Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dream: War With France

I don't know how much I dream. I have heard that most people dream every night, but I really don't know if that is true. I do know that I usually remember bits and pieces of a dream occasionally, but seldom do I recall enough of the dream to consider it a dream story. On those rare occasions that I do recall a significant portion of a dream, I try to jot down notes the moment I awaken. If I don't, the dream is gone. How many times have I said, "I know I had the craziest dream last night, but I cannot remember anything about it"?

I will say this. My dreams can be crazy ... bizarre! Maybe no more bizarre than other peoples, but they seem like it to me.  Anyway, I dreamed this last night.

For some unknown reason the Windham Southeast Supervisory School System was under attack by the French. It was definitely more than just a skirmish. It was more like a declared war. Not just a few malcontent Frenchmen ... the entire country of France. I have tried imagining between the dream lines for a reason, but there is no apparent "glove to the face" incident to explain why the French would hate our system. Other than a few irate parents each year, no one declares war on a school system ... especially not a country.

Ray McNulty is the School Superintendent and seemingly I have been brought back to work in the schools due to the crisis. With all respect to Ray, he doesn't seem to be doing much about the problem at all. I know that I have not been back in the system long because I really don't have a desk or an office from which to work. All that I am aware of is my chair, which is pushed into a corner and is covered with a heavy layer of dust. Apparently, I have been instructed to meet with the French representative in order to convince them to desist in their attacks and withdraw. I didn't see a castle in the dream, but it feels like I am meeting outside of a large building in a huge open space.

The French representative is dressed in Medieval attire just like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and speaks in the same exaggerated accent as the French soldier who hurled down insults on King Arthur in the movie. Myself, and everyone else associated with the school system, is dressed in bright orange prison jumpsuits. We also have a white rings around our mouths, as if we had been eating  powdered doughnuts. The rings, however, are made of tiny particles of concrete.

I have a vague sense of Jeri Curry in the dream, but can recall no detail whatsoever. I am sent out to meet with the French representative. Kathy Rouleau, secretary at the high school, appears with some type of message for the Frenchman. When she tries to speak and opens her mouth, a chain falls out. The chain is attached to a tongue-piercing and is made of a multitude of large paper clips joined together. Kathy is unable to speak and has to pile the paper clips back into her mouth and is gone. I deliver to the Frenchman the list of our conditions to end the conflict.

The French soldier bends over and says, "Dis iz what I tink uv yoer conditions". He laughs loudly over his shoulder as he releases a long, loud protracted fart in my direction and I awaken.

Friday, July 19, 2013

At a Moment's Notice

Just finished writing a birthday greeting to a friend. Composed might be a better way to say it. It made me think. It made her suffer. I started with a premise:

Birthdays are nothing more than calibration of life.  

Life measured in words and sound bites.  I looked to My Clippings file on my Kindle. One of the things that I have enjoyed since getting the Kindle has been saving quotes and passages from the books I read. I save words. Words arranged to please my sensibilities. Words twisted and turned, tweaked and mutated for my private amusement. A collaboration of the literary geniuses of the ages to explain my world. I repurpose great words … nobody owns them … you can’t own words really. The fallicy of this approach is the false assumption that rewritten words mean the same thing as the originals.  Perhaps the meaning changes with the rewrite … perhaps it is the reading that is the catalyst of change.

My point is this. Our world is not War and Peace. It is not the great American novel. Our world is bits and pieces …  bite size … digestable. Our world is about moments … disconnected thoughts … sound bites. Minute moments, sounds, thoughts … they fill our lives with immeasurable pleasure and indescribable pain. They welcome a tear … they welcome a smile.

This suggests to me that those powerful moments may be real or imagined without lessening the power  of the experience and we may fully emote to a situation that we clearly know to be a fantasy.


Anne (of Green Gables) tells Marilla how awful it must be Not to have an imagination.

Her true love hears Sabine sing her secret message to him as he storms from the Moulon Rouge and he turns to respond ... the power and purity of his musical response!

Friday, July 5, 2013

What's in a Smile?


I was asked by a friend recently why I did not smile. I could have a answered, " What do I have to smile about" and be done with it. But, that would be simplistic and dismissive. Do I think so little of myself that my lack of joy is so easily explained? Is there no more to me than bell rings ... bruce salivates?

Where does coincidence end and fate begin? A friend happened to find a button the other day at a flea market. It was just laying there in the grass waiting to be found. It was waiting to be found. It was waiting for someone to think "That reminds me of bruce". It was waiting go someone to give it to me, not the other Bruce. Coincidence is a funny thing. I went to a flea market the other day with a friend. My friend found a button on the ground and thought of me. I got a button the other day that said, "a tiny speck in a hostile universe". I don't remember smiling.

Coincidence is a funny thing. A few days later I read a poem and I thought about that speck ... about what is means to be a speck in a hostile universe.  The poem went like this:

There is a quest that calls me, 
In nights when I am lone,
The need to ride where the ways divide
The Known from the Unknown.
I mount what thought is near me
And soon I reach the place,
The tenuous rim where Seen grows dim
And the Sightless hides it face. 

I am a speck in a hostile universe. I will not be dismissed. There is nothing simplistic about being a speck. I don't think I believe in coincidence, but fate is far more simplistic than I.

When I think about it ...

... it makes me smile.

Take It On Faith

We recently had guests from North Carolina. If you have ever visited in the South, you are aware that there seem to be four churches on every intersection in town. People there take their religion seriously. My guests were no  exception. Not fanatical mind you, but serious.  And I don't want to sound like it is a situation unique to the South. Try Belfast, Israel, Iran. Fact is , I don't have a problem with that. I admire strong faith in something, in a belief. I like the thoughts of clinging to an idea. I do it all the time. However, it occurred to me how difficult it might be for a seriously religious person to visit with me. People have the right to believe anything they want. I for example, believe that multiple realities are possible, and ghosts may very well exist. I suspect aliens have been here and who knows, there just might be a tooth fairy. What I don't believe is that beliefs are sacred. They are something you are in to, or not, and that pretty much is the end of it. They don't necessarily need to be defended and often cannot be defended because they are based on faith, which by definition is believing in something that you cannot prove. It is because you say it is ... a world that is very familiar to me.

The  problem that arises is that I have no filter as to people being sensitive about their beliefs. It is amazing to me how quickly one's sense of humor can diminish when religion enters the picture. I, on the other hand, find the field fertile for humor ... a situation that others may see as somewhat offensive. I am often greatly amused at challenging the logic of a situation. Of course, that is my special brand of logic. I don't have a problem with the existence of a deity, but if deities exist, it seems that the Hindus might be on the right path. Omnipotence is a tough job and must require a lot of multi-tasking. Logic says to me such a deity would certainly need a lot of arms and legs. Makes sense.  In the world of all-seeing, all knowing, been there, made it all, done it all, logic says to me a good deity would be correcting those mistakes, which logically wouldn't exist, with on sweep of the sea-dividing hand.

There are a lot of oxymorons out there for which religion is the core ingredient. (I love that word.) Seriously religious people have a tendency not to be amused with some of those. Many catholics don't see the humor in burying a statue of St Joseph upside down in the yard to help get your house sold ( which, by the way, has not worked) or the absurdity of both the Pope and the Klan wearing the same outfits except for the eye holes in the pointy hat. Southern Baptists don't generally bust out laughing when I make a few comments about running around with snakes in their mouth or knocking back a few shooters of venom (name your poison partner). Better lay off the bigamy jokes with Mormons, the god cartoons with Muslims, and mimicked tongue-talking with the Pentecostals. Placing the blame for some real mass killing on the shoulders of the the church is a good reason for me not to have gone to Ireland with Anne. And sex, whew is sex a good one. Have you heard the one about god running out of parts and having to borrow a rib from his new Adammobile to finish the Eve. Priests that can't marry ... women that hide their faces, black hats with long curls, feasting on blood and bread, angels exist but mermaids are a myth ... and building a new world, complete with the latest in disasters? If you don't think religion is funny, then just think about Jimmy Swaggart banging whores (well everything) and crying, Jim Baker banging the secretary and crying, Tammy Faye banging the assistant preacher and crying, Catholic priests banging the Vienna Choir and crying ... I'm starting to tear up just thinking about it ... and the explanation for all of this is basically "boys will be boys". Funny!

All I'm saying is this ... hanging around a heathen who thinks he is funny is tough business. So if you are visiting with me, you better put on your best sack cloth, dust up with with a little ash, hang on to those rosaries (look amazingly like worry-beads to me) and get ready!