28 August 2011

May the Force Be With You... And Also with You

Advance warning: this is not the clearest or even most interesting post I've ever written. I'm tired, and probably should have held onto this puppy for further elaboration and editing before posting it, but I'm impatient to discover what, if anything it means. Try to be kind.

I had a perplexing dream last night.

(Brief pause for some Choose Your Own Adventuring. If you're thinking: Who didn't have a perplexing dream last night!, proceed straight to the comments and tell us about yours. If you are feeling mildly curious because you think dreams are fascinating, read on because I share some of my own totally non-scientific research into the interpretation of dreams below. If you're wondering: Is there anything more boring/annoying/nauseating than other people's dreams?, thank you for playing; we have some lovely parting gifts for you, and Vaya con Dios.)

I've recently discovered, according to scientist Stanley Krippner, one-time head of the Maimonides Dream Laboratory which studied the psychic potential in dreaming (can you believe such a study could be scientific?),  that psychic dreams differ from ordinary dreams. In your run-of-the mill garden-variety dream, you are a participant. Stuff (usually weird, or is that just me?) happens to you. You interact with characters in a setting, and events transpire. In psychic dreams, however, you are merely an observer; you see things, but you don't have anything to do with the action, if there is action at all. I've had one of the latter lately, after a long frustrating phase of not being able to dream for weeks. I dreamed of twin tigers, and they may as well have been a stock photo. They didn't move, didn't make a sound, there was no background, nothing happened. I woke up and felt a little cheated, to be honest, until Stanley set me straight and made me think there was more going on.

The dream that currently vexes me I had around 4:55 this morning. I've also read (though I can't document the source) that morning, close to waking dreams tend to be problem solving dreams, your subconscious' suggestions for unsticking yourself from day-to-day dilemmas. Middle of the night, deep sleep dreams, on the other hand,  tend to be more metaphysical, speaking to you on a grander scale. They tend to impart more significant meaning. I'm not sure where I'd put 4:55 am, but that's when I woke up from my dream this morning.

In my perplexing dream, I called someone, with zero intention of actually speaking to them (kinda like in junior high when you'd harass the person you had a crush on by calling them just so you could hear their voice, or something. Who know what Jackie Choi and I hoped to achieve back then? My sincerest apologies to the family of DC and JK for all the giggling, heavy breathing and hang-ups.) The person I called didn't answer, a mutual friend did. And she told me "the secret to understanding this person is..."

.... are you drum rolling? Get those drumsticks going, please, because, as someone who makes a point of understanding human motivation, that's pretty much how my heart started beating when she dangled the tantalizing carrot before me...

"... Battleship Gallactica".

Yes, I know the show was called Battlestar Gallactica. But Battleship (sic) Gallactica is precisely what she said in the dream. Funny thing is, removing the meaning one further layer from logical waking thought, when she said 'Battleship Gallactica', I instantly saw this:

The Millenium Falcon.

Now why on God's green earth would I dream about the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs?

Is it because because I'm a sci-fi geek? Negatory. Is it because I'd read on Facebook that a friend was taking his son to Star Wars day at the Zoo? Possibly. Because Star Wars speaks to us all, taps into our collective unconscious? Sure, why not. Because someone recently said of me "The force is strong with this one"? Mayhaps. Because my little sister was a Star Wars fanatic, and prohibited my ever touching her toy version of the MF? Who knows.

All I declare is that it doesn't yet make sense. Maybe eventually it will.

In the meantime, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for clues. I got one, too: later in the day I stepped into a shoe store I hadn't really intended to visit. Once in, I spied a pair of amazing olive green sneakers. I picked them up and discovered they were, you guessed it! Han Solo limited edition high tops. (I said it was a clue, not the answer. Figuring out synchronicity takes patience.)

So if you've hung on through all my navel-gazing this long, by all means, make it more interesting for yourself and tell me: have you ever dreamed about Star Wars? And what, pray tell, did it mean to you?



12 August 2011

Look around you: Art/Magic is Everywhere

Are you a morning person or a night owl? I consider myself a lark; that is, I feel my best self in the morning hours. I guess my daughter is, too, because most mornings she sounds off her toddler-reveille between 6 and 6:45 am. Not an ungodly hour, by any means.  For a non-negotiable wake up time, however, 6-something certainly falls on the earlier side. And so the system we've developed is to ease into a more salubrious hour of the day with a solid block of pre-school appropriate television, accompanied by coffee (for the grown ups). We have DVRed every episode of her favorite show and every morning we watch at least one episode. If you have a toddler (or just look like one) you will likely be familiar with the entertainment juggernaut that is Yo Gabba Gabba!, from whence this clip derives.

08 August 2011

Bahia or Bust: PART THREE Samba Seeps In

If you're just jumping on board VJR for the first time, you'll want to read the two previous installments of this series here

Ana's class. Brasil Brasil Cultural Center. I have to force myself into the crowded room, onto the uneven floors. Most of the women fall somewhere on the skin tone spectrum between caramel and ebony. I am prepared to flaunt my pretty pretty ButterflyPony dance moves, as perfected under the tutelage of Monica. But this teacher, this Ana, gives us no choreography. She works us like a drill sargeant, sending us in warm-up laps around the room. She leads us in floorwork and I think my heart will, no kidding, bruise the back of my ribs. My breath is ragged and sharp like broken glass in my windpipe. "You guys are just warming up. You're not dancing yet", she bellows in her lilting Brazilian-Portuguese accent, which seems to soften, slightly, the insult.