Monday, December 13, 2004

White Flight


    Taken with Holga Camera, Closeup Filter

Life is good. My third day of writing here. I actually made a fairly decent image of Sweets, the cat this weekend but I am too shy shy to post a cat photo just yet. Oh, but you should have seen it. So, here is Santa instead. My nine year old son told me the other day that he still believes 90% in Santa Claus. I asked him what the other 10% was about, to which he asked if I could fly around the world in one night. I slowly turned this around until I decided I could say yes and live with myself. "Yes," I said and then proceeded to descibe supersonic travel, jets & shuttles and how you might fly from London to New York and arrive before you left or sort of something like that. I try to confuse him when I am on intellectually unsteady ground. But not taking the bait, he then asked if I could stop at all the houses all over the world, deliver gifts and still make it in one night. At this point, well, I turned up the radio.

I have flown three times in my dreams.

Once I flew simply by floating from a place somewhere in my center. The setting was an apartment and when I went airborne, I was kind of levitating and not very artfully. I rose up into the corner and sort of couldn’t control myself like having just learned to ride a bike all wobbly and slightly out of control, arms doing nothing helpful, just kind of trying to fend off the ceiling. I was sort of flying up into the corner and bumping against the walls and this would disorient me, sending me floating back down momentarily until I got my senses back and I would then start to rise up again. The impetus was a force within my chest. This was extremely exciting, having a new found ability but yet any subtler control was thoroughly outside of my reach... All told, in dream time I flew for only a few minutes, but still, now ten years later I remember it clearly.

On another occasion, I flew by swimming really through the air. The air was thick, more like water than atmosphere. My body swam through the water like an eel, writhing smoothly up and down, serpentine. If you have ever seen aquaman cartoons from the seventies then you will know what I am talking about. This was a short dream, and the only action I remember apart from swimming was going from one room to the next, reaching the doorway and using my hands to send my self through. Very cool. I was a little better at getting around this time around. Also, I remember the apartment had a kind of brown shag 70's décor.

The last instance, I can remember, when I flew in my dreams, was the most Freudian in detail. I am sitting on a park bench in Washington Park in North Beach with my girlfriend. I don’t really know who she is but in my dream I know her to be my girlfriend by the way we are sitting, comfortable with each other. Then while we are sitting there, another woman – again a stranger to me but somehow I know I once had a thing going with her – comes up and starts an argument with my current girlfriend. I’ll call this second woman my ex… Anyway, my ex came up and after a few shitty remarks they actually came to blows, landed a few punches both ways... I yelled at my ex told her to back off and headed off with my girlfriend to see about getting her home, again a completely strange place but one I seemed to know… I took her somewhere but am walking by myself again sometime later… time sort of gets murky…

Then I find myself running through San Francisco. There is a black guy chasing me – I say he is black because he is in fact black; though I understand this is probably a revelatory unconscious insecurity that runs a bit counter to my politically correct self-deceptions. Setting aside my struggle to contend with racist ideas, both culturally and personally, I am being chased but I rather know my way around. Anyway, at a certain point after a few blocks of running hard I was pretty gassed but so was this other guy. Slowing down, I jump to clear a shrub or a rabbit fence or even a curb, I cannot remember precisely what it was but damn if I don’t get probably six feet in the air, my running leap becomes a huge arc. And so I take a few more running steps and I float maybe fifteen feet in the air. Incredible as this is, I am not in the clear because this guy is now sort of bounding after me, and this peculiar loft is not quite enough to get clear. I slow in my ascent until I reached the top of my trajectory and then gradually I float back down, basically I feel as if I have no real weight. On the third or fourth leap I actually flap my arms and it works beautifully. I don’t get anywhere exactly but it is enough to break loose and slowly my body works itself into a sort of slow moving flight. Still though, this guy is managing to teach himself how to fly as well and the chase is now a slow moving gigantic exertion of energy. This is killing me really but thrilling me. After we get several stories above North Beach, some kind of airship, straight out of Monty Python, a kind of wobbly prop tri-plane skeleton, making that echo bubble floating noise from the movies, circles by and I grab a hold only to find that noone is driving. While nothing is particularly shocking at this point, I am concerned about the guy that is still chasing me and is now starting to climb aboard as well. When he gets up finally, he is smiling and there is nothing between us anymore but a mutual disbelief at having flown and we are now chilling in this fine and funky airship. All is well again now and I begin to check out San Francisco from above. POV – a very cool kind of spiraling air balloon vantage, close enough to see the people but they are getting small. The last thing I remember is seeing my ex-girlfriend rolling her self along in a wheelchair fitted with a kind of a tv tray contraption on which she was resting her hugely bandaged nose. She didn’t see us, bumping along the sidewalk, swerving, jerking, the motor kind of throwing her against the back of the chair, she seemed pretty uncomfortable. While I guess I am taking some kind of immature pleasure that she seems to have gotten what was coming to her for being so surly earlier… she just keeps getting smaller, as we circle above the chocolate factory, or the cathedral or whatever the hell it is we are circling above. Fade to credits. A very cinematic dream that one.

Back to the future... My son may not completely believe in Santa Claus but he does still want to. As a parent, I have always broken out the clichéd and shopworn motivational phrases at various teaching opportunities... "It is frequently more economical to be inefficient... If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck... You can't get there from here, etc... but I digress. I was sort of at a loss on this one. I am somewhat surprised that Walker is still hanging in there in the face of his skeptical colleagues. There will be plenty of other times in his life when he will have to deal with skeptical colleagues, so I am going to have his back on this one.

10 comments:

Ed Wenn said...

Gordon...this is going to be one of my daily haunts. It's looking excellent and the writing is a joy :-0) This will definitely help me push myself along with my own photography. Welcome to Blogworld!!

Leon said...

Gordon , I ran that third dream by the Clinical Psychologist with whom I share a desk at work. I wont say too much other than we are quite concerned and will be contacting your doctor immediately.

I flew down the stairs once - I was about 6, I tripped at the top but instead of tumbling to certain injury, I flew to the bottom and landed on my feet ... I'm sure it wasnt a dream.

Anonymous said...

Gordon,

I often have flying dreams. I've been told it has to do with power or loss of thereof. I think that's the Freudian interpretation. Maybe jungian. Wait...let me go look it up. Okay. I'm back. The book is rambling on about how it's a poweful dream and can be divided into two types which have different meanings; Lucid or spontaneous. Scanning the page....blah, blah, blah. They talk about power, the desire to travel and escape being a number or meanings. Ah..wait. Astral projectiona and out-of-body experience has a big paragraph. It discusses how the dreamers transcend circumstances and aquaire a more favorable perspective to a situation. Hmmm.....Now what does that say about the ex girlfriend?
Again, very interesting entry. Thanks, G!

Anonymous said...

P.S....
That last comment was from me.
Susan B.

phil morris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
phil morris said...

I look forward to the time when I can readily recall myself aged 10. In those days I used to fly regular. Seriously, to order even. I'd got complete control and the ability to climb steeply, to swoop and to annoy boyhood adversaries. I can see now as I type, the effortless take off and technicolour green of the tree canopy beneath me. And if things ever got dodgy I'd half awake to avoid any agony and somehow replace the background in a way which allowed for free fall gliding. Deep dream flying was one thing. But it was the sensation of being half awake in a mild sweat of fear-cum-exstasy that was the most important. It was during these transitional moments that I recognised my talent for what it was and how it was so valuable.

phil morris said...

I didn't intentionally remove the post, honest. I just clicked on this funny looking button to see what it did ... and kerpow it had gone! So I've glued it back even though it now all looks odd and peculiar.

Anonymous said...

Gordon,

This site rocks! always has me in stiches and thought provoking in a good unpreachy kind of way! i like it..a lot!

by the way, i read somewhere that dreaming of flying has very sexual connotations! not sure if that means your not getting enough, or maybe far too much......

anyway! thanks for this blog!

damion

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