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Dreaming After Reading

April 12, 2010

Last night I fell asleep filled with ideas of shamanism and entering the spiritual realm. This morning I began reading Joseph Conrad’s Almayer’s Folly and fell asleep sitting up against the bed frame. Together, Conrad’s first novel and the snippets of information I’d read online about shamanic cultures melded into a short, but powerful dream where I composed a song on piano that seemed well beyond my capabilities.

As the boat rocked back and forth Lingard asked Kaspar to marry his adopted daughter. I was leaning against a barrel minding my own business, trying to achieve a trancelike state. When I succeeded I felt my physical body just inches behind me while my dream body sat at a grand piano. I began to play the song, willing my hands to move to the appropriate tempo. Under this state I could still hear Kaspar, who snickered beside me. I played until he decided to slap my shoulder causing me to awaken. I couldn’t open my eyes right away, my mouth was dry and I felt dizzy. They began to laugh.

“Do you realize what you’re doing,” asked Lingard, amused.

“I was in a shamanic trance composing and playing the most graceful song,” I said.

Still light-headed I left the room and locked myself into a small compartment. The walls were white and uneven. I sat down and placed my fingers over a counter. It was wet. I searched my mind for the song and resumed playing it, allowing the tempo to increase then falter. When I finished the song I wondered how I would remember it all. It was just too complicated for someone who is still learning how to write music. Is the song gone for good?

Perhaps it is like all memories. Once made it is stored in the mind and it requires some experimentation and time to access it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 2:07 am

    Beautiful writing. You capture the dreams so well. I, too, have made magical music in dreams. I recall a lyric or melody from time to time but mostly forget.

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