Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What dreams may be

Another side benefit of regular sleep is dreams. That is, I have them and remember them now. When my body was sleep-deprived (or my sleep schedule was wildly irregular) I could rarely hang on to my dreams -- the transitions from sleep to waking were too rough, too torturous for anything to stay with me. Consciousness would thrash itself around when the alarm rang, trampling on any moods or images that lingered from the night. There was no time between waking and sleeping for those dream-images to wobble across the border, to harden and coalesce into genuine memories.

Now my consciousness emerges more naturally in the morning, as quiet and unforced as a flower opening. No matter how tired I was the night before, I always wake before the 5 am alarm. My compulsive nature keeps me from getting out of bed immediately; I might break whatever spell is holding me in this newfound order and regularity. And so I law there, awake but still wrapped in the mood and images of dreams. The "dogs of the day" as C.S. Lewis called them, the baying of uninterrupted thoughts, have not yet arrived. I can wait there, a nocturnal naturalist, watching dream-things still undisturbed in their natural state.

I have been told by independent sources that I'm pretty good with dream interpretation -- I have a knack for whatever Jungian logic is required to make sense out of images and moods. I suspect it is the same qualities that allow someone to enjoy poetry: the ability to surrender to the experience, allowing it to guide you to meaning without insisting on rational consistency.

So what are my dreams telling me? They have a disturbing, omen-like character these days. Like last night: I was staring into a server rack, one of those big black locked cages that servers are kept in in data centers. I was looking for something that was amiss. I saw at the bottom of the case, a huge mouse, or maybe it was a rat, had shredded some documentation and printouts to make a nest. There it was, peeking out of the nest, staring right at me. A big fat cat, an old cat, saw it at the same time I did, and popped into the rack through some unseen opening. There was an enormous struggle that I could only half-see, but I had this eerie sense, like you get from sci-fi suspense movies, that the cat was losing the battle, that some clan of super-mice were doing it in.



Post a Comment

<< Home