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

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Goethe and the Existential Life of Modernity

Ginko Biloba, a poem by Goethe
Who are ye that thus rudely banish slumber from my eyes? What mean these vague and insolent glances? Why this fearful procession? With what dream of horror come ye to delude my half awakened soul? Goethe's Egmont, Opening lines of Act V. Scene IV. 
A play about liberty under the thumb of oppression, my preliminary inkling about the Egmont drama is that it forecasts the oppressive momentum that lives within, and supports, heroic independence. I have been contemplating the uniquely liberating present that I experience with my love. American and Vietnamese, we are from two countries whose people, not long ago, brutally killed each other. I wonder sometimes about our extended family relations. How is it possible that the same blood now joined today by love, once was spilt by hatred. As Goethe writes in the poem illustrated above, "Is it but one being single / Which as same itself divides? / Are there two which choose to mingle / So that one each other hides?"

Read my Letter to the Editor "Embracing Diversity" on BlackCoffeePoet 

& See a Collaborative InterviewEssay "Busking and Creative Ecology" by Vi An and myself on In Stereo Press

Previous Post on Goethe: To Dream in Red is to Uncover the Veil of Consciousness
I sat under the opaque cloudy open. A dark rain hovered in the misty atmosphere. The pressures of a battered mind fill my eyes with a salivating remorse. I've since exiled myself from a gathering in my city's core. Restless, I fill my mind with blank unease, ass wedged against the wintry pavement of a curb. This area is one of neglect and rage.

Street in Venice by John Singer Sargent
Checking my phone, I have a text. I'm to be on CBC Radio. A talk show host tells me my words are acid and wry. I'm paid. We've settled. The night lingers. I wade in thoughts of a lonely walk. I kill time, staring into the light of my phone. What's it come to? What's the noise? Why do I do this? After raising the question, I feel light enough to carry on. I stand up, and walk. I am a question.
"Falling as a failed lilting feather from a broken wing
Clinging to the unforgiving cold mechanical dawn
Still dreaming an entire civilization

And how illusory, how ultimately disillusioned I am by my youth
Drained of all wicked savagery and raw earth
Into a vegetable gladness

Thawing next to a lone rock
Cracked by a lightning strike from the changeless ice age broth of sky
Almost infinitely long ago, and now rinsed, overly purified by the fresh rains
Fathers and mothers in my cultural upbringing
The writers, artists and musicians
Spouting intelligent insanity

From within forms called the book, record, image
All a lie before the transcendent spontaneity of creation from newfound inspiration
To be and do what feels harmonious and complete

Finger-pointing to stars and storm clouds
Washing away mud with a healing presence,
A profound humbling that presents power and at once feigns innocence

In departing from all with humility
Yet a fearless flesh-traded mastery over the air,
Stares eyeless into the stoned intuitive rendering"

excerpts from "Contemplation's Itch"

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