A few days ago I decided to make an entry in my dream journal, a habit I’d long given up on. Remembering dreams and then getting around to actually logging what you remember isn’t the easiest thing.
It seems like some lost passion from idyllic days when the mornings were even easier on me, still an insufferably efficient morning person. Of course I couldn’t help but glance a the last two entries which had the real surprise. It’s one thing to see the world around you as a different place but reading about yourself as a different person too?
Now and then I think we all see our pasts as nostalgic breezy passages that we dreamt up or as some long lost paradise you pine after- depending on how your day went. It’s weird then, that the last logs a year ago were about people I hadn’t spoken to or thought of in three. It’s weirder still that your dreams weren’t really about anything, just some people, and how far you’d grown. Was the past that different or was the person who wrote all of that down a little less grim, a little more hopeful?
The least realistic part was how easy it was to move past the silence, the awkward combination of familiarity, distance and old breaks that you don’t even remember. The unreliability of dreams seemed to concentrate on the narrator. The person writing those entries seemed to have slipped away just like those dream I never bothered writing down.
the last dregs of tea
A book I wore out reading
in the sparrows throat
I love the feeling of the cold, creased and sun dried bed that carries me. When I sleep I stay still.
Maybe I take sleep too seriously; I’ve already diagnosed its origins. I once had a bout of sleeplessness after a very do nothing day at my grandparents home- which was nearly all summer vacations there. What killed me was how boring it was to just toss and turn, how mindless and agitating it was to just wait for the sunrise. Desperate to scratch that increasingly unbearable itch I asked for help. They told me that there was no need to trouble their sleep with my insomnia, which in hindsight seems like a fair point. Yet this was a death sentence for a young and suddenly energetic mind in a house in those strange and long past days where you had to ask to use the TV and had to ration those precious 30 minutes of screen time you were allowed.
Those 30 minutes were enough though, most of what was on the screen was crap (maybe something’s never change). In those days however you’d suffer from erratic and only occasional coverage in the village and a distinct lack of interesting options. The doors stayed strictly locked, every light was thoroughly investigated and everyone slept lightly ready to bemoan anything that got in the way of their sleep.
In that single instance I made a decision that I’ve stuck to for the rest of my life. I turned sleep into a discipline I mastered that very night. I went through all the motions, all the rhythms and breathing that I could remember about sleep. I made up my mind and every night since I proved myself by staying still, magnifying every itch only to fight the urge to get rid of it, claiming my mind till there wasn’t anything on it. The skill has taken me far and while I can’t say it’s gotten me into a lot of beds, its certainly got me reaching those 8 necessary hours in strange places.
You get a lot of incredulous looks when you make it cross legged and twisted through sofas, mats, floors, roofs, benches, bathtubs and tables to emerge well rested at 6 am and restless by 6:05. There’s a point that I’ve been hinting at through all this. It’s just that I’m not sure I really want to say it. I guess this is the kind of person I am. Don’t sleep and you get to thinking, drooping and complaining.
I wonder why I’m cutting into my sleeping hours today to post this. In some ways writing seems like those cool spreads that bound me, the nightfall asking me to be still.
Rising bath mist
The dew on leaves
A hand waving past
Her eyes flicker
as people run past
of summer grass.
let in the cats
till morning hovers
the place where we stopped
Her CD collection
now & then
a glimpse of darkness
heatwaves on my palm
I hold it under water
the grinding, spinning world
under my feet.
Spotting a section of republished Victorian era books and reports I decided to settle in and take a read at Blossoms while I waited.
I imagine the authors might be offended to learn that their serious inquiries came across as hilarious a few centuries after their publication. When you come across title such as “A Phrenologist amongst the Todas”, “Through Russian Central Asia” and “The Happy valley: Cashmere” you know that within is a misguided and thoughtlessly benevolent white man trying to carry his burden while describing his mission to civilize the orientals. You find, unfortunately, that the same condescension persists and parallels the world today.
But despair and laughs aside these books have their own charm like some antique curiosity made greater by age. There’s something about the language you see, it’s so smooth, functional and easy to drink that it flows by unnoticed. Writing was but a mechanical and very familiar process- I’m tempted to say unspoiled by making too much of it- for these men that you never notice it. It is merely a empty and foreign tool that stays unnoticed while you imagine those plains, the valleys, the mountain flowers and the men who wear sheepskin hats.
Somehow after an overdose of Murakami, King, Nabakov and today’s masters, I felt something I hadn’t in a while. I felt envious of these smooth and confident writers who had no style or thought about form, they merely reported a world that seemed larger, greater and stranger. It’s a fantastic fantasy, that’s terribly intriguing. Its lulls one into an easy concentration I hadn’t been able to muster for a lot of books for a lot of time. I was transfixed while a world unlike mine was reported into existence.
Really I wish I could write that easy, with so much to convey about what I’d seen in that strange and free flowing language, one I’m unsure I learn.
I wake up and my legs are like reflections of legs in moving water. I haven’t left sleep yet and the world still feels like a dream. Sleepovers don’t afford you much sleep and the deficit pushed back like a steady tide.
The world was still uncanny, weird and sickening. Felt a kind of empty, maybe unease- part of it cause I was hungry. Yesterdays food was good but today my mouth was dry. No one else was up and its impolite to leave early. My friends cat bothered me for a bit of food and then she wasn’t bothered. Something was off so the best thing to do was to go with the tide. The waters wash over you, you’ll flow and float all the way up eventually. I dripped backed to sleep.
The bare root of the plantations are white
like the hooves of the raiding deer
a crack of thunder in
this season of morning dew
more unfathomable than the waters
and clouds by the mountain slopes
between breaths, I burn.
Haunted by the ocean
Another lost shark
A mythic memory
We eat what grows without us
Tendrils and roots
So many directions
But in darkness you hear only one.
Haunted by moonlight
a peaceful quiet world
besides the nightlife
Taking it easy
the sound of rain
& strong winds