Morgaine The Cross-Eyed

Oh, what a strange dream!

I dreamed that I was a knight and that I was walking in the narrow gulf between two covered bleacher-pavilions. I had another knight with me. The bleachers had two raked rows of seats and a tilting roof. So, the bleachers were bordered with white fences. A little ass-sized piece of wood stuck out and my friend sat on the fence on the right. But I couldn't get onto the "seat" on the left. I am struggling, cursing my fatness. I make the posts of the pavilion shake and the roof rattle! It's panic and the crowd starts to make fun of me.

Looking around and squatting uncomfortably of that little wooden wedge, I realize that I actually AM in the middle ages. People are walking around in armor and other fantasy costumes — there is a big field, and behind, through the trees, perhaps a town. Where we are appears to actually be a jousting place.

"Look," I say to my friend, "there goes Edmund, the imbecile!" And suddenly, excitedly, I say, "People don't have surnames here. I can just assign epithets to me and in a few centuries, they will BECOME their surnames!" Excitedly, I look at the other people.

A monstrously corpulent, robed man waddles by. "That guy, for instance," I say. "I will call him Morgaine the Cross-Eyed."

Morgaine walks past, unaware that he has been surnamed for the next five centuries ... and then I wake up.

Egyptian Circles

I had two wildly vivid dreams last night. One was very domestic - but overblown. I dreamed that my sister Pinky and I had purchased space in a luxurious condo-like building. It is really vast. Behind the living room are a series of curved corridors, like the insides of a conch shell, leading to bedroom suites. It's all on an open plan and people from other condos are wandering in and out of their own bedrooms without an boundaries. I am fearful of getting to the wrong bedroom if I pick the wrong spiralling corridor.

The living room as at least 30 different furniture suites in all styles and there's a grand piano at the end nearest the bedrooms and a brown upright I start thinking what a great space for a house concert and I start counting seats - over 100 of them - and wondering whether it would be okay to bring in straight back chaires for a concert. The furniture sets are mostly in gold an olive, there's one with benchlike wooden frames and black and white cowskin pillows.

The living room doesn;t have a wall (it's all open plan) and opens out into the vast lobby area with women behind counters and even a box lunch service.

In fact I soon find people sitting in some of the furniture sets and wonder what they are doing in my living room, except I seem to have wandered into the lobby of the building. I look back and my own living room is quite far a way, one step up from the lobby, the bedroom spirals so far away as to be almost invisible. There's all sorts of foot traffic around, people hastening to other condos, but always this spiralling, shell-like interior. In fact the condo is like an infinity loop.

I went back to sleep and had another dream: one where I am directing Aida. A huge chorus in Egyptian dress is walking around in a circle. The triumphal march music is blaring from a curious black circula column like speaker. They march around and around and I realize that the scene needs more happening. High priests, citizens with offerings, need to come out to importune the marchers. But the ENTIRE scene has finished playing back on the speaker and the chorus is still marching round and round and won't stop.

Is it a nightmare? It's certainly a bit Kafkaesque, but I feel no terror or paranoia....

My So-called Vacation

So: I dreamed that I was taking a seven day vacation from all my hard work and that I was sitting in the front row on a plane flying west (across America) toward California. So, high up in the sky the plane takes a sharp right dip and I feel wind.

A small blond boy is sitting in the row across. He is the pilot's son. His dad has opened the window so they can look out at the clouds and the land below. We're flying low and I feel the wind in my face. The landscape through the open window is lush farmland, very American. But looking out front (there doesn't seem to be a pilot's cabin but just a front window) the light is golden, like a Max Parrish painting. And to my left, with the window closed, it is so bright and golden it hurts my eyes.

We are flying low and there is a sheriff's car, bright red, below. "Let's buzz our friend the sheriff" says the boy and the plane swoops down, drops thousands of feet on its side to pratically graze the sheriff's car with one wing.

"No, no, let me off," I say, "this is too nerve-wracking," and I somehow manage to jump out of the plane and I start walking to California.

The landscape changes and I'm walking down a pathway (always westward, to the left) rimmed with hedges. I begin singing "Carry me back to ol' Alabamy" (I know the song is ACTUALLY "Virginny" but I wasn't singing that in my dream). It's quite peculiar as I'm actually walking AWAY from Alabama. But the walk is long. I find myself on a hilly path descending with an industrial city below. At first I think I have already reached California, but I don't think so now. It's a bit discouraging.

A car pulls up. It's the pilot and his son. "Get in," the pilot says, "We have to catch up with the plane." (Defies all logic but it's a dream. I imagine it's on autopilot, circling low.) I get back in the car and I'm suddenly on the plane again.

And I'm thinking, I didn't pack my laptop. I left behind the attaché case with my laptop in it. I was planning to work on a new novel during my holiday, but now I can't. Why am I even on vacation? Should I go back? I start to panic. This is where I woke up.

In the Ice Age

Little remains to me of this dream after being awake unnaturally early for many hours. But basically what I remember is a long journey "home" to a bleak, snowy country - I believe we're in the ice age in this dream, wearing animal skins.

But when we get home it's actually an apartment building with a central atrium and a staircase that winds around and around the sides of the atrium, so it is a long climb. In the building, it is snowing and when I reach the floor that I call home the walls are icy and cavernous so it is both a cave and a concrete building — perhaps like a diorama in a museum.

The carpet is also a snowy forest floor. And then I hear music, very clearly, with each step. The sound is orchestral but my steps are punctuated by chords played on three flutes, each a major ninth apart, thus the passages are spread across the whole range of the instruments....

This was my dream after falling asleep really early last night from sheer exhaustion.

Oktoberfest

What a peculiar dream! I'm with a bunch of friends in what looks like an old wooden hall with two levels … the upper level is accessible by two curving ramps, one on either side, with raked levels. There are small tables for four people and people are eating or drinking. This seems to be somewhere in South Germany — there are people wearing what look like Bavarian folk costumes. The walls are dark wood with ornate baroque carvings.

We can't find anywhere to sit. We start to go up the right ramp where there are some chairs but no tables. On the upper level which is like a balcony, some people in "peasant costume" beckon to us. They have the only long table where we could sit, but they point beyond where they say there is another table.

We bring our own chairs but the "table" is just a square black log set into the wall. I try to pull it out, thinking it can be pulled out, but it really is just a log. We'd all have to sit in a row facing the wall, trying to put our drinks on the bit of wood that pokes out.

The peasant ladies at the next table laugh and so, "No, no, Sie can bei uns sitten" — a weird mixture of English and German. I see they're finishing, downing their drinks and the table is being cleared. As we move toward them, however, they all stand up … and my friends have all vanished. An oom-pah band is playing and only by the second line do I realize it's the Bayernhymne, the national anthem of the former kingdom of Bavaria. (It's not exactly right, though. The first three notes make it sound eerily like the Nazi anthem, which is not how the Bavarian anthem goes at all. In fact now that I am awake I realize the anthem I heard in my dream was actually a hodgepodge of different hymn-like German pieces.)

Well so I can't get to a seat until it ends. And it ends so I go down to the raked area. My friends are gone, but now, where there weren't any before, there are tables. I am about to sit but suddenly the anthem starts up again — there's another verse. Some of the people start singing along. The words are in a kind of dream-German.

After the second verse no one sits down and I think, O God, a THIRD verse. Instead, in the cleared area below, a scene from a play is being enacted. People are wearing 19th century (or earlier) clothes, and declaiming in a crisp kind of Bühnenaussprache (like an exaggerated stage pronunciation) — even so it's still "dream-German" not comprehensible. The play — maybe it's one of those endless Schiller things — drones on and on but instead of lulling me to sleep, i wakes me up. (Maybe because I'm tired of standing.)

8 3/4

So I dreamed I was in a bus with Federico Fellini. Well, that is who it claimed to be in my dream, but it actually LOOKED like Marcello Mastroianni.

The bus is winding through the streets (is it Rome?) and Vanessa Redgrave shows up. We're having an interesting talk but it's clear she's really here to see Federico so when he gets off, she starts to as well.

I said, but there's an interesting play on, it's adapted from the first act of a sex comedy film. We should go. She's all "All right," but the play is in London and for some reason the bus is letting us off in front of another theater, in Cambridge. The play is sold out.

Vanessa gets us in by claiming that ticket have been left for us, and we sneak in while the ticket person is looking. A curly haired blond young man is apparently the author. He greets Vanessa with a hug and I am introduced. Laughing, we stand in the back aisle and watch as the curtain rises.

Homophones

I dreamed I was conducting a rehearsal of HMS Pinafore — I was not the main conductor, just taking a rehearsal. So, the main conductor. a whale of a woman, shows up in a elegant long dress and I believe her to be the late Mary Chafee, conductress of the Bangkok Combined Choir when I was a child.

I'm looking at her across an Olympic sized swimming pool and the male chorus are all standing on another side of the pool, on my right. She begins to conduct the opening chorus: "We sail the ocean blue, and our saucy ship's a beauty."

Outraged, I cry out, "But they're supposed to be swimmimg while they sing this number!" I start demonstrating the crawl, with alternate arm movements every two beats of Sullivan's bum-bum-bum-bum-bum. I'm appalled they didn't realize it's a syncrhonized swimming production of HMS Pinafore....

Something to file away for my future in Regietheater.

Just before I wake up, I find myself explaining in some kind of linguistics lecture: "You see, the reason the French have to prance around and use a lot of sign language is because dents, dans, and dont are near-synonyms." The thiing is, I mean to say homophones, but in my dream I definitely call them synonyms... LOL.

Oingo Boingo

Last night I dreamed that I and a woman (I don't remember who now) were searching for the Buddha. We found him meditating in a forest.

The woman called him by a nickname, which was "Oing". In the dream I kept thinking - in Thai, ng can't come after oi. (There's not even a credible way to spell "Oing" in Thai.)

The Buddha was serene. I knew it was really him because he had a halo. The trees, the forest, everything was pitch-black except for the Buddha's face.

I looked up the word "oing" in the universal dictionary. It has two meanings: in French, "oing" means unction and is a very archaic word from the Latin "unctum". In Irish, it can be either the vocative or genitive of "ong", meaning sorrow.

Two oings, therefore, bilingually, would mean "unction of sorrow" — or "O unction sorrow".

The dream is telling me that my sorrow is also that which anoints me. And in my dream it is a secret name of the Buddha. Meaning that I must accept this sorrow as a sacrament to attain serenity. The unction of sorrow is the pathway to light.

A simple dream leading me to find answers in a dictionary, but I suspect that really is what it means.

Dreams reach out

18 months ago, I had this dream.

Since that dream, my personal and business and generally everything to do with my external life has got steadily worse, Not my interior life, though — my composing and my writing. There have been quite few breakthroughs there. Indeed the more I suffered, the more my creative work seemed to benefit.

This weekend I was so depressed because it seemed that my many problems had no possible solution at all.

I happened to post on facebook a photograph of my Ganesha, the 15th century statue from India. I made a flippant remark about whether I believe or am I just hedging my bets.

Ten minutes later, an anonymous donor contacted me with an offer to give money to the DasJati project. Just enough to make the difference between annihilation and survival.

Now, when I had this dream, I believed I had to recreate the scene in my dream — that this was a demand from Ganesha in some way (or from the collective unconscious or from whatever system of symbols you care to use.) But I have not yet done so.

Maybe, just maybe, today's events are a kind of trickster-god type teaser. So I better do that ceremony.

Just to be on the safe side. Not that I'm superstitious. But I AM a Thai. Superstition is kind of in the DNA....

A Faustian Bargain

My dream. I've been entrusted to do an English version of an opera about Faust. I am in Bayreuth, but this is not an opera by Wagner, only someone very much like him.

In the night, I sort the papers, the ms. pages, and one of the scenes is missing, The scene is set in a church or a chapel and has Margaret in it, in a white dress with a cap looking very much like someone in the period of the Salem witch trials.

I'm sitting in a large office with a rickety wood-plank floor — an old building — with a computer.I search the files over and over. They are in glossy black folders with the scene numbers written in white ink, the numbers in a continental handwriting, i.e. the one has a big upstroke.

Now I am in the street outside the opera house. I meet a large, fat German who is NOT Wolfgang Wagner (but reminds me of him.) I explain my problem and ask for a printed copy to help me find the scene. He is annoyed and I say "No, no, I just need to know where the scene falls in the context because the files are all out of order."

He enters a doorway into a brick townhouse that is to the right of the opera and I think, "Just like Wolfgang ... he has a secret way into his own private apartments just by the opera" … and he emerges with what I DON'T need, a printed edition of FAUST. I easily find the scene leafing through the paperback but that's not what I really need.

I find myself on an upper balcony talking to a young singer with red curly hair and freckles. He looks say, half Irish, half African. It's a very exotic look and the odd thing is that this guy, a tenor, is Thai. He is speaking to me in Thai. He's performing in this production.

"I'm nervous about it," he says, and seems to need a hug. Then he says, "I'm not nervous anymore. Usually I only get performance anxiety when I'm away from Thailand, but luckily I am home now."

But I am thinking … wait a minute. We're in Germany. Just then, I wake up.

Guys and Dolls

I had a dream last night. I don't appear to have been a character in the dream, I seem to just have been watching.

First I see a doll, a girl doll. made with the special ability of being able to locate objects by echo. This doll utters strange sequences of syllables, trying to find a mate by listening to the echo. She is pursuing a boy doll. They are in a house. She beams her echo and walks around the empty corridors. The boy doll disappears behind a bead curtain. The girl doll follows the echo. Behind the bead curtain there's emptiness and darkness and the dolls fall, fall, fall.

They find themselves in a children's room. The girl doll follows the boy doll. There is a bed in the room but they lie down on the floor next to a wooden dresser. The girl doll pours gasoline on them both and set themselves on fire. (They're toys, not humans, so they don't appear to be in pain.)

My omniscient vision pulls back and there's a teenage couple on the bed. The room belongs to one of them, but they are too old for toys. They have each other now. But as the toys are burning, the boy teenager looks at the burning girl doll and says, "When did you learn to play with gasoline?"

That's when I woke up. I don't know how to explain this rather disturbing dream.

Trafficked to Turkey

I had remarkable bad dream in which I was in my mid to late teens and I had been captured and I was in a group of five people being trafficked to a strange country which seemed to be part European, part Asian - perhaps Turkey.

They keep us chained up and we have to sleep outside and one day they sit us around a table and explain to us the things we are going to have to do now as their slaves. The boy seated to my right has long black hair and he says no, no, that doesn't apply to me, right, I am only here to observe. They beat him up.

Later I manage to lead the group out of the house where we are locked up. There is a back alley that runs alongside a hilly in a park and suddenly we are in a large room where Queen Elizabeth, in a state visit, is sitting no an open air throne with hundreds of uniformed people, high society people or diplomats, seated facing her.

In out rags and chains we run up the aisle and kneel to the queen and I say "Help us, we've been brought here from overseas and kept in chains and made to perform unspeakable things."

"Eaugh! How very interesting," the queen says. Suddenly I wake up and I'm still in a dream. I'm at a science fiction convention. And I'm talking about the dream I just had....

Ladies in Red

My body clock is very screwed up. I went to sleep around 6 pm and had a dream and now it isn't even midnight yet.

In my dream, I've been living in a Dickensian orphanage and I succeed to busting out with a few friends and I'm living quietly in Germany when I realize it is time for me to free the other children.

I return to discover people don't really want to be freed. But I still manage to do so and stir up a big escape. However, hundreds of ladies in red, some kind of nuns, are lined up with rifles to bar our escape as we run into the street - it's night in a middle-American small town sort of downtown.

I run into one of my aunts, one who is always critical and she starts to lecture me. I say, "Nonsense. These kids were being mistreated and kept against their will. I rescued them! I'm a hero!"

The chief woman in red is the superintendent of the orphanage. I end up pursuing her to a weird room. The floor is muddy and it's being dug up to form a lower prison level. There's an upper level to my right and an inner room ahead, and the nun is backed up against the doorway.

"Let her dig!" I shout. The nun is straining against a rusted metal fence and manages to pull it out of the mud. "What strength!" I say. "Of course," she says, "I'm a nun"

A voiceover says that the rescuers later became fashion designers and the nun is giving classes in superstrength in a prison. I see a brief glimpse of her teaching chopping wooden planks with her bare hands to inmates. Then in the dream, I wake up. I find myself in a room.

The geography of the room is identical to the room where the nun was digging but now it's a child's bedroom. I think to myself, I've managed to wake up in the room I grew up in in Sukhumvit 24. Except it's not quite the right room. The walls are green tile. I think, I should go to the bathroom and there is one outside, and down the hall, but the closest one is the room the nun was standing in front of before which was a jail but now is a bathroom. I get out of bed (which was the shallowly dug area the nun was digging) and very groggily try to leave the room....

and then I wake up.

Ethnomusicology

I’ve been rather ill this week and I ended up last night dreaming all night about ethnomusicology.

Now that I am more awake I have a moment to describe these dreams. First off I walk into a huge rectangular upper balcony, like the ones movie theaters used to have and the seats are filled with musicians. They pull out something that looks like a brass spoon with a black horn handle and they all start blowing on the spoons. The sound is reedlike, a bit like Japanese Gagaku.

I am watching from a side box connected to this. We are waiting for the arrival of giant trumpets blown by people wearing feathered outfits looking like Quetzalcoatl, but sounding sort of Tibetan. There are people speaking a language that sounds like Quiché Maya.

Presently a group of science fiction fans enters my box and one has a bag of refreshments. She's a thin, blonde woman and reminds of a friend from Cambridge, Priscilla Roberts (who is not actually a science fiction person). She hands me the bag and I reach in. They look like little plastic bags of seedless grapes, but suddenly I realize they are actually crocuses.

Later that night night, I dream about listening to an impressive African male voice choir while listening to a dry, teutonic professor lecture about African music.

He's explaining about how high all their singers are, and he has a chart on a blackboard, with tenor, baritone, bass, etc and with a pointer shows us that each of the ranges goes higher than top C.

Later I'm walking with the professor through a Grecian rotunda including a building that resembles the Jefferson Memorial in DC. I say to him, "But going to school in England, we were always taught that African male choirs had more low notes."

"Ach ja," says the professor, "I can exzplain dat ferry easily. Ze English already have countertenors, so they were not impressed by high notes. And zey were mostly in South Africa, where the voices are lower."

It's an odd dream because the professor is a sort of parody of those German professors during the Third Reich who had cranial charts to show how certain ethnicities were more savage....

I didn't wake up until 1:06 pm from this long night of dreaming about all sorts of world music. I've been down with a bad cold all week, but I didn't take any weird drugs before going to bed, so I can't blame them. I feel remarkably refreshed. I also feel like I've been on a real musical journey around the world, like I've really travelled from Mexico to Africa and so on. It's quite extraordinary.

Gamanium Wine

My dream: It started like a horror film. I'm in the middle of arranging a wedding and I go down into the basement. There is a sweeping staircase but hidden behind it is another staircase, dirty-white and creepy-looking with very narrow steps. It seems to lead elsewhere. In my dream I tell myself, "I thought I was in a romantic comedy, but it turns out to be horror." And I keep remembering the name of the movie wrong (it's "Alas for" - something or other.) I'm not sure if it's in the dream or in my thoughts while in the dream, but there's a bloody corpse floating down the back stairs.

I go up the front stairs and people are saying, "Oh, this house was built on a gamanium mine. Gamanium is the rarest metal on earth and the ghosts are protecting it." The name of the metal fluctuates from Gamanium to McGammon during the dream.

I open up a French window and am on a rickety wooden balcony. A bright golden cannon made of gamanium is pointing directly into the house. Quickly I turn it around - it is really light - and point it to the dark forest beyond the balcony. I hear it go off as I reenter the house. Then a beautiful woman enters in a dress that appears to be made completely of mcgammonium. Not sure who it is - maybe my niece Mink Sucharitkul who is about to be married.

Going out to the balcony again, I move to my left and see that the terrain is changing before my eyes. The grassland and the forest are melting away and being replaced by fields of gamanium, the metal is golden and has stripes of a darker hue. The house is sitting on a huge deposit of the mysterious metal.

Jacking Orff

So this morning I dreamed that there was a rehearsal of "Carmina Burana" going on in some subterranean room, conducted by Trisdee. My mother and father and several of their friends were in the room and I invited them to sing in the chorus.

"It's all about sex," I explained. The number they're doing is "Tempus est jocundum". "The pelvic thrusts in the music, and of course "totus floreo" is obviously about arousal...." My family members are really getting into the music and everyone is singing lustily, including me.

It's sort of a very happy dream, not much of a story to it.

Old School Ties

I dreamt that my mother and I went on a trip to some huge reunion at Eton. The first scene was in some kind of hall that looked simultaneously like an antechapel and the foyer of some kind of state building, stone and gray and official.

It was very crowded and there were all sorts of people I haven't seen for decades. There was a man named Gordon, whom I recognized from his bright red hair. Hedidn't look fifty years older, though. He looked like he was in his mid-twenties. He was really big, much bigger than in real life, and he turned down his nose at me and said, "Ah, ah, but what about YOUR grades?"

It turned out that he had become some hugely famous physicist (this is not true) and had become quite arrogant. For some reason, in my dream, I hadn't gone on to university and was skulking about in embarrassment because everyone else had.

Later, walking down a very brightly lit avenue, I encountered the mother of composer Robert Saxton. She looked as I had last seen her (over forty years ago) but much more svelte. She had a booming voice and she embraced me like a long-lost relative. (In my dream, it seemed, Robert had gone to Eton, though in real life he went, I think, to Bryanston.)

We were all sitting at an alfresco dinner with wooden chairs with woven wicker seats. Robert was there and I said, "I really have to tell you about my opera, Helena Citronova, because it's about the Holocaust." (Saxton is Jewish).

It's an odd dream because I felt ill at ease in my old school, and people who didn't go there in real life were, in this alternative reality, there with me. And everyone was the wrong age because they all looked like they were in their twenties.

I woke up and I am in state of great confusion.

Caro Nome

It’s eight hours later and I still remember this dream. I wasn’t even going to write it down at first because it was so short.

So, I’m standing in an alley with high gray walls. The alley leads to a main street but there’s no traffic. And I’m standing in the alley singing Caro Nome. Only, it’s in the wrong key. For some reason, it’s in c major. Also it’s not a big soprano solo. It’s some kind of duet. But the soprano that I’m singing it with is invisible.

So the duet comes to an end with a series of chords. But there’s some extra music I have to sing. It’s basically the first two words over and over, on the note G, as the orchestra switches back-and-forth between tonic and dominant. Just over and over and over until morning.

New Repertoire

I should also jot down this dream before I forget it. I'm sitting at a bar counter with chef Christian Ham and we're discussing an international tour of the opera.

"I don't know if we can send anything," I say. I write out a list of four operas in our repertoire:

1. blurred
2. das Gläßende Haus (this is nonsensical German but this is how it appears in the dream)
3. der geile (another word or two, blurred)
4. Götterdämmerung

(Of course, only No. 4 is an actual opera. No. 3 sounds like a porno! No. 2 sounds like a portmanteau of "gläsern" and "glänzend".)

Okay so we're discussing sending these mostly nonexistent to operas in Europe, and the Christian says, "We're missing the afterparty!" We leave the bar and walk down a long sidewalk towards another restaurant. The door is open and instead I see huge breaded shrimp, stacked on an open fire which is burning furiously.

What does it mean? (No. 2 is something about glass houses, not throwing stones? yet the house is glistening.... is the burning shrimp (shrimp=small) in contrast to the the ending of epically huge Götterdämmerung - which is also about burning on an open fire? What is Christian Ham doing in my dream?