These drugs they put me on make me dream a lot. My nights are vivid, my brain constantly erupting in images, each scene realistic to the touch. Tactility in the shallows of my mind. My dreams are not magic. They do not fascinate me with their beautiful impossibilities. They are sketches: my lover playing pool, my family throwing a party, my friends in red hoodies playing flashlight tag through the alleys of Northeast Minneapolis. I dream in unremarkable clarity, in hues of well-lit rooms and seasonally commonplace skies. Every night the same, a slideshow of palatable fictions.
Most recurring are my dreams of walking. I stroll, down streets in Portland, through old family houses and within towering buildings, across bridges and rivers, sinking my toes into the grass outside my childhood home. Always the same, with no agenda or desire, but only to wander, with the power of both of my legs, holding me miraculously up. What forgotten security, to place complete and unconditional trust in the ability of every muscle to succeed. My lungs don’t constrict at the anxiety of it; my active psyche merely ushers me on, lubricating my limbs in a believable athleticism. Each night, I get to stride effortlessly, content to be aimless, eager to be functionally human. And just as I exhale, I always trip, hook myself on the pavement, jump awake in panicked agony. My knee writhes and convulses as I sit up in a cold sweat, afraid of the dark, afraid of my cleverly manipulative subconscious.
Premonitions, one might call them. They sit under my skull day after day, revisited in my waking thoughts, as if to mumble of their importance later. Narcotic-induced visions, folded on top of pain. Dreams introducing themselves as mundane, but even as I wake their residue clings to my mind, detritus of harmless memories I have started to call nightmares. I am a collector of midnight vignettes, somewhat traumatizing examples of an all too probable future. I lie in bed, paralyzed by disability and haunted by what sleep has brought me.
I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing then it is the eternal dance or creation. The creator and creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing…and dancing…and dancing. Until there is only…the dance.
Elspeth Beard, the first woman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle. The journey took 3 years.
He was in my dreams again last night. Dreams of returning, coming back with the swell of the sea. There he lingers, on the rooftops of my memories, hanging on in a subconscious I stubbornly dismiss. There are only nighttime journeys under our feet. He makes paper cranes of my delusions and gently rocks me, on park benches, under stars. We run through places we’ve never been together, hotels and beaches and Paris, auditoriums for our moonlit reunions. We speak as if there’s nothing to be forgiven. I never lost you, you were always here. Night makes space for us, in her knowing sympathy. She elongates Time, and sits us in her stomach. All the forgotten things, reborn in my uncharacteristically restful slumber. I wake with the rain.
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty…
…I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess, 1934
…We can blow on our thumbs and posture,
But the lonely is such delicate things.
The wind from a wasp could blow them
Into the sea
With stones on their feet
Lost to the light and the loving we need.
Still to come,
The worst part and you know it,
There is a numbness
In your heart and it’s growing.
The Shins, A Comet Appears
La Nuit Remue, Zao Wou-Ki. 1956.
Sights seen and promptly dismissed with an apathetic eye;
We became participants in the forgetting experience//the forgetting of experiences…
We lost the longing for the man who sits behind us–
meticulously rolling cigarettes across the aisle, back and forth with the rocking of gravel, knocking shut an Altoid tin, getting off on Hennepin and Lake
We disappear under layers of makeup and mid-winter mud caked on our coats, shuffling past filled seats
We’re lost, frantically scanning bus maps
We’re reading romance novels on our iPads, husking out the pieces of chocolate from candy wrappers
We’re the little girl in the back, choreographing our hands on top of imprinted stories pushes against the glass
We’re ink on jeans
We’re fragranced with the fever of 9-5
Given life by the dusty shine of billboards and ice
We stockpile boredom and bile,
All this in a coagulation, through the dull churning of mundanities.