Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I recently had a dream that was so vivid it left me seeing ghosts everywhere (in a good way). I dreamt that I took a walk along the familiar downtown streets of my hometown, Lewiston, Maine (I'd just been reading and researching historical sites, old industrial era mills, etc.) and suddenly there was a suspension of time as we know it. As I walked along a familiar sidewalk in the present, everyone who'd ever walked down that street at any given time in the past were walking their routes too, at the same time. The layers of activity created a bustling scene, yet everyone was somewhat transparent and able to walk through one another without interruption or notice. The longer ago the person walked the route, the fainter their image. I crossed paths with old relatives and loved ones departed while in their youths. I called to them without connecting, but felt the comfort of their presence, nonetheless. I specifically remember walking alongside my Uncle Larry, my father's older brother who died in 1945 in Belgium during WWII. I never met him, but have heard enough about him to realize that I'd have loved to have had my Uncle Larry to enjoy and grow up knowing. I just savored walking with him. I couldn't reach him to speak with, but his presence was a comfort. Since that dream I have a hard time looking at things as separate from the past. I also know, as a consequence that my own footprints resonate into the future and affect its outcome, even if ever so subtly. Uncle Larry, because of who he was and his interactions with his brother (my father), Claude and countless others, played a role in shaping who I am. There cannot help but be a resonating influence, even if a very subtle one. I learned that while dreaming and awaking to a new understanding. That is also what art at its best should do: awaken us to new understandings. I think a great work of art should invite the viewer to places completely unknown, yet mysteriously familiar. What comes from the subconscious, or dream state is the stuff of universal truths because it has no agenda except to become known.

No comments: