a dream project

I have been collecting brief descriptions of recent actual dreams, all of which are included here. I am not interested in analyzing them, but simply curious about the experiences we have while our minds and bodies are at rest.

In the process of collecting these dream stories, I was inspired to make A Thousand Threads, a limited edition, screen-printed book. It contains short, meditative poems I wrote by interweaving the dream fragments of others with my own dream imagery.

This project was part of The Spaces in Between, a solo exhibition curated by Susanna Meiers, February 14 – March 11, 2011, at the El Camino College Art Gallery in Torrance, CA.

To see all of the book pages or contribute a dream story, please go to www.betsylohrerhall.com. Thanks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anonymous - Driving a Mattress in the Desert

I am living with S in some neutral location. We’re living like a couple, but we’re not having sex. He’s been texting his wife (he must have told her he’s on a business trip or something) and I realize I haven’t called T in days. I feel awful about this and worried that I’ll get found out. It’s very unusual for me not to call. Then I am with J. We’re driving around the desert on a bed. The bed tilts up at the head and we’re leaning back. There are no sheets or pillows on the bed, just a simple white covering on the mattress. We’re driving on a smoothish dirt road, but we realize we’re facing the wrong way and can’t figure out how to steer or stop. We finally stick our feet down on the sides and manage to slow the bed to a stop and turn it around, just before the end of the road.  It simply ends and the desert shrubs begin. Then I am visiting J at college. She has not come out to greet me. I am talking with a friend of hers. I call H, but a friend of her answers and refuses to tell me if J is there and won’t let me talk to H. I’m giving a presentation of some kind at this school and leave my things in the lecture hall. They’ve cleared the desk where my things were to make room for their materials, messily stuffing my things under the table. I retrieve them, but I’m not sure I have everything.

J’s friend brings me into the dorm. The rooms are shaped like an oval, with only a cloth curtain for a door. The girl who’s showing me around seems to have no furniture and no belongings, just a mostly empty room with wax relief sculptures on the walls – organic shapes. It turns out, each room is artistic in some way. She didn’t make the sculptures. These are left from the previous students. J shows me her room.

I’m distressed because I figure I’ve left my belongings in J’s room. I find myself wandering the halls without my phone, my purse, anything, and I can’t remember her room number. Nothing has been explained to me in any way. I’m feeling sorry for myself and abandoned by J who is very unavailable.

We peek into a classroom from which a thrumming, singing sound emanates. Many students in blue body suits with swimcaps that match are all attached to a boat-like shape (scaffold) by a string that leads into their mouths. They are moving rhythmically and slowly like an ocean and singing the humming notes. It’s very haunting.

August, 2010

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