Venice Beach. A dream.
I’m in an apartment I’ve never seen in this life before. I share it with a few artists and it is also our art studio. It feels like New York even though it is superbly clean. I must be doing well to afford it. I’m sitting on a large freshly made bed in the apartment/studio and I get a phone call from a woman in her mid-fifties that I’ve never seen or met before. She’s a little chubby, has short hair, green eyes, and is very well dressed. I know this because even though we are chatting on the phone she is also at the edge of my bed staring directly into my eyes as we talk. I could describe her in a police line up she was so vivid and clear even though I have never seen this woman before in consensual reality.
She tells me that she’s seen my artwork online and called to buy some of my paintings for herself and for her business.
The signal becomes patchy and she is hard to hear and understand even though I can still see her clearly. I’m trying hard to retain what she is saying and look around to find pen and paper. I can’t find them but I’m totally calm and figure that I will be able to put something together for her from the information I have.
Next I find myself on the city street still on the phone with the lady. It is definitely New York. Not far away from where I stand is a subway entrance and across the street is a scrawny scared looking tiger. The tiger is sad and crying out into the air with a deep guttural howl. Steam is jetting out of her maw. Her rib cage expands and contracts to the beat. I figure she must have escaped from somewhere, maybe a zoo, and she is lost.
I tell the lady on the phone, “Holy shit, there is a tiger on the street!” I am totally alert and aware that this tiger could easily kill me if she wants to. Still on the phone, I start walking toward the tiger. “I have dreams like this,” I say into the phone. I could care less about the potential sale and I hang up on her and start to run at the tiger. When I get close to the tiger she bolts towards the subway entrance. The entrance has a large closed metal door that I know is locked. The tiger slams herself headfirst at the small space under the metal door making a loud clanging scrambling sound as she awkwardly squeezes herself through it. Her body twists and contorts like a cartoon character and her tail sucks under the door flapping like spaghetti being slurped up. It is the last I see of her.
I have to head back to the studio to warn my friends not to take the subway!
I make it halfway down a dirty alley and an adolescent lion is sitting like a dog with his butt against the wall of a building panting as if he had been running or playing and is now taking a short break. His eyes lock onto mine his jaws are open, his tongue is moving in and out of his mouth and his head bobs back and forth as he pants. I can’t tell if he wants to eat me or play. He has jerky movements like a young animal or a toddler that is still learning how to work its body. He has beautiful green eyes like the woman on the phone. I know it’s too late to run away so I run toward him. I know it’s the wrong thing to do. Running will trigger his instinct to chase and take me down. I do it anyway. I had a “thing” in my hand. It could be a piece of wood or garbage, it doesn’t really matter, maybe it was my phone. I toss it in the direction of the lion like it’s a toy to distract him. I come up on the lion in a full run. We merge into each other and begin to run as one entity towards the studio.
I woke up feeling excited and exhilarated. My personal interpretation of this dream is much more involved but this is the gist: The tiger to me represents elusiveness, and efficiency as a solo hunter. The subway represents transition. The lion hunts in a pride and is very social and even playful. The lion—for me—is also a symbol of courage. I have been the tiger most of my life. I am very independent and have been on a solo journey to re-remember my identity and connect with my higher self and it has been rewarding. I feel grateful to have made it this far in what I consider to be a fulfilling successful life full of surprises and absurdity. I still have a long way to go, and learning is an endless process, but I have recently found my stride and my voice. Even though I am sad to move on from the tiger’s ways it is time to share what I have been hunting for all these years and continue to hunt with my friends, family, and the community as the courageous lion.
Tiger Cry is also a delicious Thai food dish of marinated grilled sirloin.
...And it's also this.