~ Archive for department ~

dream me a parable


  This dream is worth getting up at 5 a.m. to record it. I am in a
place of remote place of great natural beauty: the grass is lush and
the low-hanging trees are thick around me. I am walking near a road
with my teacher and we meet Dan C___sson and stop to talk to him. (Or
do I meet them separately?) We walk on and my teacher tells me that Dan
is taking a long time to write something foolish and predictable, I no
longer recall what.
   Then he opens up a book, something by an American author,
to show me a passage. Since I don’t understand it even in the dream and
since I have forgotten many of the words, I have no hope of extracting
meaning from it with my waking mind and record what little I recall
simply to remind myself of the deeply inspired feeling that accompanies
this dream. The passage begins with a girl giving a certain gift to a
fellow in the story, a hunter or dreamer. It ends with the admonition
“But from above and below, a lethe comes and takes…” (“Ether” would
make sense here but “lethe” is the word I seem to remember. My dreams
have words now.) My teacher asks me what this tells us about the
difference between the journals of the hunter and the hunted (perhaps
this wording is also part of the passage). I am at a loss, so he tells
me that it describes the ability of ____ to make x dollars but also to
make much less.



  Altering my schedule has induced me to neglect this dreamlog for
a while, so I want to record a couple of recent dreams before they fade.
  In one dream, that sounds but does not feel trivial, I am
standing on an island in the middle of a desolate avenue that resembles
but is not the same as the one that leads to my house in waking life.
The street is nearly empty of vehicles and passersby but a youth who
seems familiar comes by and suggests we go somewhere but I tell him I
am waiting for someone or something, so he moves on.
  I suppose I get tired of waiting, since I walk uphill toward the
houses opposite me. I go up a winding block and enter a house. In a
large room, some of the kids who frequent my gym in waking life are
standing around. I don’t have any sense whether I am their age or my
current one in the dream, but in any case, I join in their banter. On
the floor is a bench that curves upwards. I lie down on it and try to
flatten my body against its resistance.
  In the second dream, almost completely forgotten, I am at sea
traveling on a ship. A friend of mine is on the boat as well but I
never see her–we use cell phones or walkie talkies to relate to each
other our location and what we are doing. There are people aboard I do
interact with directly but I’ve forgotten the nature of those



  In the first part of the
dream, I am an invisible observer. Someone who dwells on a very high
floor of a modern, sterile building is being manipulated by other
unseen observers. Among other things, he is induced to play the violin
in the style of another artist and to brainwash someone, even while
knowing that he himself has been brainwashed.
  Then I am in a laundromat, writing down my observations about
this experiment in mind control in a sink. Unfortunately, my text goes
down the drain. So I walk back over to my stack of laundry. I
experience some difficulty with this because the laundromat is bisected
by a road and I have to dodge a couple of swiftly moving motor
vehicles. When I get to my laundry pile, I find mixed in with my
clothes some vegetables of gaudy, unusual colours and uncommon size.

The Insult That Made a Lunch out of Mac


  I’m waiting with several
other people to be transported to parts unknown. A van  pulls up
with only the driver inside and I wonder for a moment how he can hope
to accommodate all of us who are waiting in that modest sized 
vehicle. But then cubic units, each large enough to hold a person,
begin to fold out of the van until the whole assemblage is the size of
a large truck and we begin to pile in, each passenger encased in his
own unit and head off to parts unknown.

  Then I arrive at a small
apartment to interview a young (late teens) Oriental girl. However,
there is a constant flow of heavy traffic on the street outside and the
din makes it difficult to speak. Since I can’t converse, I look for
something to occupy my attention and notice a comic book I then pick
up. On the back cover I find an updated version of the advertisement
that used to grace the back covers in my childhood, “The insult that
made a man out of Mac.” In this version, the threat that shadows the
beach is no longer an aggressive beach bum. Rather, it shows a shark
attempting to devour the beachgoer. But the beachgoer has been using
Charles Atlas’ system, so he strains his mighty thews against the roof
of the shark’s mouth and keeps it from closing. For some reason, this
makes me laugh so hard that I wake up.

on the road


  In this dream, William and I
are checking into a fleabag motel (not so unlike, come to think of it,
the “Grand” Marina we lodged in this summer) off a barren, nondescript
road. I leave my belongings in our room and head out. As I’m leaving,
the manager approaches me and tells me privately he has some misgivings
about William’s reasons for being there. I reassure him that William is
on the level and explain what his legitimate reasons are, although I no
longer remember them or the manager’s worry. Then I get into the jalopy
we’re traveling in and drive off.

  When I return, I notice
William has dumped a ragged suitcase of mine in a pile of rubbish in
the parking lot. Without looking inside, I somehow know that it
contains a cadaver we had with us in our ‘suite’. (I don’t recall whose
corpse it is or why on earth we have it. Synchronistically, I dreamt
this the night
before going to see Claude Chabrol’s La Demoiselle d’honneur.)
I’m not sure what my motivation is but I pick up the suitcase and bring
it back indoors. Almost as soon as I enter, the manager begins banging
angrily on the door. I’m not sure what his grievance is–that we’re
keeping a corpse on the premises? I’m quite concerned however–not
about being arrested (which doesn’t cross my mind) but about being
evicted. As crummy and generic as this place looks, something must bind
me to it, since I feel such unease at the prospect of having to leave.



  In the dream, I find a book
of the Ice Queen’s (whether a book she authored or a book that belonged
to her, I don’t know) listed in a catalog. I consider mail ordering it
but worry that she will learn of it and… and what? At any rate, I
decide to go to the book dealer who’s listed it, wherever that is, and
purchase it (with cash, undoubtedly). The place I enter doesn’t look
exactly like a bookdealer. It could be a shop, a bar, a residence, with
spacious but nearly empty rooms with wooden paneling. But there is a
man behind a desk whom I ask for the IQ’s book. For reasons I don’t
recall, he is apprehensive about providing it and tells me I will have
to wait some time. I resign myself to this and wander off to one of the
rear rooms, which leads to another and another. I pass some rather
banal looking people in suits who are in the middle of a conversation.
I don’t intend to stop but another person, sitting to their side seems
familiar and this catches my attention. He recognises me before I
recognise him–it’s Dr. Joel R., my feckless high school philosophy
teacher. He greets me warmly (this is continuous with the previous
night’s dream, which I’ll have to transcribe since it looks like the
beginning of a trend) and fills me in on the banal details of his life:
he’s working somewhere in Europe and visiting somewhere far from
wherever we are now (so I can’t explain how I ended up bumping into
  I don’t recall if I ever get the IQ’s book. Perhaps I awaken before I do.

“How high that highest candle lights the darkness.”


  In the dream, it’s night
time and I’m sharing a room with Hector (perhaps during one of our
yearly pilgrimages, like the one we made last week in waking life).
Although we seem to have already retired for the night, I am up and
about, trying to assemble something in the darkness, kneeling or
squatting beside a wall. Without leaving his bed, Hector is calling out
suggestions. All in vain–whatever it is I’m trying to fashion keeps
falling apart in my hands. I give up and open the curtains of our
window. It doesn’t look out on an urban landscape. Rather, it seems to
be at the top of the sloping walls of a valley, from which packets of
light ascend into the air. “How high that highest candle lights the
darkness.” And then, someone we recognise in the dream emerges along
with the lights but I have no recollection of his identity or

lost in translation


  In the dream, I see my colleague Az—– poring over a book with
one of her students. It is a thick tome in Latin illustrated with
engravings. I am incensed because I sense the student covets it even
though he is also afraid of it and is trying to get her to close it
  Then I see Az—– again downstairs, in a place that resembles
my home much more than it does Hall Hagardie. I speak to her but she
doesn’t understand my language. On the other hand, I understand her
perfectly when someone arrives to discuss a lawsuit they’re planning
together. As far as I recall, this is one of my few dreams to feature
words rather than just images and impressions.

Trilogy of Fragments


  Three sequences in one night but only very fleeting
recollections of each. Noting them in case something jogs my memory or
they become significant in light of later dreams.
1) My grandfather (defunct in waking life) is dying and my family is
making preparations, trying to ease his transition. My contribution is
bringing my blue lamp over to his bedside and shining it on him.
2) There is a girl in distress and an older man trying to console or
orient her. She doesn’t know him but I divulge his identity to her–I
think he’s the president of a university–and somehow this foils
whatever he was trying to do, making him upset at me.
3) I’m at an establishment that has the feel of a bar but actually only
offers electronic services. I’m looking for a young woman with whom I
share a computer account where we have stored some information I need.
Something about the timing for using that information is delicate and

Does not compute


  An exceptional dream in
several respects. The protagonist is a woman with very little doubt or
hesitation. She arrives in an unfamiliar city and takes the subway to
an unfamiliar house, where she’s expected. There she crosses words with
an older woman, who is covertly but not subtly hostile. I don’t recall
the content of their conversation. The older lady leaves and my
surrogate realizes she’s been locked in and can’t leave the house so
she begins to explore it. She passes from one area of the house to
another and jams the door behind her. Opening another door leads to a
lofty stairwell, which she ascends. At the top is a beautiful man, or,
rather he isn’t there. There is the presence of a beautiful man but not
as a physical presence. Perhaps it is a formula she understands, his
genetic blueprint or something else altogether. There are closed doors
at either side but she ignores these. She studies him carefully, then
leaps decisively into the space where he is not and experiences waves
of sexual pleasure. As she falls to the floor, she thinks she has
accomplished very much and very little. She raises herself slightly on
her arms without standing up and remains motionless for a while, her
mind entirely rapt in a pair of his individual cells.

  Even while dreaming, the
incomprehensibility of this dream chafed at me. Not the illogical
symbolism that’s par for the dreamer’s course but running up against
something that couldn’t be represented visually. In fact, I was so
insistent that my mind replayed that part at the top of the stairwell
for me but the results were identical: everything transpired as before,
no visual form of the man could be found.

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