Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I dreamed last night that he was dying.  His body half its original size shrunken under the sheets like a dried out Patagonian mummy.  His eyes were yellow.  Liver disease, the doctors said.  Too much alcohol.  Cancer of the jaw.  He could not speak.  He did not try.  The tremble that took over was like a death rattle.  He did not have much time left and we, the survivors, sat around his bed.  Each of us locked in our own minds.  This death thing.  It is happening to him, not to me.  And when his brother climbed onto the bed beside him and tried to hold him close one last time, I saw the wet line of urine seep down his trouser legs and I knew that the brother too had lost control.  The brother could not cry but his body leaked out tears.  We, the bystanders, reeled back.  We could not bear to see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Imagine as a writing exercise trying to describe something knowing that yr description will not describe what you want it to.  Trying to describe an LSD trip, eg.  Trying to describe a rm that one's in w/o resorting to any nouns, similies, metaphors, analogies; a bedrm described w/o using the words "bed" or "walls" or "floor" or "sheets" - attempting to describe the sheets topographically only.. - that sort of thing.  That's the dilemma of trying to describe dreams.  Extending that, that's the dilemma of describing ANYTHING - something will ALWAYS BE MISSING - something that makes the description crucially incomplete.  I'm hyper-conscious of that in relation to today's attempt at a dream description.

There's an environment.  I am in it.  It's both architecturally-interior-like & enormously-outside-natural.  I am on a flat surface.  It's like a floor, it's like flat ground; it's not like a floor, it's not ground.  To my left, wch, of course, is an inadequate relative description, is a steep cliff, rounded.  The surface I'm on is water.  The surface I'm on may not have initially been water.  Perhaps something I have done, something I am doing, is making it fluid.

At '1st' this surface, this water, is bounded - on the left is the steep cliff; straight ahead is, perhaps a slightly higher flattish area wch isn't fluid.  Around the corner of the cliff is another area where the fluid is bounded.  Behind me there's some sort of human-created area bounding the fluid.  It's as if the scale changes there to be the scale a small child sees when it looks up at table legs & table top whilst crawling on the floor.  There are human created objects there, not necessarily describable as any particular thing - concrete abstracts of sorts.  People live there or are visiting.  Looking behind me, as I head forward, to the right of the people area the fluid continues on for a distance obscured from view - there's no immediate bounding of the water in sight.

I have a purpose.  I am somehow going to make a dramatic change to 'reality'.  I have a reason for this, this 'reason' serves a purpose I somehow perceive as benevolent.  This does not describe it at all.  The surface I am on may be solid enuf for me to walk on, it may be water, I may be in a small fragile boat, a raft.  Whatever I am in or on, it remains undefined at the same time that it's clearly physical & I am clearly physical in my interaction w/ it - even though I seem to exist more as a POV (Point of View) than as a body that I can see.

Where the 'water' meets the 'shore' the water is fluid, there's a brown scum that extends out from the shore for maybe a ft or so.  The water is perhaps thousands of ft deep.  My chosen task is to descend, perhaps down a rope, to the bottom of this for some purpose that will make dramatic changes.  I will not drown.  I need to breath but I will not drown descending into this water w/o special breathing apparatus other than my not necessarily visible ordinary human body.  When I reach the bottom something major is going to change.  I don't want to descend in the water where the scum is, where I can't see b/c of the scum; I want to descend past the scum but perhaps the water isn't so watery past the scum, perhaps it's hard, perhaps it's ice.

I have to have a rope connected to the shore that became visible around the curve of the cliff that I'm at the bottom of.  The water is still, there are no waves.  I have to somehow fetch an object from this shore to be suspended on the rope.  This object may be something like a plastic sculpture of an owl, it may be something completely different, it may be undefined, totally ambiguous - except that it's no bigger than 11 inches in length & ruggedly textured.  It may represent something else, it probably does.

The rope is parallel to the surface wch may be water.  The object is attached to it.  I no longer need to descend to the bottom.  I'm no longer holding the rope, perhaps the rope & the object are no longer there.  I'm moving away from where I'd gone to - back toward where I'd apparently come from in the 'beginning' - even though there wasn't necessarily a 'beginning' b/c in the 'beginning' of this memory I was in the 'middle' of the space I've been 'describing' & I was coming 'from' the 'middle'.  I was going back to the part of the water/ice where the boundary was no longer visible.

I cd walk on the surface that wasn't exactly ice - but b/c of what I'd done the surface that was closer to ice than anything else I can think of was becoming something that I cd no longer walk on b/c it was becoming water & it was very deep & I wd drown.  I was heading away from where it was turning into deep water, walking backwards, perhaps - looking where I had been.  In the little area bounded by the 'shore' & the curve of the cliff the surface cd no longer be walked on - it was deep water.

To my right, as I was moving backwards, there were people in the area w/ the human constructions.  They were laughing in resistance to the change I'd initiated.  They were preventing the surface from turning into deep water.  It was as if there were only an ice-like surface w/ no potential even for deep water underneath it.  But that was changing - not b/c their efforts weren't effective.  In 'fact' they didn't have to make any effort - their existence kept things that way - it was their world, they defined it.  But even tho they didn't need to do anything to keep the surface from becoming fluid, it was becoming fluid anyway.

There was a newscast, perhaps I heard it.  Hundreds or thousands or an unnumbered quantity of sharks + some bears (not polar bears - black or brown bears, grizzly bears perhaps) + some walruses or walrus-like creatures coming onto the land from the deep water that was coming into being.  The news may've announced that these creatures were eating humans - but I don't think I saw that happen.  What I saw was the sharks & bears & walruses covering the land near the water's edge.  I was retreating from them toward a small rock protrusion from the 'water''s surface at the edge of wch my girlfriend was laying half-asleep.

I reached where she was.  The surface had melted to the point where she & the bedcovers over her were partially wet from the melting.  I warned her that she had to leave this small rock area b/c the sharks wd be coming onto it & maybe eating her.  She was more nonchalant about it than I was - saying that she'd been camouflaging herself w/ fake shark fins - wch I cd imagine seeing there but didn't actually see.  I didn't think these semi-imaginary shark fins wd work to keep the sharks from recognizing her as human.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I dreamed that I drove to the A.A. meeting in my real car, a silver-gray Infiniti FX35.  I brought prescriptions from the pharmacy in their original wrappers with the instructions tucked inside.  The pharmacy had given me a free prescription as a promotion—something for the vagina, though I’d had no complaint.  It was Tuesday night at St. Luke’s, the church where I was baptized.  I always say that about St. Luke’s—“the church where I was baptized”—as if I owned the place.  Leo Kottke was there, and, for a change, it didn’t make me nervous.  I just slipped through the door.  There was no meeting in session, but people from the meeting and other people, too, were gathered.  It was the Christmas holiday season.  I had not seen Mr. Kottke for something like twelve years.  I had bags, and he had bags.  Besides the bags from the pharmacy, I had my work in satchels.  Leo Kottke had his work in satchels, too.  I fished in one of my satchels for a copy of Country Without a Name to show him.  I thought it was appropriate to start there, with work we had done since we had last seen each other, and he thought it was appropriate, too, and began fishing in his satchels for work to show me.  Country Without a Name and Solzhenitsyn Jukebox are ebooks, however, and no true print copy of them exists; instead, I had booklets made from them on my printer.  I couldn’t find the best version with the illustrations by Daniel Harris, and instead found a prototype with a drawing of Leo Kottke on the cover.  It looked like a doodle I had made of him, as if in my daydreams I had him in mind for my writing.  It embarrassed me that I couldn’t find the real and finished version.  I explained that it was an ebook, and he said he’d seen it because he had downloaded it from the internet.  Then he took my hair and neck in his fingers, and he kissed me.  He kept on kissing me.  It was pleasing and exactly as I’d imagined it would have been had we started kissing in real life back when it now seemed we must both have known we had wanted to.  I wanted to ask him, but knew it was better not to, why he hadn’t written to me long ago.  If it was so easy to kiss each other now, why hadn’t he written to me in response to my letters (sent to his publicist) and kissed me then?  I didn’t ask because the passion of the kissing, also the ease of it, the simple familiarity, brought us into present tense.  I became cooperative with my heart and his.  He had a plan, he said.  “Let’s move all our belongings into the hallway and begin to transfer them to our cars.”  He had so many things with him, not, it seemed, because he was homeless, but because he was camping or on the road performing.  Susan Tepper was there helping with Christmas preparations.  It was easy, as in real life, to get along with her.  Leo went down the hallway.  I assumed he was moving some of his things.  I began organizing my things and thought of the complimentary prescription for vaginal healing.  When he did not return for a while, I went to look for him.  He had gone into the church where a Christmas concert was in session.  He sat in a school desk near the top of the sanctuary.  He looked a little drunk.  He asked for another drink.  He was drinking an almond-colored foamy concoction.  I looked at him as if sorry, and he said, “Don’t feel sorry for me.”  Drinks were being served on the grand piano.  Sam Chauncey was one of the men serving the drinks.  I said, ‘Sam,” and he said, “Ann, ask your question.”  I said, “What is in this drink?  Is it alcohol?”  And Sam said that the almond-colored drink had a low alcohol content, and the cranberry drink did not.  Someone said, “Maybe Leo is not used to drinking any alcohol, and the low alcohol content went directly to his brain.”  I returned to where he sat in the school desk carrying an almond-colored drink.  I served it to him.  Our plan had shifted, but we didn’t mention it.  He seemed to be in his own mind and amused by it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I had a dream that was set in an old town over a century ago, the sort of town you might see at Sovereign Hill in the Ballarat goldfields.
I watched a group of women out walking with their children.  One mother went inside a store to fossick for material and while she was inside, a young boy, presumably her son, carried her baby in his arms.

To hold onto the baby the boy gripped tightly, too tightly it seemed.
‘Let go,’ one of the other children said to him as she began to wrestle the baby from his arms.  But the boy held rigid.  His arms circled the baby’s torso like a python .
 The girl tried even harder to pull the boy’s arms apart, as did other children who joined in, but still he would not let go.

The baby who had been whimpering became floppy.  Its head lolled to one side.
I knew then it was too late and the baby was dead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In my dream last night I was trying to find a place where I might wash my hair. My usual bathroom was unavailable because of tradesmen and therefore I needed to find another. I had already soaped up my hair with shampoo in readiness and stood talking in my dressing gown to my husband when two friends came by. Two friends I have known for a long time and feel mixed towards.  They told us that their daughter had just died after an asthma attack.  ‘She couldn’t keep up the fight,' they said.

They were devastated and their news devastated me, too.  Throughout the rest of my dream wherever I went I found myself bursting into uncontrollable fits of weeping for this young woman, who happened to be the same age as one of my daughters. They were good friends.  I told the mother that I worried about telling my daughter -  who is very sensitive and would also deeply distressed - about her friend's death.

Somehow I managed to get a key to a hotel room where, without paying anything, I could have a shower and finish washing my hair.

I needed to cross Flinders Street but the lights were red.  I waited in a crowd outside Young and Jackson’s, conscious that I stood only in my night gown in this most public of meeting places, under the clocks at Flinders Street station.  Finally the lights changed and I tried to behave as though there was nothing unusual about a woman in her nightie in the middle of the city.

On my way upstairs in the lift I came across an old writing friend.  She was attending a conference with another woman and seemed preoccupied even after I told her about the death of my friend’s daughter.  I’d have thought she’d be able to show more interest but no.  She left me alone with the burden of my grief.

It was as if I could not stop telling people about my sadness at this young woman’s untimely death.  Other friends came by and I told them, too.  They seemed more empathic but I had the sense that no one could really appreciate this loss except me and the girl’s parents.

Finally, I came to my hotel room but it was occupied by cleaning ladies who were making up the bed.  I told them why I had come and they offered to leave the bathroom till last.  A man came by, another hotel worker, who noticed on the table, just as I did, a screwed up wad of bank notes.  A tip, I thought, as did the man because he took it up and commented that they’d have to share it around and how unfair it was not only to have to share it among themselves but also with the establishment.

In the next minute my husband’s mother arrived and I felt awkward in my half nakedness.  She chased after me to give me a towel but I closed the door behind me fearful that she might disapprove.

Then the alarm signalled the time to get up.

Monday, November 7, 2011

dreamed I found animal skins in the woods and called them "stories." Then I dreamed that I wrote poems out of my own hair; I used tweezers and glue to arrange the hair into shapes of letters.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

going to piano lesson in Maidenhead with Mrs Rhodes I have to take a taxi the young taxi-driver is late & tells me how hard his life his problems – why he’s late have I got my black bag with my music in it? Yes – he has to stop because driving on the footpath there are children in the way – they move over he continues – turns right instead of left in the town & I’m confused I know this town but where am I? I get out & realise I don’t know the address – I go into a shop, stationery, toys, & ask to use their phone – first they find their own phone/address book – then a book with phone instructions & in despair I try somewhere else by now it’s 2.35 – the children sitting on the stairs are in the way & I push a boy down gently playfully & he rolls down leaving me room to get down ….