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

Friday, 23 November 2012

A Taoist Mystic-Musician and the Great Awakening

Painting of Tao Yuanming by Chen Hongshou
"By and by comes the Great Awakening, and then we find out that this life is really a great dream. Fools think they are awake now, and flatter themselves...Confucius and you are both dreams; and I who say you are dreams,—I am but a dream myself. This is a paradox. To-morrow a sage may arise to explain it; but that tomorrow will not be until ten thousand generations have gone by." Musings of a Chinese Mystic: Illusions

Possessed by a conflict of opposites, after reading this quote aloud to my wife, she says, "That is totally how I feel." She was raised in a Vietnamese sect of Shamanic Taoism. One day, a local shaman saw her hands before she left Vietnam for Canada. "You have the hands of an artist," said the shaman. As I watch her hands blend with the strings of her instrument, and hear the mystic bent with staggering heart, wrenched from her music of an emotive immensity so tremendous that I am truly floored every opportunity I have to provide her with a rhythmic touch of our in-gathered loving. Through her music she speaks, "listen, and awaken to the source root of creativity." It takes a well-planted seed to take root in such soil, rich with the wisdom of time and its lessons of patience and anticipation. I respond, "let the spontaneity of life sometimes dry, to await the rain, falling not from our own bodies, but from the intuitive atmosphere of our shared life, that to be patient, is a kind of love."

pondering the day by the riverside, my mind blends in the heady fray of sun rope tangling with the cloudy sky in a disarray of dizzying color, the viscera of imagination pokes its protruding skeleton in the vine-skinned pathway beside my water-borne home 

as I traverse further on, through riverine thicket dense with the swamp-like craftiness of bitter greenery, filtering the light through a pockmarked memory of filigree lightning, and I remember the Old Man, a Lao Tzu, of my entrenched longing, with such wisdom as unknown by my youthful pride, he walks with me with undeviating eyes, with mind to each thought that arises between our speech of anticipated mentioning 

Sakyamuni, Lao Tzu and Confucius by Unknown
and then he stops to show me a trick of the fatherland, a stick of wisdom, a bone of intelligence, an awakened look into the material fire of all transparent self-knowing, the crooked daze, the unchallenged light sparking his eyes to follow mine in the unfailing instant of his true magic
A law for the ancient mind of cultural struggles
To be heard through fallen webs of prehistory

Erected above the books and pleasure-peaked Goddess of man
Who assailed Her tribes with red nations
Claiming to break the mold
With word thievery and undreamt savagery
In the earth’s hidden sky of traveled time
And her rested eye

excerpt from "The Modern War Machine and his Italian Wife"

This post is dedicated to my wife, Vi An

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