Transcript from Voice: I walked across a short distance to a café booth…looking at…I found what I wanted, looking at… though someone said “how can you know anything if you don’t know this.” I’m looking at a list of all the latest bands (on a café menu) and then art, a great painting, talked to a man who was interested in me. He finally got my interest in the painting, long time (studying it), the colors, people moving (across the pages), the brushstrokes. (Blood red with gold embellishment)…the panels of many pages in the book…sales, the sales like a garage sale, going up the stairs, stairs, talking, thinking about all the things people give, how could all the clothes be given to the people who really needed them. I need to meet my friend…my sister comes to the house, no, some friends, my son’s friend or could-be friends. I have to go. I can’t stay with my sister. I have to go pick up my friend. I’m supposed to meet her in Tulsa. She’s coming from Colorado. She’s already in Attica, KS or…she’s been texting me…Alvind, KS….she’s been texting me on an iphone from one of the cities. I don’t know where it’s at. I don’t know if she’s gotten to Tulsa already and I missed her…I voice-google, use my phone to voice the name of the city. A video comes up. They’re having a parade with giant frogs (hopping)…I try to take a still of the video, try to show my sister this funny video of Alvind, KS. I’m trying to walk down the street. I’ve got all these…snap (flip) phone and an iphone and (horseshoe) magnets, and I am worried about all my magnets being close to my phones, and I try to juggle all these things in my hand, put them in different pockets so they are not all in the same bag together, at the sidewalk, at the intersection, waiting for the light with a whole bunch of other people… .
The Dream: (I describe the beginning of this dream in greater detail in the notes below, so I’ll skip to the café booth.) I see other people, and I notice objects like a stainless steel coffee pot, which indicate café to me. There is also a laminated menu in my hands that opens like a book. Names of contemporary bands, separated by commas, are in black print on a white page. (I can see it so clearly still.) They are in the lower, right hand portion of the inner surfaces. I don’t remember searching, but in the café, I have a feeling of finding. This feeling is interrupted by being told that I can’t know anything if I don’t know this, which refers to the band names in the menu. I start to feel the interest of the man in the café. He wants to talk with me, get closer to me, but I’m not particularly interested in him. It’s only after he opens the hardbound art book that I begin to take an interest, not really in him, but definitely in the artwork. The painting is too large to fit on one page. It’s been formatted on several pages which fold out. Some of the pages are only the blood red portions of the painting embellished with gold, scrolling, non-figurative patterns. The impasto paint work is thick enough to be distinct even in this reproduction. The man and I discuss the brush techniques. I am fascinated. Another panel of the painting is filled with people in cheerful, colorful clothing. They are in motion on the page. This book goes up for sale at the garage sale that materializes. This is outdoors. Someone donates a doll, but it’s waterlogged and unsuitable for sale. Leaving the outdoor tables, I go up a stair strewn with donated clothing. It’s a mess and I wonder how all this extra clothing, this over-abundance could be distributed to the people who need it. (When I woke, I thought about the same problem with food. There is no problem producing enough food, but all the problem in the world getting it to people who are hungry.)
The stair images are connected to a house with a large window facing the front. I and my son look outside through the window, clearly waiting for someone to arrive. (As the transcript reveals, I was never sure who we expect.) As I leave the house to begin walking outdoors on a sidewalk, the idea forms that I have to meet someone in Tulsa. My sister is walking alongside me, but I’m going, leaving to meet this friend, who I imagine is female, although I have no image of her at all. I know she comes from Colorado simply because I do. (My sister lives there in waking life, which suggests the dream conflation of my friend and my sister.) As I walk, I’m trying to keep up with the information coming from my phone. I’m getting progress texts from my friend as she passes through various towns in KS on her way to Tulsa. I’m trying to reconcile my travel schedule in order to meet her on time. I don’t want to leave her waiting, wondering. First, she’s in Attica, KS, then she shows up in Alvind (or Aylvind), KS. I feel like I’ve heard of Attica, but not Alvind. I try to locate Alvind by asking my phone for a map. Instead of a map, a video of a parade begins playing. There are giant (40 lbs or so) frogs hopping in the parade along with the people walking down the sidewalks of the town. I try to take a still photo from the video by pushing the “photo” button, but I can’t find the button on the screen. I really want my sister to see this ridiculous parade. At this point, I begin juggling multiple devices as I walk. I recall holding both a flip phone and my iphone, then I also pull out a handful of horseshoe magnets from somewhere. More people appear on the sidewalk until there’s a small crowd. We approach an intersection and some are watching me fumble as I try to separate the magnets from the phones. Someone in the crowd must have pushed the button for the signal light because we are all waiting together to cross the street at the intersection.
Notes: The last time I dreamed about Tulsa, Hugging Him Tightly, it also involved travel, particularly the difficulty of making connections. The correspondence was strong enough to immediately remind me of that previous dream the night of May 27, 2014. That is the reason for my title, Back to Tulsa, suggesting I’ve been here before.
Have you ever noticed that the beginning of a dream is always obscure. Where does it start? From where did you come at the point of first remembrance? That is especially striking in this dream because my memory begins, I feel, very near the beginning of the images. The “short distance” I walk was nebulous, experienced in a place without structure or proper distances. The lighting was dim and shifting, and the café and narrative seemed to emerge from the darkness, becoming better lit as the objects became more solid (relatively, of course).
Endings of dreams are less mysterious. At times it seems they end when I awake, although that’s impossible to know without corroboration. I have, often without waking, also felt I’ve come to the proper ending of a dream. Sometimes that is because a typical plot ending is achieved. A goal is reached or someone dies, twists of that type. Sometimes it’s less scripted and more intuitive; I simple “feel” like this is the end. That may be the case in last night’s dream. It was never supposed to spin out to the point where I actually meet up with the person in Tulsa. What a lot of extraneous imagery that would have required of a dream that is already exceedingly cluttered with both objects and ideas. I think it ended just where it was supposed to end, trailing off at the stoplight.