Sunday, February 24, 2008

Baggin' the Dragon: Dreams Bridging Artistic Endeavors and the Evolution of Consciousness

Just to free up my mind, occasionally I'll turn a brown paper bag inside out and pull out the dime store brushes and acrylics. 'Baggin' the Dragon' was painted in June of 2003 while I was living in Herrliberg, Switzerland, a small village on the eastern shore of Lake Z├╝rich. I usually write in notebooks, in cafes, and I had done just this while living in Florence, Italy that previous year—writing in notebooks. In April of 2003, I left Firenze and went to live in Herrliberg and it was there that I transcribed my handwritten notebooks into a computer file on my laptop. Extroverted Firenze has proven to be a great source of inspiration and introverted Lake Zurich has proven to be a sanctuary where in peace I can sort through much of the unconscious material that forms my writing.

While painting 'Baggin' the Dragon,' I had a dream about a black bag, a small duffle where I kept my handwritten notebooks. In the dream, the small black duffle was moving, as if there was either a rat or a snake in the bag. I had just finished typing several hundred pages into the laptop… actually, more than eight hundred pages and I believed that this task of transcribing and making my first pass through the raw material was completed. At the time, I actually considered this excessive volume of work to be two distinctly separate novels. The dream suggested otherwise.

At first, I couldn't tie the dream to my writing process, even though upon awaking every morning, I would religiously record my dreams, and from there spin off into my writing. In other words, dreams have always be the source of my inspiration. A few days passed, and the dream stayed with me, so I finally went to the black bag and literally pulled out the notebooks and began to compare the handwritten notes to the transcribed computer document. 'By chance' I happened upon several pages that had been inadvertently overlooked. These ended up being integral, connecting passages from my notes that tied the two books into one. This dream was a bridge, bringing unification to what I believed were two separate wholes. I am most grateful that grace allowed me to step aside so that something greater than my limited ego could take over and complete what was beyond my sole human capacity to accomplish.

What a wonderful testimony to the power of dreams and the unconscious—bridging artistic endeavors and the evolution of consciousness.

Mel Mathews, is the author of several novels, including the Malcolm Clay Trilogy: LeRoi ISBN 9781926715339 Menopause Man-Unplugged ISBN 9781926715360, & SamSara ISBN 9780977607624 (Fisher King Press). His books are available from your local bookstore, a host of on-line booksellers, or you can order them directly from his website at:

© 2009 Mel Mathews

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