Orange Tree Magick

  • We are walking in a meadow close to dusk, Ali, Allen, August and I. We have no direction so Ali suggests we find one via a Nature spell. He walks about fifty yards away and turns to face us. An incantation rises from his lips, directed towards a dead tree standing a few feet from us. A visible wind blows from Ali to the tree and quite suddenly the dead tree is now crowded with ripe oranges. The dream feels like a repeat--I know what's was going to happen and what people are going to say. According to the spell, we must eat as many oranges as we can, and every orange that touches or falls to the ground. As one of us explains it, Nature is a novelty-conserving engine. The extremely novel manifestation of the orange tree must be balanced out by a correspondingly non-novel event somewhere else (or the balance may come from a slight decrease in novelty spread out over the whole universe). By eating the oranges, the novelty concentrated within is transferred to us, so that our adventures in the coming hours will themselves be highly improbable. Just as I metabolize the energy content of the fruit--storing most of it and losing the rest to entropy--so that I can use the energy to move my body, the novel may also be metabolized, stored and utilized for the expression of improbable events.

    As we stand there eating, someone asks Ali if we have to eat all the oranges. He replies by saying some other person or animal will eat any fruit that falls to the ground. I get the feeling the tree will only keep the fruit for a couple of days at the most. Taking a big bite of juicy orange, I think a thought to myself. Instantly someone else speaks it aloud: "This is the sweetest orange I have ever eaten."

School of Dreaming

When I awoke this morning, I finally learned a lesson that's been taught to me over the past weeks: dream recall is highly affected by body position. If you wake up from a dream and want to remember the details, don't roll over or change position before going over it in your head. Stay as still as possible, with your eyes closed. Dreaming and waking are not discrete states of consciousness; there is a smooth transition from one to the other. By remaining in your dream posture you keep the transition speed slow. Meanwhile, consciously recall the details of the dream so that you encode them in short term memory (as opposed to leaving them behind in subconscious storage). If by accident you do move (or have to reach for the alarm clock), go back as soon as possible to the position you were in when you woke up. Dream recall will be clearest then.