Sep 272007

Dear Readers; I write this week’s column on the first anniversary of my landing in the Kootenays, which also happens to be Rumi’s birthday. In honour of the community, love and astonishing beauty it has bestowed upon me, I’d like to share a chapter of my own dream journey which led me to Nelson, British Columbia.

It all started three years ago when I agreed to marry myself. I had heard for years about the ‘alchemical marriage’ which was supposed to happen within when you’d done enough personal work, but I was impatient and wanted to speed the process along with ritual. Besides, we had so much in common.

I arranged to spend a week in the gentle Kingston countryside with my painter friend Maureen. The day before leaving, I found my first dream clue; a gold ring lying on the pavement in Kensington Park, with my birthstone at the center.

On the morning of the big day, I brewed a strong pot of coffee and sat on Maureen’s secluded deck, writing pages of vows to myself. It seemed like there would be no end to them until I realised they came down to a single promise. It was to always follow my heart.

After the ceremony, Maureen and I walked out into the pink dusk along a gravel road and she asked me to share one of my vows with her. After having lived a lifetime in cities, I told her I promised to buy myself a house in the country. When she asked me to describe it, I said, “It is a house with no corners.” We both laughed a while, and then she become suddenly serious and said, “I know just the place. Follow me!” With my heart racing wildly, I followed Maureen onto Blessington Street, down an overgrown path into the forest. After just a few minutes, we came upon a deserted geodesic dome.

The door happened to be unlocked, so we helped ourselves inside. I’d never been in a space like that before and was instantly flooded with images of myself living there. As it turns out, it was for sale but the asking price was too high, so I wrote it a love song instead. It was a twangy ballad, which went, “Oh lord, I wanna live inside a geodesic dome. I don’t care if I have to pump out the septic; the country is meant to be my home.”

The song was a hit amongst my friends and I sang it frequently over the next year. I simultaneously began to dream chronically of domes. Sometimes they’d be full of people, other times empty and made of snow; still others were underground, and some woven up in treetops. It was as if the dreammaker was trying a thousand ways to pitch a dome into my life.

I started making more and more trips into the country that year, and found whatever tolerance I had for the city was quickly dithering. Soon I was booking a backpacking adventure into the interior of British Columbia, with no sense of how I’d manage.

The day before leaping into the unknown, my mother remembered that we had an old family friend living in some place called the Kootenays. Thanks to Google, we reconnected in a matter of hours. He told me he was out traveling for several months, but if I passed through a town called Nelson, I’d be welcome to stay in his geodesic dome.

One cross-country drive and exactly three months of dome-living later, I had fallen profoundly in love with Nelson. It took me another year to close up my life in Toronto, but I haven’t looked back since.

On this, the day of my true homecoming, I’d like to thank all the Dreamspeak readers out there, who send me dreams and love-notes and stop me in the street with their smiles and lucid eyes. Since it’s also Rumi’s birthday, I’ll let him sum things up for us; “Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the Spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.”

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  4 Responses to “Dreamspeak: Dome Sweet Dome”

  1. What a great piece toko-pa, ive wanted to live in the country since I was 11,and just yesterday was is one of my how to live in the country daydreams,saving pictures of cottages and cabins.This is very inspiring to read.

    My father who grew up in a tiny african village use to take me to the small domed huts they lived in which they had always told us had no corners to keep the good spirits in.

  2. Toko,
    If you are married to yourself then I really like your wife too!
    Thank you for giving so much goodness to so many people. I just checked your Karma account and the Bank of Canada was looking at asking for a loan…
    Big up,

  3. “Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the Spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.”

    This is a very inspiring quote for me… I lived in the Kootenays for 35 years and my dream has been to live in a city in a foreign land— so here I am in Santiago, Chile. People ask me, “Why Chile?” and I really can’t answer – it seems to be the river of my destiny that has carried me here – really, just like Rumi, I don’t want to insist on going anywhere, but somehow I am here… and I have found the love and passion I was looking for…
    and yet my dreamtime is still filled with the Kootenays, so “saludos” to all you Kootenites, you are in my dreams, and very very happy birthday my Dream Queen.

  4. I always read you with such Joy!

    I used to dream about what I am living now, at least the mainframe; the details continue to surprise/ delight/ crush – I really feel alive. All I know is that it is important to just do stuff…to head in the direction that bugs you in the background and life will open up. That’s my experience so far too.

    Always inspired and lots of love to you Toko-pa

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