Methods and Madness

I got up about an  hour and a half ago. It is hard for me to believe that much time has passed; I must have been in something of a daze for part of that period. I wonder whether it is possible for people (me) to slip into a coma of sorts without realizing it, then to return to current reality, not knowing of the departure from the present?


Another set of odd dreams. First, I was listening to a presentation in a huge auditorium—located, I think, in Austin, Texas—when the event broke for lunch. I walked out with some other participants, hanging my coat, outside the doors, to retrieve later. I went through a confusing buffet line and took what was offered, then went to a confusing payment line, where I paid an exorbitant amount for my meal. When I asked for a receipt, the cashier dismissed me, telling me he would not give me one. I cursed at him and walked away, finding a spot where I could sit to eat my meal. After the meal, I walked outside and wandered down a very busy street, just taking in the sights (during all of this, I listened to voice messages on my telephone, including one asking me to return a cash donation given to my employer as an encouragement of some kind). I crossed the busy street and, on my way back to the auditorium, I realized I was not wearing a shirt. I had no idea where I might have lost it and knew there was no point in looking. There were many shops along the street, though, so I decided to buy a shirt before returning to the presentation. I entered a store, where the clerk showed me a few shirts that were too small; and they were expensive: $250 and up. I decided to leave and look elsewhere. But as I was crossing a side street, I discovered I somehow had left with one of the shirts I tried on at the store; it was wrapped around a briefcase I carried. I put it on and, when I got back to the auditorium entrance, I retrieved my coat. And the dream ended shortly after I walked back inside the auditorium.

In a separate (I think) dream, a woman was attempting to stay submerged in a very deep pool (or ocean…not sure), holding her breath, for an extended period. By the time I arrived, she had been under water for almost fourteen minutes. I decided to see how far I could dive and how long I could hold my breath. After jumping in the water, I discovered that I could sink quickly by expelling all the air in my lungs. And, once reaching the bottom, I could comfortably  sit, not breathing, for quite some time. I finally surfaced after six or seven minutes, but I wanted to try again in the hope of equaling the fourteen minute record held by the woman. And that is as far as my memory of that dream goes.

There was more to each of the two dreams, I am sure. For example, I think I knew quite a lot about the several voice messages I received. And I think I might have known what the auditorium presentation was about, but I do not remember now. If I could record my dreams and play them back as if they were films, I could learn a lot about how my brain works. But that might be quite disturbing to me; and to anyone else watching the film.


Method acting. I must remind myself just what that is. I’ve heard the expression for as long as I can remember, but I do not believe I have ever fully understood it or, if I have, remembered what I knew. There’s so much about life that echoes my experience with method acting. I have been exposed to it, but I do not know whether I’ve every completely comprehended that to which I was exposed. Maybe it’s my failing memory. Or maybe it’s my intellectual inadequacy. It could be something else entirely. I just do not know. I wish I did. But what would I do with the knowledge? Would I put it to use, or would it be another useless example of knowledge for the sake of knowledge? Is there such a thing, though? Is not all knowledge bursting with possibilities? If only we knew how to put it to practical use, we might solve problems of humankind that seem, today, utterly unsolvable. If only I knew more than I do… If only I had the discipline to explore my curiosities with greater energy and longer periods of intense interest. Ach!


Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

~ Langston Hughes ~


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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