Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dream, 15 December 2012

When I try to slide back into my dream I have memories, now fast receding, of a bear, or some other large animal.  A bear kept on a chain, maybe treated as a circus performer and whose owner then collected money.

Somehow the Dalai Lama or some other Buddhist type monk was concerned for this bear and began to collect money to free it. Someone had organised an event at which the Dalai Lama would speak.  He had collected stacks of money, which he kept in a plastic bag.

At the last minute his talk was cancelled.  The Dalai Lama fell in a heap and I had to rescue the money. It became clear that several of his followers were after this money.  I found I could not trust a soul, even those whom I might once have believed were trustworthy.

I had planned to take the money to a safe place.  I got into my car, my baby beside me, and realised too late that a couple of these potential thieves were in the back of my car.

First I tried to reverse in such a way they would get squashed, but it did not work and so I sped ahead in an effort to get to a police station, but I could not find one.

Imagine my relief when I heard the police siren.  I had been travelling so fast the policeman on a bike had taken note.  He was after us.  I stopped the car and reported the two potential thieves.  Then I woke up.

I dreamt I was standing by the windows in our living room in Brooklyn.  I glanced outside and it took a few seconds for it to dawn on me that it was nearly dark outside, in the middle of the day.  I had never seen it like that before, not even during the worst storms.  I went to the front door to look outside.  When I opened the door, it pushed me back, as if there were a powerful wind, though I don’t think there was.  A man was standing there, behind the locked iron grate.  I didn’t see him very well.  I didn’t want to see him.  With all my strength, I was able to push the door closed.  Upstairs, in a room more like the girls’ room at our house in the Hudson Valley, Charlotte was playing on the open futon with our visitors’ baby, a very blonde kid, with mentally defective eyes.  I asked to look at the baby, and accidentally almost let her head topple over.  Paul, a former close friend from Brooklyn, was in the room.  They must have been visiting us.  He came over to me.  I wanted to avoid Paul, but it was impossible.  He looked a little different, with darker hair, if that’s possible, and perhaps balding, or with a weird bald patch.  He asked if I had gone to my high-school reunion, saying, “You were born in the year so many kids were born, ’61, right?”  “In ’57, the year the most kids in American history were born,” I said.  He said he didn’t like high-school reunions.   By now, we were walking together outside, crossing a street to a park and playground.  I said, “It’s so tempting to focus on the people you don’t want to see, but if instead you focus on the people you want to see, you can have a great time.”  A midget or other small creature accompanied us in the park, smoking a half-cigarette.  I pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  The midget asked me for one, which annoyed me.  “They’re nearly a dollar apiece now,” I said or thought to myself.  Weirdly, the midget had shrunken to the size of an insect in the dirt by the sidewalk.  With a scissor mouth, it cut the cigarette into pieces.  I couldn’t understand what it was doing, but I didn’t try to either.  I had decided we should leave the midget in the dust.


I dreamt I was walking with two fellow women workers in the country past a farmhouse with a small pond out front.  One of the women, a crippled midget, criticized me for smoking in the room where we had watched a movie earlier.  “Yeah, I’m really sorry about that,” I apologized.  I added, “I hope you won’t tell anyone,” or she telepathically communicated that I didn’t need to worry, I’m not sure which.  I saw a gigantic snake, very thick and at least 10 feet long, slither down through the grass into the pond.  It had large white diamonds on its beige skin.  I felt sure it was a poisonous water snake.  Both attracted and terrified, I pointed it out to the others.  The midget stepped into the water to see it better.  It was only then that I was struck by her similarity to a toddler.  Then she disappeared under the water.  Gone.  Could we save her?  The other woman sort of laughed and said, “She’s gone.”  I looked around for an oar or big stick, swished the water a bit, though I soon decided it was too dangerous.  We went to the farmhouse, where a party was breaking up.  People were coming out the front door.  I asked the hostess if she knew about a snake in the pond—perhaps because I only half-believed that what had happened was real—and she said, “Oh yes, that’s the python.”  “It’s killed a woman,” I said.  “That can happen,” she said, adding with a laugh, “It shouldn’t have done that.”  One of her guests, an intellectual-looking guy with dark curly hair in his 30s, like a member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, burst in and said, “Hey, listen, I really gotta go now.  Let me get outta here before the police come and ask a lot of questions.  You don’t need me for that, right?”  He was in a real lather.


I dreamed this morning that I stood ironing a pair of trousers and the iron slipped onto the side of my hand and stuck there.  I felt it burn through my skin but could not dislodge it.  The flat of the hot iron stuck to my hand as if it had been glued. I screamed to my husband for help but he went on reading the newspaper. I screamed and woke in fright.

Earlier in the night I had dreamed I was in a swimming pool with my daughter and a friend.  The swimming pool was also the home of a pet crocodile which gave no one any trouble as long as there was no food to be seen.  At one point I ate a banana outside of the pool and my daughter saw me eating and wanted a banana too.  I advised her against eating anything in the pool but no, she snuck off, took a banana and was half way through eating it back in the water when I noticed her.

‘Don’t eat in the pool.’  I could see the swish of the crocodile’s tail and imagined it was making its way towards my daughter and her banana. The crocodile reached my friend’s daughter instead and clawed at her leg.  My daughter dropped the banana and managed to drag her friend out.  Blood streaked through the water.  My daughter’s friend was only scratched but I woke again in fright.

And then just before I dragged myself out of bed in the morning I dreamed my husband had come in with one of the cats which he plopped on top of my chest, this dead weight that refused to budge and my husband laughing so loud my daughters joined him.  Before then I had been in a park where someone had dropped a load of children’s play equipment, which had already been vandalised.

Nearby I saw a cage high off the ground on stilts.  It was filled with small animals, monkeys, mice, marsupials of all kinds and birds.  One animal started to mimic my words like a parrot when I tried to converse with the other animals. It took me a while to recognise the owl as the speaker.  A large wide eyed tawny frogmouth with speckled feathers.

All the animals in the overcrowded cage seemed unhappy to me.  The owl spoke words to the effect that he would help them all escape and slowly using some part of his body for leverage he pulled down the front wire of the cage.

The smaller creatures fled but the tiny ones on the floor of the cage, the lizards, frogs and beetles and other small rodents could not leap high enough to get over the final barrier.  There was talk then among the bigger animals who had stayed behind of how they might help these last few stragglers.

A Noah’s ark that had turned into a prison.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm in the woods. There is some heavy lifting to do- the crew and I must prove ourselves. Laura (once Johnson & sister-in-law of Phillypoet Mark Johnson) is there, and Jen Coleman appears, with words of warning, when the city begins to appear where we thought we were most remote, that "there are more alien abductions in June than any other month, and we really ought to watch out." The crew then find ourselves in a library, where I note The Dreamer is sitting at a table surrounded by children. The Dreamer confirms with a nod but without opening his eyes (he is not sleeping) that he is practicing "The French Method," or lucid dreaming. I inform Anna Daedalus that The French Method is "the best form of bad Surrealism."
It’s not the first time I have dreamed of a baby whose head is disconnected from her body but in this dream my baby was born with a thin line of tissue connecting head and body and at some point this membrane broke and her head was completely separate.  Even so her head continued to live as did her body but I worried about how they might ever come together again.

In my dream I was living in a community consisting of family members from my family of origin and other people from my workplaces over the years.  One of the community health nurses told me I should take special care of my baby and get her to a nearby hospital as soon as possible.

It was hard to wrap up my baby  in such a way as her head might stay attached.  I feared her head might onto the floor.  The nurse helped me swaddle my baby and one of my brothers came by and offered to take us to the hospital.  I did not want his company.  He had grown dissolute over the years and although I felt sorry for him and wanted to help him by letting him help me I wanted to travel alone.

My father appeared in this dream too, or at least a photograph of him dressed as a magistrate and standing before the chair of office in front of a great desk in a legal chamber.  In the dream I asked my mother about the photo and she told me that it had been my father’s greatest desire to become a magistrate and for a short time early in his life he had succeeded.  The picture included a crowd of people seated in the docks and reminded me of the photos I have seen of my mother and father in the registry office in Holland on the day they married by law.

On that day relatives sat in rows behind the registry desk as if in church but the walls of the registry office were unadorned and the large room looked stark and cold.  In my dream the room was more like a huge hall filled with the dark carved wood of old world law chambers and my father looked prouder than I had ever seen him in life.

Somehow in my dream I knew to go outside and look over the country side that surrounded the huge community house in which we lived.  Whether it was a communication from my dislocated baby or from my father I knew it in my bones and went outside as the wind stirred up.  I watched as all the blossom trees of springtime, including the late blooming magnolias, dropped every one of their petals as if a witch had blown a puff of wind at them and they had dropped their all.

It was eerie to see these trees suddenly bare, as if in winter, but I was relieved when I noticed in the distance that it was only our trees nearby that had shed their leaves, as if our home alone had been cursed.  Further down in the valley in the far distance I could still see pink blossom trees as full as a woman’s head covered in glossy curls.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I was getting out of an elevator at Chateau Marmont & there in front of me was Denise Gainer.  because in reality I hadn't seen her in decades she was as young & fresh & beautiful as I rememberd her. but strangely in the dream I knew she was dead.  & it was the shock of seeing someone you know is dead that shook me so I woke immediately.

& as I lingerd there wondering if I shd try to go back to sleep I rememberd she was the first girl I ever kissd.  & I even rememberd the taste of her kiss. so I got out of bed. I saw that full moon out the window.  I grabbd my camera & went outside to get a few shots,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In my dream I roam the streets and browse through shops in search of Christmas presents.  I want to buy things for my family and close friends that are unusual and inexpensive.  In a store that sells only crockery, hand made on the premises, I can see a yellow cup through the glass.  It lies underneath a pile of other pieces of crockery in such a way that its price is clearly visible.  Replicas, at the top of the pile, sell for twice as much.
            ‘Can I have the one at the bottom, the one for twenty dollars,’ I ask.
            ‘No,’ says the woman behind the pile of porcelain at the counter. ‘No, you can’t.  It’s impossible to reach.  You’ll have to settle for one from the top.’
 I buy another yellow one despite my misgivings and somehow in my flurry I pay for it with money given to me by another person who has asked me to safeguard it.

I tell myself it's okay.  I’ll just replace his money with mine, but his money comes in the form of travellers cheques or some other sort of cheque that you need to cash in, each amounting to twenty dollars.  If I replace one cheque with a twenty dollar note it will be obvious that I’ve used it.

It’s too late and I regret having used his money and not my own.

In another scene I help my husband build up a clock face as a present for two other friends.  My husband plans to design it is such a way that it has a haphazard symmetry.  I follow his lead and make sure that although at first glance it looks as though all the embellishments on the left are matched by those on the right, they are not the same.  There are tiny changes rather like those quiz cartoons where two identical images are placed side by side and the aim is to spot the differences.  The differences exist if you look, though they’re not obvious.

I arrive home with a bunch of children, my own and others.  I am busy with cleaning, cooking and washing, when I realise not only have I left the cup behind, but I’ve forgotten the baby.  Not my baby, my sister’s baby, who’s been left in my care.

I roam the house in search of her.  I ask my husband if he knows her whereabouts and in the process of my search I am distracted by other people’s demands and I forget to go on a search outside.

There’s a ring on the doorbell and a couple arrive.  The woman holds the baby who is freezing.  I can feel her skin, the ice cold of someone left too long outside in winter.  The baby looks at me knowingly but not as pleased as she might once have been.  Then I notice there’s a man lying at the feet of the people who are returning the baby.  He reeks of alcohol.
            ‘We found him with the baby sitting alongside the gutter.  We thought you might know them.’
            ‘The baby, yes,’ I say, ‘but not the man.’

The two help him up and carry the man away while I take the baby inside.  I worry now that he may have abused her.  She looks untouched when I change her nappy, but her nose has a graze underneath the nostril and a thin line of blood.  I toy with taking her to see a doctor but I do not want her to be further abused.
I wake up.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Horror Movie

This is the nightmare: I am in a movie theatre awaiting the next show. I am alone although the theatre is speckled with other patrons. I seem to remember taking the subway here but cannot be sure. Perhaps it had something to do with my sister asking me what she should do for recreation. Perhaps a newspaper clipping advertizing “Astro Zombies”(sic.) The lights go down but the movie does not begin. It is very dark, and then there is a feeling of sliding out, as though my chair is being pulled from under me.

Marge dreams that the globe
is rapidly becoming populated
by Homers.
They spring into being
right out of thin air,
which is also distressing for
dream Homer.
As they multiply they form
a mob and set to eating
the screen.

There is a necessary gap in reason. I am aware that I am lying on a cot in a storage closet in back of the theatre. The door appears to be open and I can tell the movie has begun because I can just make out the vague shapes of utility apparatus and industrial cleaning supplies by the light from the screen, although its flickering picture remains just out of reach. It’s a horror movie, and unable to discern the plot, its sounds of ominous tension and horrific violence become my own soundtrack. I am awake in the darkness but cannot move. This goes on
for hours. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This morning in my dream I travel on a tram with several members of my immediate family. They get up to leave the tram at the right stop and I intend to follow but am caught up trying to gather together all my belongings and a few of theirs as well.

             Before I know it the tram has taken off again with me left behind inside. I think to get off at the next stop and to race back to my family but it takes me so long to gather my belongings that at least another five stops pass before I can gather myself together enough to get off.

           I had taken off my shoes in the tram but now I cannot find them.  Instead I find my daughter’s sandals.  I also find her hand bag along with my own.  And there are items of clothing which I imagine belong to another of my daughters and other bits and pieces on the tram floor that I cannot bear to leave behind.

           When I finally get off the tram it stops at the intersection of Bourke and Cotham Roads, which is a surprise to me.  I had thought we were travelling along Swan Street.  This is perhaps why my family had changed trams earlier to avoid being taken out to Balwyn. I will need to change direction and get a tram travelling to Camberwell.

           At this particular intersection buses change over to trams.  I can see a bus coming towards me but again I have trouble gathering together my belongings.  They seem to be increasing in volume every time I try to gather them up.  More and more stuff.  Children’s toys now, things my grandchildren might enjoy, Lego and a child sized kitchen cabinet, an inflatable children’s pool, one that will be wonderful when the weather heats up.  I cannot bear to leave it behind.  I try to stuff it into one of the bags I am now using to consolidate my stuff.

           I recognise I will need to leave some of the larger stuff behind. I cannot possibly carry it all by myself.  A woman comes over to help me to gather my things together.  She turns to stop the first bus which has morphed into a tram but I am so slow at gathering my gear that again the tram takes off.

           I wake up with hot feet and a concern that I will never be able to get home again unless I abandon everything.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A report comes out in the newspaper and includes all the doctorates passed this year at La Trobe university, mine among them.  I want to read what’s written about my thesis but cannot find the full text, only snatches of it before someone else grabs hold of the newspaper. 

It looks like someone has devoted more words than usual to my particular work, though from the little that I can read it’s not clear whether the comments are positive or negative.  And then I am out shopping with my baby, in search of Christmas candles. 

I put my baby down onto the shop floor unaware of what I am doing and am horrified later to find her squeezed among the shoppers’ feet.  Later I hold her against me with no hands spare, as I try to negotiate with the shop keeper about what I might buy, what belongs to me, and a pair of gloves, which she believes I have shoplifted. 

I am sure I came in with my own gloves, but in the shopping scuffle I may have mislaid them and wound up with another pair from the shop.  To me, it’s a fair trade, though I am not sure the shop keeper agrees. 

I am at the university with the baby in an elevator in search of my supervisor who also has a baby.  We have trouble getting to the intended floor.  Up and down, up and down from the one hundred and first floor to the third and back again. 

At one stage we compare babies.  My supervisor’s is a boy. Mine’s a girl.  I have a sense that she is better able to care for her baby. But I cling to mine nevertheless.  At one point I notice my baby chewing on something.  I wrench it from her mouth.  It’s a lemon pip.  It’s hard to understand the appeal of a lemon pip, my supervisor says, but I reckon, to a baby who has experienced so little by way of taste it must be full of flavour.

Monday, June 4, 2012

His birthday Thursday marked the day, 16 years ago, I returned to Minnesota from my domestic travels abroad. On Wednesday I dreamed that coffee grounds had spilled on my Buffet. I used my fingertips to wipe the grounds off the black wood. There was another clarinet, a silver one, that belonged to a man not in the room, that was clean of debris. Bob Dylan came to collect me. He was a guest at a hotel. I agreed to follow him; then instead of going to his room, we went to the mirror together. There were green vines growing from pots and copper incense burners and beige and purple sheers billowing like kites. I took on his expressions in the mirror—he stood close behind me and we watched as my face became a kin of his.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I drove past a pair of high heeled shoes abandoned in the middle of the road somewhere near the Monash University in Caulfield.  I wanted to go back and see what condition they were in and whether they might suit one of my daughters, but I kept getting further away.

Then half asleep in the early morning I was with my husband who had promised to give a friend of one of our daughters a lift to work, but our car was no longer available and so we set off on foot.

We took a route that was familiar to us, one we had travelled often many years before but not recently.  It involved a short cut through several properties and I worried the whole time that we would get caught; that we would upset the people who lived in these houses; or that we would be thought of as burglars.

All these things happened as we raced through corridors of unknown houses on the pretext that they were apartment dwelling corridors and communal spaces, only to discover they came to an end in some stranger’s kitchen.

At one point as we were leaving someone’s back yard I could see the occupants of the attached house in the distance.  They started to chase us. We ignored them and ran off up the street.

Someone else further up the street pulled out of a driveway in his hotted up hoon car and tried to stop us. With Herculean strength I managed to push his slow moving car to one side so that we could all get past and in the process I tipped it over to one side. The driver was trapped inside of his peeled back soft top.  He only needed to unbuckle his seat belt to free himself.

‘You shouldn’t have done that,’ my husband said.  ‘You’ll only infuriate him more.’

Then I imagined someone else coming out to hose us as punishment, rather like the Dutch hosed down the German collaborators after the Second World War.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

We had organised a special dinner to celebrate one of our daughters’ success.  I had trouble choosing a dress from three I had put aside.  All three were white and suitably  dressy.  It was hard to choose between them.  I was concerned that I had already worn two of them often and decided the least well worn one would be best.

‘You can’t wear that,’ one of my daughters said when she saw me hold the dress against me.
‘What then?’  I asked.

Somehow we all managed to get ready, my three older daughters, all young adults, and my youngest in the dream still a baby.  I selected several bottles of champagne in honour of the celebration but worried about whether it was too much or too little.

We bundled into the car,  My husband drove.  I looked behind to see that the baby in her high seat had a smear on her cheek that needed wiping.  We were running late. We came to a bluestone pier that jutted out into the sea.  I was in front, while my husband drove the car from behind.  It was as though we needed to travel in single file as if on a tandem bicycle along this narrow pier, so narrow that I worried it was not even wide enough for a single car.

My husband insisted we continue but I panicked as we moved along.

I worried that the car and children and all of us would plunge into the water.  I wanted to go back but my husband pushed me forward.  I dared not turn back even to look at the others.  I held every muscle taut for fear of slipping over the edge.  I was terrified and furious at once.

I wanted to yell at my husband to go back, to let us off this pier, but he continued to push me forward.  I wondered that he could not see my rage.  That he should persevere with this insistence on going forward.

It had become a joke for him.  He was not serious about us going ahead.  The journey was impossible but he wanted to stir me up by goading me along.

I felt my rage buckle inside and stopped abruptly when we came to a point on the pier where it had broken off to a sheer drop.  I fell to the ground  looking over the edge and refused to go any further.  I woke up looking at the waves lapping the blue stone below.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dream 17 4 12

There are two of us who dress up in mediaeval costumes, a man and a woman, each for different reasons: the man in order to spread himself far and wide among women, and the woman – who is me, but not me – she dresses up to match the man.  When this proclivity to wear disguise is uncovered we agree to fight it out in a mock duel.  The man dresses up in his finest mediaeval garb but woman choses to look ordinary.

Our weapons are real.  Each bears a knife edged series of blades that jut out and run parallel to one another – a line of short stubby knives that can shred skin and cause deep wounds.  The other weapon is more  of a bludgeon, dark, black and heavy.

I, the woman, do not enjoy this battle but the man gets into it with pleasure.  He is not so good a fighter as me and at one point when I have my knife blade held against his stomach and it is merely a matter of jabbing it in, I decide to call a halt, not so much a truce, as a concession that he can win.

The game is over.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Someone broke into my consulting room, during the night.  I did not realise they had been there until the morning when I saw that they had stolen my air-conditioning unit from the wall and my heater.  They took nothing else.  I ran around the house frantic to replace the heater so that the room would not be cold later in the day when I worked.

I went down the street to shop for necessities and saw a burglary in action.  A group of three men and one woman were breaking into a shop.  I watched as they loaded heating units and air-conditioners onto the back of their van.
‘So you’re the culprits,’ I went towards them only to back off as soon as the words spilled from my mouth.  One look and I could see that they had realised I recognised them and they would turn on me, and turn on me they did.  I ran inside a nearby shop and through the glass windows I could see the four coming for me.

The owner saw me and realised the trouble I was in.  ‘Run,’ he said, but I could not. My terror had me frozen to the spot.  I could not move.  The shop keeper drew the curtains on his shop and we were covered in darkness.  My assailants ran past the shop and I was safe.  Only then did I begin to unfreeze.

I was on a train then, passing through Camberwell East railway station,
‘I haven’t been through this station since I was a child,’ I said to my husband who sat beside me.

Next stop, our stop.  We rose to leave and again I felt the paralysis seep in, though not so bad that I could not walk.  But I left without my handbag, which I had left behind on the seat, while I dragged my feet to the door. My husband rushed back to get it for me just as the doors were closing in on him.  He managed to leave the train in time.

My husband looked like the children’s singer, Peter Coombe, a shock of curly hair and a cherubic smile.  All the women loved him.  It was as if they were bees drawn to a honey pot.  But I knew he had eyes only for me.  The details grow hazy.  Women draped themselves over my husband and he looked to me with pleading eyes, as if to say get them away.  I do not want this attention, but they clung to him like plumbago.

We had not yet called the police about the burglary.  My husband was on the telephone chatting to friends and family for ages and I could not get the phone from him long enough to make the call.  His sisters and brothers were staying with us and they too seemed calm about the robbery.  But I needed to get to the police.  I woke desperate to make the call.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I dreamt that a building in Tulsa, begun by my grandfather Ike Ruby in the 1920s, had finally been completed as a memorial to him.  How had the building survived unfinished for the 85 years since his death, I wondered.  “Oh, some rain and animals got in,” my mother said, “just like a building Steve Kurens’ father owned on Berkeley Ave. in Orange.”  I had an image of a squat brick building, a squat tower.  At that point, I stepped back into the past, becoming a child again, and snuck into the squat building, sidestepping broken window frames in the hallways.  Then the cops came, and we ran outside.  A kid near a mound of dirt in the unsettled yard said, “You were in there.”  “No, I wasn’t,” I said, “I was just playing around here—like you.”  Back in the present, I walked around my neighborhood in Brooklyn and tried to drum up my friends Michael Kaplan, Keith Greenberg and some others to attend the opening of the Ike Ruby memorial.  Stepping back into the past again, I seemed to watch myself as a teenager in a movie driving over to look for my high-school friend Steve Riegel, who supposedly had moved with his father to a town south of Maplewood, N.J., on the way to Cranford.
The next thing I knew, I was inside a big museum exhibit about the life of Ike Ruby, a Jewish oilman who died of diabetes around the age of 45.  There were amazing old black and white movies of my late great-uncle George Travis, pulling up in a car as a young man with his supposed first wife, “Bobby.”  Unc put on a wide-brim hat before getting out of the car.  He looked a little mean.  Then a crewcut guy, “Stephen,” emerged.  I couldn’t figure out who he was.  The exhibit became truly extraordinary when it dealt with Ike Ruby’s arrival in Tulsa on a steamboat.  It turned out that Ike supposedly had an uncle there, P. Klosterman, who owned a little department store.  The uncle sent someone down to meet Ike at the boat.  Everything became very vivid, as it had been in the movie of Unc.  I stood in front of Klosterman’s store and watched a changing sign advertising Jewish religious services in Tulsa, in the Midwest and even in such a faraway place as Queens.  The revolving multicolored neon sign was mesmerizing.  I stepped back into the past again, this time into another life, not my own, and these little kids led me into their house, straight into the parlor floor, which upset the adults inside.  I saw a video documentary, mostly made of stills, about the failed relationship between Ike and Klosterman’s daughter.  In one scene, Ike and the daughter were in tears after forgetting to invite certain people to their wedding.  The wedding never occurred.  Apparently, she fell off a swing and was severely injured, but had emotional problems, too.  My Wall Street Journal friend Stephanie Capparell exclaimed, “You’re so lucky to have so much material about these people.”  Near the end of the exhibit, there were these beautiful Chinese pots Ike had collected.  “There was always a story about this incredibly valuable Chinese pot,” someone said.  One of the pots, not large, a little more free-form in shape and color, was indeed ravishingly beautiful.  At the very end of the exhibit, there were large black and white photos, living images, of early porn stars.  It turned out Ike had dated a string of porn stars at the very end of his life.  On a table near the Chinese pots was a tray of candies.  I took a handful, a piggish amount, and then tried to give away some to my sister-in-law Maude Kent.  I was leaving with Maude.  I had a few hours before work, and very little time the next day, to publicize the memorial event.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I dreamed I was walking down several tiers of stairs that remind me of the green, man-made mesas at Cahokia, only the mount I'm descending is made of a gritty white rock, like colorless sandstone, and I don't think about what's underneath or how it got there.  I'm overwhelmed with the people I'm passing on my way, and try to focus on where I'm going, which is a dream landscape with a pond that is every familiar pond.  I am aware in the dream that I'm going to be treated to a repeat visit to this pond.  I love to see it, dream whatever dream I have that includes it.  Almost at the bottom, an arm reaches out and a hand grabs my wrist just long enough to stop me and make me look, just hard enough to bring me into the moment.  It is someone I haven't thought of in a long time.  At least, it's someone I haven't seen in my mind's eye for many years the way I see him now, which is as he used to be before we grew to resent and distrust-- perhaps even loathe-- one another.  He seems innocent to me in this moment, and I feel myself flood with warmth.  A mothering impulse stirs.  He's just about to tell me what he's thinking.  I'm just about to find out whether he's going to explain something, berate me, or ask me to stay in this group of people with him, go through the errand to the top all over again.  I am on the cusp of hearing perhaps that he is going to say he wants to come with me to the familiar pond-- when the thought of the familiar pond breaks the spell and I find myself walking backwards down the stairs, making my excuse to the confusion of his expression, and then turning around to finish my descent.  At the bottom, I run into a field of grass that somehow isn't itchy around my bare legs, and is alive with insects that don't threaten me at all.  The tree line opens up in the distance to reveal a wide path and I am swiftly making my way there.  I woke up knowing that I got to the pond and had a good dream, where I met interesting people and creatures and pulled amazing things out of the water.  I want to remember that part, but all I can remember a few hours after waking is the descent and being stopped for just a second on my way. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We stand inside an ice cream parlour, one of those long narrow space saving places with bright walls and huge tubs of ice cream on display.  I am at the counter with my daughter who makes her choice.  The cone in my hand, a small vanilla, is beginning to drip and I lick at it to stop the cream from spreading over my fingers.

I had bought it for someone else but no one else wants plain old vanilla and so it  becomes mine.  But if I had bought it for myself in the first place I would have ordered something different.  I’m tempted to ask for more but I resist.

The shop begins to fill up and I fear we are taking too much time.  The boy who serves at the counter is directing another of my daughters, who has morphed into one of my younger sisters, to choose a small toy, as part of an ice cream selling promotion.  My sister/daughter cannot make up her mind.

I see a glass magnetising ball on display.  I test it out.  It makes everything look bigger.  I’m tempted to buy the ball and put it on my dressing table so I can get a better look at my jewellery -  to refasten links, to see where there are small stones missing, to check for grime and build up and so on - but I do not want to collect any more junk.

We go to the back of the shop where the boy who was behind the counter is now having a break.  His mother sits at a table with friends eating ice cream.  The boy hands over the blocks of ice cream I have ordered in buckets, which he then piles into a huge plastic pot.

‘You can keep the pot,’ I say, ‘or else it will wind up on the rubbish heap tomorrow’.  His mother at the table agrees with me.  She, too, hates the excesses of packaging.

We go out into the street.  I have been considering giving away free cupcakes to children at the school, my old school, but I am not sure the teachers will approve.  I have collected my car after a service and I pile it inside with stuff I will also donate to the school. There is no room left for my daughter, but I suggest she squeeze in on top of the stuff.
           ‘It’s only a short distance and I’ll drive carefully,’ I tell her.

I stand at the car door, open just wide enough to let me get inside to check that things won’t roll around when there’s a thump.  Something has rushed into me.  The something turns out to be a boy on a bicycle.  I pick him up in my arms and take him to the nature strip.  He is with his older brothers.  They get his bike from the road and check it for damage.

All fine.   I hope the boy is fine, too.  Once he has caught his breath I go to put him down onto the ground but it is clear he cannot put weight on his leg and then I see that the bone has snapped in his calf.  It juts out in that awful way I have imagined bones jut out when they have come loose from their moorings.

The boy gasps in pain.  I try to hold the bone in place and ask his brothers to call his parents. I walk with the boy in my arms all the way up the hill looking for help.

I cannot do a thing with this boy in my arms but there is so much I need to do.  I need to check the whereabouts of my own daughter for one thing.  I had left her in the car.  I am beginning to think I should take this boy to hospital.  The Epworth is around the corner but I do not know whether the boy’s parents have health insurance.  I consider paying the bill myself, only I must get this boy help immediately.  I wake up and wonder why I had not thought to call a ambulance.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I have been renovating my house for two weeks. I had a dream last night that I was driving to Mexico with a poet. I don't want to name names - but the poet is a little older than me & a long-time friend of my family's. Anyway, we were going to a poetry conference in Mexico. I had stopped at the Home Depot. I was buying towels. These were very special towels - the one I really loved was like a baby towel - it was lime green and had a duck on it. It was furry. But there were many other towels too. I was worried about money -but all the towels were $3.20. (Background information - I am painting the house green and have been in the hardware store for a total of 6 hours the past three days). But here's the good part - I awoke & I was having an orgasm! The dream wasn't remotely sexual. I'm certainly not in love with the poet waiting in the car to drive me to Mexico. But, there you have it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In my dream I was a younger version of myself, back in my mid to late twenties.  I had been accepted to start my studies at the University of Melbourne and one of my sisters/daughters was about to get married.  The place where I lived, my family home   - though there were no parents there. It was as if I were in charge of the household as I am in real life today – was in utter chaos, stuff everywhere.  In between trying to tidy up in readiness for the wedding which was to be held at home, I was preparing to move out, packing my clothes.

I was also working and awaiting the arrival of a first patient who never materialised.  I could not reach the front door to check for him.  The hallway was being renovated and there were ladders stacked in the way.  Before the wedding I found myself at the Flinders Street clocks ready to move across the lights and head off in the direction of my new home.  I had planned to rent rooms in the middle of the city up near Carlton, near the university.

My sister had negotiated the rooms for me on the phone.  As yet we had not seen them.  I came without my luggage wanting to check in as it were.  On the walk along Swanston Street at the next set of lights a young tradesman who had been working on a nearby building started to flirt with me.  He had a delightful Irish accent, the sort that I find seductive but I was determined to ignore him.  He called over to his friends and began to behave as though he and I were in a relationship.  I ignored him but did not send him packing.

We went inside a building and together watched a man selling fish.  The fishmonger was actually inside a gigantic fish tank with the fish which had already been filleted and cleaned.  It was as if he were swimming among great swathes of squid and the flesh of giant sea fish, barramundi, marlin and the like.  He held fast to a sharp knife and sliced layers from the fish, cutting off thin slices whenever a customer made a request.

I asked for some fish but the bag in which the fishmonger put it dripped water onto the floor.  I asked my Irish friend to help and another man came by.  He carried special beads of some material that absorbed moisture and sealed off holes.  He applied this to the leak in my bag and it was sealed immediately.

The Irish fellow followed me when I reached the corridor from which my newly rented room led.  I realised with a start that I had forgotten the key but the landlady came by and offered to open the room for me with her spare.  We walked through the door together, all three of us, me, the landlady who was young, the daughter of the owners perhaps, and my new Irish friend.

 I looked across into what seemed like a broom closet of a room with a narrow bed in one corner and a short divan type arrangement against the opposite wall.  I thought immediately this is far too small and then I looked up and saw that the ceiling was as high as four floors and in between on each floor several other such room arrangements, some of which included whole families, were suspended.  I could see a cot and a mother nursing her baby about three floors up.
‘I can’t live here,’ I wanted to say but I did not want to upset my landlady.

We sat on the edge of the bed, my Irishman and me, and I began to cry.  He comforted me and talked of the possibilities of the place.  At least there was a window that looked onto a wide stretch of lawn.  Lawn in the middle of the city, how could that be?  And then I realised that to rent a place in the city would necessarily involve compromise.  There were no big places available for minimal rents.  I would have to make do.


I dreamed I picked lice eggs from a young girl’s hair.  The eggs were dead.  They had been treated with a pesticide which the chemist prescribes to kill lice, but the eggs clung to each shaft of hair as if their lives depended on it.

I found them near her scalp, white and shrunken, empty now of life.  I took each egg between the nail of my thumb and forefinger and peeled it down the shaft.  I pinched my finger nails together as if I were crushing a flea.  The girl sat obligingly beneath my scrutiny.  I rifled through her hair in search of more eggs and all the time I feared I might find live lice, lice that had somehow avoided the poison, lice that could continue to escape and jump onto other heads and infect them there with more eggs and hatchings.


Dream 30 december 2012.

My husband and I walked into our kitchen after an outing and found a woman standing there at the table.  It was clear she had just made a telephone call.  The receiver was in her hands.

‘Who are you?  I asked and what are you doing here?  I walked over and tried to stop her call by pressing the end-call  button.
‘Too late,’ she said. ‘The others are already on their way.’
'I’m calling the police,' I said to my husband, but he seemed non-perplexed.  I did not want to ring 000.  This was not an emergency, at least not yet, but I could not remember the number for the local police station.  I ran out onto the street and asked passers by if they knew the number.  No luck.

I went over to my neighbour’s and in the distance saw a small group of men.  They were making their way to our house and they were each carrying heavy loads.  One couple shared the weight of a long machine, an earth working machine by the look of it.

I knew then that they had come for the purpose of working on our house in some way, but we had not invited them to come.  What was this all about?  My neighbour knew nothing of the police number and she too like my husband seemed non-perplexed at the thought of these men invading her space.

I noticed two or three men in my neighbour's back garden now.  They were about to lop off branches from two rose bushes.  The bushes had already been pruned, and stood skeletal against the sky line.
‘Don’t you dare touch those roses unless you know what to do.  They've already been pruned.’
The men held off and walked over to other plants further down the garden.

 My neighbour’s husband stood in the front garden.   I told him I wanted to call the police and asked him if he knew the number.
 ‘I wouldn’t give it to you even if I had it,' he said.  'These blokes are doing a good enough job.’
‘But we never asked them to,’ I said.  ‘And what will they charge?  They’re duplicating work that’s already done.’
 ‘Don’t worry so much,’ my neighbour said and I walked off even angrier than before.

In my front garden I saw three men working on a stretch of green lawn. They had laid out sheets of plastic over the surface of the grass and were working on it in small patches across the stretch of lawn.
‘What in hell’s name do you think you’re doing,’  I asked.  They looked intimidated but did not stop and I woke up.