Last night I dreamt about taking photos and making art with a bunch of merry weirdos in a foreign country. It was a carefree, sensuous dream with a palpable sense of living with no rules.

The art we made was gritty and human, but its subject was nature. The photo I took was of a hardy mountain tree with dark, tightly packed leaves on thin branches swooping upward like flames. The project had an underlying environmentalist ethos; it was almost a form of protest. Upon waking, it reminded me of The Overstory, which I just read, and Riddley Walker, which I haven’t read since high school.

This dream was suffused with that nostalgia unique to dreams, evoked by intimately familiar experiences somehow more real than the ones from waking life. It was pleasant in its own right, but the intensity of the pleasure was more noticeable in contrast to what arose in my mind after being awake for a few minutes.

By far, the most frequent kind of intrusive thought I have is about work. I don’t know how long this has been the case, but I certainly recognize it as a core part of my experience in my current job, which I’ve had for about four years. Work pops into my mind constantly, in action and meditation.

The dream was a return to play. But it was really a playful form of work — and one not unlike the one my job is kinda all about. My meditation this morning gave me a little spaciousness around both work and play, and I’m starting to suspect they’re both just action with a different attitude.