• 02Jul
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    In class, we had some kind of haircutting exam. No one was prepared and we were all trying to help or cover for each other.  My subject had long, silky blond hair. I was afraid that I had to cut layers into her hair and had no idea how to do it, but picked up a few tips watching someone else. I think I wanted to create a Farrah Fawcett hairstyle. Sue was very disturbed. I ended up with some kind of bizarre hairstyle that was flat on top and poofed out into curls. Fortunately, no one looked at me strangely as I walked through the halls.

    It was a difficult day at school and apparently our class had gone all day, from class to class, without a meal break. No breakfast, no lunch. We were annoyed and complaining when we got on the bus to go home. I sat next to Ann on the left side of the bus. She had short hair like she does now.

    Ann and I got to talking and she confided in me that her husband had raped her, that that was why her latest child was born. She was convinced that it would never stop and he wanted up to 10 children. As a religious man, he believed that it was their duty to produce children. I was aghast and furious. We’d try to figure out how to get her out of the marriage. I even asked her if she’d told our old choir director. I knew she’d be beside herself and do whatever it took to help Ann. Apparently a friend who was sitting across the aisle from us was in the same sort of situation!

    I’m not sure of the order of the next few things, but my ‘boyfriend’ and I ended up going after Ann’s husband. He was naked in bed with another woman. We battered him with baseball bats. I remember his skin breaking open where we hit. He didn’t want his woman to think it hurt, so he laughed a little and pretended it didn’t hurt. He rolled over on his stomach. I hit the bottom of his foot. The skin broke open and blood seeped a little. I remember thinking that he was a jock and wouldn’t be able to play his sport.

    We escaped and ran through the yard, tossing our old baseball bats as we went. I yelled to my partner in crime…what about fingerprints?? He said it was ok, he’d done something so his didn’t show. What about mine…

    We ended up in a strange place…under a tent? It was some sort of drug festival. Everyone was wasted. We’d done some sort of drugs, although I don’t remember doing it. Perception was odd. We ran into my friend’s uncle. He was all for doing this drug. And promoting it with his nephew. I was a bit concerned. I certainly didn’t want it to become my friend’s lifestyle. I was concerned about getting rid of the drug smell on my body before returning home. My friend said the way to eliminate it was with the smell of sex. As my body moved to the motion of his hand, I turned to my left. About 50 feet away was his younger sister, mirroring my movements with her partner.

    I drove home alone. Traffic slowed on the main road, up ahead I saw flashing lights. Following the car in front of me, I turned onto a road to avoid police. Unfortunately, I found I’d just turned in to a road on a military base. I started to turn around, but realized there was no other route to take so I continued on, through the barriers that were up to allow people through for a detour. I reached the far side of the base, and the barriers were down. I approached slowly to find someone posted at the guard house. His window was open and, smiling, he asked my name and where I lived. I gave him my real name. And before I had the whole town name out, he said “go ahead,” and opened the gates.

    Eventually, I ended up at my friend’s parents’ house. He was with me at that point. His parents were up. Waiting for us, I suppose. We cautiously went inside and I said to him under my breath, “I need to rinse and spit.” He made small talk with his father, distracting him so I could go to the bathroom to clean my breath. I think there were sliding glass doors, because once I was in the bathroom, I closed curtains for privacy. His mother reached in and opened them, suspicious about what I was doing. Of course, I was only at the sink rinsing my mouth, so I merely glanced up and went about my business.

    That’s all I remember.

    Note: The above was a dream. I don’t take illegal drugs. And I rarely drink. This was during an afternoon nap. I hadn’t eaten anything strange, or made any changes to medications. I had been a bit hard on my system this week, staying up too late, not eating right, as usual. But I’m really at a loss as to what would cause this dream.

  • 06Jun
    Written by: Categories: Thought Comments: 0

    I’m currently reading Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher. In pondering her descriptions of mood swings during bipolar illness, I recognize the characteristics of mania and depression. The racing mind…so many thoughts rushing that you just can’t grab on to one long enough to do something with it. The depression that hits almost as a result of not being able to grab onto one thought and move forward.

    It makes me wonder if some mental illness is made up of what we all go through, but taken to an extreme, interfering with your daily functioning. The brain not being able to manage normal processes until your capacity to control it has been completely usurped.

    I recently described my mind as a ping-pong match between the right and left sides of my brain. But neither scores, and neither wins. I suppose a ping-pong game seems balanced. And my game probably is, in the sense that my left and right are both active and vibrant. But they battle…back. And forth. And back. And forth.

    A Stroke of Insight

    Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor literally experienced this battle during a stroke. She described her experience vividly during a TED talk. A hemorrhage in the left side of her brain caused her consciousness to exist almost fully in her right brain, completely changing her perception of her body, the world around her, and of reality. Alternating between left brain perception, and what she calls “la la land”, she eventually worked out a way to plan for the shifts between hemispheres and got herself some help.

    “Imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from your brain chatter”

    Ms. Taylor experienced this through her stroke. Artists experience this during their work, becoming engrossed in the creativity involved while they create. I once had a drawing teacher who said that when she was going to work on a drawing, she told her family she was “going under.” She was about to become part of her right brain…the creative, sensual, emotional part of herself that she accessed to create artwork that flowed from her. It’s difficult to communicate with someone in this state. It takes time for them to transition back into allowing the left brain to function and access the language portion of the brain. And often when this occurs, the creative spell is broken.

    Alternatively, accessing this creative state can be extremely difficult. Last fall I took a weekend drawing and painting workshop with Tim Hawkesworth. Tim is a fabulous artist and teacher who encourages artists to reach within and express who they are. Even with his guidance and inspiring morning talks, I struggled the entire first day of the workshop. I was approaching art with my left brain. With the help of his associate who gave me a massage and talked me through my struggle, I was able to relax. I finally made the conscious decision to stop fighting myself and was able to produce work that surprised me.


    I had never done work like this before. I didn’t know it was in me. It was exciting, fulfilling, invigorating. And yet, I haven’t produced anything since. Although it’s always hovering in the “back” of my mind. The necessity of left brain activity in my regular work day keeps me from delving into the intangeable right. I battle every day. That practical chatter cannot justify my taking the time necessary to transition to the “la la land” where my art emerges.

    And yet, I love my left brain. Not only am I able to think things through to conclusion, understand words and numbers, and troubleshoot problems, I need my left brain to contain the energy that comes from the beauty of my right. The next step is to learn how to manage the back…and forth. Jill Bolte Taylor was able to determine a plan while in the midst of stroke.

    I need my right to allow the left to do its work: creating structure that allows me to function properly, accomplishing what I have to as well as what I want to; managing my time so I can create the space I need for my right brain to flow; planning my finances and the steps I need to take to acquire income that will allow me to explore my right brain, as well as develop my left; and allowing my right brain the freedom to roam.