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When the subconscious is simple

Posted Dec 01 2013 1:22pm
The Dream -- Pablo Picasso, 1932

This probably won't make much of a blog post, but I feel compelled to tell you about a dream I had last night. Those of you who believe dreams to be incredibly boring need not read any further than this, although I might include a poem at the end (hint: Billy Collins).  Also, if you're not a blogger or blog-reading addict, the dream entails a famous one. For the rest of you, settle in. I'll give you a moment.

So, last night I dreamed -- or is it dreamt? -- that I lived next door to Stephanie Nielson of Nie Nie fame. She's that beautiful woman and mother, burned in a terrible airplane crash years ago whose blog caught my attention along with the rest of the planet. She's what's called a Mormon Mom blogger, and while I have absolutely nothing in common with her (other than, perhaps, an unsurpassing love for my children), I have a nearly insatiable curiosity about her seeming ability to live a perfect life despite incredible physical hardship. She's basically a sainted Martha Stewart on steroids given to her by Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith Himself.

Anywho. Back to the dream.

I lived next door to the Neilson's and learned this when I paid a visit to their house to borrow something. I wandered right into the house, not knowing its occupants despite a party going on, and I caught sight of one of Nie Nie's daughters standing in a doorway. She was the one with the brown hair who looks exactly like her mother before her mother was disfigured in the plane crash (although the mother is still spectacularly beautiful in an ineffable way that comes out of her eyes). OK, I admit it. I know the girl's name because I've read about their family religiously for the last five or more years. It's Claire. The next thing I knew, I was running out of the house like some kind of Mrs. Cravits, eager to tell my friends that Nie Nie had moved into the neighborhood. I don't remember if I was successful in getting whatever it was that I had gone into the house to borrow, but on my way out, I had to make my way past a gigantic boat, the NieNie boat, that was as high as a skyscraper, parked in the front yard at the edge of a clump of sky-high bamboo. Now that I think about it, it might have been an ark, and it was difficult to run by, but I did and kept running.

That was it. That was my dream. When I woke up and recalled it, I felt embarrassed. Why the hell am I dreaming about these people? Is my subconscious a shallow creek when I thought it to be a deep and dark reservoir? Have Nie's recent postings of her childrens' ardent Mormon faith embedded themselves, like tentacles, in my agnostic brain? What would Jung say? What say you, dear Reader?

Here's a poem
The First Dream

The Wind is ghosting around the house tonightand as I lean against the door of sleepI begin to think about the first person to dream,how quiet he must have seemed the next morningas the others stood around the firedraped in the skins of animalstalking to each other only in vowels,for this was long before the invention of consonants.He might have gone off by himself to siton a rock and look into the mist of a lakeas he tried to tell himself what had happened,how he had gone somewhere without going,how he had put his arms around the neckof a beast that the others could touchonly after they had killed it with stones,how he felt its breath on his bare neck.Then again, the first dream could have cometo a woman, though she would behave,I suppose, much the same way,moving off by herself to be alone near water,except that the curve of her young shouldersand the tilt of her downcast headwould make her appear to be terribly alone,and if you were there to notice this,you might have gone down as the first personto ever fall in love with the sadness of another. 

Billy Collins
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