separately together

spider note 446 - October 20, 2014d

A wonderful dream…and yet it’s a little frustrating…

In the dream…

By happy chance, I’ve come upon a free jazz concert in the French Quarter of New Orleans…

Some great players are preparing to perform—including the entire Marsalis family.

I’ve got to tell someone!  I imagine what I’d say to a friend.

So why does this dream frustrate me?  For one thing, I wish it had continued!  And I wish it was clearer.

Perhaps it wasn’t clearer because I had a conversation going on in my head…

Okay, point taken.  But another element also bothers me…

The musicians do not sit as one big ensemble…

No, they’re contained in small sections—about four musicians to a section.  Though these sections are combined into two long rows, canvas walls separate the groups of musicians.

Maybe that separation symbolizes a problem…

On the other hand, maybe it’s a truth of our creative work: anything we create is its own separate living entity…

…and yet connects with the rest of our work to make one big jazz band.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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down from the clouds

bungee reverse - October 10, 2014d
 

One of the most disturbing dream sequences in movie history…

…shows a man stuck in a traffic jam.

I’m talking about the opening scene of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.

As the man, played by Marcello Mastroianni, waits in traffic, a fog or smoke begins to leak from his dashboard…

He pushes frantically against the windows, trying to force his way out as this vapor fills the car interior.

The motorists in nearby vehicles are either oblivious to his plight or else gaze at him with emotionless boredom.

Then suddenly, our protagonist is free—he stands up through the sunroof, then smiles as his car moves into the rushing wind…

In the next instant, he’s floats upwards towards the clouds, towards the sun…

…but then discovers he’s not yet free—there’s a rope looped around one ankle.  A man on the beach below tugs on the other end.

Again, Marcello tries to extricate himself.  But the man keeps pulling on the rope until our hero crashes into the sea.

When I revisited this movie recently, I thought to myself, “Yeah, I’ve had days like that…

“Or a life like that!”

I’ve felt trapped, I’ve felt like I’m suffocating…

…then suddenly I’m floating free, I’m in the clouds…

…until someone or something yanks me back down…

…then I may land in deep waters.

In the film dream, Marcello/Fellini is like a modern-day Icarus—he rises too close to the sun.  He hasn’t yet found a way to balance his high-flown inspiration with the earthy concerns that demand his attention…

Though I’m aware of this hazard, it’s good to be reminded again.  I feel less alone after seeing my own dilemma mirrored in this film.

Did scene come from an actual dream?  I don’t know.  But unlike most movie dreams, it looks and feels real enough to me.  So, yes, in that sense, it’s a real dream.  It’s Fellini’s dream.

As often happens with dream sharing, someone’s very personal dream actually speaks to my own life…

….I would even say: to our life.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: poems of meditation

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song for a dreamer

holy trinity - September 26, 2014d
 

When Jimi Hendrix gives you a tune in a dream, it’s probably best to listen…

Duane Allman listened, and from his dream, he wrote the guitar instrumental “Little Martha”.

In the dream…

Jimi Hendrix shows Allman how to play the melody, using a sink faucet as a guitar fretboard in a Holiday Inn bathroom.

“Little Martha” is the final track on the album Eat a Peach, recorded just before Duane Allman’s death.  The song is played over the loudspeakers after every Allman Brothers concert to honor his memory.

A friend of mine also received a tune in a dream.  A small man sang to her as he rode up and down in a hot-air balloon.

She lost the song as soon as she awoke—just as I’ve lost a few creative ideas upon awakening…

But I don’t mourn these losses—no, I remind myself that such ideas come from the same place as my waking ideas: from the unconscious.  So the information is still with me…

Yes, creative ideas sometimes arrive in dreams, but we’re much more likely to be hit with inspiration while wide awake.

That said, I’m always open to whatever I might receive in a dream…

In fact, I once followed a dream message relating to my creative work…

…a message indicating I should use my ink pen on the novel I was writing, instead using it for cartooning.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
hot off the e-press: listening to silence

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no holes in this mix

blend mix - September 11, 2014d
 

Often, our dreams show us falling short…

But this recent dream shows me filling up…

In the dream…

I’m putting all sorts of food into a large electric blender.

It’s nearly full, but still, I’m stuffing.

The day before this dream, I’d been bemoaning my “Swiss cheese education”…

Throughout my adult life, I’ve tried educate myself.  But like Swiss cheese, my curriculum had plenty of holes…

I wish I’d taken a more focused, more systematic approach.

However, this dream tells me not to think in terms of what I may lack…

…but instead, to consider all I’ve gathered together.

Though the dream doesn’t indicate what exactly is going into the blender, I sense that it’s all nutritious.  Not junk.

But as with most positive message dreams, this one also presents a potential problem: I’ve got to realize when enough is enough.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
myth steps

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beautiful destruction

comet on course - August 28, 2014d
 

Does this dream foretell disaster?

In the dream…

A meteor bursts apart in the night sky…

Glowing red pieces trail streams of white light as they shower down through the darkness…

A beautiful display—like a firework exploding.

How could such a beautiful image be negative?

Well, the meteor is falling; it does disintegrate.  Maybe this dream warns of a fall—a destruction.

Of course, not all destructions are bad.  A bird has to break the egg in order to hatch.

However, the little bird sacrifices only its shell.  The meteor sacrifices its whole self.

But isn’t “sacrifice” a key human value?  The meteor breaks open and the result is a wonderful show…

With that in mind, I can only see this dream as positive.

Though know the dream refers to my own life, I don’t think its message is exclusive…

I believe it tells of a condition of our life here on this Earth.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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an open secret

shoes garage door - August 14, 2014d
 

Generally speaking, I don’t believe dreams serve as wish-fulfillments…as Freud insisted…

However, two recent dreams might be the exception.

Consider the first dream….

I wake in the middle of the night and discover I left the overhead door for the garage up…

Then I find the computer missing.  It was stolen because I left the door up.

In the second dream…

I wake in the middle of the night.  To my shock, the TV’s gone.

I check the garage—the overhead door is up.  Fortunately, the computer still sits in its little room.

These dreams are not to be taken literally—I pull the garage door down every single night.

So then, why am I being so careless in my dreams?

As a writer, I rely on my computer in many different ways.  Without that computer, I can‘t post to this blog!

But maybe I want to do other things, at this time.  Non-computer things.

So, I have a conflict going: I don’t want to lose the computer…I want to lose the computer.

As for the TV…

Certainly I can live without television!  But no—the TV represents more than television: it represents the taking in of information from a variety of sources—for example, books…

I know I need to take in information, but perhaps, I secretly want a break.

So how do I resolve these two dilemmas?

Well, there’s a time for the garage door to be open: that’s at dawn.  So maybe I’m jumping the gun—I’m itching to move on.

Dawn will arrive on schedule…

…and when it does, I need to realize that though I must temporarily give up some things, I will also gain…

After all, in the first dream, I found a big computer printer in place of the computer…

And in the second dream, though the big TV is gone, a little TV has been put in its place.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTH STEPS

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mirror mirror mirror miror mirror mirror

anchor waves - August 2, 2014d
 

This dream told me that I was taking a good long look at myself…

…but warned me not to look too long.

In the dream…

I’m walking along a busy boardwalk near an ocean beach…

I come to a place where two rows of lifeguards, men and women, stand facing each other.

To me, lifeguards are a very positive symbol.  After all, they save people from drowning.

According to this dream, I have several lifeguard aspects within me: both men and women—so there’s balance.

However, since they’re looking at each other, and not toward the sea, they might not notice if someone needs their help.

I think it’s good to take a long look in the mirror…but to look too long is narcissistic.

It’s a fine line, isn’t it?

This dream came to me over eight years ago…

I didn’t see myself as a lifeguard then…nor do I see myself as a lifeguard now…

To me, the dream speaks of potential.  Such things take time.

Nonetheless, since that dream, I have shifted my focus—a little anyway…

Yes, I still try to see the man in the mirror…

…but I’ve also taken a better look at the world around me…

…which, after all, also acts as a mirror.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
MYTH STEPS

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