“‘There is something marvelously soft in the study of nature which attaches a name to every being, a thought to every name affection and memories to every thought'” (page 31)
Wow. Marvelously soft… I suppose all things do have that nature. As I write this, I am on the back porch of an internet cafe on the banks of the Puget Sound. The ocean is so soft. The ocean is so rigid. It can be a smiling mother with its coral reefs, its gentle, lapping waves, its reflection of the dim sunlight. It can also be a beast, a monster. The ocean topples cities, and sucks apart ships, and drowns a newborn baby without a second thought (or a first for that matter). What a marvelously merciful and remorseless body that I am sitting next to. Now a sea breeze blows through me, a soft nudge, a rigid shiver.
Reverie Prompt: pp 88, 93 Create your own reverie in response to Bachelard’s reverie: “Reveries of idealization develop, not by letting oneself be taken in by memories, but by constantly dreaming the values of being whom one would love.” Great dreamers dream their double. Can you create a reverie to demonstrate how and why the passion of your current field study sustains you? How is your “letter” (e.g., c is for cacao) your magnified double? (E.g., While tasting Kallari chocolate can you re-member how C might idealize cacao?) “”Tell me whom you create and I shall tell you who you are.'”
We can want and will ourselves to grow and to change, to be making all the right steps towards happiness, success, love and any of the many of the things people seem to be after in life. Unfortunately, dreaming of a future self is not enough. It takes acting upon that dream to see changes and results. This seems like such an obvious statement but I notice how blindly I walk through existence sometimes, expecting things to turn out the way I want them to. Perhaps the most prominent idea that has been settling into my mind during this journey is this: you have to give what you want to get. I believe that being overly comfortable for too long can make this statement seem less true. When you are desperate for the things you want (love, happiness, company, etc.) it becomes so much more crucial to put yourself out there. During this month off I have noticed how we sustain our(dream)selves by sustaining the world and those around us. No love will come to me, no matter how badly I want it, if I don’t show love or compassion to others. There are so many people who want someone to love them but don’t smile at strangers on the street. There are so many people who want to be happy but make others unhappy daily. This prompt, this idea of “constantly dreaming the values of being whom one would love”, makes me think of an experience I had this week as I was standing on the side of the road with my thumb out. I had been waiting for a ride for a while when a man in his car slowed next to me and lowered his window. I expected him to ask me where I was headed to but instead he offered up his middle finger to me, screamed a nice loud “FUCK YOU!!”, and began to drive away. During the last second of our eye contact I smiled and threw him the peace sign with my hand and I am certain that he saw it. That man must have been so full of hurt that he needed some sort of release on someone helpless. I wonder if he wants love (I believe he does) and I wonder if this is how he goes about life, expecting to find it. I felt strangely powerful as I stood there on the side of the road with my peace sign up, his blue convertible running away from the love I want from the world.
Reverie Prompt: pp 139, 141 Create your own reverie in response to Bachelard’s reverie: “When I read this line by Edmond Vandercammen: ‘My childhood goes back to that wheaten bread,’ an odor of warm bread invaded a house of my youth.” Create a reverie to demonstrate how in your own life “a whole vanished universe is preserved by an odor.”
Everyone has a smell, a scent, a biological perfume that is unique to their individual. I consider myself to have an extremely capable sense of smell so throughout my career of being close to people I have noticed the subtle odors that waft off of unwashed clothes, slip into my nose as strangers pass, and radiate from necks and nape and navels during intimacy. And it is so true that an entire “vanished universe” within us can be revisited with an inhale through the nostrils at the right time and place.
passed my nostrils
and melted all but my skin.
I’m in there somewhere,
And suddenly I am drained and my body is dry
and I am a fish flopping on a desert dune
and my body is so desolate
and I wish I could have held my breath
for a just moment longer
or for forever.
“The night dream does not belong to us. It is not our possession. With regards to us, it is an abductor, the most disconcerting of abductors: it abducts our being from us. Nights, nights have no history. They are not linked to one another. And when a person has lived a lot, when he has already lived some twenty thousand nights, he never knows in which ancient, very ancient night he started off to dream. The night has no future. There are no doubt nights which are less dark when our day being still lives enough to traffic with its memories.”
-The Poetics of Reverie, Gaston Bachelard, pg. 145
I had a dream but it slipped away. So did the word on the tip of my tongue that was abducted and forgotten in the desolate storm of train of thought. Hah, “train of thought.” How I would love to see the railroad that our outward spreading, spiraling moves along. And what is my role around the train of thought? I want to say that I am its conductor, but it is more likely that I am a passenger or even more likely, a car stopped on the road as the barriers drop down and the train passes. Have you ever seen a train as it derails itself and for an instant is free and unstoppable? It does not last long without the railroad grip. It trips over itself and crumples and piles up and EXPLODES! My mother was no songbird, but she used to sing me the sweetest lullaby about a train headed for Morning Town. Its whistle is blowing, the travelers are sleeping, I am the conductor. “Train whistle blowing, makes a sleepy sound…” As long as the morning lives somewhere, the night is less dark. On my twenty thousandth morning I will wake up with a hangover from dreams; that lullaby playing in the distance. The sound of mother-sings-to-baby skating sadly, sweetly from my tongue.