Lucid Dreamers

COLLAGE & ANIMATION SHARE THE SAME PLAYBOOK as dreams. Scale for one. In all three expressions there are no limits to size. (An egret and a hummingbird might comfortably share a nest, for instance.) Time is also elastic; historic and current events mingle in a collage or a cartoon. Time and sequence travel independently. It isn't unusual to see Renaissance nymphs tussle with petite polo players on tiny ponies—we expect the unexpected in a collage.

You'll notice that animals tell the story in most of the Bucolic Disasters and Lucid Dreamers collages. Orbs bounce in and out of the scene; sometimes they resemble eggs. Or planets. (Their numbers are significant). Dirigibles and hot air balloons appear menacing. Birds are the narrators of the story, while mammals do most of the heavy lifting. The few people that populate this landscape are dreamers. I am one.

Once upon a time . . .

I saw a large, magnificent ink and watercolor painting by an unknown Chinese artist at a small museum. It was a pastoral image of a road that snaked up a steep mountain towards a simple cottage on the horizon. That night, I dreamed I traveled the inky road of that enchanting painting, supremely happy to see it from the inside. I dreamed myself into the painting.

During another period of exhausting exhilaration (something to do with falling in love), I experienced a series lucid dreams that lasted for about two weeks. I flew above the clouds in my dreams, talked with the long dead, and held my own hand as I jumped off a cliff into a welcoming sea. In a lucid dream the dreamer is aware she is dreaming. This led to reading Dr. Stephen LaBerge's pioneer work in the field of dream studies and learning about dream time in other cultures.

Recently I have revisited the sport. For me, lucid dreams arrive unbidden. In fact, so far, they cannot be summoned. But dreams can be coaxed. Meditation on the subject before going to sleep is helpful, as is making notes in a dream journal I have by my pillow. These new collages, which follow the Bucolic Disasters series, come from dreams and dreamers who tell the story.