I feel as though I'm treating the blog the same way--bouncing between posts about writing and about larger stuff (MOOCs) without acknowledging that there's lots of life that can't be encompassed between these two poles.
Probably in response to that, I've been having a series of dreams about hiking in the California mountains. I've never lived in California or hiked in its mountains, but in the dreams, it's sunny and I'm following a dirt trail, sometimes smelling eucalyptus or seeing wildflowers.
Sometimes I see tiny lizards scuttle across the trail. I can see other mountains a hundred miles away, and in this latest dream, there was a little town at the bottom of the mountain where artisan shops sold things like handcrafted jewelry, pens, journals, cheese, and so on. As I'm walking on the dusty boardwalk from one shop to another, a rainstorm comes, but it just makes the smell of the dust rise and combine with the smell of the rain, which is pleasant.
As a consequence of this dream vacation, fragments from two poems popped into my head this morning:
The first few lines from John Berryman's "Dream Song 14"
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no
Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights, gripes
as bad as achilles,
who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself, its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.And the last four lines from Wallace Stevens's "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock":
The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
In red weather.
A dream and poetry vacation in the mind is as good as a real rest, I think.