Rendered Fat Content


Francisco de Goya: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters,
No. 43 from Los Caprichos [The Caprices] (1796-17980)

"Authors of their own meanings …"

My friend Lynn Kincanon writes at least a poem every day. She writes good ones, too, ones not too full of flowery allusion and not so superficial that they don't inspire. I think of her as an every day poet, profound and subtle, accessible and good, often great. She was one year named the poet laureate of Loveland, Colorado, and enjoys a decent Facebook following. Go friend her there. You'll never regret that you did. I introduce you to each other—Lynn, PureSchmaltz member, PureSchmaltz member, Lynn—because today's Authoring story was inspired by something Lynn wrote in the last week or so. She spoke of StalkingDreams, of dreams that seem to come to her on the installment plan, visiting in odd succession, refusing to resolve. They might become close friends, familiar as family, however otherwise unsettling they might remain. It's as if these dreams were movies from an only almost parallel universe, just a touch orthogonal but almost plumb. They're damned persistent, consistently presenting key metaphors and allegories as if insisting that we come to understand their deepest meaning, as if their story really mattered.

I've hosted just such a dream for innumerable sessions over recent seasons, not just a few nights running, but months and quarters.
In there, I'm trying to figure out how to fit an extension ladder onto a truck, but try as I might, I cannot find the proper balance. The truck's too small or the ladder's too tall or there's a trick to something but I cannot quite seem to grok the hang of it. I wake frustrated and also confused. I just cannot seem to get the meaning of it and worse, being an Author, I've always felt as if I held a special relationship with my unconscious, as if the two of us were on special terms, like maybe my dreams live a little closer to the surface or perhaps I live partially submerged into their depths. To wake mystified so many damned mornings suggests that my dream world and I might have never actually been that close and I experienced this as a betrayal of sorts.

This morning, though, I fell into a second sleep easily and as often occurs when I re-enter that shadowy world, the next installment, the continuation of the dream I'd seen during my first sleep, picked right up where the last had left off. I'd stumbled into a double feature! This time, it was as if I'd brought a click more awareness into the dream world with me. I felt almost as if I was cheating, for the same familiar metaphors and allegories seemed to start making more sense this time. Do not expect me to recount the details, for translating stories from the dream world into this one should not be anyone's charter. Dreams serve as inspiration, not etherial dictation. One cannot rely upon any transcription for the basis of their communication, as I said above, ain't quite plumb. The literal translation loses meaning. Even the looser ones tend to ricochet and wander. One might garner a decent gist or two before the experience erases itself, as all dreams must, but they are not ever in and of themselves literal stories. At least mine sure ain't.

I woke having solved the puzzle. There sat the truck with the extension ladder securely and neatly loaded on the back, just as if the truck and the ladder had originally been designed to display extreme congruence. I felt lighter by a ton or two, though I had not before felt particularly overburdened. I had, though, earlier that morning felt rather sick to my stomach, which had chased me back to my bed and my second sleep and that reassuring resolution experience. The ladder's stowed! All's right with the world!

I do not recall the trick that allowed me to successfully stow the ladder. It had eluded my discovery then seemingly erased itself lest I feel encouraged to make too much of it. It was a gift of incalculable value. It brought a warming sense of reassurance. It was, rather like one of Lynn's poems, not about to even try to make too awfully much about itself, satisfied to simply stand there naked and reassuring, as if it and its reader both actually belonged here or something, Authors of their own meanings and experience.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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