When I was a child, for a time, the bridge was out. They were replacing the rusty iron trestle bridge with a thick-slab concrete monstrosity. I could go down to the river, and I could see the scarred and marred construction site, & the big yellow machines that sat dormant on the weekends. But one couldn't cross the river -- not unless one was willing to get wet, and was a better swimmer than I (and it was autumn & the water cold.) It was a strong current that swept along between two steep banks. It was not a great distance, nor were they violent waters. But that brown water moved with such smooth swiftness. I dream about the time the bridge was out, now & again, and wonder what it was about those weeks that still has meaning to my mind.
Tag Archives: Dreams
There was a retiree named Graham who dreamt he was unprepared for an exam. "What a dream, you fool! You're sixty years out of school, and still have an impulse to cram!"
BOOK REVIEW: Introducing Jung: A Graphic Guide by Maggie Hyde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I find Jung’s ideas fascinating. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe most of said ideas have scholarly merit, but they’re brilliantly creative and eccentric. Some will say this would’ve been a radically different book if it’d been written by a psychologist or the like (rather than by an astrologer.) I don’t disagree. It’d likely have focused more on his work in personality types and on the unconscious mind (i.e. the work that people in psychology still talk about, whether they like it or not,) and also probably would’ve barely footnoted his ideas about “the uncanny,” synchronicity, and astrology. In short, its priorities would’ve been reversed, and it’d be a book that’s more boring but more relevant to those who are interested in Jung’s long-run influence on psychiatry / psychoanalysis.
For my purposes, I prefer the book as it is. I shouldn’t give the false impression that the author only addresses Jung’s mysticism, or that she completely avoids pointing out where Jung’s ideas were controversial and what critiques were leveled against him. The book comes across as a serious description of Jung’s work (albeit focusing relatively intensely on dream analysis, collective consciousness, and the more out-there aspects of his work.) I will say, I’ve read a few books from this series now, and Hyde does seem more a cheerleader (less a dispassionate scholar) than most of the other authors. It’s fascinating to read about Jung’s criticism of Freud. Don’t get me wrong, I’d agree that Freud was sex-obsessed, but Jung’s accusations of Freud being too concerned with one ill-supported idea does create a bit of a pot / kettle situation.
I enjoyed this book. I found the descriptions of Jung’s ideas compelling, if unpersuasive. However, I’d argue that if you specifically want to know about what ideas are still being talked about in classrooms (mainstream, not the New Age-y ones,) there’re probably better books. However, if you’re curious about Jung the mystic, this is a great place to start.
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Jacob’s Ladder [Free Verse]
I'm dripping into midnight -- my world has disappeared. My eyes crack to light and life, but I forgot to hear -- remembering, the silence is broken & I hear a rhythmic clack. But I can't help but wonder, where it is that I'm at? I'm at the bottom of a wooden staircase, too steep to be sound, looking up until perspective makes the case vanishingly thin. Should I climb the staircase? What else can I do? Will I wake half way up, and find myself in the blue? The laws of dreams force my hand, I can't stand paralyzed, and I'm halfway to infinity by means that I know not. And I'm thinking of the line from that children's prayer: "If I should die before I 'wake," and I think: "What the hell is wrong with parents?" that's the thought upon which you're going to leave with your child to "go to sleep?" And you're wondering why the kid is up all night? Because dying in one's sleep doesn't start to seem like a fine prospect until one is an octogenarian. And so I sleep...
Dreams All the Way Down [Free Verse]
I awaken from a dream within a dream, and I'm still dreaming -- dreaming that I'm walking with the others, the others that I'm told are all me, walking in some vaguely familiar exotic destination Of course, I don't know I'm dreaming. I did wake up after all, but it turns out that it's dreams all the way down.
BOOK REVIEW: Frank Pe’s Little Nemo by Frank Pé
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a comic strip character / concept redux of material created in the early 20th century by Winsor McCay. It features surreal scenes from the dreamworld of an imaginative and sleepy boy. The artwork of Frank Pé’s revisitation of Nemo’s dreams is stunningly beautiful and brilliantly creative. But…
I would argue that it’s not a good children’s book for two reasons. First, there are a few panels that are likely to prompt questions / conversations that most parents probably don’t want to deal with during story-time. In particular, there’s some prominent cigarette and smoking imagery. It does contribute to the book’s retro feel. When the original strip came out in 1905, there was probably lots of smoking in it (maybe even some product placement advertising by tobacco companies,) but by today’s standards it’s conspicuous and controversial. I won’t get into the few other questionable frames, but they exist. (Though most of it is perfectly kid-friendly.)
Second, there is a segment or two that use vocabulary that will send many parents to the dictionary just to be able to decipher the speaker’s comments for their child. This is a shame because it’s not this way throughout the book. As with the questionable art, most of the book is perfectly manageable as a children’s book. I’m not sure whether Pé was seeking to be true to the original, or whether he thought it was fitting for a children’s book, but with relatively few edits I think it would be much more suitable for children.
For adults who are interested comic strips (historically or artistically,) I’d highly recommend this book. For those considering it as a book for a child, I’d consider whether some grandiloquent vocabulary and a provocative frame or two are troubling, and decide accordingly.
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Dream Door [Triolet]
I dreamt the door looked out upon treetops and I could walk out on blue sky and cloud and see the world as would a tall cyclops. I dreamt the door looked out upon treetops, but in my dream I plunged into the copse. Sky walking proved more dream than was allowed. I dreamt the door looked out upon treetops, but could I walk out to blue sky and cloud?
POEM: Sleep [PoMo Day 8 – Rondeau Tercet]
In haunted hours, I wilt to sleep, and know that I'll be cursed in dreams. I'll drift upon Stygian streams at speeds between trickle and creep, listening for some distant screams. In haunted hours, I wilt to sleep, and know that I'll be cursed in dreams trapped down below the castle keep, until the King should come to deem me worthy of some healing dreams. In haunted hours, I wilt to sleep, and know that I'll be cursed with dreams, drifting upon Stygian streams.
POEM: Faces & Places of My Dreams
I once read that one never dreams:
-a place one hasn’t been, or
-a face one hasn’t seen.
This is either false, or
I’ve been a lot of places:
-of which I’ve no waking recollection,
-which don’t exist in my photos, and
-which no one ever asks me,
“Do your remember that place…”
I’m less confident that my mind generates faces —
except that I’ve dreamt featureless faces, and
I’ve sure never seen one of those while awake.
But, given that a blonde wig on a brunette actress is
— apparently —
enough to keep me from identifying her,
I can’t be certain that I dream faces,
faces I’ve never seen in the real world —
and there have been oh so many faces.
POEM: Dream Envy [A Sestina]
In dreams, I lived in the mountains,
but my home was in a bled swamp.
Did highlanders dream of wet feet?
Or does dream envy flow one-way?
Could my life be one’s serene dream?
Why not? Dreams are built on nonsense.
But there’re fatal forms of nonsense —
like drowning in a vast mountain.
Who knows what will come in a dream?
One might fall off the fetid swamp
because down isn’t always the way —
if nothing pulls up on your feet.
I can’t say for sure I’ve dream feet.
“Now, you’re really talking nonsense!”
Tzu’s butterfly taught me the Way.
Maybe I’m in swampy mountains,
or, perhaps, a mountainous swamp
They’re the same — all places but a dream.
This conversation is a dream —
yet, I feel floor beneath my feet.
Or am I knee deep in the swamp?
Sense is starting to make nonsense.
I can’t be far from the mountains,
though I’m not sure I know the way.
The way? Or the Way? or the WAY!
Who can say, it is just a dream?
Dream mountains are not real mountains —
no more than a real feat is dream feet.
Don’t claim I’m hemorrhaging nonsense
because I’m in my happy swamp.
The swamp that’s known isn’t the true swamp.
The whey that’s unweighed isn’t the Way!
Nonsense that makes sense is nonsense.
That’s true in life, but in a dream?
Am I in bed, or on my feet?
Or falling from a snowy mountain?
All nonsense isn’t found in your dreams.
We slog the swamp and find the Way.
Swampy feet, head in the mountains.