Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 31 - Approaching A Corner

The recurring dream goes something like this. I'm embedded in some darkness, an organic mass. I manage to emerge out of it onto a number line (an elementary school math tool used to teach fractions). I count to infinity and end up on the top of a tower, bright and clear, so high up above the clouds. I immediately find myself in the murk again. I have to count to infinity again. I wake up screaming.
    Screaming, agitated, crying, scared, shook up. I may have had this dream twice, maybe three times. I've considered going to hypnosis to see if I can recall more. I have told it so often to myself and others that I fear a broken telephone has set in, a memory of a memory, infinite regress.
    I must have been five the first time, by seven the last time.
    Number lines. Imagine a ruler of ten segments. Draw an arc from the start of one segment to the start of another. Do that the whole way across. Draw an arc spanning two segments. Draw that the whole way across. You'll have five of those arcs. Draw an arc spanning five segments. You'll only need two arcs. Now imagine if each segment was subdivided into ten. Arcs aplenty. You can go on forever. Counting to infinity, I guess.
    When I was older I was drawn to mythology and later symbolism. I read a bit about motifs found all over the place in human history. Art, stories, architecture, dreams, myths. Lots of overlap. I read enough to know that my dream was text book symbolism at it's basic. Dark, cold, wet, organic to start with, Light, airy, angular & crystalline (the rooftop was diamond shaped). I emerged horizontal, I ended up vertical. Here we go again.
    I've interpreted it to my own satisfaction at times through out my life but have often missed the crux, literally, of the story. How did I, the roving point of view that was me in the dream, for there were no figures, turn the bend from my horizontal number line and start climbing the tower ? That's the missing part. Where the X and Y axes meet.

In 2012 I completed my first graphic novel, Inside Outside Overlap. It used this dream imagery as a spring board. It was clear that this recurring dream was the story I needed to tell. I had poked around with some poetry and graphics before but never a project of this size devoted to this topic. As far as I was concerned, this was the only topic to tackle. This puzzling dream, often thought of, came to be my story. At least my first story.
    In the comic my character uses ritual and meditation to enter an inner world wherein he finds a dormant version of himself covered (made?) with goo. He dives into the cesspool and begins the arduous task of digging through the mire, pulling the sludge off until a clarity is revealed. This leads to a crystallization and voilĂ , our hero is made peaceful.
    I haven't been able to pull this off. My sludge is chipped off at a rate of a flake a month if not a year. I'm not shoveling the shit out of me fast enough to reach catharsis. My meditation practise is still nil, despite my age-old yearning to integrate one into my life. Too often for a healthy mind to deal with, have I wondered what benefits such a routine may yield. I wonder more than actively explore this domain.
    I have slid into mundanity these last many years. Fourteen, I'd hazard. Before that I would perform ritual, pray to deities one and all, change my mind like I'd change a shirt. I felt initiated into the mysteries with each step. Of course with the years I concretized and calcified, gained weight and developed nagging health issues. My thyroid slowed down. My bowels rebelled. My skin said fuck you to my hands. My middle-agedness jumped out of the bushes and beat the shit out of my skinny rock star delusions about who I thought I was always going to be.
    Here I am today, the last day of my self-imposed daily writing routine and I don't know where to go. I can pack it all in, like Greek school or boxing or yoga, and continue the gnawing interior welt that has dogged me since I awoke into adulthood. I can banish the murk by embracing what I seem to fear most, stepping confidently into the light of a daily balanced routine. I can abandon that clarity and sink again into the morass of my many broken dreams. I can go upsy-daisy and down-under a thousand more times before I die. I don't want to wake up screaming every time I hit the squishy starting point again. I don't want to keep starting over. I don't want to count to infinity again.     I'm going to get to the crux of this thing, turn that damned corner, shoot to the top of that tower and stay there.
    You coming along ?