Wednesday, October 16, 2013

miss ripped-up jeans got to rule the world

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:--
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy
--A Midsummer Night's Dream

Some bringer of that joy.
A someone who supplies the imagination with the power to form what once was nothing a chronological and physical moment in the world.
Where do these excursions into the unfettered imagination originate?
From where do they come; and who sends them?

The most frustrating aspect of dreams is their elusiveness, their ephemeral nature.
Dreams flicker onto the backs of your eyelids.
They come alive in the darkness, and then, this is the very frustrating thing about them: they disappear at dawn.
No matter how tightly you try to grasp at dreams, they fade. They fade so quickly.
And I find that mesmerizing and annoying.
Annoying, because as soon as I wake up, I can see the last scraps of story vividly stamped in my brain. Simultaneously, even as I watch and remember it, I can feel the evening dream slipping out of my grasp, it grows fuzzier and more faded, more unclear, less delineated, more of a sigh and less of a word, the longer I hold it in my memory.

Mesmerizing, because the one or two images that float through the back of my consciousness tantalizingly hint at the nocturnal stories behind them.
They hint of night-time adventures that only my unconscious could conjure into being.

Sometimes, in the middle of the day, a vision flashes into my head.
I see myself running out of an Irish pub, running back to Trastevere. But, as I run, the sweet and cold Roman rain falls in buckets from the iridescent sky, pelting the church spires, bouncing off the cobblestones, and splashing off of the fountains by Santa Maria in Vallicella.
I remember running down the bright main road, then into a dark side street, which I determined was the correct street by a hunch and a gut feeling. (Two of humanity's best navigational tools, naturally.)
My skin tingles.
The air pulses around me, shimmering with the cold of the rainwater, and the heat of my body.
The atmosphere is vibrating with an impending sense of adventure.
My heart beats faster and faster as I careen down the labyrinth of streets that follow the voluptuous bends of the River Tiber.
At the end of an alley, there is a rickety set of stairs that leads up to the road above the riverbank.
With a breathless prayer, and a shout of relief, I clamber up the stairs, out of the black maze of streets, glistening from their slick coat of rain.
The lights of the street lamps by the river sparkle in imitation of the headlights of the reckless Roman taxis and the insect-like European cars roaring along the road.
I find a crosswalk, just as the "walk" sign ends, and dash through a blinking signal to the other side of the lungotevere, to the bridge.
In the middle of Ponte Mazzini, I look down at the mucky Tiber being washed clean in the rain.
I run down the slanted street until I reach the little vicolo that signals "you're home", and find shelter from the unending torrent of water from the sky.

Out of breath, and soaked to the skin, elated from the run, I feel in my bones nothing but Joy.

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