Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 31 October 2011

Forest Cabin at the Edge of Wild Freedom

Farm by Abraham Bloemaert


Sitting contemplatively, as if with a pipe in hand on a back porch in the midst of the deep greens at the heart of a mountain forest, I rock in a wooden chair.

I sit beside a primitive wooden house. About the edge of the house's property are various other individuals with whom I only interact to partake in uninhibited sexual acts. Within this volatile, untamed crowd on the single home forest settlement is one individual with a huge double-barrel shotgun.

As I veer away from the double-barrel shotgun I find a good portion of the ramshackle wooden deck extends far enough to accommodate a live music band in full swing led by an acoustic bass.

There are people who set off in small groups into the opaque border with wilderness. They charge into obscurity with fierce cries, as if to war, death or a fight for freedom.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Dream of Gerontius



Selections from "The Dream of Gerontius" by Cardinal John Henry Newman

"Gerontius -

And drop from out the universal frame
Into that shapeless, scopeless, blank abyss,
That utter nothingness, of which I came:
           This is it that has come to pass in me;

     
And while the storm of that bewilderment Is for a season spent,
           And, ere afresh the ruin on thee fall, Use well the interval.

Down, down for ever I was falling through
The solid framework of created things,
And needs must sink and sink
           Into the vast abyss.
           
           Soul of Gerontius
          
I  WENT to sleep; and now  I am refreshed.
A strange refreshment: for I feel in me
An inexpressive lightness, and a sense
Of freedom, as I were at length myself
And ne’er had been before. How still it is!
I hear no more the busy beat of time,
No, nor my fluttering breath, nor struggling pulse;
           Nor does one moment differ from the next. I had a dream; yes: — someone softly said 
           “He’s gone;” and then a sigh went round the room.

            Am I alive or dead? I am not dead,
            But in the body still; for I possess
            A sort of confidence which clings to me,
            That each particular organ holds its place
            As heretofore, combining with the rest
            Into one symmetry that wraps me round,
            And makes me man; and surely I could move,
            Did I but will it, every part of me.

           Assure myself I have a body still.
           Nor do I know my very attitude,
           Nor if I stand, or lie, or sit, or kneel.
So much I know, not knowing how I know,
That the vast universe, where I have dwelt,
Is quitting me, or I am quitting it.

Or am I traversing infinity
By endless subdivision, hurrying back
From finite towards infinitesimal,
          Thus dying out of the expansed world?

Another marvel; someone has me fast
Within his ample palm; ‘tis not a grasp
Such as they use on earth, but all around
          Over the surface of my subtle being,

And gentle pressure tells me I am not
          Self-moving, but borne forward on my way.

Angel

Divide a moment, as men measure time,
Into its million-million-millionth part,
Yet even less than that the interval
           Since thou didst leave the body;

And thou art wrapped and swathed around in dreams,
           Dreams that are true, yet enigmatical;

Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
           And I will come and wake thee on the morrow."

[these are the ending lines]


*the entire poem can be found here

Forgetting the Words at the Metaphysical Altar of Caucasian Man

The Seven Sorrows of Mary, middle panel, scene of the twelve year old Jesus  in the temple by Albrecht Durer

At a mind/body/spirit gathering. People are discussing peace and harmony in a celebratory manner. What I notice right away is my naked husband laying on a mat. The people consisted of Caucasian middle-aged men and women of various metaphysical traditions. Up to 8 people surrounded him on either side as if beneath an altar. He is covered in beautiful flowers, beads and leaves. He was being utilized as an altar. I was focusing on his navel area. I was amused and bewildered. Everyone was amused and giggling, resting on his lower torso area. Everyone seemed to have forgotten what to say. I felt warm and heard bells. I saw he was also amused. As soon as I saw his face I woke.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Rock Marooned on the Margins of Plains and Desert

Pastures in the Otztal by Albin Egger-Lienz


On a high plateau, a full-on butte in the open prairies meeting with the seemingly infinite sands of the painted desert. Upon the head of the butte I am rock marooned with a close friend, an older lady, maybe my stepmother. There are three children with us, two are dark-skinned, the other a whole lot paler. The pale-skinned child has two horns. She runs like a heated ram from within the center of the butte which is quaintly fitted with a bustling steam of desert dust kicked up into the frighteningly high altitude air by a pen of bison and bull. My stepmother takes one of the more complacent, darker skinned children up into her arms and edges against the end of the butte. The vertigo takes hold of the wide midwestern tip of the desert land on this near-impossible butte formation's unlikely vertical stretch towards the Earth's atmosphere. Suddenly, she finds a humongous cylindrical metal pole bending slightly from just under the butte edge to the floor of the desert in the rest of the butte-filled horizon. There is some leftover rope nearby on the ground of the butte, remnants of the misplaced material culture of ranching. I follow my stepmother who steps off the edge of the butte, sliding downwards, she with two of the children. I have tamed the half bull, half child enough to wrap her in my arms for the descent, my stomach in my chest.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Mother of Buddha Had A Dream

Thai Buddhist Art by Anonymous


Twenty-five hundred years ago, nestled in a fertile valley along the border between India and Nepal, a child was born who was to become the Buddha. The stories say that before his birth, his mother, the queen of a small Indian kingdom, had a dream.






A beautiful white elephant offered the queen a lotus flower, and then, entered the side of her body. When sages were asked to interpret the dream, they predicted the queen would give birth to a son destined to become either a great ruler or a holy man.

One day, they said, he would either conquer the world, or become an enlightened being—the Buddha.

from "The Buddha" a PBS documentary by David Grubin

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Envisioning the Unconscious From The Cusp of the Atmosphere

Rocky Landscape by Ludwig Richter


When I see my dream, I am being lifted. The vapors of an immense hot air balloon warm the cold ground, the icy supermarket lights dim with an apparent lifeless sickening that dies suddenly to the snow-felt covered pavement of a parking lot. I am outside a lowly bowling alley bar where my step-father is playing rock and roll covers from the 70s. I escape outside to the car and am suddenly approached vociferously by wild predators; jungle cats with voracious appetites in the bleak misery of a New England modernized by the corrupted spoils of war, domesticated, yet freed into the all-vanishing gore of human flesh petrified by a society stifled by the categorical satiation of a thankless search for Nothing to entertain nothing. I find my Love with me at my side, she transforms curiously in and out of being my Mother. As she nears the car, I find one of the jungle cats is eating her alive! Yet somehow, she emerges from the carnal End of human being, and steps with me into the car. A rope somehow dangles in front of the car window, the jungle cats swat at the window, breaking and creasing the exposed metal like paper. I grab onto the rope. I am pulled upwards at an incredible rate into the glowing cusp of the atmosphere. I find my loved ones are in the basket of this hot air balloon that is lifting me up to the edge of Earth's last point of life. I begin climbing the rope, however its length is endless. I fall. My chest fills with cool air, and I inhale deeply, surfacing to a waking state in a moment as if floating to air beneath water. Again, I am submerged, into what is now mere mystery.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Dream Memories Fleeing Religion and Hitler Himself

Over the past days, a series of dreams have not left my memory, and for that I wonder about their place within the whole of my Life.  As I continue to reflect on a dream that stays with brutal clarity within the near-reaches of my waking mind, the dreams I have anew continue to resound with equally inescapable clarity while awake.

Snow at Louveciennes by Alfred Sisley


Dream 1

Inside of a large cathedral, with many rows of seats, I stand from a balcony. I look out, and the audience attending seems to resemble that of a large concert hall, stock full with individuals in highfalutin suits, they mostly represent a rich, upper class of solely European ancestry.

I am told by an individual sharing the balcony beside me that all of the congregation is from Brazil. At first, I wonder, am I in the church of the Santo Daime?

Then, suddenly, out of the back hall, a Torah emerges from the crowd, towering to the height of the near ceiling, whereupon the highest balcony leans down to touch the top of the Torah's immense scroll handle, reaching upwards towards the top of the cathedral wherein the light pours with blinding illumination.

As the crowd exits from the cathedral, one man stares at me, he is much darker in complexion, and appears to resemble an individual I had met near the border of Brazil.

Dream 2

I am in what seems to resemble a mechanical tunnel system, similar to that seen in films set within the body of a spacecraft (2001: A Space Odyssey; Star Wars). I am fleeing through the endless tunnels with my wife. We are fleeing from the wrath of Hitler himself! He follows us with a few of his heavy-handed cronies. One catches up with us and strikes my wife on her shoulder with a deadening blow that sends her wildly stretched out into the vacuous space of the concave tunnel. Hitler himself is fast approaching. I look at her shoulder, it is very bruised, and I fear for her ability to continue to play music! Nonetheless, we continue on, fleeing on into the endless tunnel system.

Next, I find my wife is caught behind, she is executed by the wrath of Hitler before my eyes, and disappears. I exit from the tunnel system out into a nighttime snowy landscape. I find that there are people following who are in much better condition. They have guns. I am in the midst of war time. In the middle of a field, I am stunned by the encroaching enemy. Surrounded, I am snuffed out into the deadening silence of nature's own wintry night.

I find Hitler himself is caught within the tunnel system, I have extended myself beyond death and reach into the tunnel system to finalize my own revenge against Hitler and keep him in my newly found giant's grasp. I reach into the tunnel, and what emerges but a violently green bird with a red tuft around the neck. The bird flies away.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Dream Gamble of Hannah Szenes

She was a heroine of WWII, fought to save her people of her fatherland, the Hungarian Jews from Auschwitz.

Before her death by firing squad at the Hungarian border, 1944, she wrote her final lines of verse (found in her cell after execution)

One - two - three...eight feet long
Two strides across, the rest is dark...
Life is a fleeting question mark
One - two - three...maybe another week
Or the next month may still find me here,
But death, I feel is very near.
I could have been 23 next July
I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.

- Hannah Szenes


To all those who give their lives to Dream and falter, ask: does the Dream yet live? I have Dreamed it so.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Who we are in Dream; are we in Life?

"Who you are in Dream is not who you are in Life."

I find myself echoing a statement made by Tyler Durden in "Fight Club"

Yet this is my experience: there is a more subtle interplay of consciousness woven through "dream" than in that it simply ends upon waking.

Dream crosses over into our waking consciousness as does our Life into dream. The greater one realizes this, the less important things become which are predicated upon the line where waking becomes sleep and vice versa. The realization that Dreaming is, in a sense, a refined way of living, and that its genuine energy, which makes purely mental creations on us while inwardly fixated on our most natural processes, can occur at any time when the mind is used accordingly. Dream is a finer interpretation of the mundane mind by the human heart.

When Dream crosses over into the awake mind, we are creating music, writing inventively, singing passionately, thinking imaginatively, etc.

Life feeds into our dreaming when asleep, in our most vulnerable state of mind, we involuntarily re-live personal desires, social obligations or anxious occurrences in the guise of the mind's own conceptual spin stripped of normal sensory perception.

So, when one goes beyond mere "lucid dreaming" and interacts with a newfound sense of their Dream, as where the their dreaming is united in all aspects of the mind, whether awake or asleep, that person may be known to adopt strange habits such as going under pseudonyms (such as myself) or more overtly in simply taking their lives into their own hands, speaking their mind and dedicating their time to what they are passionate about, what unites them with an eternally alive Dream, that is at the crux of creation in a profound relationship to something actual as opposed to the appealing to what is currently acceptable in its concave, boxed-in drudgery of a life lived without dreaming. For Dream is Spirit, it is the true Source of Life, and ground within which all life must inevitably resolve.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Busking, Gambling and Escape from the Assured Life

Peasants Playing Cards in a Tavern by Adriaen Brouwer


A dream of two days ago will not escape me. It is ever pertinent, because it lingers still in my memory, and its narrative, symbology and emotional meanings are carried through into my dreams today:

Dream 1

I am running, as a fugitive would run, I run with everything that I am. I seem to be escaping the watch of some unknown authoritative holding. The police, FBI, it could be any of these, or it could be something more abstract. I am unsure, yet I am running.

Next, I find myself busking with a guitar beside a Fire Station in the town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. This is an odd place to find one's self busking, however I am in the eye of governmental authority. My change bowl clinks with a Canadian loonie and a few pennies. I am enjoying playing the guitar, then I feel as if I am being chased again, the firefighters seem to all glare and approach as if from above, and my whole environment around me seems to do the same.

Dream 2

I at New York University. My step-father is guiding me to sign up for a set of classes with a Master's program as he had always wished for me. I comply with passive-aggressive remarks and actions, thinking in my head one thing while doing another. I sign up for some classes in his presence. Next, he buys me a cheap guitar out on the street. I see him speed off with an unforgivably strange partner, however he is happy, and so I am content.

I visit a friend, we are in a small space, inside what seems to be a bedroom of a trailer. I show the people there the guitar and it seems to be entirely unplayable. It is a cheap piece of trash. We sit awkwardly around the television, wasting time.

I then go down an alleyway which appears similar to the alleyways in and around Cairo, Egypt's downtown midan or squares. In the alleway, I see people busking. They are bringing such authentic vibrations of strength, persistence and genuine enjoyment to an otherwise dull and dreary atmosphere of biological decay and mental stagnance. The street performers are still not well-recognized nor respected well by passerby onlookers. I cheerfully greet these buskers and enjoy their drumming.

Next, I am in what seems to be the inside of a warehouse, it is a filled with the stereotypical busker of the public mind. A recurring dream-character, tall, stout, blonde-haired, bearded with bad complexion. Within the warehouse there is homelessness, deprivation, madness, poverty. I walk through unaffected yet witnessing, somehow removed by unique experience. I have returned to a world filled with inequalities and cheap resolve for a way of life which transforms peoples minds into that of a fugitive.

                                                                    ____________

One day, while reflecting on the act of street performing/busking, I was taken with the notion that busking is in many respects like gambling. And from a crude perspective, the art of pure improvisation is in a way a form of gambling, wherein you anticipate, based on one's knowledge of the variables at hand, the outcome of a certain action. The fact that my experience as a street performer/busker has been through performing completely improvised music further emphasizes my notion that improvised street performing is a kind of gambling, however with the due sophistication of musicianship and the wealth of experiential confidence in playing one's instrument. For further understanding seek: myspace.com/vian and youtube.com/nivsha

Saturday, 15 October 2011

JUNO SE MAMA

White Lady of Auahouret by African painter


JUNO SE MAMA came to me
                                           through my father.
He taught me about what it is to be
            Man,         Self,          Strongness,
                        It is a ritual dedicated to
My mother.
          Upon this earth, I want her to see.
I had to understand my father's house
                               before my mother's house.
JUNO SE MAMA is a prayer for all those
           Who have suffered the
                                after effects of Slavery.
Who are we?
      It is also a spiritual for the sick
and poor, light for the blind, comfort
                       to the young and old,
Cradle song for babies,
               Wind...for birds in trees,
The sound of thunder and lightning that
              BURST out over the earth.
It is a rhythm of virtue.
                     When you are all alone,
         Many songs come...in the night,
                                            I am a moon child.
I come from New Orleans
                                    the surge of the bayou.
  In my young life I worked
And dreamed.
                I wanted to sculp,
                                          to squeeze the earth
                        With my hands.
I talk with my hands.
                  Who teach me...no one.
I left my native home, New Orleans.
           My people were not popular with
                                                  the Afro-arts.
           I wanted to build,
                                             to say.
        A first Afro-American art center.
                                 Young boy, with a Man's dream,
             "and a child shall lead them."
                                   JUNO SE MAMA.
While they were running the streets,
                                I
                                  was listening.
I JUNO
             a drummer born. American.
My father
             a tuxedo drummer,
"once a tuxedo drummer, always a
                                         tuxedo drummer."
My mother's father was a captain's
                                                    drummer,
F Company, 84th Regiment, Union Army
        during the Civil war, 1863-6.
For the past 12 years I have been a
                    maker, designer,
                           a Son.....of drums.
My Afro-American Art Center will be
                  a home for the homeless,
                                         Future sons of drums.
Coltrane moves in that direction
                A man who knows
       Directions for the future depend
On how we artists of today
                                    cut the road.
Francis de Erdely, the famous artist
           Made his contribution to my
                                                     art center.
     His sketchings of me see into
                                    and understand
                   Rhythm and Afro art.
The ritual, JUNO SE MAMA, begins in a
                      Mighty cloud burst
And the rippling of the water drum
            begins beating against the
                                         air cups of the world.
Moon children...ready to be born.
                 Signs of sky, earth, water.
One is born called JUNO.
                          His father's house is the bird.
You can hear him teaching his son
                                                       how to fly.
           Fly, till you reach the sky, Float,
Fly,                                                                    Float
                       till you make a boat
           Be strong my son and show your arm.
I'm going to show you your MAMA's home
                                       She lives in the sea.
There is birth in the water
                                       in my mother's house.
No matter what has happened to us,
                  we have to sing.
                          There is always land ahead.
Earth is where it is happening,
     It's where we go from here.
             We have to sound the cry
                                              of the conch shell.
Blow the shell...
                                       blow, blow
                         till you see.
And JUNO blowed and blowed till
                                            he grooved
                                                          and grooved.

JUNO LEWIS, December 1966
       text arranged by jo ann cannon

Fall

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Artist's River of Dreams

Homocidal Love Crash

The Dead Bird by Albert Pinkham Ryder
Beginning in a large, commercial grocery store, I fade away from being in the presence of my wife, led into the presence of a girl I knew in High School who had pursued me. I find myself cheating on my wife with her, even going so far as to introduce this past character to close friends of mine. Again in a grocery store, my wife finds me there, this time alone. Together we exit from the parking lot. She is driving (which is strange because I've never seen her drive a car before) and suddenly she hits the drive pedal full throttle into open traffic. (I feel suddenly that I am in the opening scene in the film "Vanilla Sky" which is oddly enough about dreams...) We fly past a school of oncoming cars as they are about to crash into us sidelong, buzzing through a red-light intersection. We get past the intersection unscathed, however my wife slams on the pedal even more earnestly as we make for an unstoppable trajectory into a forest, halted in a crash by the steaming, totalled car bent and asphyxiated by a thick forest. I wake relieved as she sleeps peacefully beside me.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Journey into the Underworld with My Older Brother

The Miracle of the Relic of the Holy Cross, detail by Vittore Carpaccio


With my older brother, we take off within what seems as a deep opened chasm within a cave, into a body of water, as if endless. The water extends dream-like with opaque energy into a vast fear. We are on a small raft, a canoe of sorts, with all of our paternal cousins. The raft edges out onto the water and its depth begins to fall under us as a tremendous anxiety takes hold, and suddenly it's as if we are all alone, although together. One of our cousins holds a light out at the front edge of the vessel. Then, I begin to fall into the treacherous dark, depth of cavernous liquid. My brother reaches out to me as I fall overboard, though his arm reaches out too short. His palm opens up with fingers outstretched with a genuine attempt full with the strength of his being unto the ends of his fingertips. Still, in the water, full of fear, I feel a great abandonment. (I remember the time when in a small bay in Massachusetts, I was left to swim for over a half hour while he and friends did watersports, completely forsaken to the water and its full, unforgiving depth of life, I swam, as it were endlessly facing my most shallow of fears.) I begin to swim, however immediately I see a shark's fin. I call out to my brother, yet he is nowhere to be found, the vessel has left without me. The shark fin passes by me and I feel a brief moment of relief, however it then turns around and heads straight for me. I experience the full great depth of fear as the whole vibration of the body of water shakes with my fear unto the ends of the finality in our human mysterium. I grasp hold of a rocky edge. (Suddenly I feel the safety of swimming in one of the sonotes in Yucatan, Mexico.) The rock seems as resin, a sharp and hard-edge crystalline foment similar to the floors of the Chauvet caves in France. I climb atop the cavernous rock, it is as tall as the side of a mountain, yet I edge into its porous underlying texture and finally ascend to the top. I reach a pile-on similar to the Inukshuk in Inuit country, however it is as constructed with the street trash of urban Cairo, Egypt. I observe this pile-on as a marker that I have reached the summit of the cave's own tallest mountain and I seem to be again in the solitude of the fantastical cliffs and mountains of Petra, Jordan, with its piles and collections of small trinkets still bundled up and set on display in the after-hours of tourist visitation. This marker reminds me that I am somewhere, although foreign, that has been visited by human hands prior to my arrival and suddenly I am in the safety of human existence. I continue to forge on, in the absolute opacity of an endless night.

Next, I am driving with my older brother and our father through to a mythic resemblance of Falmouth, Massachusetts, the end of the bay into the open Atlantic ocean. We are driving him to be sent off by ship to the other shore; Europe. He is holding a concert ticket, as if he is going there for music. We are so glad to be seeing him off, and inside I am a little jealous! The sun is bright and it is a green day in what seems like the heart of Spring. In the backseat of the car, I imagine a bird's eye view of us driving through the open roads to carry my brother off to a glorious and resounding destiny filled with music and the brightness of a future fulfilled with mutual Love.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Bruce Haak and the "Unconscious Taste"

Spectral Analysis of an Mp3 by Havel Baude


Interviewer:

"Now, Bruce I've heard some of your tapes which is the reason why I invited you here today, and what impresses me most about them is that although you are using unfamiliar materials, the organization of them is very apparent and clear. Are you aware of the fact that you are organizing your material very logically?"

Bruce Haak:

"Yes, it is something that you absorb."

Interviewer:

"It's almost a taste for order."

Bruce Haak:

"It's a taste that you have almost unconsciously."


from the documentary film "Haak: The King of Techno"

Monday, 10 October 2011

Reclusion at the End of a Plank on the Amazon River

A City on a Rock by Eugenic Lucas


In the dream I am being chased down, my location is under watch for committing criminal activity, however it is unknown to me exactly what I have done. All that I know is that I am in reclusion, finding myself buried deep inside what appears to be the Amazon rainforest. I can see the sides of the river as I have visited them in my past, along the Pacaya-Samira banks of the Maranon. I find my home in the neighborhood of Belen in Iquitos, where I once followed a young brazil-nut merchant in downtown Iquitos to her sick mother's home along creaking, thin wooden planks above the river that served as walkways between homes in the poorest neighborhood. I am now living, there, at the very end of the neighborhood, and there is a shrouding mist about in the opaque, dark fog that surround with an edge of a kind of fire as if I live on the cusp between Earth and Hell. One day, I lead an investigator into my crimes to my home, he sees where I live and feels sorry enough for me that he intends to let me serve my sentence out there rather than have him go through the procedures of bringing me in. I am transported to that little girl's home again, feeling through my dream, a subjective perspective on the imprisoned nature of poverty in a place overcrowded with the starkly opposing reality of a bitter environment, wherein nature itself has made a deal with the devil and lives dankly through the spindly fibers of a human community holding onto Life while experiencing an all-penetrating social malaise.

Four Leaf Clover Medicine Wheel

Lifandi Lif Undir Hamri by Jeroen van Valkenburg
I was doing a solo out in the Ghost River Wilderness area. I was inside a sweat-lodge with the door closed for the majority of the time, so it was like night-time all the time for me on the solo. When I went out I had a mixture of pretty strong emotions - I was excited, anxious, fearful, glad, bold for a new challenge and I also felt a sense of following in the footsteps of my dad and granddad who'd both spent a lot of time alone out in the bush. I've always had a lot of admiration for my dad and grandfather and I'd jump at any chance to be more like them and to make them proud; so I had a strong sense of that going with me as I went out, but I don't know if there's a particular adjective that would describe that particular emotion.

When I was out there I spent the first while getting used to my surroundings, and partly avoiding the difficult and foreign task of deep self-reflection and examination. Finally I got down to it and went into the sweat-lodge and closed the door. It went well for a while until I heard lots of noise outside the lodge - I was filled with gut wrenching fear not knowing what was going on outside. I was so afraid I couldn't move despite my best efforts to unwind my clenching stomach. I was imagining all the worst kind of possibilities that would explain the ruckus all around me - in hind-sight, there were also the most unlikely; bears tusslin over who would eat me first, and how they were gonna get into where I was hiding and the like! 

I couldn't do anything else, so I lay there in fear and starting to feel real sick and I prayed with the little bit of sense that was left in my head - I asked for pity and mercy and I called on my Grandfather to come to me and lend me his strength, courage and sense to make it through whatever was waiting for me. I just lay there and prayed over and over - gradually I started to relax and the noise outside subsided and then disappeared all together. I was still pretty shaky, but I managed to get some sleep - probably out of exhaustion more than a sense of calm and relaxation! When I was asleep I heard my Grandfather's voice and I could almost see him right in the corner of my eye, but when I tried to see him, he slipped to edge of my vision again. He told me that was real proud of me and reassured me that I would be ok in whatever was coming my way - he said it might be tough, but that I would be quite alright. He spoke to me a while more and he told me about things in our family that I had never been told about as a child but had always wondered about - the usual types of hardships that are unspoken in many families like why this and that person don't speak and the cause of what had come between them. Then Granddad said goodbye and wished me well and he walked away. 

I woke up cryin my eyes out. I was so happy to have seen my Granddad again but I felt a really deep and aching sadness that I felt as the loss of him in my life again - my Granddad had passed away when I was 16 and standing beside his coffin I was filled with the deepest sense of loss and regret I've honestly ever felt - because of the things that had come between my Dad and his family, we hardly ever got to see Grandad as kids and being left alone in the house he had built and raised a family in; a family who had all flown far from the nest I think really crushed him and he used to drink a lot, which is probably why we didn't see as much as I would have liked to when I was growing up. I know seeing us made Granddad really happy though, because my only memories of him are him smiling and chatting with us in the shade underneath his house - the stories of his sadness were secondhand to me. 

So when Granddad left me again I was filled with all those same kind of feelings and memories and longing for him in my life again - I don't know if you have ever had a similar feeling, but I felt it physically and emotionally and spiritually through my whole body; and I still feel something of that when I think back to that moment again. 

After I lay there for a while longer I fell asleep again and then I saw very clearly a man walking towards me - he was draped in a long cloth and he had an enormous dark beard that looked like he'd swallowed a bear and left the arse hanging out (to use a Billy Connelly Expression!). When he got near to me he told me that we had the same spirit, that we were in a way the same person - but he was an older me, but I also felt that we were still different, even though we were the same - I can't explain it, it wasn't a reasoned thought, but was a feeling that I just knew that was the case. He explained to me that what I had been learning about from the Blackfoot about the medicine wheel and the four aspects to the universe and our human lives (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual aspects; the four seasons; four stages of life etc) was also part of my old Irish/Gaelic culture and that's what the four leaf clover represents. People say it's "lucky" to find a four leaf clover, but the understanding I took away from that is that I guess in a very essentialised, "dumbed down" way it is lucky - but really, it represents the perfect balance and harmony of the universe and all parts of it - it's a representation of the code or laws by which all things live if they are to exist in their proper way, if they are to exist in that harmony and perpetuate the balance of all existence. Then he showed me how that is drawn in a traditional Gaelic style - it's a knot that has four segements and they all wind into each other with a small segment in the middle. He told me to make my home there, in the middle of the four segments - which I took to me I should live in balance and practice the values of each of the four sections in balance. 

I don't remember the end to that dream, it just sort of faded into me waking up. There was much more to my time on the solo, but that's probably enough for one go! :) 

When I got back I did a lot of follow up research with my family about what Granddad had spoken to me about - without mentioning my dream, as I wasn't sure what people would make of me and my sanity if I told them about that! - and also about what the older me had taught me about that knot. It most certainly is the four leaf-clover representation of harmony and the universal laws of balance and not long after that I ran into a book in the Metaphysical Books and Crystals bookshop in Calgary about the Celtic Spirit Wheel which recounts a Gaelic story from Ireland and how the laws of fours and balance we re-taught to the people of Ireland after they had forgotten them. I could write for pages and pages more about the heightened and deepened awareness I got from reading that book, but it would be purely academic I think. 

The dream I had last night which led me to typing out these words to you no came about after a day feeling pretty lonesome. A good friend the other night had kinda lost her cool with me and let loose all the criticisms she had of my short-comings. She apologised afterwards for having been so unfair, but I still took it to heart and thought about what she said - all I think to a degree, fair criticisms in a sense; but I also felt as though much of what she took me to task over was me acting with the best of all intentions, and in some ways things I have not much control over. So I was feelin pretty sad and a bit lonely out of the whole thing and I went to sleep last night asking for guidance and pity and mercy. In my dream I read a verse from the Bible (which I haven't ever read an awful lot of, just bits and pieces at different times) which brought me a lot of comfort and I woke up this morning feeling much relieved and recovered from my bout of lonesomeness and sadness - the verse that I saw in my dream was 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity".

Dream of Phra Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto

Buddhist art in Cambodia by Pwordissony


"I only remember the times I lost...I lost only four times. Most of the time I won with a knock out. I must have had many hundreds of opponents. But I became tired of fighting...for many different reasons. Tired of the whole scene.

And then one of my closest friends was killed in a car accident...and I started to wonder when it is my time to die...would I have achieved peace of mind?

The last time I boxed...was on December 20th, 1990. A month later...after having a vivid dream...I became a monk.

The moment I became a monk, my heart and mind changed...I felt a great calm that I just couldn't explain...I ended up sitting on a rock for 15 days and 15 nights.

I felt such a peace...and then a swarm of bees...built a nest around me and I couldn't move.

It was like a dream in which...the forest was filled with wise men...who taught me their Buddhist ways...When I finally awoke after the 15 days...the sun was bright and the bees were gone.

So I walked further into the hills and saw the villages there. I saw how poor the hill tribe people were.. and I saw their drug addiction. And I asked myself why were their lives so difficult?...why did they have such sorrow?"

from the documentary film "Buddha's Lost Children"

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Moroccan Blues Visitations and Riding an Exotic Animal through Suburbia


Traum by Franz Marc


In a small home, I barely have any clothes on. A recent friend made, a calm, collected man from Morocco, lover of music and conversation, appears to be somewhere near my door, expecting me to engage in a night on the town. Instead, I act as if I am unprepared for the visit. He says to me, “Well, what about the Blues!” as if I need to see some live blues music. There are some other people in the small living space, I am still getting dressed as about three others pull out electric basses and other instruments. I also take out a bass, and while we all begin to jam, I get extremely creative and lead the jam with an experimental, percussive approach to the bass that is at the same time quite bluesy. The people in the room admire, and the Moroccan man seems to have had his fill of blues and respectfully exits my living space.

Next, I am in what seems to be New England suburbia, exploring a yet to be developed area of housing projects for the upper middle class of America. I find myself boarding the top of an elephant-like species, a huge towering animal, that is at once friendly and at the same time seems to represent an extinct being, with great tufts of light, matted hair and an unusual shape. The animal is very warm with me as we stride carefully along the margins of a paved road as it ends unexpectedly off into the under-developed woodlands of the northeast coast American ecology. Suddenly, the animal takes off after letting me down, through the forest. I watch, feeling an empathetic compassion for this animal and its charge into an unredeemable fixation with a wilderness on the brink of being tamed.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Death of a Beloved Feline


Women with the Cat by Renato Rodyner


1st Dream

A cold, dark wintry night. I look out my screen window out to a ground level balcony. Consciously, I wanted to see a cat because, as memory would have it, it resembled the balcony of my first apartment. There were a couple of cats around that would visit. I open the window, there is snow all over. There is a shadow of a cat bouncing around. I let the cat in. It huddled next to the heater with its back facing me. I realized right away it was Max, my cat who had passed away a couple of weeks already. As I went down to pet him, he hopped away. I wake.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2nd Dream

An open field, prairie setting. Windy, tall grass. Tall fields of wheat, as it appeared, being blown by the wind. Very warm, windy prairie day. No rolling hills, all flat. In some bungalow, rickety, wood house, my mother is there. I speak a lot of Cantonese with her in the dream. I felt something brushing at my ankle and shin, something that I instantly thought was a cat. To my pleasant surprise, I look down and it was exactly the image of Max, his coloration, his distinctive markings on his forehead…his chest. I actually went down and interacted, he let me pet him, and he leaned into my leg very firmly. He went on his back, exposing his white stomach. He is emphatically friendly, in life he was temperamental, though in the dream he is the opposite. There is no voice, I can’t hear his voice. I think he opens his mouth, but I couldn’t hear a meow, I only felt his warmth and the way he feels in my arms; his size and weight. I have his face in my arms, and spoke to my mother in Cantonese that my cat had come back to life. Then I looked at Max, then I told him I would call his Daddy, and have him come out and visit. His Dad would be so pleased to have his best friend back. I kissed Max between the nose and forehead and woke. When I woke up, I looked outside and it was a really windy day. It turned out to be a very warm day too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3rd Dream

Unknown, hazy location. Cloudy, foggy, blurry, with a glow. It was quite quick. I’ve always been thinking about Max in my waking days these past few weeks. I think my consciousness sinks into my dreams, and works with my subconscious in creating Max right away. So Max was in my dreams, but he appeared to be more silvery, more angelic with a glow around him. He is really animated, but in the most friendly way. In life, he was very animated but in a somewhat aggressive way. So, in the dream, his Dad was in the dream, squatted on the ground. Max crawled and stretched up to his right thigh, and I was kneeling behind the Dad on his left shoulder, admiring Max and wondering why he was so wise, glowing and silver, I reached out to Max and he put his right paw on me and his left paw on his Dad’s knee. I picked Max up and I whispered to him “how wise and angel-like you are.” I woke.

Monday, October 3, 2011

These dreams make me question a lot about conscious versus subconscious. What is dream and what is lucid, and what is passive observation within your sleep state. Having these dreams of Max solidifies my own personal insight into the subconscious as being a data-bank which stores our so-called real-life experiences and in the dreams, our subconscious supplies us with the tools to be lucid because it is a reference point. Sometimes, our dreams are random and chaotic and it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s some part of the brain working that I don’t know how to call. When I find in my “lucid” dreams, I find when I wake up that “it makes sense” that my subconscious is a memory bank and of course I would be lucid in those situations when those situations have to do with my cat. I like to entertain the mystery that Max is somehow still with me communicating to me through my lucid dreams of him. I can move on with that. I can never accept his death, but I can move on because I am dreaming of him.

The Modern Synagogue of Exotic No-Escape


Algerian Women in their Apartments by Eugene Delacroix


I enter a conference/theatre hall in a resort hotel, similar to the Gaylord National Hotel conference center in Maryland. In one of the main halls there is an exotic Asian show, I can’t make it out exactly, but it seems to be a cross between Bollywood and Gamelan. It almost appears as if it were a community center for Philippines cultural activities [my step-dad told me about a non-profit organization who presented at the Gaylord National conference center about Philippine culture]. Suddenly I am walking with my wife, we head into another smaller hall, though it is still quite roomy, because there is a sign that there will be free dining. When we get into the hall, a video is playing with my wife’s original music in the background, we both nod in approval that the sound is good. Then, we find ourselves in the pews of a synagogue service. The man at the front is dressed in regular secular clothes, but is speaking somewhat in Hebrew sermon. A guy my age in front of us speaks up with dissent in an Americanized Hebrew accent and just as I wonder what I am doing there, I wake.

Thursday October 6, 2011

Peruvian Hallucinations before the Muted North African Migrant’s Story


People and Landscape of Michoacan by Alfredo Zalce


Early Dream

I walk by a dim street in Latin America, seems very much like a bus stop sidewalk eatery in Mexico or a humble restaurant in the outskirts of a Peruvian city. Immediately outside the restaurant, a man is holding a relatively sophisticated looking, tall type jar. The jar reads something about Ayahuasca. I pass by the first time, however the second time, I drop a few coins in and receive a small bit of the Ayahuasca mix that this man is selling. I sit down in the restaurant, I feel as if I am with loved ones, good friends or my wife. We sit and I start to feel a bit woozy. Suddenly, I see a classical/jazz ensemble performing their music in a relatively nice hall setting immediately before me. I am making a mental commentary on the music. The effects seem to have subsided, as expected, I tell myself I am proved correctly that the Ayahuasca that was sold had no real effect.

Late Dream

I am at a seaside café on the Mediterranean. In some ways it reminds me of a small restaurant in Malibu, California that I went to with my brother. I sit down with an unidentified young woman and a man who resembles my old friend and colleague in Egypt, a Sudanese man. He also resembles an interviewee in Sudan who was asked about his return experiences to Sudan as a returning migrant from Egypt. The man begins speaking with me in Arabic about his father, his homeland, and a story regarding his village. The story is very interesting and has many features of local history and identity related to the man and his originating village. He is telling a story about fishing. I ask him to confirm with me that he is from Algeria, he nods. Just as I begin to translate the story for the other individual present, she begins talking over both of us to proclaim her ideas about racial barriers. The man seems disinterested, and I am somewhat bereft, though only wish to convey the man’s story and practice my translation efforts in relaying a beautiful, genuine story of home in the midst of migration and conflict.

Monday Oct, 3 2011

Crash on the Mountain traveling to Coastal Vibration


Snowstorm by Jospeh Mallord William Turner


I wake slowly, as if to fade from white, in a crashed helicopter on a snowy mountainside. The mountain is immense, with drifting snow and endless depressions and plateaus that show a premature horizon, not unlike a ski hill. I walk alone, as a sole survivor down to the base of the mountain. At the base, I find a house occupied by an East Indian family who seem active in the military, as a man proceeds from the house in uniform. Though I am hurt, and look foreign to them, they barely notice as I ask for their help next to their low fencing around their estate. The lady within the grounds of the house suddenly notices me, however there is no exchange, I could be invisible. Suddenly I find a small vehicle, similar to a scooter, however powered and able to push through the snow.

Next, I am in what seems as a coastal village in Egypt or Mexico or a place similar. I seem to have lost my powered scooter, however I see them around the village in different forms. The village, in some ways, appears to look like Sayulita, Mexico or Abu-Seer, Egypt. There are children running about and I befriend two young women about my age. These two young women remind me of two young women I met in Mexico City, Mexico. One of them is more fair-skinned and the other with dreadlocks and a bit of a darker character in general. I become somewhat attached to them as they help me around the village to find a powered scooter that is available. I find one within someone’s small yard near to a river and leave the girls behind.

Next, I am in a classroom style room, however without standardized desks, and the front of the room is occupied with a band. The band is very talented, playing mathematically-timed jazz/rock type music. The keyboardist is the front man and leads the band. I enjoy the music. After the show, the keyboardist begins to speak about the music, and the audience opens for questions.

Later, I meet the keyboardist at a bar/restaurant on Stephen Ave. in Calgary, AB. I don’t order any alcohol; however he is drinking and sits beside me. I compliment him on his music and we engage in steady conversation. I ask about the inner dynamics of his music and he accommodates my questions well. I then tell him that I am part of a music project with my wife. I introduce him to her instrument, the Chinese zither, and say that I play an Egyptian doumbek drum.  He is intrigued, however when I say that we only improvise and play spontaneously he says that he can not do that, which I can understand from listening to the highly methodical nature of the music.

Sept. 30, 2011

Discolored Urban Landscape Sexualized in Youth


Ciudad by Ulpiano Carrasco


The landscape is a discolored, underdeveloped urban setting rising high up, similar to urban sprawl of Cairo, favelas of Brazil and the outskirts of D.F., Mexico, I can see out from a high rise, immediately outside the underdeveloped core are more riche developments that look more like suburban residences in Boston, upstate NY or Washington DC, then after that ring which has a certain brilliance and illuminates in the harsh sunlight much clearer than my immediate surroundings in a somewhat dim vantage point, the most outlying division is a pentagon-looking, round-shaped government-type building similar to the famous MIT hall in Cambridge, yet the building is surrounded, as are all outlying developments, with dense low-lying jungle similar to southern Mexican traditional Maya lands, I seem to have checked into the dilapidated high-rise I'm in, as it is a hotel. I'm with four others, 2 guys and 2 women my age, one of the ladies looks Provencal French with a Roma nose, the group becomes quite sexually aroused and active, altogether, I'm observing with care how they treat the French-looking lady as her naked body is mounted revealing a pointed mass of moving genitals, the group soon disperses with an air of slight dissatisfaction, I seem extremely anxious and leave the building

Sept. 29 2011

Futuristic Art Militarism and Prehistoric Survivalist Community


Scout Attacked by a Tiger by Henri Rousseau


First dreams of a stitched paper design with penciled flower and writings, common to my writing art idea, however suddenly they are all fixed with images of an androgynous Italian who my wife has grown fond of, as she gawks and dances to his images, shouting Italian phrases and playing Italian music, then I am transported down a highway with McDonalds and other corporate consumer businesses in full color on either side, many of the same businesses are right across from one another on what seems to be a futuristic, yet somehow foreign (European or Asian?) drive down a commercial highway stacked to the fullest with consumer culture venues, and next I find myself at war, in full armed soldier uniform, with backpacks of gear hunching down behind a risen formation on a hillock awaiting the enemy, who suddenly rolls in on big Tonka truck tanks that look almost like construction vehicles, I throw out a grenade but it comes flying back and explodes near our troops though no one is hurt, and suddenly as I’m fiddling through my backpack, only to find culinary knives, the enemy greets us, they are Spanish-speaking and have children with them, I ask one of the children what their name is, speaking in Spanish and it is a long, indiscernible Spanish name, my brother is among the troops, laughing and speaking Spanish as well, all the while I am searching for a pistol in bag

Next dream I am beside a tree in the middle of the open prairie fields in what looks like Southern Alberta, however there are hints of a prehistoric landscape among me, I can sense that there are big animals around, a lion of sorts, a bison, and others in herds somewhere near. I sneak into a dim tavern and I see a whole slew of nationalities and ethnicities. I suddenly feel that I am in Palestine when I see a man with a yarmulke and he is smiling at me, and then I look at the bartender who also has one and I am nervous for them, next I am trying to talk with my friend, a Senegalese musician, but he is on the phone and being uncooperative, yet somehow we are in the middle of a conversation and go to a nearby table, there are people around it, a full table with people drinking, one round man at the end of the table tells me he also plays percussion and enjoys rambutan, laughing at me trying to connect, meanwhile I am at the other end of the table trying to converse with my friend the Senegalese musician, and his African friends, however all I can say is there is never going to be any change ever. I walk out from the tavern and I feel again as if I am in a prehistoric landscape, I imagine pre-ancient man, walking amid the predators and herds of endless animal, fearless, barefoot and with purpose beyond his immediate surroundings, and suddenly I fear the tree that I had just visited, for now it seems to resemble that landscape and I am unable to walk within it.

Wednesday, September 28 2011

Seizure of the Father from the Western Family

Fighting Forms by Franz Marc


Taking place on the property of my Father’s house, there is great tension in the air as the house is stormed by government police, I hide somewhere near the trailer with my sister as I exit in similar fashion to the end of the movie “The Professional” I am caught, however, by officials after a standoff where my sentencing is escalated by the moment due to my non-cooperative actions as they assault me with shotguns and take me into custody, some of my family members there seem to have been killed as there was an incident involving drugs or an unclear criminal derivative of that sort. I am in the back of a police car, and exclaiming, “I am someone” in multifarious expressions as my life sentencing is foreseen by the accompanying police officer and in my mind, life takes a turn for the exceptionally terminal. Call it a nightmare, if you will.

September 11, 2011

Storm of Electric Eels Compels us Inward


Rock Arch West of Eretat (The Manneport) by Claude Monet


On the Mattapoisett bay rocky shore line, looking out over a concrete runoff, with my Dad and cousins from New York, we are observing electric eels in the water, as a breathtakingly immense storm washes over our feet and stings our eyes, the sky is dark with the most heavy cloud cover I’ve ever seen, and suddenly a plane dips through the sky and crashes careening in smoke as black and thick as the clouds above, and the sea begins to swirl and swarm with fantastic waves that rise above our normal conceptions of the ocean’s storm-driven madness, and we recede further away from shore, a spell of doom cast in the lowered sky

September 4, 2011

My Hanging Drum Falls to its own Beat


Contrasting Sounds by Wassily Kandinsky


A doumbek drum hangs from a thin pine twig, and as I notice, it falls crashing to a strange forest pit beside a pond directly beneath a scraggly ancient tree, an immense figure, an arboreal delight yet demanding a kind of fear in its profound attention of the earth through its girth of roots, and beside the water’s edge, I pick up my drum from the ground, and yet a piece has been cracked off, a square piece, perfectly removed, and yet I still put it to my hip, and suddenly it feels as if a skin has replaced its plastic head and my hands find a delicate touch with rapid rhythmic technique in producing vibration’s adamant trill, a complete sound wave in the full emptiness of a masterful humbling against the unbroken skin of human touch met with the cover of Earth’s delicate heartbeat bringing that fullness to yet another creation of space in the continuous sound, ever unbroken by finger’s brush as a purr unites breath with rest

September 3, 2011