Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In my dream I have come home for Christmas.  Home is a fifties style kitchen complete with laminated topped table and green tiles on the floor.  My mother sits at the table.  She is dressed in the type of skirt and blouse she might have worn when she was aged in her forties.  She pours tea from a large pressed metal teapot.
Although this woman pouring tea is my mother she does not have my mother’s accent.  This woman has an Australian accent and in this sense she reminds me of my husband’s mother.   
He sits beside me at the table and like me he is a peripheral visitor to this household.  We have come unexpectedly and although we are made welcome it is clear we are not central.  A version of my sister, the one immediately below me in age, sits at the other end of the table alongside her husband and they are each opening presents.  They have also handed small parcels over to my mother and her second husband, who now lives with my mother in the dream.
The presents are small tokens, nothing of value, some of it junk, but they ooh and aah over each gift as though it is the one thing they have wanted all their lives.  Somehow although we have no gifts to exchange, my husband and I feel comfortable enough about being here to watch the gift-giving scene between these others.
There is an impoverished feel to this kitchen, a familiar feel and I know I do not want to linger long.  I sense that my husband would prefer that we leave.  I get up to go and can tell that my mother would like to think that I am leaving only because my husband wants to go, not because I want to go.  I am content to let my mother think this.  Somehow it is less painful.  I do not want to hurt her feelings even as I sense that mine have been hurt so many times over that I am now impervious to pain.   We say our goodbyes. 
I set off down the sidewalk in a warm, light rain. I had no umbrella. The rain felt good on my face. The sidewalk ended at a busy road. Across the road was a flooded field. Before my eyes, there materialized a rising river. To the west lay higher ground. To the east, the road followed a downward slope. The river crashed onto the pavement in great waves. I thought it might alter the course of the road. A young couple approached. The husband was much taller than his wife. As if we’d known each other all our lives, he said, “I hear there’s trouble by the gates.” And I replied, “Yes, in that distant realm.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

I was in the lobby of a classroom building on a college campus.  The room was dim, as the windowed wall stood in the shadow of the treeline.  It was dark enough to obscure the print on the various flyers taped to the walls.  Animals started streaming in from outside, black bear, horse, polar bear, cow, so many large bodies that I felt a wave of claustrophobia.  I pushed my way past them, briefly getting stuck between the two sets of doors with the polar bear (she was too confused to find her way in).  Finding safety outside, I saw my girlfriend crossing the lawn towards me.  Her Newfoundland, Giovanna, was still inside.  I went back, squeezed past the polar bear and returned to the lobby.  I was shocked to find the black bear in flagrante dilecto, having mistaken Gigi for a bear.  The poor dog already has a bad uterus, so I pushed him off to protect her weak reproductive organs.  Luckily he hadn't fully begun, but when I pushed him off I saw evidence of his preparedness.  I herded the horse, cow, and Giovanna out of the building, past the polar bear still stuck in the doors.  The livestock fled across the lawn, and my girlfriend and I crossed the campus to the cafe and ordered blueberry buckwheat pancakes from a booth in the back.  The room consisted of a perimeter of booths around a horseshoe bar, with an open kitchen in the center.  This building, too, relied on natural light.  Its windows were set in the same direction as the first building, but it overlooked the meadow and took in enough light for a pleasant breakfast.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Dreaming Something Else" by Lyn Hejinian, in Bob Perelman feature, Jacket 39.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I dream that Peter and I are in our kitchen, getting ready to go to work.  He's wearing a burgundy colored sweatshirt and black jeans.  Everything is like it is every morning, the rustle of breakfast and coffee.  I notice that someone else walks into the room.  It's an exact copy of Peter, except he's wearing a bright blue shirt.  I barely notice for a while.  And then I can't figure it out.  We're always two, but now we're two plus a photocopy.  As I try to uncomfortably wrap my mind around the fact that I've now got two husbands, I also try to keep straight which one is the "real" one - probably the first one?  I realize that if I can just find my copy of Kathleen Fraser's When New Time Folds Up, that I'll be able to figure this out.  Then I wake up.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Last night I dreamed Bach not the man but his music in my head which happens whenever I am practicing something and has always happened ever since I was a child -- dream learning.
There was a box that I was supposed to handle, but I knew something was amiss. I also had a strong feeling that I'd "be next" which was sort of terrifying. I asked a man to open the box because I had my suspicions. I was correct! The alien inside the box was not dead. Not only was he still alive, but his flesh had been eaten off by bugs and critters--he was writhing terribly. It was not too late to save him. He had been put in that box by another alien, but since we just exposed the activities of this 2nd evil alien, he would be dealt with and I no longer had to worry about being put in a similar flesh eating box. BUT, when the man opened the box he released all the flesh eating bugs and critters (in my bedroom!), one was a large, black scorpion. I knew I was going to have to get some bug spray to take care of this problem. Then I gave a poetry reading, then I tried to find matching knee high stockings and then I came back to the house and found Chris asleep in the bathtub. I woke and told him about the bugs, he already knew, they were in the living room. I told him about the scorpion, although at first I said "scarab," we both corrected my mistake at the same time. It was not a scarab, it was a scorpion and yes, Chris was aware of that too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I went into a gallery. There was an installation that consisted of very realistic, life-sized sculptures of people who were half melted into the floor. Large puddles surrounded each half melted person. They were sticking up at odd angles.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I was peddling a one-speed bicycle seventy miles an hour on a freeway with my wife and grandson aboard. We had one piece of luggage strapped to the frame: a leather saddlebag. Confused by the signs, I took the wrong exit and went up a hill. We got off in a flat graveled area surrounded by leafy trees. There were no cars or bicycles in sight. Several people were milling around, not at all impressed by how we’d arrived. Up ahead, on higher ground, there was a large round concrete tank. Hovering just above it was an empty wooden rocking chair, turning slowly in the breeze.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This weekend I had two dreams of beautiful, tranquil places. In one I had just arrived (Brussels) and in another the pilot of my plane flew low to show the passengers a new place with large, newly-blooming flowers and a pristine beach.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Last night I dreamed of a huge room full of very young Asian girls, 3 or 4 years old, hundreds of them, all in blue dresses, and they were all playing violins and these jellyfish beings floated out of the their violins and flowed toward me and the air was blue. The music was beautiful and I think the jellyfish were trying to tell me something about music but I couldn't understand because my hair had grown long, to my feet, and was wrapping itself around my neck like we were all underwater. This is the second dream I've had where god-like creatures came out of musical instruments and tried to speak to me. It is common for me to dream the color blue in this, the mud season.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I dreamed I had come off the train in a small town somewhere in America, Mexico perhaps, judging by the clothes the people wore – big hats, lots of religious iconography in the streets, sacred hearts and blessed virgins everywhere.  It must have been a weekend at least or perhaps a holiday.  People congregated in bars at outside tables and on the street itself.  
I said good-bye to my husband who had travelled with me on the train.  He had errands to run and we planned to meet up after an hour or two.  I intended to wander and explore alone.  

I left the station and walked down to a small shopping area in the centre of town.  I thought at first that I had lost my shoes.  At one point I looked downward and realised I was barefoot.  I must have left my shoes behind.  I could not understand that I had taken off my shoes and left them behind but the evidence of my bare feet was incontrovertible.  How else could I lose my shoes.

I walked around in circles looking for them.  There were many different abandoned shoes scattered across the streets, in pairs and singles.  Most resembled the recycled variety of sandal shoe we had bought for my daughter for Christmas from American Apparel – the shoes that had twice fallen apart and that I had needed to return twice before we finally collected a pair that have lasted for more than one wear.  

No sooner had I found my shoes than I discovered I had left my handbag somewhere and it was gone too, stolen I feared, and worst of all, worse than the money stolen would be the dreadful job of having to cancel and then re-order my credit card and licence and other bank cards.  

I walked alongside a young couple with American accents.  She told me she was about to go off to pray.  He, on the other hand, was not interested in prayer.  He had jobs to do.  The woman scolded me for my carelessness when I told her about my lost handbag.  They were gone before they had even offered to help me to look for it.  To them I seemed a lost cause, a hopeless case.  I could see it in their eyes.  
Next thing, I saw my handbag hanging off my arm.  It must have been there all along.  I had simply not recognised I was carrying it, in much the way I sometimes forget that my glasses, the ones I think I have lost, are sitting there on top of my head.  

My handbag however had changed shape.  It was larger than it used to be and when I looked inside I saw that the original handbag, my real handbag, was fitted snugly inside.  I could not bring myself to take a look to check that my wallet had not been stolen.  I still suspected foul play and I needed a quiet space alone to contemplate my losses.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I dreamed I watered my cactus. I dreamed a long scrolled piece of paper upon which my sins and good deeds were being accounted for were being shaded in by a lead pencil. The sins were shaded over and over until they were a black ribbon and the good deeds were erasing the black.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I was strapped to a chair, wearing a sort of Lone Ranger mask with wires attached to the throats of people sitting around me. One by one these people were injected with a truth serum that compelled them to express their deepest fears. Their lips moved, but their words came out of my mouth, and I felt their fears as if they were my own.

And then I found myself in France, walking down an esplanade with a pretty, self-contained Dutch girl, a taciturn Spaniard, and a pudgy, swarthy, curly-haired young man who spoke both French and English fluently. This last handed me a pair of underwear like blue terrycloth Speedos. "Ceci sont de rigueurs pour les hommes en France," he said. Apparently my companions were expecting me to drop my pants and don these outré Gallic briefs right in front of them. I tried to explain that I don't wear underwear--that, comme beaucoup des types Américains, I schlepp around in jeans much of the time, allowing my junk to flounce untrammeled inside them--but the French equivalents of some of these words escaped me, so I appealed to the pudgy one for help. He'd been my go-to guy whenever my French had failed me. On this occasion, however, he refused to oblige. He just regarded me with cool amusement as I mumbled, "Mon membre... les bijoux de ma famille..."