Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This page, from a ~ hm, what was it? - comic book I made when I was in my early teens, has lingered in my imagination. Maybe it's because capturing the look of a mad person sticks with you.

The book was called "Phage" ~ I'd just added the word to my vocabulary and I was fascinated by the sound and meaning of it. Before this booklet - an early convergence of poem and images - I kept a Dream Journal, two illustrated notebooks that I loaned, unfortunately, to a friend in high school. His parents, who fancied themselves psychologists, (his father turned out to be a chiropractor, if that tells you anything...) told him he'd better terminate his association with me because I was a schizophrenic.
(He! I was thrilled at the potential glamor of exploiting that rumor, and didn't like him that much anyway... besides, he never gave my journals back. I'd rather be schizo than a thief.)

The lark of it was that by that time I was studying, as it was called in those days, "the art of the mentally ill" - looking for clues as to how the imagination works in the examples of pathological deviance. I could have corrected his parent's diagnosis. I wasn't losing contact with my environment, or losing my identity, I was taking a hand in enhancing both.

The Dream Journals were working towards a practice of lucid dreaming, and that, I think, IS dangerous territory ~ but then, what isn't? The lucid dreaming wouldn't begin in earnest until my late teens. I promised an update on that to Mary Beth, and it's on the way, just as soon as I figure out how to digest it.


Mary Beth said...

Ah Dan, feeding me on promises eh?

That must have been some dream.

Most of my lucid dreams are in the “Discussions with Elders” ilk. Usually they come at times of great distress or danger and are more of a “we get to talk and you’d better dang well listen” sort of thing.

The most memorable of these occurred while I was still in college. It began of a walk through a most verdant, county graveyard as I held hands a tall, portly, white haired gentleman in a plaid flannel shirt and overalls. I took him to be my great grandfather but I never really got a good look at his face. Leading me to a sunken grave with a circle of round white quartz pebbles nearly arranged just below the head stones, his only words were, “I’ll show you how to keep a witch in her grave.”

Handy advice.

No, I haven’t had the occasion to try it out….. yet.

Dan Dutton said...

Wooeee! Keep that one in the ole memory bank - & be on the watchout!

If everything wasn't at sixes and elevens here, I'd have written that dream already.