In the past month I have dreamed of earthquakes, floods, insanity, and speaking to the dead on sunny days through the static on a television screen. Dreams that seem to reach a fever pitch of…something. I feel as though these are the dreams that have been caught in the throat of my subconscious for years, struggling to articulate themselves. They erupt with such intensity, too vivid, the emotions backward or palindrome, turned inside out.
The dreams have strange and foreign emotions that I instantly recognize with the sort of helpless and uneasy dread that accompanies a bout of deja vu, a primitive recognition of something both outside and of myself. Ancient emotions that are larger than the sum of my life. The precision of such emotions in dreams never ceases to astound me. In waking life they seem to be clumsy and heavy-lidded, while in dreams they are the half-notes, the c-sharp and d-minor. They are clean, glinting past sinew to the bone of the matter. Subgenres of anxiety, sorrow, elation—the short story versions, concise and sharp. The hissing static intake of breath after the first clean note of pain. I feel like my dreams of late are building to a strange yet elegant crescendo—an alignment of heart, bone, and thought that passes through the penumbral shadow of dreams only once in a great, great while.
(from a journal, 2007)
All the life-potentialities that we never managed to bring to adult realization, those other portions of ourself, are there [in dreams]; for such golden seeds do not die. We carry it within ourselves forever. If only a portion of that lost totality could be dredged up into the light of day, we should experience a marvelous expansion of our powers, a vivid renewal of life.
-Joseph Campbell, from The Hero With a Thousand Faces
*Cormac McCarthy, from Blood Meridian
Barge into office, demanding those post-it note-like things used to highlight/mark a place in a book.
Co-worker: Procures a pocket-sized hardbound book from his pocket FULL OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF POST-ITS.
Me: What! This is incredible! I would sew a pocket onto all my clothes just to carry this around! Genius!
Co-worker: Or you could wrap it into a bandanna and wear it around your neck!
[Stare at each other in suspicious recognition]
Co-worker: Well, we only have one. Let’s share.
[Returns it to his desk later, with a post-it note attached that reads: “Thanks! (you see what I did there)”]
A Week Later: Walk into office
Co-worker: [immediately holds up post-it book with week-old post-it note still attached]. I love this note so much. I’ve just been keeping it here, on my desk, where I can see it because it’s so great.
Boss: rolls his eyes