Posts Tagged ‘dreams


2 palms in extremis (and a dream mash-up)

a week cannot go by without a photograph of the ubiquitous mexican fan palms that dot our hillside.


dreaming can bring together such strange bedfellows. last night, actually this morning, moments before the alarm went off i was enjoying a conversation with a genius i knew (1912-2002) and we’re carrying on and i ask him, “what do you remember about andrew holleran?” and he replied, “he had more money than god.” which would have been completely out-of-character for him, because i never knew him to engage in lowly gossip (i mean, it’s possible that he did, but certainly not with me.)

also palms were involved.


iris 3 (tangerine dream)

me, disguised as a tangerine bearded iris.

i had what i like to call ‘pizza dreams’ last night. “get out!!!” i shouted as i sat up in bed at 1 a.m. waking dramatically from a deep sleep, the back of my head and neck wet with sweat. sitting there for a moment trying to remember what had happened in my dream (someone/something had been trying to break through our double front doors — before we replaced the solid wood doors with glass ones — as i was gathering puppies and running down the hall to the bedroom, shouting) what the hell? i attribute it to the pizza i had made last night with roast chicken, avocado, tomato, and a liberal layer of shaved parmesan. do you have dreams that you can associate with the food you ate the evening before? i wouldn’t ask, but it’s almost a ritual with me dreaming a certain kind of vivid dream having eaten a pizza a few hours beforehand. <sigh> the dreams have not kept me from eating pizza and probably won’t, although at the moment of the dreams recently i’ve found myself thinking that maybe i shouldn’t indulge in this particular meal any longer, but i never think that when i’m making one. it must be selective amnesia.


sir gawain, the green knight, and other dreams of the dead

they were smiling at me, so close i thought i could reach out and touch them. their love emanating from their smiles in visible waves of air (a distortion of my psyche); i ached for it to be true, although i knew that it was only a dream and that they were long gone from my life and this reality. i like it when they come to visit, but i always wonder what they want when they do. what can it mean when they seem so alive, but i know that they are dead?

sir gawain and his pursuit of the green knight came to my consciousness without warning or prompting, they were just there last night at around 9:17 pm pst. it wasn’t an unpleasant visit, even though it has been more than 4_ years (yes, that is a 4 in front of that underscore, it is there because memory is like that) since i had met them. all things camelot were the rage, we were all reading t.h. white’s “the once and future king.” why i do not know. i liked gawain, his honor, his fears, his duplicity, and his redemption. its alliterative verse underscoring (in a john williams movie score kind-of-way) the valor and the grandeur of the court of arthur. did my thoughts of gawain prompt the visit this morning, just before waking, of my smiling, lovely friends? i do not know, but today i believe i will let them accompany me, their love my knight-in-shining-armor.

p.s. my interview at artist career training is up.


horizontal vs. vertical

when i took these pictures of the sky last night, they registered as vertical images on the camera and when they were downloaded this morning, i contemplated leaving them as vertical images.  But after some back & forth, this way & that way, up & down, flipped vertically & flipped horizontally, i settled on horizontal (turned counter-clockwise).

why, you might ask, all the mishegas about the way the sky is positioned when it’s obvious to even the dimmest wit that the sky cares not a whit?  swirling, circling, stationary, flat or arched, the heavens (not in the religious sense) just are what they are.  and imposing my aesthetic (design sense-less) on it is like, like, well, it is senseless.

regardless, whenever i look up into the night sky it always reminds me of childhood dreams (and some adult dreams, too) and the lazy days and nights of summers past.   the cricket of cicadas and the fairy nature of lightening bugs and the scratchy feel of freshly-mown grass on the back of your shorts-clad legs as you lay looking up at the stars and clouds and the movement of the trees along the fence line that shadow a part of your memory.


en pointe

are you what you dreamed of being when you were a child?

that undefined “fireman,” “race car driver,” “deep sea diver,” “soldier,” “tailor,” “tinker,” “spy,” “actor,” “dancer,” “translator,” “biologist.”

are you disappointed that you’re not?  or have you reconciled your you with the you you had seen at 4, 8, 12, 16?  perhaps you’ve shifted the focus or have you let it remain a blur of what you’re not?  no need to answer.


thursday (chapter 4)

if he looks backward at this morning’s awakening, he will realize that it was of his own choosing; the dream he was having deserved to be stopped, an anxiety dream, & one that has plagued (plagued may be too harsh a word, although for years it has been the go-to dream when his anxiousness overtakes his waking world); he stopped it then by waking up, opening his eyes & then closing them again, & a breath later, a deep breath later, the alarm sounded & as he turned toward the nightstand he sighed deeply, thankful that his waking (that conscious decision while in a subconscious state, a miracle of one mind over several other minds) had stopped the inevitable end of the dream, an end that he had dreamt too many times that the word countless would be an inadequate qualifier.

[as the author, i could stop now & tell you what the dream is composed of, although each time the circumstances are different, the framework, the spine of the story remains the same & that is the issue with its ability to manifest anxiety.  i remain uncommitted.]

it is language & actions as a result of language, & the failure, the constant, spiraling failure that are the hallmarks of this dream.  you would wake yourself too.

it starts out innocently enough, although if he were to more closely examine each of these beginnings, he would realize (& perhaps now he has, but will it register subconsciously?) that each of these dreams begins in brilliant technicolor, exuding happiness & the kind of “all is right with the world” good feeling that makes for such pleasant sleeping, but it can quickly turn dark, even while still light-hearted in color & tone & sweetness & light.  & that is how last night’s (but actually this morning’s) dream began & it was only his recognition of the warning signs (the unusual requests “i’ll have a diet pepsi on ice with a pot of hot water,” “bring me a cup of mild coffee,” to which he replied, “i’ll make sure to ask the coffee to behave itself as i pour it into your cup,” which, if you’ve been paying attention, would be the tipping point of the dream, & although there were smiles all around, the scene had taken on a carnival, evil clown, a freak-of-nature-on-display-roped-off-from-the-crowd (for their own protection) kind-of-atmosphere, there even may have been cage bars silhouetted on the far wall of which he was, in retrospect, only aware of their symbolism after the fact.

but even though he had quelled the dream before it could go any further, stopping it before its inevitable conclusion, it did not matter, his day was shaded by its garish hues & sulphuric vapors & clammy cold hand on his heart.


the button hook (dreams)

it started the other day when i couldn’t (but eventually was able to) button the button on the sleeve of my shirt (the one just above the cuff.)  as we do these days, i commented on the difficulty i was having pulling that particular button through the eyelet on the shirt sleeve on a variety of social media platforms that i am a member of & received little moués of sympathy from this friend and that one; one commented on the exasperation of modern dress, i riposted with a tidbit of information about the origins of buttons on jacket sleeves (originally placed there to keep soldiers from using the sleeve as a handkerchief or imagine if you will a dirty, unshaven, hungry cavalryman astride his warhorse, a strong wind blowing, bringing with it the ashen scent of fire, gunsmoke, the clanging & explosive sounds of cannon, the screams of the fallen comrade to your right–your nose running in sympathy & fright, of course, you’d bring your sleeve up to your face in a gesture of relief & defiance.)

all of that transpiring in a flurry of 0’s & 1’s, in digital time, beeps & burps from my computer (you’ve got mail!) alerting me to new comments, until one fine young woman said “you need a button hook.”

i respond to common sense (from adults & children) as we all do with a sigh of ‘but, of course, that makes perfect & complete sense, i wish i’d thought of that’; in this instance, a spark appeared above my balding pate, a little flicker of remembrance, a tickle of delight, a feather under the nose of recognition, a sneeze held (remember the buttons on the sleeve!), a gentle nudge from my mother to move forward & claim what was mine from a pile of memories (a clothes bin at goodwill.)  “i have one,” i posted, “but i’ll need to locate it under the weary load of the fallen leaves & layers of things/objects/memories i cannot part with, not for anything. ”

interestingly (at least to me) that evening when i got home i walked right to my bedroom, shedding the detritus of the day as i went, greeting dogs & lovers with equal affection (both getting a little scratch behind the ear) but with laser-like focus (the enterprise’s tractor beam pulling me closer.) the german jewelry box (handmade from exotic woods with the inlaid design of a simple country home on the lid,) my treasure chest (since forever) & there & there under the top tray, beneath the dried carnation from my mother’s funeral, the invitation to a going-away party from 1975, a dear, deceased friend’s driver’s license, a newspaper clipping from 1951 of my mother’s marriage to my father, my cub scout knife, (an archeological dig) lay my button hook.

why was it so close at hand and yet so far from being used?  you do know how a button hook works, don’t you?  you slip the hook through the eyelet & grab the button & pull it through.  victorians & edwardians used it to button up their shoes & the tedious line of buttons on the back of a woman’s gown from the time required, yea, demanded such a clever device. (i’ve yet to use it.)

this one, this one came from my mother’s mother (grandmother h.) my spiritualist (edgar cayce devotee) who loved nothing more than sitting in the afternoon (after dinner, the big meal of the day served at noon) on the  divan & under the painting of a southwestern desert with its purples & ochres & reading ‘the rubaiyat of omar khayyam.’

but here, now, a thought, a question,  came to me, one that i think is important now (freighted with regret): what were my mother’s dreams, my grandmother’s dreams, grandfather’s/uncle’s/aunt’s/my friend’s dreams?  what did they dream of hooking & pulling through the eyelet of their life?  what accomplishments?  what loves?

in all the conversations & times together, i don’t think once, not once, did any of them express what they dreamed their lives to be; what they looked to accomplish with their lives, where they wanted to be.   less so with my contemporaries, because we did share amongst ourselves our greatest desires & wishes & my mother occasionally would say, ‘oh, i’d love to own a mercedes benz, that diesel ping is the sound of money in the bank’ (this statement made when gas was but 35¢ a gallon,) but never that sigh of contentment, ‘i am where i always dreamed i’d be at this moment in time.’

if you have the opportunity today, right now, to call or turn to your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins, your lovers, your friends & ask, “what are your dreams?” or “did your dreams of the life you wanted to lead come true?” do so, do so without hesitation.  i think it will make your life richer for the knowing.   i know i wish i had.



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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