Keith Salmon is a world-renowned nature videographer. He shares with Katherine how he was inspired by a series of distressing dreams to leave his academic job to become more connected to nature. He eventually found his calling as a videographer. We talk about the ability of animals to be present in their environment while humans have been sheltered from the consequences of their actions. Keith brings up the idea of Indra’s net of gems as a way of thinking about this web of natural relationships and says that nature invites us to become a gem in a net of gems.
We then talk about how to work with the animals that show up in our dreams. Keith recommends exploring our own associations and then also to dig into the science around these animals to find out who they really are. There are times when we can follow our dream animals into waking life by visiting their habitats. Keith then shared some of his own stories about following his dream animals into waking life, and we talk about the quality of enchantment that happens as the veil between dreamtime and awake time thins.
We take a call from Sylvia from northern Ontario. She reminds us that we dream not only about wild animals, but also about domesticated animals such as our pets and also talks about how when she dreams for global healing, which is a part of her regular practice, that the dreams that come are often about nature and stillness and peace.
Keith quotes several memorable passages, one from writings by Eagle Chief Letakos-Lesa of the Pawnee People, and one from David Wagoner which encourages us that when we feel lost, we should stand still and let the forest find us. And finally he quotes the following:
“Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too,
just once. And never again. But to have been
this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke (Duino Elegies)
We played clips from nature sound recordist Lang Elliot: the Cades Cove Coyotes and the Symphony of Loons, both of which are available on SoundCloud.
Bio: Ronald Keith Salmon was raised on a small sheep farm on Vancouver Island, Canada. This intimacy with animals ignited a sense of wonder in the mystery and the miracle of the Natural World. To deepen this sense of wonder, Keith studied animal science at university—where he received a B.Sc. in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Animal Genetics. After a tenure as a Professor of Animal Biotechnology, Keith’s dreams led him to leave the academic world to engage more directly with the animals and plants who share this planet.
Keith interweaves original videography, poetry, prose, sound, and song to explore the intimate relationship between the Natural World and the World of Dreams. His work represents a constellation of the insights and revelations gained through his lifelong exploration of Nature’s mysteries through the lenses of both biological science and art—and his 35-year apprenticeship in the study of dreams. Keith’s performances and presentations awaken a sense of wonder where the creatures in our dreams may become mentors who provide guidance on how we may walk in beauty on this earth.
You can connect with Keith Salmon and see some of his nature videos at truenature.earth
Live ambient music by Rick Kleffel.
Show aired on July 23, 2022 rebroadcast from May 1, 2021.
The Dream Journal is produced at and airs on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM, streaming live at KSQD.org 10-11am Saturday mornings Pacific time. Catch it live and call in with your dreams or questions at 831-900-5773 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to contact Katherine Bell with feedback, suggestions for future shows or to inquire about exploring your own dreams with her, contact email@example.com, or find out more about her at ExperientialDreamwork.com.
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