July 16th, 2010

sci-fi

On the waking world, which only appears that way. . .

I keep meaning to share this!

Sometimes when you read certain books together they form a resonance that neither alone could create. . .

Case in point: Marie-Louise von Franz's On Divination and Synchronicity: The Psychology of Meaningful Chance, and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (which I was reading due to my pleasing encounters with a local lake. . .)

From Dillard: ". . . a greater light extinguishes a lesser as though it didn't exist. In the great meteor shower of August, the Perseid, I wail all day for the shooting stars I miss. They're out there showering down, committing hara-kiri in a flame of fatal attraction, and hissing perhaps at last into the ocean. But at dawn what looks like a blue dome clamps down over me like a lid on a pot."

From von Franz: "Probably we dream all the time, not only in the night but also in daytime, but because of the brightness of our conscious life we are not aware of it."

Wouldn't that be wonderful, if in fact we did dream all day? I spend an inordinate amount of time each morning (and night) bewailing the inaccessibility of my dreams, of half of my consciousness. For someone who loves to sleep as much as I do (and values sleep as much as I do, due to its relative inaccessibility), I have little access to my dreams during waking life. Certainly I live a dreamy sort of existence, with my eye on the glitter at all times, but those labyrinthine plots and distant landscapes I achieve at night? Very hard to recall in the light of day.

I slip back into them when I can. . . it reminds me a bit of the premise of Miéville's The City and The City -- two cities that coexist, not merely beside each other, but actually inhabiting the same locality. In order to maintain this illusory separation each "city" must uphold a pact not to see the other -- a premise which mandates a certain amount of "unseeing". Similarly, half of whatever encodes my experience is written in one bright chemical code, and the other half, which inhabits the same damn space, is written in a different and dimmer chemical signature, visible only when the brighter letters dim. But it is comforting to think that, like the Perseid, those other worlds continue about their business during the day, without my conscious attention.