29 July 2003

The Dream (Very Dead)

I had fitful dreams again last night. I can’t really tell if they were inspired by something astrological in nature or perhaps somehow the carbonara sauce went straight to my arteries, constricting blood flow to my brain and crippling the synapses. I woke up constantly only to fall into the same dream, which made it feel all the more lingering and deep.

In the dream I was communicating with a being. We weren’t speaking. It was very telepathic. It was a he. I was shown that there is a difference between being dead and being very dead. He was very dead.

The dead, so it seems, have ego. They also have motivation based in and on ego. They’re rather ugly and frightening creatures who feed their ego choices. This was shown to me like a movie where the dead were depicted as vile gelatinous creatures that killed one another and fed on human attention in all its forms – from fear to praise and worship.

The very dead, on the other hand, were distinctly different. They are formless and colorless. They exist in a state entirely undetectable by the dead. It’s almost like they are spirits in the world of the dead. While the dead are maybe our spirits and ghosts in this world, the very dead are like spirits and ghosts in the world of the dead.

What makes you happy? I asked. He tried to explain but words failed so he showed me. He had me feel the state he lived in. Yes. Words fail. Makes was a silly query, is is sufficient. To describe the state in which he exists, I guess the best I can do is say it is like an extraordinarily contented smile. Hmmm.. it’s a joyful content like being deeply in fully requited love.

How do you communicate? I asked. Again, words failed but he tried. He showed me a computer, a light bulb, electricity. And then he had me feel again, and somehow I just understood. The best word for it maybe is electricity.

How do you become very dead? I asked. He simply laughed. Here I got a bunch of mixed images and impressions. On some level it seemed that if you were killed by the dead it’s possible that you could become very dead. But I didn’t get the sense that this was wholly accurate. There was something more intentional about the becoming of a very dead being. It had to do with a choice to abandon ego, which was/is more difficult than it might seem on the surface.

To abandon a sense of ego isn’t to become selfless or unselfish in some base human understanding of these concepts. It goes beyond our understanding and involves something more profound. It includes giving up one’s investment in our relationship to our others. It’s not giving freely to our fellow beings and relinquishing our own needs. It’s about letting go and abandoning altogether the constructs which hold us together. It’s refusing to play the game or any part in it completely. It may look, by human norms, like complete selfishness because it looks and feels like walking away without concern about how this impacts anyone and everyone. It is a total surrender and abandonment of the social norms we know and hold to be valuable. It’s being willing to give up our past, our present and our future and walk away – and at the moment we do this, the understanding that we have come to as we do this, allows us to do it without fear, regret or concern. If any of these feelings are present, then we’re not ready, then we will not become very dead. Then we are simply not becoming.

When shown so objectively how crude and cruel and ugly the gelatinous monsters are, it’s easy to wonder at why this would be a difficult choice. How could anyone maintain an investment in the status quo of this grotesque and violent culture? It simply is what is for the creatures, however. It’s what they believe being is suppose to be and so they all play by the rules and try to find contentment in it. Yes they laugh, these creatures, in big cartoon gestures – like bullies on the playground in a kid’s movie. But the joy of the creatures are birthed in a kind of violence, in what looks and feels like cruelty – maybe it’s merely a metaphorical violence and it lacks any sense of contentment. And they are equally invested in their dramas, sorrows and fears.

And the very dead have merely made the choice to give up these things (along with the constructs and trappings of that life). And in that moment in the dream it was easy to wonder at why this would be a difficult choice. How easy it would be to let all that go. But I was made to feel how it wasn’t easy at all. How it took courage, resignation and abandon to come to these conclusions. How it involved leaving loose ends to unravel instead of tying them up. How it was like being in the middle of a game where perhaps you were winning or maybe just a bit behind and it was your turn to roll the dice and move. Rather than rolling and seeing the outcome you perhaps set down the dice and wordlessly walk away or perhaps you toss the dice in the air but you walk away before you read them – and you don’t even have a desire to look back to see how your roll might have landed you. And when you hear the angry chatter of your playmates, you remain wholly unmoved save for a quiet little chuckle of contentment and you just walk away, forever.

This was my dream last night. And for whatever it’s worth it leaves me feeling oddly ill at ease today. I’m so aware of my investment in the game. I’m acutely aware of the loops of logic that run in my head that loose ends are meant to be tied, that I can’t just walk away right now, how I’m not ready or able and how it’s not the right time. And I can hear him laughing (I’ve named him, the very dead guy, Richard). I can feel him telling me, Yes, when you are ready it will be easy. When you really feel it you’ll know that you are perpetually in mid-stride, you’ll know that there really never is a good time or a bad time, that it’s always just time. You’ll simply know and you’ll simply do and it will amaze you how easy it is.

Strangely, I know exactly what he’s saying and I wince at this knowing. It’s familiar.

27 July 2003

The Mission

We cozy onto the sofa, limb touching limb, legs splayed, the soft hum of the dog snoring against my belly. We watch The Mission and I invariably fall asleep before they slaughter the Indians above the falls. In my world the film always ends merely in foreshadowing debate before Eden is sacrificed.

When I first saw the movie, many years ago, the most poignant scene was when the Indian man severed the rope on Robert Dinero’s penance. I craved that kind of liberation and surrender. Now find the most moving scene to be when Jeremy Irons first meets the Indians whilst sitting on a rock near a river, playing a beautiful melody on a reed instrument. I take this to symbolically mean, perhaps, that I’ve changed from a person seeking freedom to a person seeking beauty.

I love this place. I adore the wet earthy smell in the shade of the towering redwood trees, the smell of the dried grass scorched by the summer sun, the rich black dirt of the land. I love weekends at Stinson and Bolinas – how in the summer the beach is soft and warm and sandy and how in the winter the waves break with more force and rocks wash in from someplace far away. The sheer beauty of this land is transporting – magical, mysterious and beautiful.

This is where I always should have been. This is more home than the City ever offered. It leaves me quiet and thankful.

24 July 2003

It Just Happened

How it all happened is so mysterious despite science trying to explain everything. The colors of the bay, blinding white, sky blue, forest green. That this or that would reflect in such a way, divine beauty. No one said, “This is beautiful,” and then made it. It just happened. The unintentionality, the accidental nature, how unconscious it all seems is perhaps the largest wonder. No one could have deliberately made it all so perfect.

22 July 2003


Damsels climbed the rise

Pitifully beautiful women with scarlet tights.