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

Joanna Roche - The Wedding Envelope

In the dream, my mother was central. She was organizing a wedding—for me—but I was busy at work and I arrived very late, as the few guests who had remained were leaving. I greeted those I knew by name, but it was clear I had blown it and they were embarrassed (themselves and for me, I felt). There was no groom at the space where the event was, and I wasn’t sure exactly who (or where) he was…. I saw several people to their car, and when I realized my mother was not among them, I asked the people leaving (who were carrying a lot of things—almost like they were moving—they had carts and coats and seemed very burdened by all the items they were carrying): “Where is my mother?” “She is back at the hall, straightening the chairs,” they told me. “Then I will go there to help her,” I replied. I returned to the place—and remembered the front of it as a large, Spanish style (?) entrance with an interesting façade and shallow steps leading up to a larger building, it felt formal, like an old hotel or even a museum entrance way. I believe (though I don’t remember) finding her there. I think we may have embraced and spoken, but I am not sure—I didn’t I bereft or awful when I woke up or in the dream, so probably I found her or we communicated somehow.

As I wrote up the dream for you, I remembered an earlier part: before the guests left, when I had first arrived, and went into a smaller room, where gifts or other items were located (storage or coats or something, it was small and had lots of stuff in it). I remember picking up and opening an elaborate, very large, cream-colored envelope (several feet in size) that was for me, as the bride (I assume). It was flat, like a super elaborate Hallmark card, but unfolded into a cardboard archway (kind of like a pop up book, but bigger than a book). It was, it stated or I knew, an archway for the bride and groom to walk through and down (it was a passageway, not just an arch). It said on the card that it (the card/experience) was supposed to “smell like autumn,” and had images of orange and yellow leaves on the front. I tried to enter it, but could barely fit in my head and shoulders—I remember feeling like Alice in Wonderland after her “Drink Me” episode where she was too big for the room! I thought to myself at the time, “Two people could never both fit here, or walk through it!”

Joanna Roche
October 30, 2010
at my home in Southern California

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