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Literary Reaction-Syntheses

I had a hard time learning directions, despite the fact that I've lived in the same area my entire life. My nana tells stories of how, when I was a toddler, I would draw maps of the neighborhood from arial view, proclaiming that 'it was where I flew last night'. She says she has always believed me.
Weird things happen to my mom while she was pregnant with me. She describes small, green creatures who visited her bedroom window while she was betwixt dreaming, and waking states. Her body movements were mysteriously stifled by the creatures' bizarre presence. This is the time she began to perceive the realm that one's five senses cannot alone fathom. My entire family emphatically devotes credence to this paradox.
I know how to do the things that the character in this story can do: Travel beyond linear confinement. Find strangers whom I shared glances with, much later than when I first encountered them. I come to them when they cry out for someone to be there with in their dreams. I first met the neighbor who lives across the street while dreaming. I don't know weather he asked me there, or if I happen upon him arbitrarily. I floated above him as he visited his girlfriend who worked in the coat section at Dillard's in the mall. Even though they were strangers to me, something kept me there, watching. Even though the events were jejune, and I wondered why I was present at all, I still remained with them. It was the holiday season, and the girlfriend provided my neighbor with a puffy red jacket, which she pretended to ring up as she removed the tags, stuffing the coat into an oversized shopping bag.
My dreams were my own for a few weeks, then after christmas, I encountered the same people again. This time, I was accompanying the girlfriend. She casually made her way across her floor, offering her services to the surrounding customers. Then, something abruptly clutches her attention, as if it were a crocodile emerging from unseen waters, claiming her leg as it's sustenance. It's her boyfriend's brother- He's trying to exchange the red puffy coat for a green one. She is transfixed, and motionless as he is indicted for theft. He is whisked away by security guards before she can reconstitute herself.
I am consumed by her awkward emotions, I am with her as she berates herself for knowing that Jamal's favorite color was green. I am becoming extremely aware of my ability to withdraw myself from her. I leave her before another one of her thoughts graces me. I am extremely mindful of the security of my bed. I relish the softness of the flannel sheets that I was given for christmas. I writhe, and flounder amidst the cozy expanse, wanting to feel my own body, to remind myself who I still am.
I can't decide weather or not I like these dreams. I once floated above a friend as he bought a pack of prime time cigarettes from a gas station, Conoco on 2nd and Sable- the one with the women's bathroom that has two toilets inside, but no wall to separate them- to be exact. He asked the man behind the counter for grape, but the man said he only had cherry, and vanilla. I tried to speak in order for my friend to hear me- repeating "Cherry! Cherry!", but he chose vanilla. I don't know why I felt this message was so critical. When I saw him, he told me that he hated vanilla prime times, to which I shook my head, murmuring, "I told you you should've picked cherry". This prompted a chilling conversation, as first I described the details of my dream, and he compared them to his experience. We were both baffled by the accuracy of my dream. I thought I was insane before that day happen.

I still feel crazy, and I don't tell people I can do this- but I can completely relate to the character, and attest to the ability to travel in such a way. It is very disconcerting every time- just like in the story. It makes you feel like you'll never know where you really are. It has this way of detaching a person from linear time- There's no beginning, middle, or end-there's just now. Fragmented moments that are just strung together in the mind like popcorn around a christmas tree.





Swimming At Night
"It was late, too late to be up, especially in a borrowed house and in he dark."
Ironically, I also am up too late in a house that isn't mine...
I can identify with the character of this story as well. Anyone who died would visit my dreams. I didn't always remember, but my mom said I would give animated responses to questions, and even include gestures when I greeted them, or they pardoned themselves from me. Even my great grandmother, Vestimar we called her- which is just Norweegian for "grandma". Her real name was Sarah.- I only met her one time. I couldn't have been older than five. She wore a maroon robe similar to the turquoise one my grandma had, and sat in an easy chair next to a table bearing a large bowl overflowing with a mixture of butterscotch candies, and those hard strawberry candies wrapped in plastic that's fashioned to look like a strawberry. It could've been my first time trying butterscotch- but somehow I doubt it. It's still so vivid in my memory, the succulent flavor permeates my taste buds every time I recall that moment. I remember that I took the candy, she didn't offer it to me. She passively commented on my impoliteness, and I was promptly put down for a nap. I don't remember where I slept- it's as if I observed this from another's perspective. I watched as my grandma whisked me from the room, reclaiming the strawberry candy that I did not yet put in my mouth, and redepositing it into the bowl. She let me keep the butterscotch I was sucking on though. I don't think I was upset at all. I was more thankful for the nap, it was needed.
She died when I was around eight years old. I don't remember her visit to me either, just my mom's description of me waving, and calling out my goodbyes to her as I began to cry. I was jolted awake by my crying. I didn't understand why I was even crying. My mom comforted me, and tried to remind me of my dream by reciting the things I said out loud while it was happening. It was no use- I couldn't, and still don't remember.
A close friend of mine had a brother who committed suicide. He hung himself. I met him only once as well, but he visited me anyway- in the maroon streaked, turquoise booth of a fast food restaurant, my guess is Wendy's. I still don't know why he chose me. He said something about my scars- knowing I'd understand him, and be less likely to judge him because of them. He proceeded to explain his actions to me, but his words are distorted in my memory. They must not have been meant to come back to life. I told my friend I had a dream about his brother. He said "Why would he visit you? That makes no sense!" I had to agree with him. I never told anyone besides my mom about those types of dreams again.
A few people didn't visit me. When I got older, a beloved uncle of mine died. I waited for his visit, expecting it, but it never came. I called out to him in my dreams, but he did not respond- or if he ever did, I can't remember. Maybe my wanting puts static in the signal. My friend Cassie who died visited me, maybe a week before her death. Circumstance produced a moment for the two of us to be alone, where she told me how unexpectedly beautiful I became after high school, and we arranged phantom plans to get together in the near future.
--
My mom's ex boyfriend committed suicide last year. He shot himself in the head. This deeply effected my mom as he was her second ex boyfriend, Dave to shoot himself in the head. He visited me too. His visit, I remember clearly, as if it were real life. He stood in an empty bar adorned by all his favorite liquors. He asked me to phone my mother, and get her to come meet us here. I produced a white cell phone from my pocket that wanted years ago, but never actually owned. My mom told me to just tell him she was busy- and I did. He was suddenly overcome with rage, and the air that came from his lungs blew me right out of his establishment- as if he were a big bad wolf. It was an ironic place for him, as he was constantly endeavoring to throw renowned parties for everything. Always wanting to show the people he admired that he was important. Now, he drinks alone in a lavish bar that no one can attend.

People really do visit when they die, but it depends on who. It's not who they love the most, or who they miss the most, it's who is most readily able to receive the message. I think it's the same in the story, the way that the narrator admitted to not missing his dad, or doing anything to tribute him.. The way he explained how a visit with his wife would not be as productive as this- too much emotional attachment.

The wind is my friend. The wind is one, the wind is many. The wind is. The ocean is fluid, one single body, yet you can take a small amount for yourself without compromising the body at all. There are no holes, no gaps, no pieces missing. You can fill a bottle, and sustain yourself without breaking the tide. Our bodies carry water. What would our bodies be if they were not bodies? They would be water. If we were not singular, we would be one. One single body that encompasses all, that all is comprised of. When we move onto the next plane of existence, and transcend the idea of singular identities, we would theoretically be deposited into the place where we belong among the body as a whole. We become fluid like the ocean. I think that's what the dad means when he says it's like swimming at night- really it's like becoming the tide.

--
Kinds Silence

"Souls may leave human beings at a certain moment while remaining as a sort of enchantment over everything that coincided with their dreams. And so it was that our mother transmitted hers to the house by the sea."

"Blind, one cannot capture the meaning of words, what humans exchange through them, how they complete and embroider them. What bodies scream at the top of their voices, what glances say, the brume emitted by words. That world that never manages to be complete."
People I have encountered who don't have the usual five senses, are usually able to sense extra things. Deaf people say they're lucky to miss out on the clamor. That they aren't interested in hearing. They are satisfied with being able to choose what they notice, instead of having life thrust them from their inner contemplations. I would have to agree with the fact that it is more entertaining to guess what something will be than it is to actually sense it. What would a bird sound like? What would experiencing a sound be like? Curiosity, I believe, is our first motivation toward life. Once we have all our immediate questions addressed, we struggle to produce more questions in order to remain content with living. Being God, knowing everything seems like it would be so mundane. The only thrill would come from teaching, or playing fun jokes on people using your knowledge. Or, maybe from creating more- which is why I always thought that it was silly for people who believe in God to deny evolution. They don't think it's feasible for God to upgrade his creations? The instruments made by man are always subject to improvements. God probably enjoys observing the way his creatures maneuver through their lives, and making necessary alterations to allow them to be more efficient at something or other, or maybe less efficient, in order to depict a more accurate metaphor for some complex underlying concept he is trying to instill.

I am completely opposite from the narrator though apparently- I am not completely power hungry. I feel more overwhelmed by the responsibility of power. These are responsibilities I would be able to accept in a corporate setting- but in a setting with malleable boundaries, it would be too limitless for my tastes.

"Experience is different: sealed inside a glass ball you can perceive everything that was ever spoken, everything that words don't say, for the same reason that you never hear from them. Beneath the outer layers of human skin, they are underground streams that run through us, imperceptible, delicate strings like those of a spiderweb that unite more inexorably than voices and oaths…"

This is the soul- and the soul is the ground for universal consciousness I think. It's like a camera in your eye that snaps at spontaneous moments. Sometimes you choose to take the picture, but other times you find yourself recirculating a memory of a random, insignificant moment, and you can't even figure out why you care to remember- If you care to remember. Conversations in the back of the room, at the furthest point of your conscious. People talking about things that you didn't even realize you overheard, and suddenly you're remembering them, and contemplating them for an unidentified purpose…It's the soul that makes deposits into the universal account. The missing pieces of the puzzle, or the broken box that you just have to save, and find all the pieces, and glue back together, almost like new.

"Act and pay homage to the primordial forces, which is where music comes from, isn't it?"

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