Strange Things Happen

I dreamed I was leaving Hatch (the town where the chiles come from) and took a wrong turn onto a winding road with psychedelic pavement and narrow walls alongside it, also in bright pink, purple, blue, and yellow. The road took me to a farm at the end of a dirt road, where I met men who were raising pigs. I petted a piglet, got directions, and left by yet another route, not my usual way in and out of Hatch, but not the trippy pink one either.

While I drank coffee, I tried to interpret the dream symbols, but they made no sense. A friend called and asked if I’d like to go to Sparky’s in Hatch. A favorite blues band was playing. I agreed, and then proceeded to toss my purse into the trunk of my car with my keys in it and closed it. I hadn’t unlocked the car yet, so my phone and both sets of keys were in the trunk. Normally I would have a key in my pocket, but for some reason, I put the key in my purse. I walked to a neighbor’s blue and purple house and called Better World Club and got unlocked. Hm. Wrong turn on the way to Hatch instead of on the way out?

I picked up my friend at the foot of his driveway—more of a road, really—in the very small town of Arrey, and when we arrived at Sparky’s, Guitar Slim was playing a psychedelic pink and yellow electric guitar. As many times as I’ve enjoyed his music, I’d never seen that instrument before. While the band took a break, I looked in the display case behind me—Sparky’s has a mindboggling collection of off-beat antiques—and there was a collection of pig figurines. Two women in motorcycle gear arrived, one wearing a red elf hat and the other a leopard print elf hat. They also wore jingle bells along with their black leggings, turtlenecks, leather vests, and boots. Leopard Elf had the words “Pig savers” on the back of her vest. (I looked it up later. These are rubber nipples for bottle-feeding piglets. I guess she’s a pig farmer?)

The dancing was great—couples, kids, solo dancers, and trios. People from the audience were invited to sing, including Leopard Elf. Afterward, my friend offered me tomatoes, so instead of dropping him at the end of his “driveway,” I went all the way down the dirt road to a sort of farm—he grows tomatoes, mostly, and has a few chickens—and we picked the last viable tomatoes of his outdoor crop before the frost that’s expected tonight.

On my way home, I missed the turn to get on I-25 for T or C and ended up on the back road, winding and in places narrow, as the sky turned pink and purple and deep blue.

You could say this was all coincidence, a series of normal events. But I’d just been dancing in T or C to a different blues band the previous night, and had encountered this same friend in the crowd. The least likely thing was that he’d want to go dancing again right away on Sunday afternoon. I see him in town so much I haven’t been down the dirt road to his place in over a year. The way the night’s dream lined up with the day’s events, though in scrambled fragments, is intriguing. Hatch, wrong turns, a farm, a dirt road, a narrow winding road, psychedelic colors, and small pigs. The biker elves weren’t in the dream, but a lot of other things were. When I have precognitive dreams, they’re almost always about bizarre trivia like this. Only on rare occasions do I pick up significant events, warnings, or omens. This was just a reminder that time leaks, that past, present, and future are all happening at once, and reality is not the version that our linear perception of it creates.

 

Time, Space, and Connection

When I teach my college classes on health and wellness, I usually introduce some meditation techniques to give students a taste of managing stress through mindfulness rather than distraction. A few weeks ago a student stopped to talk with me after class with a question about meditation. This student was an experienced meditator, and something she didn’t understand had begun to happen. I don’t understand it, either—I’m not sure anyone really does—but I assured her that it happens to other people, and that it happened to me when I first began to practice meditation regularly many years ago. She had begun to have psychic experiences.

In yoga, these effects are called the siddhis, the extraordinary powers. In most meditation practices, these aren’t so much a goal as a side effect of deeper and higher awareness, though in shamanic cultures they’re considered a gift.

My student wasn’t troubled by her “side effects” at first. Her boyfriend found it amusing when she could tell time precisely without looking at a clock, or knew when her phone was about to ring and who would be calling. But then she had a vision of a car crash, so vivid she could see the color and make of the car as well as the way it spun and flipped. The next day she was driving on a major highway and saw that car ahead of her—and it had the accident she’d foreseen. She found it both terrifying and bewildering, to be able to know something like that and yet be unable to do anything about it.

About ten years ago in a stress management class, I mentioned the tendency for shared dreams, foreknowledge, or other psi phenomena to occur as a side effect of meditation, and student who had initially thought this wasn’t possible later contacted me privately with a story that still moves and stuns me. She dreamed that her best friend got shot, and on the same night, he had the same dream. It was so vivid and frightening, they called each other and she went to his house. They spent hours together and shared how much they meant to each other. The next day, he was shot and killed.

Why one person foresaw a stranger’s car accident and another foresaw the last moment of a friend’s life—and he foresaw it, too—I don’t know. I’ve had precognitive dreams and visions of important events, and also of incredibly trivial but strange ones. I can’t explain it. Time reshapes itself. Sometimes our losses, loves and dangers reach out to us. At other times, we simply slip through for no known reason, foreseeing oddities that grab our attention the next day, as if to remind us that the mind or soul isn’t confined to the linear progress of time. It lives where everything is happening at once—the past, the future, the present, and the possible.