Dreaming, Dreamers and Dream-Eaters

[3min read]

“Dreaming in two places – my mind and the world – both are an illusion of our own making”, so says Zhangzi. While Kunene (Poet Laurette-Mazisi Kunene) takes us on a journey of mystery when contemplating the mind and how the universe is formed, in his unpublished work, The Mystery of the Mind…he says, “She sits weaving all things that emerge into being “– this universal mind. He references the feminine nature in his treatise on power and matters of the mind; and the shaping and forming of the universe – our world from an African perspective. He refers to “a great ruler” as “she” who “sits on a stool” …a humble piece of furniture as furniture goes, but if you mostly sat on the floor, on the earth that connects you to the universe…the stool is just above it, just a slight 30cm average ruler-length higher, lifting you up and off the earth. It is not a throne though, not by any means. Yet is profound and imperious as it is humble. Just like wisdom, just like power, just like ‘true’ greatness. A feminine-styled greatness, which does not need horn blasts to announce its appearance, but emerges, silent and still like a Racer (A Galápagos racer is a colubrid snake) …quick and fast like an Iguana and as daring as one who sits on the only stool in the room.

While I contemplate how the universe was formed and how my universe forms around me, thoughts on power and all that, I am interrupted by a ‘roach’ reducing my great ponderance to one of messages of survival as it scurries over my keyboard in absolute defiance of my momentary wisdom. I don’t freak out though. It too has a right to exist! They say that cockroaches will out-live us all and I certainly believe that having encountered many since living in the heart of Durban City in summer (or winter for that matter). They are absolutely nonchalant about my attempts at fumigation or the strongest sprays that may kill me first before it affects any ‘roach’.

The ‘roach’ brings me back to earth, grounding me as I contemplate all of this while holding fervently onto dreaming as a possibility to lift me/us from our inertia into a space of ‘what if’…and an unconditioned mind. What if – is it even possible I wonder at the beginning of a 9-month daring dreamtime adventure? My eye roves casually to the Racers on my screen (#bbc #BBCPlanetEarthII #PlanetEarth) who line up in stealthy slithering silences for the newly hatched Iguana that is ignited by life and what I consider to be ‘the dream’- the beginnings of a life, a What if possibility”the will to live – to live at the fullest; the dream towards life and living.

In the Iguana’s mad dash through the Racer gauntlet, survival at the height of its daring and determination – a test run of extreme proportion, just short of death itself. This dash will ensure that the heart beats strong (like a smack on a new-born babes bottom) just seconds after emerging from the snug safety of its hidden egg in warm sands. Its life flashes before its eyes and it appears most alive at the edges of its death. So is life then. And so is the dream. An edgy precarious race through the Racer line up.

I ponder on the status (to the Iguana) of the Racers who also sometimes eat each other… Would they then be considered ‘dream-eaters’ or ‘dream-sharpeners’, I wonder? Is it not when death beckons that we confront our fallibility and our moments of perfect realisation? Are we not fully alive at the edges of losing it? (Notice how the thought of an invisible phantom-like-barely-discernible-microscopic-bit-of-nothingness-in-grand-scale-nightmarish-virus…could induce the long-lost genius in you to emerge). The ponderance on the inevitability of an end.

To enter once more into my world of dreaming, I confront those dream-eating demons called fear, conditioning and limitation. I am once again haunted in my waking dreams by this fear of ‘non-being’ and of the non-articulated SELF, hovering at the moment of ‘right’ moments, forever enslaved by notions of survival in a world that will not accept that you are not its slave.

While this contemplation rages, I spin plastic into sculptural forms that come alive and beckon to me to continue this dreamtime. I must find out what lies beyond this adventure into deconstruction; this discovery into reconstruction and this attempt at re-visioning. I emerge from the “snug sands” of my limitations of years of personal artistic silence, to challenge the swiftly slithering and silent dream-eaters in their imperceptible blindness. I stand still lest they hear and see me, barely daring to breathe for this breath could be my undoing. This lifegiving breath that also carries a silent killer…waiting for a laxed moment. I must give my dream its full attention. I am Iguana.

SELF as portrait [Fig2] dissolves and dissipates from its canvas in its attempts to deconstruct the SELF. Girl [Fig3] seems to call out to me as I leave her there the first night – so I return to take her home once more. And ManBoy [Fig4] attempts to dominate and bully me by his sheer size and weight. I know what he wants. And I know when I’m beaten. Self the Feminine [Fig5] sits stoically while the natural plant environment grows playfully over, through and into her folds.

Her eyes are dreamlike landscapes bereft of clear intention, except for the greens and blues reflecting idyllic spaces on its tiny surface. [Fig 5 & 6] The two elements of man (made) and natural weave between and through, acknowledging each other. Anthropogenic metaphors deny the reality of this suffocating material. There is no kindness there – just opportunity waiting to suffocate one or the other. Dream -eaters lurk in every crevice. Ntolo, the blue-headed lizard drops from above as I work, announcing his presence and reminding me that I am in ‘his territory’. *Charles walks in to kill off nurtured alien plants and *Peter stomps through to maintain ‘his’ ownership. Smells.

I continue to dream with artworks speaking back to me and taking me out of my reverie. Mating mambas ever threaten my peaceful but ‘in-tuned’ countenance in the space while I cut and shape butterflies on plastic walls in an attempt to escape the fundamental idea of a life conditioned. While Zui ponders on notions of consciousness and the mind – whether there is a witness to determine whether one is a butterfly or a man; I wonder how one would know this? How do you know? What if the witness was under the impression that you were a butterfly and told you that; and you believed (him) as you struggle out of the cocoon that kept you snug and safe; and because you believed it, you flew into the sky, freely until someone told you that you are a (man) and you fall, fall to the Earth with a bump, losing your wings?!

In ponderous thought, I return to the last butterfly, carefully sewing it in place. The Butterfly Wall as complete as it will be. {Fig 7] Forty-Seven (47) butterflies from one Pick and Pay packet. I listen to the wind while it whispers its promise to me. I breath in grateful to be alive. I close my toolbox and rummage for my mask. The silence is permeated with the ominous call of Hadedas shrieking their messages. It is done. For now. Iguana lives again.

Butterfly Wall from Room for AlterEgo

8 thoughts on “Dreaming, Dreamers and Dream-Eaters”

  1. Very fascinating subject my friend. I know you are on a journey of the women’s space in society you address this issue in your dream. Our connectedness with the world our role with all creatures even those we find to be a menace.
    I like your creative drawings which touch very deeply about who we are as women and you bring in the greats like Prof Mazisi Kunene who had a vision of the role women always played in society.
    You are on a journey of inquiry and indeed your answers and all of us answers lie in our dreams. So so proud of this work

    1. Yes Dolly
      I believe there is a connection between all living things including those we eventually consume – they become us. Perhaps if there was a greater consciousness of this connection we may be a little more respectful of how we treat each other, who we judge…based on what? Their gender, their sexuality? Their race, their culture?, tehri religion, where they live, what language/s they speak…their accents, their …list goes on. Its much the same for the earth which is feminine, receptive, aggressive at times, patient, willing to share, often exploited…Hopefully we get this right before we begin to think about occupying other spaces, other planets…Elon Musk…you listening??

      Thanks for visiting the site and your input.

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