pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
[personal profile] pasithea
Side note: I find it frustrating that things that interest me don't maintain themselves without conscious effort on my part. Like dreams for instance. If I put effort into it, I remember pieces of dreams but the moment I stop mentally prepping myself to dream before bed each night, it just disappears and I get nothing at night. This seems to be the pattern for a lot of things in my life. If I'm not actively studying and pushing on them, they rapidly decay and vanish.

Side note 2: I REALLY need to learn how to remember people's names and associate them with faces. This is a serious handicap for me that I have to learn to overcome.

Last night, I intended to dream. I did. I was looking for something. Some piece of something for some art project. Perhaps I was just seeking inspiration. That was my goal when I went to bed.

Someone in the Other told me they knew a person that might have it. I rode a bus through a city of winding cobblestone streets and twisted decrepit buildings until we stopped in sort of a cul du sac with ruined buildings on the left and a view over a bay straight ahead and a sort of run-down old hotel or mall on the right.

There were a couple of rough-looking people out front. A man and a woman. Old, weathered, looked like they lived on the streets and drank a lot. The woman was wearing a badly worn wedding dress, the man a tattered tux. It triggered all my ingrained little fears about 'those people' but they welcomed me like an old friends and invited me inside. I felt ashamed of my fears. I think they owned the place or at least ran it. They told me their names but I promptly forgot.

Inside, we were on an elevated walk looking down into a large open room that had various people doing stuff. Drawing, chatting, sewing, juggling, practicing fire dance. The interior was kind of like a victorian era building, somewhat decrepit with carved features. Mostly cream and off yellow colors. I think some of the columns were white at one time, there was some wallpaper on at least one wall in a sort of diamond print.

It was a bit like a burning man event but not 'an event'. The air of it being a special occasion wasn't there. This was where these people lived every day. I felt awkward. I felt like I didn't belong. Where it hit me was that I had a 'regular job' and these people were virtually homeless but they were somehow more 'real' than me. I felt like a fake.

A kind of handsome vaguely hispanic guy, no shirt, dark brown knee-length pants got up from a couch where he was working and came around the left side and up some stairs I didn't see. He'd been making a brown knotted wide-brimmed hat. He put it on my head and said, "Welcome!" to me, gave me a hug and then disappeared down a hallway. I was very thankful. I'm past due for a haircut and my hair is faded and ratty.

Some of the other people below waved to me and told me their names (which I again forgot :( ) and invited me down.

A first, I didn't see the way the guy had come up so I kind of wandered around and then found a gradual slope that went down to the main room on the right.

A couple of guys sitting on a couch invited me over to sit with them. I sat down between them. They introduced themselves. One of them had said his name just a few minutes before when I was above. I tried to remember his name. I almost had it but it slipped. He was thin, wiry-muscled with a neatly trimmed goatee. Dark brown or black hair. He sat on my left and smelled a bit of olives and turpentine.

On my right, the other guy was large with rolls of fat but not obese. It oddly suited him. Kind of baby faced but with sallow cheeks and a strange sort of smile. Now that I think about it, he only passingly resembled human at all. He smelt stale but not oppressive. Like old tea and a bit of mustiness.

I was about to tell them what I was looking for but I had some shallow ego need to try to prove that I belonged there and my sketchbook was in my hand so I told them I drew. They were both excited by this and wanted to see. They also both had sketchbooks of their own and presented them to me. I handed mine to the thin man on the right, now suddenly feeling awkward because I instantly knew their work would be leagues better than mine.

In the fat man's sketchbook, every page had a fully rendered image in it. They were a strange style. People with rounded rectangular body forms. Sort of a stylized grotesque. A little cartoony with a strong graphic element. It was really visually compelling stuff. Some of it was sublimely funny or uncomfortably odd. It wasn't a style I would have said I 'liked' but it was definitely quite interesting and in the back of my head, there were some ideas that I wanted to steal. Particularly one about a unicorn man.

The thin man's sketchbook was sketchier with lightly drawn lines showing transparent layers of things that resembled violins. Almost like technical drawings. They weren't as visually captivating as the fat man's but they appealed more to the technical side of my brain that was trying to understand the forms in 3D space and visualize how they were constructed and all of the work that went into them.

I just began to talk with them about their respective works when the alarm went off. *sigh* This is the way with most of the dreams I've manufactured. They always terminate just at the story is beginning. I suspect I must dream only in the seconds before I become fully conscious. :/

I wanted to record the experience but also, I'm left with an odd question. Is it right to plagiarize art from artists that you only dreamed of? I mean if I found their work interesting, certainly I should pull some ideas from them but wholesale copying the works of another artist seems wrong even if they were people that only existed in my head. I also feel somewhat ashamed that I couldn't remember any of their names.

I guess I could perhaps try to render the world they live in. It was a strange and interesting place but it also seemed like something that would take a lot of time to render and not be interesting to people other than me. I could cling to some hope that by rendering it, I might make them more real, establish a stronger link with them, bring my flop-house of strange muses more present in my mind.

I know however, that's not really how my brain works. Every dream that I've ever had that I've tried to revisit, I've never gotten back to. I can only recreate or sustain them through active process and somehow that always feels a lot less 'real' to me. All of the characters become Mary Sues that I move in contrived ways.

I think it also says something to me about how shallow all of my emotions and motives were throughout the dream. There were all these amazing things I should have been paying attention to yet I kept being blinded by my own vanity and ego. Even now, there's a rich Other land in my mind and I debate the value of drawing it because it probably wouldn't inspire anyone else. Is that really all I see art as? A tool with which to manipulate others? Shallow indeed.

Yet... True. My head is always full of rich landscapes and beautiful pictures. I could spend an eternity dwelling inside it. For my personal sake, I have no reason to render these things. I'm crazy enough that they are as real as I allow them to be. Often I feel like I'm fighting to maintain my footing in this reality. It would be easy to let Otherland carry me away. At times I wonder if it already has. Maybe the 'real' me is eating out of dumpsters somewhere and the life I have is one that self created to hide from her own reality.

I am instead seeking some sort of communication with others through art. I have vague generalized goals of wanting people to think and dream and smile and sometimes be a little creeped out. I desire to give others an experience that is outside of Default World. I want to infect them with a little bit of the strange. I appreciate that part of myself. I think it's right and on a noble mission.

Then there's the other part of me that has no safety net to speak of and few friends. The self that wants to be loved and adored. The part of me that is the void and could consume all of the love in the world and want more. The part that is afraid of losing this reality and sinking entirely into the Other. That part cripples my art. It's in such a hurry to be loved that it wants to rush everything. It's so sad and pathetic, even I have nothing but contempt or it. I wish it would die. Poor unloved child. Boo hoo. Life sucks, get over it. How does one kill their own ego anyhow?
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February 2012

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