Waking then was like dreaming, dreaming of demons waking, waking demons
dreaming us all awake. No, there should be no space left between waking and
dreaming, consciousness and the unconscious mind, loves from near and loves
from afar, catechisms and conundrums, conjecture and commitment. Really, whom
can figure illusion from reality, dreaming from non-dreaming?
Descartes' moon rises, offering no reprieve, so the midnight bell tolls
Why do we write,
except in some vain attempt to undermine God, constitute some perfection,
though one is never far from failure, the failure to connect or read the
other, the failure to hook up with life, the inability to see beyond lives
lost or seldom won, in a world so full of opprobrium, it hardly matters which
hymn book one would sing from? Where do we go from here, dear brothers and
sisters, except to some doom hardly prescribed for us, where the swans do not
feed the carp, and the crow does not feed the family dog or cat, with leftovers
from the Sunday lunch? Now we gyrate in ecstasy for some damsel or dame,
apotheosized on the pavement in her samba-dance, ignoring all the rules of
engagement, kissing the many frogs in her mardi gras mini-skirt. So much is
left out of synch, it hardly seems fair to berate the Christ, the redeemer,
but we fly into our dances, as if the whole world might owe us a living.
Perfection comes and rightness goes, where sorrow would live so far below
What am I disproving here? If I and only I myself are real, and you and your
black beret are only objects of my consciousness, then how can I accept or
embrace the reality of your body in sepia, or your black beret? It would seem
nothing short of madness to posit that we all exist, when I can only
postulate my own reality as enduring and eternal. Given that my internal
mental state is not deranged, how am I to accept the existence of others -
outside my own frame of mental reference? As easy as shelling peas, I might
contradict the meta-narrative and cry...
My love, my pain is not
mine , and mine alone -
in England, or, America...
Concerning dreaming then was like a paradox, like history paradoxically
dreaming about battles lost and battles won, Pyrrhic victories intoxicating
both the brave and the meek in the paradoxical histories of our making, the
contradictory histories of our undoing. So the child concerns himself with
the nature of reality, the nature of dreaming, finding people and things as
solid in dreams as in waking life. Leading 'little' Eric to wonder whether
life itself was a dream, or worse, to imagine whether he only existed in
someone else's dream. A disturbing reality altogether. Ergo, one must ask:
'If I find myself asking, "Am I dreaming?" it proves that I am dreaming,
since this question would never occur to me in my waking life.' To ask
oneself: 'Am I dreaming in a dream,' would seem to prove that one is
dreaming. And yet this is precisely what he had asked himself in his waking
life. A logical loose end, how does one know one is not dreaming, or that I,
or we are not all dreaming?
Row, row, row your boat,
gently down the stream, merrily,
merrily, merrily, merrily...
© Mark A. Murphy