Friday, August 31, 2007
A group of people are gathered around a vitrine in the street. Inside is a dog , possibly a boxer. It is hardly moving but we can just make out it is alive. The glass door is locked and it seems the owner must have abandoned it. An old man and his wife are doing their best to coax the dog out through a small opening at the front. A long thin bone snaps off its front leg - so that's why it can't move. I have faith that they will get the animal out - the man seems to know what he is doing.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I am running a music workshop for teenagers alongside another teacher. They are quite a rowdy and sullen bunch but I realise the main reason for this is because the other teacher is getting them to sing naff songs. I work with one boy to set up the stage for him to use as he wants - I have no idea what I am doing but arrange a record player surrounded by piles of boxes. He is not that happy with it but settles for it as a kind of compromise. I have no time to do anything for the other kids.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
C has worked on a school project making a film. A lot of time and money has gone into it and it's all gone horribly wrong. He started meticulously splicing the film but somehow the back spool of the projector was too small and all of the film is damaged beyond repair. "These things happen," I say, but I know I would be in a complete state if it were me.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
This story is told in the form of an Irish rebel song. It concerns a young woman who is about to attend a hen party, where friends and family are coarsely celebrating a friend's wedding. All her growing life everyone has wrongly assumed her heterosexuality, and she has played along. The coins saved for outings with her secret lover are concealed between layers of her clothing. In the final scene she shows her lover the living will she will use to publicly declare their commitment to each other. She knows this small move will take great courage but it is essential for her dignity. This act of bravery is the real meaning behind "gay pride".
Monday, August 27, 2007
The minibus that usually picks up this group of elderly adults with learning disabilities has broken down. There is nothing else available- we are stranded. I realise it is going to be some time before we get picked up . As the time passes everyone becomes more relaxed - there is no threat of institutions or pushy "care" staff - everyone starts to be themselves - we are going to have fun. Life stopped being serious today.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
"Write down or draw all the things that are missing in your life", a woman half Esther Rantzen half an old teacher instructs me. She carries a pile of A2 drawing pads into the room. I thank her singing in an operatic style. She chants back that one of the main things missing in her life is time spent with her husband Desmond Morris (sic). "Perhaps I should add that to my list," I sing in reply.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Using dairy cream on the kitchen walls, I am attempting to write up the story of a friend who is dicing with death. A very conservative Polish woman is sharing the space with me writing something incomprehensible in felt tip pen - its a bit more effective than cream. Mum and Dad are making food. Dad is reading the notes I have made based on Bill Hicks telling the world that we should love rather than fear each other.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I have the main part in a play where a father abandons his young son. The scene takes place by the sea and depicts him hurling his son's boots away.
Backstage in an empty dark red room, unseen but overheard by the audience, I pick up the boots and pause, holding them in the air, imagining the arc of the boots' trajectory before dropping them with a crash at the opposite end of the room. I begin to cry convincingly as the lost boy. Another pause, then I head out of the room and announce, "End of Act 1". I realise that good art must leave gaps for the imagination.
Then of course I start to worry about my lines for Act 2...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
A punk in the 70's is set upon by two brutal skinheads. The punk writes about the experience. He is forced to leave home and move to the Scottish Highlands to get away from the thugs who continue to pursue him. He lives there for 20 years, a bit of a hermit, writing constantly. One of the skinheads is no more and the other comes searching for the punk. This skinhead needs him badly. When he finds him he picks a fight which becomes sexual. Perhaps in some strange way they both need each other.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I am in some kind of jail. Two female prison officers approach me - I have been warned about this. They pin me to the wall using an old fashioned strap for knife sharpening . I have to endure a series of painful punishments - if I cry out the sequence will recommence. I hold my breath ; I am determined not to make a sound although I know the punishment grows in severity.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I am in a basement with a group of women, some of them my close female friends - a few appear in more than one place at a time. There is a convivial, chaotic atmosphere, in the middle of which a stark film is being shot. The sound will be added later so the noise of everyone chatting and bustling about will be edited out. The camera focuses on one woman sitting alone and still against a stone wall.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I see a sign in a window- WANTED ONE DOG - TO LIVE WITH ALICE AND CAOIMHE. I am aware of a very friendly curly haired dog (an Airedale I realise when I check on waking) who is following me everywhere.
I told this dream to Alice who showed me her old photograph album - her favourite dog as a child was an Airedale. I have no recollection of knowing this before she told me, but guess that the information got in subliminally somehow or other. Weird.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
In my waking life I have been dissatisfied with the quality of the ink drawings in the collected dreams series, also been panicking a bit because I had so much to do in such a short time.
John McGahern advises me not to rush things, but to draw in pencil with feeling.
On waking I heed the advice.
Friday, August 17, 2007
An image as if from an old black and white film of a young blonde woman dressed 1930's style - white blouse , straight skirt. She is looking for doorways, walking tentatively through a labyrinth of underground passages lit by oil lamps.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The man responsible for the damage wrought on Cootehall is addressed in Shakespearean rhyme. He is told that there are people in three coffee houses waiting to give him each one lash of the whip. The play ends in the way that Shakespeare's scenes do end with a double rhyming couplet - something "da- dee- da -dee- da - dee -POUND, And so justice will be FOUND."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
We start in an English gentlemen's outfitters where all the upper crust men are wearing 1920's suits, climb up to the top floor, stumbling over an antique obstacle course to more modern exclusive menswear. From there through back streets of Talinn and Dubrovnik, on to a vast crater. There I nervously lie on my front and gaze over the edge at two boys somersaulting down at an alarming rate. The crater shrinks until it is just 10 metres across and tourists are invited to roll their own pasta croissants down its floury slopes.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I am working with a group of artists - not sure what my role is. The director and I are listening through speakers to 3 men rehearsing in another room. The sound is muffled. After a while the group go off in a car - they wave at me to join them but I prefer to walk - it's only round the corner. I return to Aunty Kath's house, number 77, and wait for them there. They don't come.
Monday, August 13, 2007
We know this woman is destined to die by the end of the dream. Everything seems loaded with significance: the two strange men following her ; the unsettling mirror in the motel ; the strawberry crumble placed on her back as a poultice. All innocuous - we are reading signs when nothing is there. A young baker says he will make her another cake if she is worried - "It should be sweeter," he says , adding a Mars bar and loads of sugar.
We don't see her dying - just a chart showing she was diabetic.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
My website is being constructed by a gang of people. One woman takes me to one side and asks me about the main image - an accomplished painting of a cold winter scene. How do I decide what to paint? I explain that I just look for somewhere comfortable to sit. I'm glad someone is getting on with the site although I don't like the royal blue font.
Friday, August 10, 2007
For a birthday gift for a friend I was asked to gather together all the people in the college whose name begins with M. All the M's know him well. They stand in the staff room and I try to organise a photograph. As the sunlight hits the group I see they all resemble him in some way. They are each a different aspect of this one person - old, young, male, female, able bodied, disabled.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
"I just need a man around to do the odd job," she says. "Like there's this wire hanging loose for instance." I see it needs a little brass bolt - its pretty simple. "I'll look through your boxes of nuts and bolts," I say and some friendly workmen come and give me a hand. But we can't find the right one and the builders have to have their tea break now and of course they have to be paid. I start to calculate how many man-hours this bolt has already cost. I mention it to one of the good natured architects who agreed it is unfair. Before long the whole office is searching for this bolt and their rates are astronomical. This bolt is costing 1000's.
"It's no good ," they say, "we can't find one." All that money and the job's not even done.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
I watch to see how quickly a box of matches will burn. I think of the arsonist who recently set the terrible fires ablaze in the Canary Islands. I picture him - a combination of Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel- weeping, "Oh why did I do this? I've caused so much desperate trouble."
I want to hear his story in a ghoulish way but when I do the truth is too tragic.
Monday, August 06, 2007
In real life this 33 year old man has a vocabulary of about thirty words.
In this dream I am astounded by a clear figurative painting he has made during the drawing workshop. He begins to speak in sentences to me. My eyes well up I am so moved. "How did this happen?" I ask. "You must tell your mum and dad now."
"Do you think so? It will kill them."
"You must. You tell them the drawing unlocked your voice . You can't live like a baby any more." As I speak he uses a computer screen with inbuilt camera to monitor my words.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
A learned friend is reading from a play by Andre Gide. It is an amusing text - just a little bit complicated. "So this is the DARK text according to Mr Whitmore. I have avoided reading this for seven years because you said it was too dark." He reads on , ridiculing me that I should call this light hearted text dark.
Did I really say that? Why did I? Was I just trying to be clever? I feel so humiliated I can hardly speak.
I do eventually get over myself .
Saturday, August 04, 2007
The interviewer is having second thoughts about employing me to run some kids' workshops. "Well the trouble is that you say in your brochure that you have had experience in this field. In fact that is a lie. And you make another claim but that wasn't you either was it? I am really having second thoughts here." My heart sinks. I know I can do the work but I have promoted myself in the wrong way and this woman has seen through it.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
A small group of us clerks are sitting in our council office. Someone is banging heavily on the door. We do not answer but keep a low profile - we do not want to be seen. Who is it knocking so desperately? Are they starving people begging to get into the workhouse? They need our help but we are not responding- they are not our responsibility.