Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I have a bit of a reputation in my family for wild dreams. The sort that combine seamonsters with FA cup finals, specific seat numbers, a gun that's disguised as a pen, and a game of cards. I like to think that the weirdness is all in the fact that I actually TELL people about my dreams. I'm sure there are others who have nighttime encounters with secret agents and fight super heroes in their sleep, but they either forgetwhile they're still in the semi-conscious state that precedes waking, or, very likely, they decide to keep their big mouth shut.

Someone once asked me why I had such dreams. Was I worried about something? Was I watching too many movies? Did I have some kind of prophetic gift requiring interpretation of these famtasies into advice for my everyday self? Or perhaps it was just the outworkings (or inner workings) of a highly-strung, temperamental, artistic brain. I must admit to wondering myself, whether it was completely normal. Or whether I had somehow slipped into a kind of drug-induced hyper reality. In all honesty, I think it's just that I wake up abruptly. But, when it gets down to it, after a fair amount of self-observation and pshychoanalysis, the wanderings of my nocturnal brain are not all that different from when I'm wide awake.

The thing is, when you're awake, your brain hides it from you. When you reach a certain level of consciousness, the brain acquires the ability to process thoughts before you become aware of them. It discards the ideas that seem illogical and crazy. Ideas like playing cards at the FA cup final, in order to hide from a trained assassin. Or flying over the house of your childhood playmate...on a bike. It tells you to think about what to have for breakfast, and who you will see at the gym.

When you're a writer (or an aspiring writer), you have to learn to tune in to theis deeper level of consciousness, the pre-censored version of your thoughts. It's rather exciting, often hilarious and you realise you know a lot more about yourself and your world than you could have guessed.

But Why? Why do we live in a world where we settle for normal? Imagine living in a world where subversive, creative thoughts became reality. I would wake up at five to ten, with golden sunshine hitting my face. I'd spring out of bed on a pogo stick, blowdry my hair into a massive mountain that looks like a Wendy's ice cream, and wrap myself in a white silk floral robe. When the kettle whistled, I would throw open the French doors and sit on the tree-hut balcony eating crumpets, mango, goats cheese and nutella, in the company of a talking cow with very long eyelashes, a wise old man with purple eyebrows, and my first teacher. after breakfast, a little monkey would give me a facial, while we talked politics. And I would be strong and eloquent, like a warrior princess, and although they fought hard, in the end, they would have to succumb to my superiour intellect and faultless argument.

See. See how easy it is to open the lid, to turn off your censor and to let a little bit of crazy flood your day. I am by no means an expert. I suspect there is a lot more craziness inside my brain than this paragraph lets on. But I will continue to tap it. Because you see, if you want to change the world, you have to have a new mind. One that is not limited by the structures of normal.

A normal that says this is the way things are. People are greedy. There is too much selfishness. We can never eradicate poverty. W'll never eliminate the sex trade and child-trafikking. We just have to accept that this is the way things are. Accept? That's crap. This kind of normal sucks.

This world needs something unexpected, something unorthodox, something fresh. Something that you'll never discover if you let your mind decide what is OK to think and what is not.

So. While I want to be "in touch with reality", I also want to live in a dream. To live at a level where nothing is strange and impossible, nothing is too far-fetced and ridiculous. To live in a world where we, who were created to be creators, can flourish and thrive, where flowers of truth are nourished, outgrow the weeds of status quo, and change the world.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Writing about writing

I write
not to share or explain
not to justify or argue

I write to explore
to tangle with thoughts
and feelings

I write to know myself

I'm starting a blog. Sorry to state the obvious. And it's not just because it's trendy (although one by one, my friends seem to be joining this online society of babblers and bloggers). I toyed with the idea of writing a book. Actually, this random guy at a mid-winter Christmas party said I should. OK, he'd downed a few beers. But he asked me about my interests and I said;
"Um...well, I like to write"
"Wow that's great! You should write a book!"
I smiled politely. Humoured him.
"No, really!" he said, like he really meant it. "Life is about taking risks!"
"OK, OK! Well, if I do, I'll mention you." I was joking of course, and he thought it was hilarious as drunk people do. But, for some reason, the idea stuck.

So. it's not a book, I know, but it is an attempt to publish, under the "put it in the public arena" definition. And, in keeping with the promise, however un-serious I was at the time, Russell Bacon of the many beers can now consider himself 'mentioned'.

Anyway, I digress. In the weeks following this encounter, I continued in my writing endeavours and eventually worked up the courage to share a few things with my nearest and dearest. And my facebook friends. It's funny, I imagine that sharing your writing is like leaving your child with a babysitter for the first time. You know it's healthy for both of you. But there is an aspect of breaking...breaking a bond, and sharing that which, up until this point, has been your own.

However, I had the growing feeling that my writing was not just for me. Writing is a gift that shines a spotlight on our hearts (cheesy!) . It's an invisible cord that binds two unrelated beings together. You feel it when you read a poem about something you've exerienced, or when the heroine of a novel says exactly what you were thinking.

Finally (against all cliches, I have saved the worst for last) I am lazy about this. Books require work. Lots of work; researching, collating, editing, spell-checking, packaging, sending, asking, recieving, my opinion, that is already way too many verbs in one sentence.

So, I will blog. I will, I will, I will. And I don't expect it all to be wonderful, or even all good. The main thing is that I write, and that I share it. Writing is a way to see the world, not just with your eyes, but with your fingers, your memories, your fears and with things that you didn't even know existed within you, truly a way to see with everything you have. Wanna watch with me?