Brain Kaputnik

I realise I am not posting that often lately. The new home seems to be taking up more of my time. I could post about that but I’m afraid it might be too boring. Instead, I’ll tell you about my dream…

I have on record said that I don’t remember my dreams much and it’s true, but I woke this morning in the middle of a dream. I say “middle” but it could’ve been the end; how would I know? An odd thing about this dream I remember is that what with the stress of moving ebbing away, I’m sleeping better and, therefore, I ought not to be aware of dreaming, which, as I say, is the normal way with me. But that’s irrelevant.

So, in this dream, I’m aware of walking amongst working men. Actually, I’m walking more against them in that they appear to be coming out of places, like factories or mines or something, and I’m pushing past to get inside whatever it is they’re coming out of.

It turns out to be some kind of washroom as I’m then inside looking in cubicles, and toilets and showers. I’m going around corner after corner until I enter a space which seems to be a refectory and I sense this is what I’m there for.

The refectory is laid out in a smorgasbord style with great dishes and plates holding all sorts of foods, nothing of which takes me fancy. I’m feeling disappointed when I spot a bowl of risotto. I’m not actually recognising it as risotto but it is clearly labelled as such; just “risotto” and no clue as to what ingredients have been cooked with the rice. I’m happy with the risotto as a man would be happy with an offer of an umbrella on a rainy day.

I pick up a clean plate for my meal and place it on the counter in front of the risotto container when a man walks to my left hand side and speaks to me. I don’t get what he’s saying, small talk possibly, but I notice out of the corner of my eye he’s sizing up my empty plate for his own food. I pick my still empty plate up; he carries on talking while I watch him, intently, spoon all kinds of food selections directly onto the clean, white table cloth where my plate once was. I feel like it’s one of those Laurel and Hardy moments, where I’m Laurel and he’s Hardy.

And at that point I woke up.

The main reason I’ve neglected blogging lately is a lot of my mind has been taken up with plans for our new home. The reason we moved was to get back into growing fruit and vegetables again. I’ve made a start at digging over the plot, about one of the three areas we’ll use in a rotational method. The fourth area will contain permanent planting.

There is nothing I enjoy more sometimes than a bit of mindless labour. Having been involved in employment where the brain is used disproportionately to the body, and mainly performed in a sedentary position, entirely indoors, I find wielding a spade in the fresh air very therapeutic. It’s probably healthy too. Certainly, there’s no discernible stress and providing I give it a break after three quarters of an hour, I don’t suffer any physical problems either. During the break, I drink a cup of tea and stand and look and dream.

If I were a businessman, I’d sell it on the internet. Mindless Therapy. It could be a perfect counter to all this Mindfulness Therapy I read about now.

Do you Think too much? Way too much Conscious Awareness in your life? Is this Stressing you out? Come over to my School of Mindless Therapy Garden, switch off and grab a fork and spade!

It might be a bit like Tom Sawyer and painting that fence…


Monochrome Dreams

Did you know we dream only in black and white?

No? Neither did I.

I’ve been reading Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, the one which begins with him taking mescalin, and in that book he claims this is the case. Apparently, dreaming is nearly always about symbolism and symbolic stories don’t need colour as it’s irrelevant.

I’m not so sure but being one who rarely remembers dreams upon waking, I have no personal evidence. The trouble with TDOP for me is as soon as Huxley thinks of something and writes it down, it becomes fact. He sees no need for explanation or evidence.

I wondered if this monochrome dreaming was influenced by black and white movies and telly. His mescalin experience took place in 1953. Most western people’s exposure to imagery would have been black and white ones and so, when dreaming then, it may have played out like a typical movie. This could mean that nowadays, it’s likely we dream in full colour. But I don’t know.

Smorgasbord Me

Blogger BeetleyPete is currently showcasing some of his favourite followed blogs. It’s interesting to see what ideas bloggers have and I am inspired to give this one a go as it could be fun. (As I think it may be to promote authors, and as I am not one, I will just keep it to this place.)

The request is to write 100+ word responses to five of the 52 prompts listed. For an extra challenge, I dialled the Random Number Generator 1-52 to select the five questions from the list.

12. What is the one ambition that you still have not achieved?

I know the permanent answer to this is a peaceful departure. The old joke which tickled me on hearing went,

“When I die, I want to go like Grandfather, dying quietly in his sleep – and not like his passengers, terrified and screaming behind him on the bus.”

I wonder how we would be if we all knew precisely how and when we would die, whether it would be worse or better, psychologically. Of course, we don’t until near the very end and so we convince ourselves it’s best not to know, and so there’s hope. It’s difficult to view it any other way.

45. What is your favourite vegetable and how do you like it prepared?

I love veggies, and don’t really go in for favourites, but I will say Asparagus. They have to be fresh, and they cannot possibly be too fresh, which means growing your own. Once they’re cut, the sugars begin to starch up and they lose that desired sweetness. The season is quite short in England though, about six weeks, and then the plants need to revive and replenish. Fortunately, we used to grow them and will try to do so again soon.

We’ve tried all kinds of ways to prepare asparagus, and all sorts of dressings, but we always liked simple steaming, and a dollop of yellow butter and freshly ground black pepper over to serve.

They make your pee smell funny, that’s about the only downside.

3. Tell us about your craziest experience.

Looking down the list of prompts, I see this could also be the answer to question 14 because my craziest experience has to be a recurring dream. We all dream but the idea is that we shouldn’t remember them upon waking; this, I’m told, is the healthy option. As a rule, I can’t recall my dreams but during two, separate periods of my life, I have experienced troubling recurring dreams. The latter one in adult life, I can probably explain was triggered by stress. It’s the earlier one that’s a puzzle.

I had it from before I can properly remember much else of my life and came often up until the age of about seven when it completely disappeared. It was a very intense and abstract dream, beginning with just a long sensation of passing blindly along a passage or tunnel. Then suddenly, I’m aware of being in a room full of regular geometric shapes: pyramids, cuboids, cones and cylinders. I am perfectly still in this space though not calm. Then the dream ends. That I can remember this vividly after so many years adds to the mystery. I wonder if it has anything to do with the naturally forgotten experience of being born.

42. What is your favourite music genre and why?

I’ve had so many, I might have had them all. My most recent habit is Jazz though it’s a big field and I can’t say I love all Jazz. The thing I like most about it isn’t so much the composition as the instrumentation. I got into Jazz as an antidote to electric guitar bands, in particular Indie rock/pop which was indistinguishable from any other rock/pop to me. The sound of Miles Davis exquisitely soloing a muted horn was instantly attractive, as was a Joe Morello drum solo, an Oscar Peterson-Count Basie piano duet, and a Dan Berglund augmented double bass intro.

I’ve always loved Jazz, to be fair. I was brought up in the period when Jazz was the go to sound for incidental music on movies and dramas. It was in the air, as much as pop music is now – but it had no longer been youth music and so I had to get youth out of the way first and become educated. Now I like to hear lots of different music but I’d probably put Jazz top of the list.

5. If you were to become invisible for a day what is the one thing you would do?

I have a mischievous character and a healthy amount of curiosity – and I also live in a town which boasts about the excellence of its cctv security below its welcome signs – so such a thing could be like all the Christmases and birthdays happening at once. My immediate thoughts, however, are overwhelmed as to what I could do.

As a foodie, I may find myself in some unaffordable restaurant – unaffordable to me but not them – sampling my way through the menu. Maybe get into a West End show gratis.

I feel a lot of obvious things might actually be disappointing. Peeping into any person’s private life, for instance. I’ll probably stick with a bit of free grub.

inspired by and borrowed from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine