Funeral

June 18, 2020

And I have this dream where I’m screaming underwater
While my friends are all waving from the shore.
And I don’t need you to tell me what that means.
I don’t believe in that stuff anymore.

Phoebe Bridgers

I am an old man now, but then I was already past my prime when Arthur was crowned King. The years since then seem to me now more dim and faded than the earlier years, as if my life were a growing tree which burst to flower and leaf with him, and now has nothing more to do than yellow to the grave.

This is true of all old men, that the recent past is misted, while distant scenes of memory are clear and brightly coloured. Even the scenes of my far childhood come back to me now sharp and high-coloured and edged with brightness, like the pattern of a fruit tree against a white wall, or banners in sunlight against a sky of storm.

The colours are brighter than they were, of that I are sure. The memories that come back to me here in the dark are seen with the new young eyes of childhood; they are so far gone from me, with their pain no longer present, that they unroll like pictures of something that happened, not to me, not to the bubble of bone that this memory used to inhabit, but to another Merlin as young and light and free of the air and spring winds as the bird she named me for.

With the later memories it is different; they come back, some of them, hot and shadowed, things seen in the fire. For this is where I gather them. This is one of the few trivial tricks – I cannot call it power–left to me now that I am old and stripped at last down to man. I can see still. . . not clearly or with the call of trumpets as I once did, but in the child’s way of dreams and pictures in the fire. I can still make the flames burn up or die; it is one of the simplest of magics, the most easily learned, the last forgotten. What I cannot recall in dream I see in the flames, the red heart of the fire or the countless mirrors of the crystal cave.

The first memory of all is dark and fireshot. It is not my own memory, but later you will understand how I know these things. You would call it not memory so much as a dream of the past, something in the blood, something recalled from him, it may be, while he still bore me in his body. I believe that such things can be. So it seems to me right that I should start with him who was before me, and who will be again when I am gone.

This is what happened that night. I saw it, and it is a true tale.

Mary Stewart
The Crystal Cave

Assurance

May 28, 2020

Last night I slept, and when I woke her kiss
Still floated on my lips. For we had strayed
Together in my dream, through some dim glade,
Where the shy moonbeams scarce dared light our bliss.
The air was dank with dew, between the trees,
The hidden glow-worms kindled and were spent.
Cheek pressed to cheek, the cool, the hot night-breeze
Mingled our hair, our breath, and went,
As sporting with our passion. Low and deep
Spake in mine ear her voice: “And didst thou dream,
This could be buried? This could be sleep?
And love be thralled to death! Nay whatso seem,
Have faith, dear heart; THIS IS THE THING THAT IS!”
Thereon I woke and on my lips her kiss.

Emma Lazarus

I have spent my whole life half in a dream and half in reality. Men have understood this and have preyed on my defenceless body with their tigers’ teeth, while my soul was voyaging elsewhere.

Edvard Munch
The Private Journals of Edvard Munch: We Are Flames Which Pour Out of the Earth

In my perfect world

January 15, 2020

In my version of a perfect world, I would give in to the red and thrust my cold steel horns into his belly. Make him bleed and mourn the death of his slaughtered ego. Make him crawl on all fours and yip like the bitch he thought I was. In a perfect world I’d pick him clean, flossing his insides between my teeth. I would display his bones as a reminder of the once weakened girl he picked clean. A girl can only dream.

of madness and dream

January 7, 2020

I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.

Hermann Hesse
Demian. The story of Emil Sinclair’s youth

Wolf Woman

October 1, 2019

I’m trying to evolve into all wolf all the time. It seems possible if I let go of the idea of my body, if I fall into my dream headfirst, if I accept words as signals more than language, if my love sounds like a howl in the forest – doesn’t it already?

Chelsea Hodson,

Artist Statement, Tonight I’m Someone Else: Essays

The story of torment itself

September 21, 2019

For us, eating and being eaten belong to the terrible secret of love. We love only the person we can eat. The person we hate we ‘can’t swallow.’ That one makes us vomit. Even our friends are inedible. If we were asked to dig into our friend’s flesh we would be disgusted. The person we love we dream only of eating. That is, we slide down that razor’s edge of ambivalence. The story of torment itself is a very beautiful one. Because loving is wanting and being able to eat up and yet to stop at the boundary. And there, at the tiniest beat between springing and stopping, in rushes fear. The spring is already in mid-air. The heart stops. The heart takes off again. Everything in love is oriented towards this absorption. At the same time real love is a don’t-touch, yet still an almost-touching. Tact itself: a phantom touching. Eat me up, my love, or else I’m going to eat you up. Fear of eating, fear of the edible, fear on the part of the one of them who feels loved, desired, who wants to be loved, desired, who desires to be desired, who knows there is no greater proof of love than the other’s appetite, who is dying to be eaten up, who says or doesn’t say, but who signifies: I beg you, eat me up. Want me down to the marrow. And yet manage it so as to keep me alive. But I often turn about or compromise, because I know that you won’t eat me up, in the end, and I urge you: bite me. Sign my death with your teeth.

Helene Cixous
The Love of the Wolf

dancing rhythms

September 10, 2019

Tonight reality finally repudiated its margins, blurred into dream. We offered a libation to the moor, to the stones, to unknown Gods – to the deep night sky and the drunken poet who listens to the silence around him and the dancing rhythms of his own heart.

half-erased dream

September 6, 2019

Especially at twilight one lives in the fullest fantasy, a half-erased dream.

Federico García Lorca
August 1921 letter to Adolfo Salazar
Trans. P