Purging my mind of the week’s events, I prepared for travel as the weak, late-afternoon light ushered in the day’s end. The cool grass, greened by spring rains, invited me to rest my head among the verdant blades. The wind laid down, almost flat, stilling itself, it seemed, in the same way I calmed my mind. It diminished as quickly as I allowed thoughts to slip from my mind, rejecting those unimportant to the moment in time in which I was suspending myself.
Dreams of the waking world are just that; they are conduits to other places and times. They serve as tiny vignettes that can be used to inform me of new directions and better ways. When I lift my thoughts above the chaos of the everyday world, they are quieter and more ordered. Soaring through a tangible yet separate reality, in that special place of thought between wakefulness and deep dreams, this is my destination. Soon my thoughts will soar and dance like an untethered kite within the clouds.
To aid the journey and clear the mind for what can be revealed and obtained during the experience, I use a vehicle of sorts to carry me away to the place that’s in between. Where I hail from in the U.S., my favorite travel tool is the sounds of insects at night. Crickets and locusts accented with other bayou sounds provide a perfect medium to muzzle a part of the present and explore the possibilities the future may bring.
Here in Ecuador, I have missed the cacophony of sounds that enabled many of these type journeys. My substitutes have been the clouds. I’ve become quite adept at riding them, just as I rode the night sounds of the bayous back home. Actually, they are just as effective at invoking the state I seek. There is a place, a small community south of Cuenca, that I like to frequent for the beautiful late afternoon clouds. I share it with you by its place name which is Nero.
On this day of roaming the dreams of the waking world, the clouds are perfect for riding. They begin to drift in, south to north, in a long slow line across the sprawling green foothills of the Andes. Red and green tiled roofs stretch out along the finger ridge which points toward the town’s sister city, Cuenca. The clouds are wonderfully soft and low. They begin to obscure part of the landscape before the night can even bind the land in its embrace of long shadows and then, blue-black hues of inkiness. Time surges with a feeling like the powerful mountain winds and then fades though its phantom presence remains. I’m in those clouds again as they buoy my spirit and my thoughts soar on their vapors. Night is rushing toward me, toward everyone. Finding my spot, I catch the tiny gossamer of a thread and soar away into those special dreams of the waking world that are filled with almost unimaginable possibilities. The sun swan dives into the western Andean peaks as the clouds and I melt away, dissolving together, one again.