Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Little Holiday Cheer...

“Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.”

- From Spirits of the Dead by Edgar Allan Poe

"This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

... I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars
Inside the church, the saints will all be blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence."

- From The Moon and the Yew Tree by Sylvia Plath.

... from Remedios, Edgar, Sylvia (and I).  ;-)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Starman and the Swan People (Part III): The Second Dream

The lid of a second (smaller) music box... (virtually) composed
of mother-of-pearl fragments inlaid into black stone, 2017, DS.
(Click to enlarge)

"I was visiting a strange city... and although I can't recollect having been there before, it wasn't totally unfamiliar to me. I was looking out a hotel window at the city lights and making plans to go out a bit later. David Bowie would be performing at a venue nearby and I planned on being there. The thing is, I was aware he had died the previous year, but somehow seeing him "live" in the present didn't seem unusual to me... it's as if it wasn't merely possible in this place I had come, but, to be expected.

The next thing I remember is that I was at an airport again... walking down a long sort of corridor from which passengers either board a plane or disembark. Suddenly, I thought I saw someone who looked like David Bowie moving towards me, but, he wasn't alone. Although I have no recollection of his companions, they seemed to be walking on either side of him and supporting him as he walked. He seemed unsteady and appeared to be in pain. His face - which was red as if sunburnt  - seemed somewhat distorted. In fact, my impression now is that he may possibly have been in the process shape-shifting, but, this didn't occur to me then, and, by the time we came face to face, he looked younger - in his thirties (?) - but perfectly normal.

We had a conversation then. I don't remember what it was about but DB was very charming and endearing, He came across as a kindred spirit but, ultimately, I felt somewhat sad and remorseful. I impulsively kissed and embraced him, saying "I'm so sorry I never met you while you were still alive."

At which point he looked at me and said: 'There are other lives.'

This so astounded me I woke up."

- The second dream recollection, February 10, 2017, DS. The lovely man with sax (inset left) can be found here.

“Being imbued with a vividly active imagination still, I have brilliantly Technicolor dreams. They’re very, very strong. The ‘what if?’ approach to life has always been such a part of my personal mythology, and it’s always been easy for me to fantasise a parallel existence with whatever’s going on. I suspect that dreams are an integral part of existence, with far more use for us than we’ve made of them, really. I’m quite Jungian about that. The dream state is a strong, active, potent force in our lives.

The fine line between the dream state and reality is at times, for me, quite grey. Combining the two, the place where the two worlds come together, has been important in some of the things I’ve written, yes.

That other life, that doppelganger life, is actually a dark thing for me. I don’t find a sense of freedom in dreams; they’re not an escape mechanism. In there, I’m usually, ‘Oh, I gotta get outta this place!’ The darker place. So that’s why I much, much prefer to stay awake.”

- David Bowie, from a 4-part 2013 interview: "I'm Hungry for Reality".
Inset left is Leonora Carrington's And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur, 1953. Note: All Carrington paintings used in the body of this post can be found on this page.

"Another dream-determinent that deserves mention is telepathy. The authenticity of this phenomenon can no longer be disputed today. It is of course, very simple to deny its existence without examining the evidence, but that is an unscientific procedure which is unworthy of notice. I have found by experience that telepathy does in fact influence dreams, as has been asserted since ancient times. Certain people are particularly sensitive in this respect and often have telepathically influenced dreams."

- Carl Jung from his 1974 publication: Dreams.

"The Chinese also developed interesting theories regarding how mental and psychic functioning depends upon different energy forms. They considered the dreamer's soul to be one of the principle agencies of dream production but made a distinction between the material soul or p'o, which regulated body functioning and ceased with its death, and the spiritual soul or hun, which left the body at death and carried the appearance of the body with it. It was the hun that was involved in dreams, because it could separate temporarily from the body for nighttime excursions to the land of the dead. There it would communicate with spirits or souls of the dead and return to the body with impressions from these visits."

- Excerpt from Our Dreaming Mind by Robert L. Van de Castle, Ph.D. (1927-2014). Inset right is the painting Dervault by Leonora Carrington.

"Reveal thyself to me
and let me behold a favorable dream.
May the dream that I dream be favorable;
may the dream that I dream be true.
May Makhir, the goddess of dreams, stand at my head;
let me enter the temple of the gods and the house of life."

- Prayer of a Mesopotamian "incubant" or dream-seeker.* Note: Dream incubation is the ancient ritual of going to sleep in a sacred place in anticipation of receiving a helpful or precognitive dream from a divine benefactor. It was common in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and amongst the earliest Christians.


Well, finally, after stalling for so long, I decided to cut-to-the-chase and post both the second dream and the new music box lid right at the beginning of Part III (the last part) of this series. I can only hope they were worth waiting for.

It's funny, but when I read over my dream recollection above, a track from Bowie's LowA New Career in a New Town - started going through my head. Which was kind of appropriate. One (unmentioned) element of Bowie's performance in the strange city of my dream is that it was to take place in a small, intimate venue. And, you might say, that for Bowie to be performing in small, intimate venues would (indeed) be a "new career"...