I’ve been pot-holing this week. Exploring the cracks, crevices, fissures and trenches where glaciers, rivers and oceans pulse, slowly.
If I’ve been spinning with my head in infinity for the last while, this is the week where I came back to reality with both a bump and then, for one alarming dreamsleep moment, a slipslide beneath the tide encased in a sealed train carriage.
Dreams tell me things. How I am doing now. How I did in the past. What I need to watch for in the future.
Trouble is, I don’t often know what they were telling me, except in the thin shadow of a very long and highly blurry hindsight.
They are meant to stay just out of reach, surely? Because if you try to live them out, they end up all weird and not making sense, just like the ones you have when you are asleep. If by some miracle, in waking consciousness you get your hands round the throat of your dream, truly, then all you end up doing is throttling the life out of it. Don’t you? Or is that just me?
Everyone says have a dream. Maybe I am done with them now. Perhaps I shall just switch to purpose. My purpose. This blog is called On Wishes & Horses, a bit of a play on words, where the next line is that beggars would ride. I am still out on wishes. I was very anti-them a while back, now I am not so sure…
And it’s at this juncture I’d like to insert a picture of a porpoise, just as a small sign that I have not disappeared up my own arse and had my sense of humour surgically removed circa 2010. But I just quite can’t bring myself to do it. Sorry.
I was forced to take a nap earlier. I slept heavily and dreamt. I was standing on a quayside and watched three people: man, woman and child, float past me. They were fully clothed; their eyes were closed, they were travelling fast in the current, towards a weir. Whilst I stood wondering what to do about that, three orcas passed by in the opposite direction. They leapt up out of the water, their tails slapping the surface as they re-entered. For a moment, as one passed by directly below me, I thought it was suddenly a giant black and white cat. Then another orca leapt into the air, slapping the water with it’s tail and woke me up.
I saw this in Waterstones later today. Perhaps next time, I’ll stay awake and write a waking dream instead.
There has been a lot of nothing lately: nothing on the blog, nothing in my head, nothing out of the window. This because I have stopped. I have at least learned by now that if you don’t want nothing in life (double negative noted) you have to do something…
Something will be thrust upon me soon enough when I return to work on Monday, but since I stopped I wondered if it was, in fact, the kind of thing I wanted to do after all. This is a stupid thing to think I chide myself. One must be grateful for a job, not just a job either, a job that one enjoys, a job that gives one a sense of purpose. I always thought a human should have a sense of purpose you see; I have always thought that without that a person would just vanish into thin air.
I don’t think that is the case, any more. It is perfectly possible to vanish into thin air with many a sense of purpose, in fact it can be the purpose that does one for in the first place. The person seems to conflate self with busyness and before long, when they do finally stand still, you cannot see them at all.
I once had a dream that I should like to sit under a tree trying to do an old jigsaw of the racehorse Red Rum. I have pieces missing, so it would be like a Sisyphean task, one that I would never get to the end of: the jigsaw would never be complete and that’s how I would spend the rest of my life. I am not sure that that is my dream any longer. I have spent two weeks, not doing a jigsaw, but reading a book and I have still not finished it. The book has made me realise that there is some part of me, some part of you, that never ends. We, whether we sit under a tree with an incomplete jigsaw, or slump on the sofa in front of Celebrity Big Brother, are never ending. We are not just a solid mass of particles, we are in fact all fluid energy that flows out to meet the tree, or the sofa, the jigsaw piece, or the television. It is the energy that is the thing, you see, and I wonder what I will choose to do with mine now I have had a while to realise it.
This is the book (and below). I recommend it.
Not any question, but A Good Question. Most questions have already been asked by someone, somewhere, so I don’t imagine it will be a new question I come up with. But perhaps it will an old question framed in a new context. I don’t know, because I haven’t come up with it yet. When something floats around like this, just out of reach, in the ether, everything feels odd. I don’t sleep well. Snapshot memories come back vividly – they too are transformed by a new context: thinking about the same old thing but in a different way is a surprisingly challenging process. Thinking without words. This sounds impossible, but it can be done. After all, what else do we do before we can speak, as babies? Not think? Or after we have lost the power of speech through illness, age or accident. Not think? Of course we think, just differently. And because the majority of the world are thinking in language-based forms, those of us forced into a visual thought pattern are pushed to the margins of both the world’s and the world of our usual selves.
Perhaps you do it yourself, when you dream. Waking dreams are where good thoughts arise. I am hoping that the question will emerge from one of those in-between states, when it is ready.
I am rediscovering all the rules writers have about their work – some I agree with, some I don’t; I apply neither consistently. Adverbiage is one of them, repetition another. Some of the most powerful poems use repetition I think, Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night does not so much spring to mind, as never leave it, exactly for the use of repetition. Rules are made to be broken and rigidity of approach is not always a good thing in life.
One of the rules was: never write about dreams.
I am not going to write about mine for my own reasons, but this song more or less sums up last night’s effort.