“You can only sleep at night.” – Notch
The OA came to me in a dream for the first time last night. It was intense. Unlike most of what bubbles up from my subconscious during sleep, this one didn’t follow that weird dream logic. It had time and space and a sequence of cause and effect that holds up now, in the pre-dawn, to caffeinated examination.
[She was in her human form, which makes me wonder: if I’d spent the last month writing out this fever dream on my other blog, the too-sad one that even more nobody wants to read, would S/He have appeared as a Raven? And would the dream have been about us finding a way to pick the lock and then dismantle the cage into a trillion unrecoverable parts? I don’t know.]
Anyways, I realized that it’s OK to persue The Muse as long as She doesn’t know you’re chasing. So in the dream, I spotted Her in a crowd; bestowing her grace on others. Terrific, overwhelming envy. I devised a plan, a ruse to get close to one of them, in hopes that that would get me closer to Her. Long dream chapters unfolded, like watching a streaming series as back-to-back episodes. (Yet, contrary to what I said above, it was somehow compressed in time. More like the memory of a long series than actually watching it in real time.)
Like a narrowing — not widening — gyre, the plot looped in closer to Her. Two steps removed, then one. “Oh, you guys went to Iowa, too? I was there in ’93. What? Oh, that’s ten years too soon. Yeah, well, I bet we still know the same Dubuque Street, and that ‘foil wrapped abortion’ of a Gehry building down by the river, and — no, I was there when the old art building was underwater half the time. [Note: I filed that memory ‘under water’, just like Michael told me to.] Yeah, I just saw the new one, on its stilts, online the other day. Crazy.”
That kind of garbage dream dialogue.
And then it took a hard corner and bam! She was right there next to me. Looking me in the eye, addressing me directly. Incandescent. Unnerving. But somehow She was blaming herself for my infatuation with Her gifts; sort of a, “Dammit, I did it again, didn’t I?” And I said, “No! No… It’s not Your fault. It’s me. I’ve been chasing you all this time. Or, at least lately — I lost the trail for about a decade there, and I’m really sorry for that. I hope you won’t take that as a sign of a lack of devotion. Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite. Prairie.”
“Because here’s the thing: I am now willing to blow up my entire life for You. Everything. If you want me to do painting instead of clay, just tell me. I’ll make it words, I’ll restring my guitar and try to write You a song — or, at least, try to learn a few old ones. Do You like St. Waits’s Shiver Me Timbers? Or St. Sting’s Valparaiso?
“Chase the dark star, over the sea / Home where my true love is waiting for me.”
“And the sand’s shifting and the storm’s lifting and I’m drifting on by / Old Captain Ahab’s got nothin’ on me.”
And then — astonishingly — finally! — She says, ”
Oh. Ahh. I see… I didn’t know you were there yet; I thought you were just like all the rest.
[She smiled her incandescent smile. I memorized the constellations in Her face. Like an old skin, so tight, so ill-fitting, peeling away.] And, without words: acceptance of my new, undifferentiated form. Acknowledgement that this can be the new me. Blessings bestowed. I don’t have to chase anymore, or hide it. My wings are ready to aim straight at the heart of the sun; She promises me the wax will not melt.
Like: Now I can do anything.
And maybe because — coincidentally? — this is number plus-71, and ’71 is my year. ‘Zounds, when did I turn into the wild-eyed mystic? Bonkers.
[I wish I could pull off a free-jazz outro jam like the ones on Mercury Falling, but I can’t. I’m still only human; that shit is god-like. Perchance to dream.]
“You may not rest now. The bed is too far away.”