Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dream Hangover

Today was one of those rare days when several factors dovetailed – I didn’t have to be up early or go anywhere in a hurry, the weather was overcast and quiet and rainy, but not violent or threatening, and there was a pleasant feeling left over from my dreams. I woke up gracefully, and felt as if half of me were still connected to that inner landscape. At those times, one can shutter the left eye, and allow the right brain to dream on for a while.

Too often I awake quickly, snapping to the impinging responsibilities of life. While most are not actual demands or threats, our society has conditioned us to start our days on red alert. An austere envelope sporting the vague threat “OFFICIAL BUSINESS” turns out to be just another flier soliciting my business. Radio, television, junk mail, religious zealots at the front door, email, even the neighbor’s yappy mutt stridently demand attention.

There are those times when a nightmare is so intense, so real that it hovers over me all day, and the demands of the outside world are welcome to slap me out of the inner chaos and terror… but fortunately, those are few and far apart. You might think that someone who paints with a dark palate as I do would find nightmares a rich source of inspiration – I wish it were so, but that is very rarely the case for me. Dreams are often pointless, muddled, rife with anxiety; a redundant process-sort-file batch-job of memory, a vain attempt to impose order onto the randomly neurotic transactional quagmire of existence.

Yet, there also exists this wondrous place, where self-consciousness and hierarchies, pecking orders and politics, physics and boundaries and even the cage of the expected personality, all slip away, and everything becomes possible again. In the absence of alarm clocks and phones and knuckles on the door, this soap-bubble of synchronicity can linger near consciousness long enough to offer up possibility and poetry.

I wish for more of these days.

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