Dream of: 14 March 1996 "Persimmons"

My father and I were walking through a hilly forested area. As I looked up at the trees on the surrounding hills, I thought about the logging industry, and how vast areas of forest were continually being cut down. In the past I had sometimes railed against the logging industry, despising it for decimating the forests. But now I took a much more stoic view. What did it really matter? All things passed. Even the earth would someday be gone – it was better not to become attached. I myself had even considered the possibility of obtaining some forested land and logging it. If the logging were done right, it wasn't such a bad thing.

As we continued to walk, on the hill on my left I saw an example of where logging had taken place, and where it had been done wrong. The whole side of the hill had been clear-cut, weakening the top layer of soil, allowing erosion to already begin. The side of this hill would soon wash away.

Some of the logging equipment was still on the hill, along with tall stacks of logs. Seeing big stumps where beautiful trees had once stood sickened me. I didn't think I could do that – go in and cut down all those wonderful trees – and my mind began reverting to its old self, to its hatred of the loggers. I would like to do something to thwart them, such as coming out there at night and pouring sugar in the gas tanks of their machinery.

As my mind roiled with thoughts of sabotage, my father had stopped and was talking with a woman. We were in a flat space at the bottom of the hill, a space which seemed to have been cleared off by the loggers except for a small tree here and there. The woman was slender, black-haired, and was probably in her late 30s. She was talking with my father about a used car lot which was on the little country road of Dry Run in West Portsmouth. The woman said the car lot was the only one on Dry Run, and that she was interested in meeting the owner of the lot. When she figured out that my father knew the owner, she began trying to persuade my father to introduce her to the owner.

Although he didn't overtly show it, I could tell by watching my father that he considered the woman to be a nuisance and that he had no intention of getting involved with introducing her to the owner of the car lot. I myself thought the woman was being too forward, and that it was impolite of her to be importuning my father so earnestly.

As she continued, she also asked my father to mail a letter for her. My father took the letter and handed it to me. The letter wasn't even in an envelope – so I looked it over. On its face were pictures of two novels – the popular romance type. The letter was an order form for the books. As I looked at the form, I realized the books were the sequels to two previous books. That obviously meant that the woman had read the original books and was now buying the sequels to each. Realizing this, my estimation of her sunk even lower. Obviously the woman spent most of her time reading worthless novels, the kind of books which have almost no lasting value.

As my father continued to talk with the woman, I noticed that one of the small surviving trees near us was a persimmon. Walking over to the tree and seeing the orangish red persimmons hanging from the tree, I thought to myself how most people wouldn't know what a persimmon tree was, or if they encountered one, they wouldn't know that the fruit on it was deliciously edible. At the same time I also realized that as sweet as the fruit was when it was ripe, it was equally bitter if it weren't ripe, and could make one's whole face pucker up.

Just as I picked one of the persimmons from the tree, my father finally broke away from the woman and walked over beside me. I pointed out the persimmon tree to him, uncertain he would be interested. To my surprise, however, he did show interest in the tree and he began picking several persimmons from it. I cautioned him that he should be careful not to pick any that weren't ripe. He looked at me a bit disdainfully, as if I should know better than to try to tell him how to eat persimmons.

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