What do dreams tell us? Who is talking to us in the dream? Who remembers it and tells us what we dreamt? What messages are surfacing from unknown realms? Interior cyberspaces? As I explore Social Media in a class at Drury University and consider how humans are conjuring up myriad ways to converse across time and space, I wonder how it is affecting my dreams. In this post, I examine my latest dream journey. As an artist and writer, I relish these interior excavations.
Context: in real life, I am in a class learning about all these cyber tools of Social Media, so my brain is swamped and my physical body is cramped around the computer tossing and turning new concepts and tactile demands. So my consciousness is swimming as I fall asleep, trying to balance both sides of the brain…
Some of her images are nuclear warning signs in stark black and white – whirling disks of energy – malevolent and marvelous. One of her sculptures is a series of chandeliers wrapped obsessively with furry yarn that look organic, sinewy, alive and feline. Pat and I went to grad school together at University of Montana, Missoula. She’s functioned as my artistic conscience for years and is a frequent dream companion.
We are creeping down stairs from the space where her images float in an unstructured dream room. The stairs go from solid to decrepit as we descend and emerge into a primeval topography. I see out of the corner of my eye a kitten – a tiny Himalayan – fluffy cream with brown head, paws and tail. [In real life I actually did rescue just this creature from a garage in Oakland right outside of Bade Baba Nityananda‘s temple – she was very wild. Sapphire was her name, and though she became quite docile, even affectionate, she was always a surprise biter. She refused to live inside when I moved to Topanga, so spent her days in the crook of an old tree just off my deck. I called her the Cheshire Cat and she merged with an owl one day and is still one of my Spirit Guides.]
In the dream, I catch the little kitten and snuggle her. She doesn’t fight me – she purrs in my hands. Just a little bit of a thing. Chinchilla soft. Pat and I realize there are more, and bend down to see where they are. We look under the branches into a little den. There is an old grey cat there, gazing to the side – obviously the mother. There are multitudes of kittens – some just day old with eyes still closed, some older and fluffing out like little birds. I pick up one and realize it’s not healthy. It’s little face is gummy with snot and the eyes are swollen closed. Another has no front legs – just stumps that are infected. Has it been eaten? Affected by nuclear fallout? I can’t tell – I’m just distraught. I want to take the healthy one, like I did in real life (I actually left several orange and grey kittens to their own devices, and captured Sapphire with a towel.)
So Pat and I are discussing what we should do. Intervene? Take them to a shelter to be adopted, or put down if they are damaged? Or should we – God forbid – let nature take it’s course? The dilemma was never resolved, as I woke up.
Upon waking, I haven’t been able to shake the dream from my mind.
I see all kinds of meanings, and tap into a memory from my teens. I lived with my family in an old farm house called “The Loft” in Liberty Corners, New Jersey (home of the Kienast Quintuplets). The house was plain white clapboard – it had been the main house of a working farm that was still in business. We rented the farmhouse, and the farm was managed from off site. It was Loft’s Lawn and Grass Seed – acres of the most beautiful green spread in all directions. The farm also supported pigs – droves of them – huge hogs that laid 18 piglets in a litter – in long rows of barns down the hill, an a big white bull named Napoleon. Legend has it that it had been there since the Civil War – but who really knows. The house had been a lodge at some point, boasting 5 fireplaces and a living room that was 70 feet long with huge beamed ceilings. It was known to have housed George Washington – but in that part of New Jersey that was the theme of the day in these old houses – and I suppose he must have wandered from house to house of the night to have stayed in all that are boast this claim. But I diverge.
The Loft has 30 rooms – and still stands today as a Montessori School. Seven bedrooms, 7 baths, 5 fireplaces and 2 staircases. More about the Loft later in another post or I’ll never get to the point. Suffice to say my family constellation was forever altered by our habitation at The Loft. I was 14 or so, and had two bedrooms down the hall from each other, with a beauty of a bathroom between that had a black and white tile floor with steps down to the bath tub.
Into one of the rooms I brought my pregnant Tortoise Shell Calico cat to settle in. Did it never occur to us to fix the poor thing that had to contend with several males? One was named Chopper after my first beau – a huge red orange Manx that was a sweetie pie. Anyway, the Tortie gave birth to a litter of uncountable numbers and colors – grays, oranges, tabbies, torties, black tigers – just an awesome array. I helped her birth them and cleaned them off as best I could. (Where the heck were my parents??)
I built an obstacle course cardboard boxes and tubes in anticipation of a playful pack. Unfortunately there were too many for the available nipples of the mother – how many are there anyway? 6 maybe? And did she have 8 or 9 kittens? Apparently the Tortoise Shell is the most prolific of all kitties – to her demise! One of my favorites that looked just like mom was not making it to enough feedings, and though I helped her when I was there, she developed sores at the corners of her mouth – perhaps from her own scratching, or from fighting off the others. She didn’t make it and I cried and buried her in the green house in the back, alongside my little black bunny, Martin Luther.
That’s my dream and my memory. Damaged kittens. Me. My past, my present awareness of the potential devastation we can wreak in the NUCLEAR and CYBER AGE as signified by Pat’s work. Slipping from cyberspace to dream space. Whoa – what a lot to digest – as I open my mind to Social Media and it’s implications in this era of instantaneous and constant documentation of human existence, and the potential extinction at the push of button of the entire planet in that same instantaneousness if that is even a word. And how the dream world compares to the floating in and out of cyberspace we participate in on a daily basis.
Steven Pressfield in The War of Art ponders this phenomenon, in his dream of Largo, page 128, that conveyed to him that “The power to take charge was in my hands: all I had to do was believe it. Where did this dream come from? … What was its source? And what does it say about the workings of the universe that such things happen at all?
Signing off…. into dream land. What are the muses going to reveal tonight?