I came to a doorway to my right. I looked down a short corridor and could clearly see a turning to the left through which the light of the outdoors was filtering in. Good. I had found the exit. I looked down the corridor I was in and at some distance, I could see a woman turning left into yet another corridor ... an extension of our round-and-round journey. She looked back at me as I stood still near the door that led to the corridor at the end of which was the exit, the outside, the open air. There was no time to call out to her or at any rate I didn't: She looked back, saw me standing still, and disappeared into her own continuation. There was no longer anyone behind or in front of me. I decided to wait where I was until others came by ... I would point out the light and air. No big deal. The basement was OK -- functional, well-lighted and clean enough. It just wasn't the light and air. I didn't feel 'important' like some fellow rushing back into Plato's cave to praise the sun and demean the shadows ... not some bright bit of mythological Buddhist bodhisattva helping others out. I was just doing what I would do. There was no rush or need to be in a rush. So I waited ... and then I woke up.
And now on to the scut work.