Jul 31, 2007

Dream Theory

I was in a high school class or maybe college. The walls were bare and the lighting fluorescent. The teacher was saying that we had two weeks to study before finals and I was excited by this. I thought to myself - man if I study really hard for two weeks I can totally ace all of these finals. Which is interesting because in real life I never put much effort into studying for tests and so usually did poorly.

The tests were going to be on everything : Economics, Poetry, Calculus, Pottery, History, Music, Astrology, Chess, etc.

The teacher than handed out the take home worksheet. It turned out to just be a gigantic burger patty; the size of a plate. I stacked it on top of my books. Then three beautiful women walked into the class room. They were not only beautiful but also intelligent, clever and kind - I knew this in the way one simply knows certain things in dreams. They all said hi to me and were being flirtatious even though class was still in session. Then the bell to go home rang and I woke up.

The dream is interesting because in my Academic days I was never optimistic about tests as I was in the dream, and also I wasn't the center of attention for lots of beautiful ladies.

I woke up, took a shower, and as I was thinking about the dream in the shower realized it was merely the tip of the iceberg for a much longer dream that came before it, one which I cannot recall.

I had a long dream, only fleeting details come back to me now - red carpets, an elevator, the stars, galaxies, time, reincarnation, Little Nemo cartoons, waiters, standing on a precipice above the universe, watching the world or time be projected as if from a giant film projector, everything in the dream seeming deep and mysterious - such as if God was the film being projected then perhaps I was the projectionist running the film. And so on.

I conclude it is the last dream of the night we re-call most easily. That depending on which stage of the sleep cycle we are in there are deep dreams and shallow dreams. That deep dreams have an epic scale to them- like a movie or a novel. Also they are usually harder to remember because they must be carried to the surface of awakening from a greater depth of the subconscious. That shallow dreams come after deep dreams. That they have more a quality of a snapshot or a short story. The scene in them does not change and fluctuations or changes in character have more the dramatic value of a punchline in a joke or a question in a riddle , they are koans not on-going sagas. Yet we must assume that any shallow dream, positioned after a longer epic dream is likely to hold a key to the pattern of understanding the lager dream. It can act as a sort of lens.

Jul 8, 2007

Betel Nut, Miso Soup

This week's Mercury has an article written by a local hipster who trips out by chewing some Betel Leaf he bought at an Asian store. The article describes the high as being like marijuana laced Red Bull. I'm not a fan of pot or energy drinks but I'm willing to try something new, so I thought I would seek it out.

(I recently discovered Yerba Mate - a South American drink that is similar to coffee but without the post-coffee crash, if you drink enough it also produces a slight euphoria. I have been drinking it regularly ever since. )

If you have ever watched Bollywood movies you have probably seen people chewing Betel leaf. It makes you salivate heavily, and dyes your spit a blood red. Also it makes you feel like talking. In India it is used as an ice-breaker to start conversations. Interesting.

I went shopping at Fubon. A gigantic Asian Supermarket out on 81st and Stark. It turned out they were out of stock of Betel , although they sometimes carry it. Instead I bought the makings for miso soup. I love the miso I have tried at Sushi joints, so I am pretty excited to be able to make it at home. In Japan it is often eaten for breakfast. The basic ingredient is a spoonful of Dashi ( soybean paste) in simmering water. You can also add seaweed, dried tuna flakes, tofu and basically anything else that you like. So, until I discover a store that does stock Betel leaves, I have the consolation of homemade Miso.

Jul 5, 2007

running through fireworks

Last night I went for a run after sunset as the fireworks went off everywhere. I spent the afternoon finishing Roberto Belano’s long book “ The Savage Detectives”- while laying in my hammock and smoking a pipe. The book is a masterpiece and as infinitely sad as real life, it is also too long and very boring in parts – also like life. First I ran through Irving park. I ran through the white folks neighborhoods and it was a ghost town. Later I jogged back through my neighborhood which is more black and it became much more lively, crowds in every corner lighting off bottle rockets, firecrackers, Roman candles.

One the third mile I was nearly shot in the face with a bottle rocket – it came spiraling across the street in a blazing red corkscrew - it was too stunning to react to until it just missed me – flew behind me and into a field. “ Holy Shit !” I yelled laughing - I heard the clamor of the house that fired it, yelling – “you almost hit that jogger! “ , “ Sorry ‘bout that!” etc.

On the way jogging up a hill I ran past a man in an SUV talking to a lady on the sidewalk , when I jogged by the man yelled sarcastically at me “ Nice job man, good work” or something like that. I don’t understand why it made him angry that I was jogging while the fireworks were going off. I guess he figured I was such a dedicated runner that no holiday could slow me down – quite the opposite is true, and yet I saw more fireworks than just about anyone in my slow 6 mile tour of N. Portland. It was like going jogging in a war-zone, really fun!

Something I was thinking about, but I can’t quite put my finger on, this morning. I have been wondering about a vague impression I have – that not so long ago I was a better/stronger person : by that I simply mean I was a person more true to myself. I am not quite sure what I mean by this – but when I think about the way I interact with people, my level of confidence and direction and my sense of self ; I feel something has changed. As though at one point I kept myself above the fray of many different social dynamics and have now succumbed to letting myself be influenced by other’s opinions, wants, and petty egos.

Now, it is early in the morning and time to write.