dreams

 

dreamshapes

"Say I`m out walking, and I happen upon something that strikes me, out of nowhere. Often it will be when, for no particular reason, I step off the beaten track.

There it is: a worn-out old fisherman`s lamp, arusted-through ship`s anchor, a broken wooden nailbox. Coming across these "found objects" I can`t help feeling, now here is something, the shape manifested right before my eyes. An impulsive passing thought that came into the head of some Bantu-speaking upstart as he sat before a cookfire in the village of Mbasasani 10 kilometres north of Dares Salaam, which just turned up in this form on a streetcorner here in Uwajima [on the island of Shikoku] in Japan. What I like about "intuition" is that there`s no pinning anything down.

There`s also no pinning down "dreams." A Czechoslovakian psychoanalytic authority approaches a mermaid lying washed up - splish splish - by the East Exit ticket wicket in Shinjuku Station, pretends he wants to help her, but really only wanted to touch her tail. Me, reborn as a milk cow in a sumo wrestlers mawashi loincloth, kicking up my feet to a Badr dance in an Irish meadow. Dreams overtake the sleeper with incredible speed, and on waking they`re gone. The more interesting the dream, the faster the speed. Such is the way with well wrought dreams for if dreams stayed in mind like the busy goings on of our daily lives, we`d surely go mad. People everywhere dream all sorts of dreams, but the difficulty of holding onto dreams seems to be the same the real (whatever that means to anyone) world over.

For me, the tools for grasping dreams are paper and pencil. The trick to holding onto dreams is not to try to stick too hard and fast to the stories, but simply to remember one or two things to write down on wkaing. On later re-reading, I work backwards to puzzle out images and the stories came back to life.

Perhaps the dreams revisited in the haze of just-waking do not correspond to the original dream visions. Even so, as vague shapes drift in and out of view, the question comes unconsciously to mind: just why do people blink? Aside from the very obvious need to maintain a constant moisture level on the eyeball surface by means of tearfluid, it occurs to me that there lies hidden another unconfessably unbelievable reason.

People close their eyes when they sleep. Eyes closed, a restive darkness may seem to descend, but life just ain`t that sweet. The fact is that now the`re seeing the underside of their eyelids at extremely close range. I have no idea just how fast the speed of one blink is exactly, but people seem to blink up to 20 times in the course of one minute. Say that blinking is momentary sleep, and it means taht even in our "waking hours" we are dreaming at a rate of maybe 20 times a minute. Which would in turn mean that lurking beneath the very straightforward reason of moistening the eyeball these furtive momentary dreams called blinks actually know another, even more very starightforward reason. That of serving to pull the tottering psyche of our busy everyday lives back in the direction of sanity.

The colours of the underside of the eyelid are truly mysterious colours. The real world glimpsed through the shutterspeed fild of a single layer of skin opening and closing over the surface of the eyeball transforms momentarily into another world. The underside of the eyelid is the only dreamscreen we have to look at when we shut our eyes. It is some kind of miracle - one of the wonders of the world - that just as each and every person on this earth has a different face and DNA structure, each and every person gets to see different dreamstories. While I myself profess not the slightest interestin dream analysis, I would have to admit my unbounded sense of wonder that dreams might prove the key to awakening each and every person`s own powers of creativity.

Dreams are the stuff of which this book is made. A combination of would-be records of dream reality (?) and vague shapes that lingered hazily in mind in the dreamwake, caught in aquarelle colours from behind my eyelid.

The draings, the painting, the binding into book form, allhave come about through efforts in this world. But for me these shapes inseting that vague other world with this dizzying reality seem as strange as those wayside "found objetcs." Perhaps someone somewhere in the south of Tanzania near Tunduru just caught a passing glimpse of this book only moments ago."(Shinro Ohtake; Uwajima, September 1988; Translation by Alfred Birnbaum)


Book details:

320 pages

101 swatches of printed matter, photographs and watercolor drawings related to dreams, reprinted in four colors, hand-attached onto the black and white printed dream diary pages.

Year: 1988 (scarce)

Price: please inquire

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