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The Alarm Clock from Porlock

E.C. wishes he could write in the shower, in his sleep, and while freefalling… but not necessarily all at the same time. This month’s contribution involves an old project too off-topic to be a passing essay on Jung. Like the original assignment, it was probably submitted here late.

Or: What’s Jung Got to Do With It?

The moment before the moment my dream died involved robots.

The moment before my dream died there was paralyzing silence, followed by a crescendoing sucking sound. And then I was forced out into the world. My head hurt, slightly. My face was cold. I wanted to go back to the other side. But dreams are like reverse lobster traps (you can get out but you can’t get back in them).

For an indescribably brief period of time, perhaps seconds or perhaps picoseconds, my thoughts were in an unbound frenzy; for a moment, finally, free of rationality. The world had no laws, like gravity, tying things together. I wondered about whether the big bang was preceded by a crescendoing sucking sound, too. I had insights into robotics that I instantly forgot about and thoughts about people that I had long forgotten. Everything was connected and universal. The Jungian thing. And an annoying monotonous hum, also crescendoing, in the background.

An annoying, and repeating, monotonous hum in the foreground. Might as well turn off the fucking alarm. It’s over. The absurd theater of the morning ends as quickly and unpredictably as it starts. Thoughts become organized. I’m not even tired but I want five more minutes, back there…

I hesitate to write about dreams, because, like flowers, insights into robotics, and high school romances, they are overdone by amateur ______-ists (“botan,” “scient,” and “psycholog,” respectively). But dreams’ deaths put one in an interesting place.

Some writers have done their best work from that place. Others, about it.

Later in the day I will find myself, unsurprisingly, in a discussion about Jung, uninterested in the symbolism and archetypes of the collective unconscious, and instead wrapped in speculation about the exit from the unconsciousness. The gateway. The boundary. Hallways are generally creepier than rooms and edges are always more interesting than surfaces. Transitions. Contours. The end of dreams is where the land or ocean or mountains or skyline or whatever it is where you’re at meets the sky in the distance. The consciousness horizon. Where the duality of man is at it’s strongest. The other Jungian thing.

The seemingly unconnected links are connected there in the half conscious state, where the boundary is still open and occasionally the lines are blurred, where an agent of the unconscious can still slip through to the waking side. Great ideas are lost and left there – to sunlight-through-the-window or the freefalling dream or an alarm clock – and will never return to conscious light.

I want to go back. Five more minutes. Or eight. Or whatever the snooze button gives me. I don’t want to go back to sleep. But I want to wake up again.

2 responses to “The Alarm Clock from Porlock”

  1. fent11111 fent11111 says:

    I once had a lucid dream. And to this day I spend most nights trying, on some level, to re-create it.
    No luck yet.
    "Anyone sufficiently interested in the dream problem cannot have failed to observe that dreams also have a continuity forwards – if such an expression be permitted -since dreams occasionally exert a remarkable influence on the conscious mental life, even of persons who cannot be considered superstitious or particularly abnormal"…

  2. Avatar llxt says:

    you know…i teach my students that "transitions" {in writing} are actually there to Show Us The Way. maybe you could teach your subconcsious words like "Before" and "After"; "Because"; "Until," "If," "Then,"; and my favorite, "LIkewise…"

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ecrussell About ecrussell

* E.C. has taken a sabbatical from serious work in order to dream and to better develop an inter-disciplinary method of destroying both psychology and writing. In ruina verum...

Read more by this author on 30POV .


December 2010
November 2010
On My Honor
October 2010
Witch Hunt
September 2010
If, Then.
May 2010
Small Crimes
April 2010
February 2010
"It's Complicated"
January 2010