Friday, July 20, 2012

surrender at a deadly moment

Good morning, everybody.

This post is related to this entry in my dream journal.

A lot of the images in all the dreams from last night come from my having watched the Wong Kar Wai film Fallen Angels last night.

The dream image I feel is most influenced by Fallen Angels is the image where the woman is laying on the bed and wants the man laying on the bed with her to rub her vagina. One of the two interweaving stories of Fallen Angels involves a young, attractive hit man who is given his orders by a young, attractive woman. The woman falls in love with the man. But the woman and the man never have any contact with each other, other than, I believe, through instructions given over the fax.

So the woman carries on a fantasy relationship with the man. She goes out to bars and imagines him with her. Then she comes home and masturbates while imagining being with the man. The film shows a few scenes of the woman masturbating. The scenes are extremely sexy. The woman is very attractive, and she really seems to be enjoying herself in her fantasy.

So obviously I'd have a dream related to that scene. I've watched Fallen Angels a few times over the past few years. And the masturbation scenes have always been among my favorite movie sex scenes ever. Obviously I'd want to recreate something like that in my own dreams. I'm not sure why the idea of abortion or miscarriage comes into play in my dream, though.

The idea of jumping into a river, then being sucked along by a huge ship, comes from my reading of Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age. The story takes place in a futuristic world where nanotechnology enables people basically to construct whatever they want. The basic plot is that a ludicrously wealth man, Equity Lord Finkle-McGraw, wants to give his granddaughter a present that will help break her out of the conventional mores that her father and mother are bringing her up with.

So Finkle-McGraw has a top-notch engineer named Hackworth create a high-tech book that employs living actors (communicating with the book remotely) and pseudo-intelligence. The book adapts itself to the reader's (always a little girl, according to the programming of the book) situation and teaches the girl how she can best prepare herself for real life. It's basically a primer for life.

But Hackworth decides to make an illegal copy for his daughter. He makes the copy, but he then gets mugged. One of the muggers takes the book and gives it to his little sister, Nell. Hackworth is punished for having betrayed Finkle-McGraw. He is sentenced to ten years' labor. His sentence gets him involved in some sex-ritual colony that liberates Hackworth's unconscious so that he can create these high-tech books on a much broader scale.

But before Hackworth goes off to serve his time, he makes another, different primer for his daughter. Now Finkle-McGraw's granddaugher, Hackworth's daughter, and Nell all have a primer. The three girls end up going to some special school together and becoming friends. The book kind of explores their lives as a result of their own personal circumstances and how they've learned from their primers.

When Hackworth gets out of prison, his daughter, Fiona, joins him on his search for a character who apparently wants to destroy the nanotechnology system that everybody lives on. His name is the Alchemist. One of the places Hackworth goes is a ship that also serves as a kind of virtual reality theatre. Just before the beginning of the show, somebody is thrown off the ship. Fiona jumps into the water and saves the man. Hackworth is stunned by his daughter's bravery.

Ugh... I guess that's kind of the longest-winded way ever of saying that my image of jumping into the water and then being dragged by the current of the ship comes from the image in The Diamond Age of Fiona jumping into the water and saving the man from drowning.

What interested me about the dream is that I was pretty certain that I was going to die. But what I ended up doing was kicking off of the ship. I didn't escape the drag of the ship. Instead I just kept myself from being sucked under the ship. I was in the ship's tow all the way until the boat stopped. Even when the ship stopped, I was afraid that I would be sucked under and chopped up in its propeller blades.

I would say that in general, from day to day, I wonder how the heck I'm going to get through life. I do feel like I'm getting sucked under the water. And I don't know how I'm going to make it. Financially and emotionally I feel this way.

I look back on at least the past year of my life and wonder how I could have been so feeble-minded as to have gotten myself into this position. And it really is all my fault, all my doing. I know I would have been fine if I would have just kept going along the same way with my life. So why didn't I keep going along that way? Why did I make the decision I made -- which was really tantamount to jumping out of a boat and throwing myself under a ship?

The dream seems to tell me that I'll survive, that even though I feel perilously close to being sucked under the ship and killed, that I'll actually find a way to kick off of the ship and "go with the flow" until the ride's over. But, in some ways, I feel like this is more wish fulfillment than anything else. Because nothing in my actual life seems to indicate that that's even remotely possible.

But everybody in the world feels this way nowadays. It's just the way things are. And I'd rather not dwell on it. The fact is that riding in the drag of the boat was a pretty cool experience! It was actually a lot of fun.

Another image from that dream that I think about is the image of walking out of the ride with the big crowd of people. In this case I'm walking with the crowd, not against it. There are a few people who walk against me. And there is one guy who isn't even walking in my direction until he figures he can trip me up by doing so. But in general I'm walking with the crowd.

This is an interesting compensation for my other dreams, where I'm either being paralyzed by a crowd or moving against a crowd. In yesterday's dream journal entry, for instance, one of my dreams involves needing to fly over a crowd so I can move quickly in the opposite direction; and another dream involves a group of kids needing to get on stage but being hindered by construction workers moving at right angles to the kids.

One thing I need to think about is this dynamic in my dreams. Not that it's the biggest deal in the world, but it's a little strange. Why do I, or the main characters of my dreams, often have their paths interrupted, not by people moving in the opposite direction, but by people coming from something like a perpendicular angle?

And why is there such an emphasis overall, with these "opposite direction" dreams, of huge crowds? The crowd in my "museum stalker" dream from yesterday really made me wonder this. Because the crowd was just so unbelievably large. A lot of people, obviously, come to a museum to see a really good exhibit. But this crowd of people was enormous! And everybody was here to listen to the tour guide. But so many of them were so far away from the tour guide. How could they even have heard him? It's just really weird.

But it's interesting that in the ship dream from last night, I went with the pull of the boat, first of all, and then I went with the crowd. What's also interesting about that is that the woman in the water with me tells me that if you go too deep into the water, you can't swim against the current. It's not until the woman tells me that that I  see the big ship and then get sucked up into the current of the big ship.

I'm not sure. I guess what's being said is that if you get involved with big things, you kind of have to go with the flow with those things. You can't swim against it all. So if you don't want to go with the flow, you better not get involved in the first place.

In the "biking in India" dream I had a few days ago, I made a choice to go my own way. When I did, I was no longer able to get back on the path -- a path I clearly saw -- with my friend. I had a choice of basically standing completely still, or else turning with the people in my path and taking part in the ritual of the river.

It's an interesting idea, I think. It does say basically the same thing as the ship dream. If I'm going to get myself involved in something else, then I have to just go with the flow of whatever's happening. I can't pull myself back to where I was. I just have to go with the flow of whatever new choice I've made.

This, I think, relates as well to my reading of Charles Dickens' novel Little Dorrit, which I finished up last week. One of the characters, named Pancks, is a kind of assistant for a wealthy man named Casby. But Pancks basically does everything for Casby. Dickens compares Pancks to a little tugboat towing a great ship through the Thames -- and then goes on, through the rest of the novel, to metaphorize Pancks into a tugboat. So the fact that the ship is towing me along so effectively is probably due to Dickens' metaphors on Pancks.

Again, the idea is that I've set myself up, with some choice, to be towed along, or at least required to go with the flow of this choice. Well, I know my choice pretty well. All I have to do now is determine what flow I'm in, so I can go with it, I guess. Right now I don't feel like I'm in a flow at all. I feel like I'm sinking in quicksand.