Meal Competition, Mess and Sensei dream 23-04-23

I’ll preface by saying that I have been, of late, considering taking up Iaidō. There is a practitioner in my local village and my former sensei was taught this direct by various Japanese masters.

The dream starts in a rather hectic setting onboard an old metallic navy vessel docked in a harbour area. There is a competition about to begin in which the participants must all cook a snack using whatever they can find. There is no obvious kitchen or pantry. We are to team up into pairs of two. Next to me is stood a young man who is overweight and dressed formally. I say to him that we should team up. He agrees.  I am clearly much older and more decrepit than he.

We find on the boat a canister of gas which I rig up into a kind of burner. There are some pieces of steel which I bend with my hands into a cooking vessel. He looks around and comes up with some plates made of pewter with a blue paint decoration on the circumference.

I run off looking for food. I find two eggs in a nest and an old loaf of bread. I take them back to the younger man. He starts to toast the bread and I seek out some water to cook the eggs. All around the other teams are frantically gathering things.

With the water we cook the eggs and place them on top of the toast. It is far from perfect. Along with the others we present the meal to the judges one of whom is my former sensei, Mike Finn. We do not win the first competition because others have found more exotic materials. The other contestants have made a truly massive mess, it is strewn everywhere. Our bench is messy but tidy in comparison.

Finn sensei notes to everyone that I alone have taken time out of my other duties at the hospital to take part in the competition. There I am the caregiver to a number of people.

The competitors disperse.

Some time later when I have finished my shift in the hospital. I come back to the competition area. The judging panel have not moved. I start to tidy up all the mess we have made. Finn sensei notes that I alone have so far been impeccable. I am the only one who is trying to clean up the mess. He says that the mess I have created is tiny in comparison to that made by others. Some of the other competitors hear this and are sheepish.

I find a large metal manhole cover which is held down by metal screws. I take out my Swiss army penknife and select the tiny screwdriver. I start to undo the screws. It is slow and painstaking. The overweight man joins me. He apologises because he has been slagging me off and had failed to understand the purpose of the competition. We work slowly and lift the lid which we add to a skip. Soon our area is clear whilst that of the others is strewn with waste and debris.

Nearby is the dojo. I am allowed to enter it as is my companion, on my say so and recommendation. The others must get busy clearing up their mess which they are very reluctant to do. They are sulking that they have to try to clear up the mess.

The dream ends and I consider it a good omen for exploring the Iaidō options locally…

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