Posting a great deal today, I know. I blame the dream.
Last night’s dreamisode had me spilling out out of myself. See, I was me, and the hairy flesh-colored white male that I am, except I spilled out like mercury, flowing over sidewalks and streets, splashing around buildings, plants, and fire hydrants.
I’d been walking through a warm, sunny day in downtown Ashland when this began. I didn’t understand what was happening at first, and then, I panicked, because, oh my God, I’m all over the place. I worried about people walking on me, or having my liquid flesh clogging the sewer drains and drowning others. In a fit of Lucille Ball-like comedy, I scrambled to collect myself and return my mercury-ness to my corporal existence, scooping up handfuls of myself and shoving it into my shirt and jeans. But I couldn’t hold onto myself. It just flowed through my fingers. As my efforts to collect myself wasn’t working, I just let it flow.
Then I was sitting, trying to understand what was happening. Settling back, I watched me flow across the land. My body, like went around others, but didn’t kill them. They embraced it with surprise. As I sat on a chair by a table on a patio and watched myself flowing out, I saw that there was more, that I wasn’t everyone, that I was spreading, but I was still there. I wondered, how far do I go?
With more astonishment, I saw that where I flowed, other things grew and flourished. I wasn’t killing anything at all. Whether the light had changed or my vision was clearer, the day seemed brighter. As I watched, I realized that I was growing even as I sat. From where I sat, I began to see over trees and houses. Soon I saw across the valley and then over the mountains, to the beach and the sea.
Then, in a part that brought tears to my eyes in the dream, the sun was rising wherever I looked. Even as I thought, that’s not possible, I saw, but, yes, that’s what’s happening.
The dream ended.
I’d forgotten the dream until I was walking and thinking about my character, Anders, and who he was. In a flash I remembered the dream. I was walking in Ashland, and for a startling moment, I felt like I was in the dream, and experienced this bizarre sense of duality. As that passed, I sharply aligned with Anders and who he was. A black teenager in America, I was trying to get a handle on him, but then saw that I was tagging him through the prisms of my experiences.
He, though, doesn’t think like us, not because of his skin color, but because of his generation. His parents are black, and he loves and respects them, but their experiences don’t shape him. To him, that’s an old way of being. The new way is to shape himself. He eschews and shuns much of popular culture because of that because popular culture attempts to normalize him and push him to conform to a popular conception of who he should be, what he should buy, and how he should behave. Anders rejects and resists that.
As I explored him and his friends, I saw all of this, and how it applied to them. We have stereotypes of our segments of culture and society, from the one percent down to the homeless, from the self-proclaimed Greatest Generation through the Boomers and the rest. Anders and his friends are resisting being called a generation. They’re seeing and seeking fragmentation, breaking old norms and behavior. They don’t want to build something new; they just want freedom to find for themselves if there’s something new out there.
They think there is something new. They can’t see it, but they’re looking through other’s eyes. It’s not until they can find their own way of seeing that they’ll discover their own country.
After all of that, it was a powerful and liberating day of writing like crazy. I know that it’s silly, but I felt privileged and flattered to have experience that dream, because it felt so empowering. I felt special, humbled, and amazed as I wrote.
The session is over. Time to go on to other things.