Thursday, April 19, 2012

Red domains

I DO NOT remember the dream itself, I only remember the INSIGHT with which I awoke from it: that there is an important analogy between the planet Mars and the Swedish province Dalarna (or Dalecarlia). It was based both on their place in their respective system and on the fact that both are RED and both are home to an endemic breed of vampires.

(The redness of Mars is famous and comes from iron oxide (rust), but Dalarna is red mainly due to a local variety of porphyry rock – but not only, there are also red sedimentary rocks in the vast meteor crater around lake Siljan as well as famous mines where the iron oxide (rust) was harvested that was turned into the local red paint that coloured traditional cottages red in large parts of Sweden. Porphyry of course relates to porphyria, but that condition is traditionally connected with lycanthropism and not vampirism... )


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mitt Sandarne

En sammankomst av något slag; nu ska vi förflytta oss. Jag kan inte vägen, vet inte ens riktigt var vi befinner oss mer än att det är någonstans längs Sveriges ostkust. Men den som kör mig, en av lokalbefolkningen, medelålders, talför, tar oss utan tvekan över ån längs en raksträcka som efter en rondell med gräll kommunal blomsterplantering försvinner in bland lövträd. Så, en gravgård.

Ordningsföljden är otydlig, är det efter, eller parallellt med, ankomsten till gravgården som jag får se en karta. Jag kan inte lista ut var vi är. Det får mig tydligen att framstå som korkad, någon pekar på en enhetlig yta strax till höger om där jag tittat: ser jag inte att det är gravgården? Jovisst, nu ser jag. De stora grå ytorna, kolonnraden längs med det långa låga gråmålade kapellet som reser sig ur kartytan så jag kan se fasad och björkar i sen juniskrud.
Kartvyn zoomar ut och jag får en vidare geografisk överblick. Jamen, vi är ju alldeles i närheten av Sandarne. Och Sandarne som är mig så kärt. Jag är milt förvånad över att jag lyckats undgå att det är i dessa trakter vi befinner oss – trodde faktiskt att vi var betydligt längre söderut –, nästan som förväntade jag mig att mitt inre borde sjunga svagt av blotta närheten till Sandarne.

Milt förvånad över denna innerlighet specifikt gentemot Sandarne, som visserligen ligger i det landskap som för mig har den starkaste romantiska vidhäftning, men just Sandarne minns jag inte som exceptionellt betydelsefullt?
Följer jag för övrigt här Niklas i färden över en å i liten tätort? Och hittar en benträdgård. I den månad som jag ombetts konkludera. I konklusionen spelas fiol. I detta landskap spelades Hårgalåten.
/ IÖ

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Try the dawn moths

I'm trying to find the Estonian word for 'you' (in plural, the object form). I'm using google to find out, but the search hit paragraphs soon turn into the streets and houses at the edge of an Estonian town. I walk up and down the streets reading the doorplates to find out.
And I do find it: kõidas. Possibly at the house where a fit, middle-aged man with cropped hair, an expensive car and a dog, gets very irritated and tells me off. The dog stands barking a few steps behind. The man thinks I'm spying on him. I do a silly dance on the garden path just to annoy him even more.

'Kõidas' turns out not to exist, but similar words include kõi (moth), kõit (dawn) , kõita (try). According to google translate, at any rate.
/ IÖ

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rediscovering Stockholm

I am temporarily staying in Stockholm, in some cheap hotel, mostly walking the streets.

I am standing at Slussen, looking out over the Saltsjön. There are all kinds of objects or vehicles in the sky, but it's difficult to interpret the perspective and understand if they are close or huge. In fact, there is a bombplane which is both. It is shaped like a small shark or perhaps a cigar cylinder, its wings are remarkably small and the cylindrical body very very long. It swoops down slowly while spinning, actually dipping parts in the water, it is as big as the open water here, and its course is set for the big oil cisterns at Stora Höggarn (the ones in Nacka would be closer, but this east-by-northeast course actually points towards Höggarn and the aircraft is so huge that the distance isn't long).

I am mostly walking the streets of Södermalm. As usual I am walking on S:t Paulsgatan, and I appear to have previously proclaimed this the "surrealist street" because walking there is the best way to avoid all people and superficial coincidences that abound on the street next to it (apparently Hornsgatan). I'm having second thoughts about this, maybe it's not such a good idea to avoid people. Especially when I'm only visiting anyway. This street has a notch in the middle, and continues westwards after a slight north-south deviation (apparently the second part is then Krukmakargatan). However this notch reminds me of a small square in the suburb where I grew up, and there was a dive of a cheap bar there (I remember a particular childhood anecdote about this place), now transposed into Blå Dörren at Slussen.

It is a rainy early afternoon and I'm having a coffee at this bar together with some of the surrealists. /.../


three aspects of identity

Three dreams (from two nights) in the genre of subverting the self as a fixed reference point for orientation in dreams:

memory continuity identity

A noisy mediterranean canteen/bar, which I claim is one of my favourite places, because they have a big photographic print on the wall of the memorable evening when I was the bass player at a reunion show of the 90s punk-ska band "Monster" (I was fat and barebreasted and happy). But at the bus stop outside, where I'm seeing my friend off, some evil truthsayers calmly inform me: that Monster show has never occurred, it was just a dream. First I completely deny it, it just has to be true, it is one of the few really bright moments in my life the past few years. Then I slowly start accepting the possibility, which is even worse. Since I remember it so vividly, and have been so sure it has happened, well if it is a dream, how can I be certain about any part of the entirety of my life experience? I wake up in panic. Even awake, for five minutes I don't know if I've played a gig with Monster or not. I fall asleep again and only after next awakening I have no problems accepting it's been a dream and I've had no close connection with this band.

gender identity

A boring suburban square north of Stockholm, probably Täby, all my friends or fellow students are pushing themselves into a premise looking like an old tobacconist's, but is a very small education facility, it's going to be cramped, we're going to have to listen to a talk about incomprehensible computer/statistics stuff, there is going to be obligatory physical exercise, and I'm panicking about it. I just can't endure it, I have to leave that godawful place, I can't wait until my classmates are ready, because then it will be late afternoon and dark, and people will ask me why I've skipping school, and we will have to wait for so long in the dark for the crowded bus and not know which is the right one and it will probably take us not into the city but to some other far-off bus terminal where we must change again, etc etc, it is unbearable and I have to get away immediately. My best friend (female, though I don't remember whom) comes along with me, and we catch a bus which is probably the right one. But we don't get the seats next to each other; in front of me there is a teenager in heavy make-up and next to her my friend. My friend starts slowly singing "I'll be your mirror", to soothe me and cure the neurotic teenager at the same time, she sings with a clear and steady soprano; I join in with a deeply resounding humming bass, and the fact that I have a male voice is such a surprise, it seems my womanhood has been magically removed as a punishment for ditching school.

life identity

I am struggling to somehow reserve a place for myself in a summerhouse where several people live but all equally vaguely as me, under all kinds of conflicts. One old wino is coming in regularly, whom it seems I was the one to first invite and voucher for him, one of those guys who walks around swearing and ranting but is basically harmless. But this time he has a big black blotch over half his face, and it seems to be an indication that he is going to die very soon.

The rest of us go bathing. With a couple that is just almost part of our company; someone's careerist brother who spends most time abroad and his american girlfriend. And the killer whale (big, beautiful and rather scary) that turns up is most eager to play with them. It swims around them, barely touching them with its back and its fluke. I am sitting on a small raft with some girl, and I am saying "just wait till it gets the idea of playing around with this raft", and of course soon it does. Mostly it just places its chin on one end of the raft, making it stand up vertically out of the water, my companion and I are struggling to remain at the top end. The killer whale likes this trick and repeats it several times. It also realises it can swim around with us in that position, and eventually it swims forth to present us to a giant emperor penguin, who embraces the raft with us in its small flippers. "Ok, I think now is the time to take a very deep breath" I say.

Next thing were all sitting in our collective house again, my companion from the raft is sitting next to me, she is one of these thin intellectual redheads, she is saying she likes a cartoon of mine (supposedly a political cartoon, an allegory about the nobility), I get horribly flattered and almost embarassingly so and I realise I am probably in love with her. But then I also start mixing things up and just because she mentions a cartoon about the nobility I suspect she is of a noble family. Yet I am primarily worried about the gap in continuity, and I ask "but what happened after we dived down with the penguin? Do you have a memory of ever resurfacing? Or are we perhaps dead?"


Under the bridge

An excursion to a big shooting range again, a nature reserve, a big ruderal area, Hampstead Heath, yet in Sweden (I've dreamt about this place before). It is adventurous to leave the road and enter the forbidden zone. The footpath windles between sandhills. We are brought under a railroad bridge. Someone gives a talk or reads fairytales. But we must all think fast and duck every now and then, because the railroad bridge is rather a cableway, and occasionally huge iron girders come swirling, which would decapitate us if we ducked poorly.

(I had this dream in a hotel room in Philadelphia but remembered it only a couple of days later when standing under a railroad bridge at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia (though on the Maryland side of the river) and the train came.)



While waking up I am looking for a really tiny insect specimen which is difficult to find in the ethanol vial. The hypnagogic solution to the hypnagogic problem is simple and elegant: just put the vial in the holographic viewer, and the entire contents of the vial will be projected in the free air of the room; the room will be transformed into an aquarium of the vial's content. Just go around the room and look for the specimen. It has the intimacy of the typical aquarium-reflected light, softly but idly bouncing-dancing-settling, but rather more marine blue than aquarium green. Especially if the vial is given a good shake before put in the visualiser, the contents will be slowly raining down like the snow of these commercial snowy landscape globes, and everything will be easy to find; it can be viewed from all angles freely in the open space of the room.


A Foreign Land

The night before a journey, with uneasy sleep and the mind already on the way, projecting a generic foreign country:

* I am the only one who walks along the beach in a foreign coastal city; many walk along the road a bit up. I don't mind appearing as the pedagogic madman, so I holler at the children and ask them to notice the strange big pufferfish/crabs/horseshoe crabs living in the very surf zone, and may be mistaken for old plastic bags if one doesn't look carefully, or rather old canvas mail sacks, or fragments of seal mummies.

* At some camp in a foreign country, I am sitting in a cafeteria in a big cottage in an opening in the forest, waiting for all the others to wake up and have breakfast so we can commence today's activities. An asian cook is working in the next room. One by one people drop in, and eventually I wonder if I remembered to eat anything myself; obviously we get freshly made thai food for breakfast here.

* My colleague wakes me up in a hotel room in a foreign country, rather tenderly but not suggesting we would have an affair or so. But she is obsessed with something, jolts around looking for something, half-dressed; her presence is so vivid, rather uncomfortable, somewhat obscene and magnetic, intimate and rather incommunicable; the different smells of her are sharp and unresting.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Word monsters

As I´m currently writing an essay on the occurences of puns and word-playing in dreams, I´ve illustrated two examples from my own dream experiences. Both examples, that were seen as well as heard, were dreamed as pictures that I feel were derived from verbal puns or word-play.


This image and its title came to me in a dream after having read a good book titled The Methodology. Around the "Frankensteinway" at the bottom at left I have also drawn the components of this invention, which read as a chain of associations around replicating processes: a Steinway piano, Frankenstein´s monster, a Komodo dragon (recently known for being able to reproduce parthenogenetically) and the greek Parthenon temple.

The word Frankensteinway is an example of what Max Ernst called a "phallustrade", which, according to the surrealist dictionary is defined as "an alchemical product, composed of the following elements: autostrade, balustrade and a certain quantity of phallus. A phallustrade is a verbal collage."


This image and its title is a pun trying to invert "nuclear family" by opposition; the earth or mud that stains the laundry seem to allude both to a geological crust and to the gritty crust-punk lifestyle (crust is perhaps an onomatopoetical name for how this style of punk music sounds, but the name could in turn also have been chosen as a pun by opposition on the hardcore influence upon the genre.)

The commentary section below is the right place to gather more examples of word-playing and verbal or visual puns in dreams.

/ NN

Friday, July 1, 2011

Heating and defense of dream city

"The big house" is in a rundown industrial area near the water, Norrköping or London. Above all, it has a magnificent ceiling height. The building didn't cost much, but heating costs are tremendous.

Olof's sister is a beautiful and wise Iranian of zoroastric heritage. She knows that one's DNA can be stored in a bucket of raspberry juice. When the day finally comes, there will emerge a homunculus. He will take care of our interests.

It will all work fine even when we are under attack, because the gutter system of the city is fully functional. If the sewerage is inverted it could be lead out through the gutters, creating an effective barrier of dirt, a moat.

And even though the social habits in "the big house" is a bit stiff at the moment, people are rather overdressed, and it all feels like an official birthday reception a summer afternoon in a rented mansion, or like a visit to the Thiel gallery, still there will take shape something meaningful from here.


(When I told Christofer D about "the big house", he immediately recognised it as "Värmekyrkan" - a huge old heating boiler station in the industrial area in Norrköping which has served as a venue for cultural events. I have never been there awake and can't remember having heard of it before.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

New York er eyja í Atlantshafi

The plot is set. Years after my father’s death his top secret research project coincidentally is being revealed; and the intrigue evolves in a familiar thriller fashion:

In our family’s summer house a hidden door has been found. After making the decision that it should be opened, it leads us down to an unknown basement where we make the discovery of a clandestine archive, full of dust and documents. The research material maps out the mysterious circumstances of the disappearance of a number of important persons. Now, unexpected facts come to our knowledge and formerly unknown connections of historical events emerge. As we study the material, including some shimmery, blurry images of old video tape recordings from the seventies, on which different, obviously nervous (and perhaps frightened) people appear, talking about strange matters, we slowly become aware of the proportions and the magnitude of our discovery, which leads us to the conclusion that—yet to hesitate—we must travel to New York.

Stanislaw Lem's Futurologial congress as percieved while being riddled by a nightmare

New York. A gigantic cosmopolis, even bigger than what the latest records show (apparently not quite up to date); it has failed to seize growing throughout the years, indomitable and heedless, in spite of governmental restriction programs, continuously striving upwards in celestial vain. Within this urban dream shape we experience an overlapping city landscape with ground floors reaching higher grounds and street levels interconnecting through exquisitely engineered pipe-tunnel roads enclosed with chrome and glass, spiraling their way through the sky. We stay in a luxurious hotel, thousand stories high, surrounded by equally high buildings. Our hotel room, at first glance, has a modest design—less furniture than space, more room, less gloom—yet exclusively ultra modern futuristic; the room shifts in colour, blending perfectly: from white to beige to grey, with a slight resemblance of mosstone. The shape of the room, not easily to define, could be described as a trapezoid semi-superellips and has an entire wall section consisting of a large window glass, and thin white draperies. The room goes with an Italian balcony; un letto matrimoniale, a royal wedding bed; and an original Steinway, white and shiny. Built into the walls is an intricate system of small rippling rills of water flowing through lightly lit panels of frosty glass. A surround speaker system is part of the interior architecture as well: down from the beautiful cupola roof different sound environments and atmospherics are spreading out and filling up the entire room, mood by listener’s choice: Scottish highland, German forest, African savanna, Mediterranean coast, Catalan monastery, Swedish midsummer, misty moor with dancing fairies, deep ocean life on Mars … We fill our glasses with champagne and drink a toast to the bride and groom. The wedding cake is made of love, hope, cream and strawberries.

Out in to the Jungle. Since we are newly married and hypersensitive, we are overwhelmed with the enormous traffic intensity; but what strikes us even more is the fact that the air is clean and that we can joyfully breathe. We fill our lungs and blank our minds—from that moment on our mission is forgotten. At first relieved, but then suddenly troubled again, it seems that what now is at stake is our marriage. However, that is a worry we chose to ignore. Futuristic figures of all sorts pass by, among ordinary 21th century people, as we stand there on the sidewalk, in sunshine and gazing amazement. The street, so it appears, is a reconstruction of S:t Eriksgatan in Stockholm. Not knowing what the next step should be, we decide not to make up any plans but to submit to the spur of the moment, and so it happens: we found ourselves involved in the rather dodgy act of following a queer-looking gentleman wearing white clown makeup, a red and yellow-striped sweater and purple trousers with blue suspenders, who is riding a 16 feet high unicycle northwards … in the direction of Brooklyn! Soon we are confused; the lack of bridges and water is what puzzles us, while the biking clown disappears around the corner of a fashionable and impressive brick stone building. As we compare reality with our own map, we come to the conclusion that we are no longer on an island in the Hudson river, called Manhattan as we presumed, but that this future version of New York city actually consists of a conglomerate of islands, a pseudo-continent, like a reversed minor Pangea. As a matter of fact, large parts of the North American east coast has been torn off from the mainland, melting together with other parts and nearby islands and then been drifting away, out to the sea. All of a sudden I remember the first line that I learned in Icelandic: “Ísland er eyja í Atlantshafi”—“Iceland is an island in the Atlantic”.

At this point there is a shift of perspective: high from above, while the sun is setting, we look down on our dream named New York, where it lies like a tiny dark spot in the grand shiny ocean. One long, single railway bridge leads out over the water, away from the black island/continent.


Paul in Paris (syrup and carbuncles), 1978

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Wandering Jewess

There is a red double-decker London night-bus called the Wandering Jewess. Tickets are free but you're only allowed on board if you have Jewish ancestry. I get on. It goes out into the countryside, among big arable fields. It makes brief regular stops, but no one gets on or off. At one stop my travelling companion and I get off to inspect the wildflowers by the side of the road, along the edge of a huge flat field. The bus starts to move off and we have to jump back on quickly before it pulls away.