The next post, more about the zoo, is half finished but so rarely do I remember my dreams past 8 am that I’m going to write this one down quickly because I want to hold on to it. I have to type fast before it disappears. Do you ever have one of those dreams where you seem to be reaching into some untapped potential in your brain in some way that you can’t in your waking life? I have, for as long as I can remember. While I’m rather mundane in my waking intellectual and creative life, I occasionally have dreams where I am playing a piano piece where I know every single complex chord and the precise fingering, far far beyond what I can really do. I see the sheet music in my dream and it’s all accurate and exact and I can play it like, well, a dream. Right. I used to dream that I was reading Voltaire, Balzac or Dumas in French- fluently and without pause- and in my heart of hearts I knew it was absolutely as written. I could see every accurate word on the page. These happened mostly when I was struggling with French lit in college.
So, I woke up early this morning, having spent some part of the night visualizing the most exquisite Inuit art…
I was walking across a neighbor’s lawn to get to my house, except that it was all unfamiliar and I wasn’t sure where I was going, just that the house I was walking towards was mine. The neighbor had left a small picnic blanket out on their lawn, apparently for days, but it had been rainy and cold so I was worried that the grass underneath was going to rot and die. I stopped to pick up the blanket and folded it and there was a small plastic tarp under that and I was about to pick that up, too, but then I noticed that someone had dropped a cellphone/PDR in a black leather belt case right there and I assumed it must belong to the neighbor so I hung that on the neighbor’s front door knob where they would find it and I continued on.
At my house, there was no furniture and the place was cold and almost entirely empty, sort of like a model home, with inexpensive, light colored new plush carpet throughout. There was a Coke can and a couple food wrappers and when I picked up the can to throw it away, although it felt empty, a bit of pop spilled out on the light colored carpet. Throughout the remainder of the dream, always in the background, I was concerned about mopping up that soda pop before it stained or soaked in, because I knew it would always attract dirt in the future.
But the core of the dream was this: There was somebody there- don’t have a clue who- showing me this interesting art project where you could mail in a piece of your child’s art, no matter how crude or childlike, and this artist would send it back to you, transformed into this most astonishing three dimensional interpretation that retained all the properties of the original but now it had layers upon layers of complex detail. In the dream the example was a piece of child’s art that was a simple line drawing of an animal, sitting, with just the outline of the body, curved back, up the neck and head, down the front with the chest and front legs. It was like a dog or cat and it had been all crayoned in black.
The returned work from the artist had this entire mosaic pattern with hundreds of squares that you could look down into, multi-dimensional, with the most incredibly beautiful detail imaginable. In the dream I thought each one of these hundreds of squares was like a simple drawing of a house transformed into blue prints transformed into an architectural model. The model, however, had every single miniature chair, painting, dish, plant, every detail of a beautiful home (as opposed to a house) everything, down inside it. That was in each mosaic square. I commented on this to whoever the person was and they said “yes, and see, it can be a work in progress. I can move this wall here if I want to reconfigure the room, I can put this counter here instead of here” and she used the tip of her index finger to nudge things around in this tiny model. The whole time I could still see the relationship to the original childlike flat drawing of an animal; it always felt connected to my child’s art work.
Then, even more amazing (this is the Inuit art part) I picked the piece up and noticed that at one end there was a small peep hole to look into- so now it was literally three dimensional and heavy- and I looked into it. Inside there was a beautiful and complete carving, Inuit style, in that black stone, of a mother and two children. It was simple in that way that those carvings are, almost totally lacking in detail but you still marvel at how evocative it is? Precisely like that. The entire work was some of the finest art I had ever seen.
In the background of all this beauty, I was continually worrying about soaking up the spreading soda pop puddle which had now grown from a few drops to a massive dark wet spot that went from the living area into the hallway. And for some reason I was having to hide from some sinister people who were down the hall so I was trying to sneak out and put an extension pole onto a mop head type thing so I could clean it up but knowing that wouldn’t work and what I really needed was a carpet cleaning company that could come right away. In the middle of this concern, Rich (I assume) walked in and I related the story of the neighbor’s blanket and the lost cell phone and he said “What?? That was probably mine that I lost! I need to go get it.” The next thing I see is him sneaking up the porch steps of the neighbor’s house, disguised in a burqa (!?), trying to retrieve the phone. _________________________________________________
End of dream. I interpreted a lot of it for myself while writing it down here (this is MY journal, right) so if you’ve read this far (I can’t imagine why you would) don’t feel compelled to comment. I just think it is rich and wonderful to, every once in a while, have a dream that has something in it that is SO MUCH BETTER than anything my mind could achieve in waking life. These dreams have always puzzled me, though. When I wake up, I have a very solid recollection of the music or foreign language or, in this case, the fine art that I was seeing in the dream. Where does that come from? Is that all really in the recesses of my unconscious brain? Can’t be. Maybe it’s there but I’m so busily focused on the trivia of symbolically cleaning up cheap carpet in an empty house that I can’t access those things? I don’t know. It’s confusing. So, I’ll ask you again: Do you ever have one of those dreams where you seem to be reaching into some untapped potential in your brain in some way that you can’t in your waking life?