Ambivalence was from now on to be her almost permanent state…

The title of this post doesn’t refer to me…

although there have been times in my life when I felt exactly like that because life, and the experiences held therein, can make a person inclined to ambivalence…

mixed feelings…

conflicts of heart, mind, perception which permeate throughout…

making it hard to commit to one way or another…

maybe the either/or is an illusion…

and you don’t have to choose – the whole theory of having to choose is just something someone made up on a whim…

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excerpt from The London Review of Books: The Good Bohemian – the letters of Ida John by Rebecca John and Michael Holroyd

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The title of this post is lifted out of an article I read the other day (excerpted and linked to above, with the lifted bit included) which is written so beautifully, poetically, with feeling, compassion, empathy, understanding, insight… and is so informative across different eras and levels of human understanding… that I had an etheric orgasm while reading it.

Like many people alive right now I can be rather narcissistic, arrogant, entitled, grandiose and contemptuous of those who aren’t alive any more, those who came before, those poor ancestors who didn’t have all the luxuries of this time, the amenities, commodities, modernities, inventions and scientific advancements, those who didn’t know what we know now, those silly fellows, both male and female, in frilly frocks and tall hats seen posing awkwardly in portraits and early photographs…

yet without them and their silliness we wouldn’t have the selfie…

I’m where I am today because of them, because of where they were yesterday, what they did, what they didn’t do (like nuke the whole world when they could have done so)…

they paved the way, as well as burned the bridges…

they are all to blame for my misery… am I allowed to be miserable when I have so much!?

and to be gratefully acknowledged for the blessings they bestowed… blessings which I may take for granted and think are not enough, hungry as I and others who are alive now are for more!?

Will it ever be enough… perhaps not as long as we have or believe we have plenty…

I may be jesting…

or something like that.

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Marchesa Casati by Adolf de Meyer

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I did various searches after reading that article, wanting more of that etheric orgasm, and the wonderful names so many of them had, which lead me on a detour through many fascinating figures, once vibrantly alive now dead though not completely forgotten, to finally reach the destination of the great Marchesa Casati… who to this day continues to inspire artistic souls with her out there vibe, her inspiring brand of crazy, and life as art philosophy.

Then I went to sleep and dreamed…

one of those dream within a dream within a dream dreams…

I woke up in the dream due to a cacophony caused by people, voices, shouts, exuberance and such, so tired I could barely open my puffy and swollen eyes to see who was causing the chaos, the air in my mind was fog, a pea-souper like the kind my mother told me about which made her teeth turn black with soot, confused by the sudden influx of people into my bedroom who all seemed oblivious to the disturbance they were causing me…

all talking about their problems…

one girl, a teenager complained about being short, when I told her, trying to reassure her (and also shut her up because she was invading my space uninvited by me with her issues) that she’d probably grow to be taller than most she looked at me as though I’d stolen her virginity without consent…

(I recognise that storyline, I’ve come across it many times before in others, in myself – never try to take someone’s victim tale away from them even if your reasons for taking it are to cure them of a wound, offer healing… maybe they don’t want to cure that wound as curing it could cause the wounds that are hidden beneath it to come out from where they are hiding… under the bed… and that wound is the only thing between them and the real monster – it was protecting them even while it seemed to harm them…)

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Augustus John (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Artist, bohemian bon viveur, and philanderer…

and a Capricorn… he was very close to his sister, Gwen, who was a Cancer… opposites in tune…

his story reminds me of my father’s, his first wife’s story reminds me of my mother’s, his mistress reminds me of my father’s long time mistress…

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I dragged myself out of bed (in the dream) and several steps later collapsed to the ground and started sobbing… that type of sobbing which reaches down into the belly of the inner beast and pulls it out into the open, removing the thorn in its paw, causing both pain and relief which expresses itself the same way, belching out big bursting sobs.

I haven’t sobbed like that in my waking life in years…

I rarely cry… when I admit to that out loud it seems to annoy some people (usually other females), how dare I rarely cry and admit to it… as a female… if I were male it would be another story. My mother gave me this ‘gift’, prided herself on teaching me not to be a cry-baby like she was and hated herself for it, and also reprimanded me for learning the lesson too well – don’t cry… why aren’t you crying!

Sometimes I am relieved for the lack of salty drops and other times I am of a different view about it…

that kind of deep sobbing can be so cathartic and insightful…

although once it starts it may be hard to stop…

and it was in the dream, insightful that is…

more so because I observed myself, my sobbing dream self, doing it and attempting to stuff what wanted to come out back down from where it had escaped because then and there wasn’t the time or place to do it, and I did it so easily, control what did not want to be controlled, and that act of easy self-repression was illuminating…

but not for the reasons which may be apparent, after all this is the subconscious and such and nothing is as it seems yet it sometimes is exactly that.

As that occurred one of the many invaders of my sleeping place and space said – this is a dream within a dream.

That’s when I woke up… a second time in my dream and realised that I had been dreaming within the dream (which I was still dreaming).

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Dorothy ‘Dorelia’ McNeill by Charles Slade

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I could no longer tell what was dream and what was real, so I took what seemed the most logical action to take and made my way out the space and place I was in…

if the others who had invaded it would not leave, then I would as I was the one with the problem with them being there…

and as so often happens when I decide to leave a location in my dreams…

I woke up…

this time for real (or at least into the waking state which is supposedly real, as real as anything can get…)

and upon waking, I found myself wanting to relive the dream, to return to the moment of sobbing to perhaps see it to its end rather than interrupt it, to figure out what was going on, why it played out as it did, and what meaning it meant to have for me…

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Amaryllis Fleming by Erich Auerbach

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Maybe its message was just to let me know that I was exhausted and needed a rest so deep that all my dream selves were required to go to sleep too… then why wake us?

Wake one and the one wakes the others until the ripples reach the one who lives in the waking state…

Have you had any bizarre dreams lately or experienced a catharsis…?

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3 thoughts on “Ambivalence was from now on to be her almost permanent state…

Add yours

  1. Wow. What an amazing experience. I haven’t had a dream(s) like that in a very long time. As I get older my dreams tend to be less defined and are harder to remember. Every now and then I still have a doozy that can rock my whole day.

    I like how you have included the description of your dream experience as a counterpoint to the photos/biographies of the artists. A dream of unsupressed emotion after growing up in an artistic household where emotion was harnessed, used, and manipulated (and here I’m starting to overlay my own childhood experience, too), thereby proving that art isn’t real?

    But catharsis? Not lately. I may be saving up for that …

    Lovely post. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      I love those doozy dreams that throw your whole day out of whack because they’re reminders that the world isn’t as black and white as we sometimes make it out to be, that up isn’t always up, that wrong isn’t always wrong, and that we and others aren’t always who we have decided we and they are, etc. That there are infinite possibilities which we may blank out to be able to get up in the morning, go to work, live, stick with a routine which gives us a semblance of order, and makes up what we call reality.

      More and more these days ‘reality’ is proving to be hard to pin down to any one definite thing which we can all agree upon and we’re all reeling from the chaos.

      Who we all are may go beyond what our minds can grasp, perhaps because it is far more complicated than we could ever imagine, or maybe because it is far simpler than we could accept, and not at all what our imagination wants for it to be.

      Isn’t everything art? πŸ˜‰

      Like

      1. Haha. Yes. πŸ™‚

        Sometimes, I love how life (including art, truth, lies and everything else) is what it isn’t what it is, and at other times I hate it. Some days are “just give me an answer dammit! I don’t want to think!” At work I recently tried for and got a promotion and then I got hit with one of those days. I’m such a typical human. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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