Bird of the Night | Mark Lindsay

Vivid dreams. I go through phases. For months, my sleep is nothing more than a murky journey through a fogged looking glass. These are the peaceful nights of bliss, the nights of grainy, black & white. Then it all shifts into aerobic nights of tossing and turning—technicolor visions of the other side. It shifted into this phase the other night. During a peaceful dream the looking glass cracked and then shattered into a million pieces. I heard the shrill sound of the breaking crystal. It was as clear as could be. I awoke out of breath. The ceiling fan was silently rotating—its spinning blades looking like those of an army helicopter. I sat up and looked around. No broken glass here. But the shards were symbolic, the shift was complete. I knew I was entering a more active dream phase. The shadows of the moon were deep as I glided off like a bird of the night.

I'd decided a few weeks ago to bring my dreams into my art. I've wanted to work with photomontage again. Dreams are good inspiration for the layered and symbolic work that I've been imagining. I suspect that this intention has triggered my subconscious mind and given it permission to go into high gear. This is good for art, bad for a good night's sleep.

Now my dreams are yet again fertile ground for creative imagery. But, remembering them is a challenge. They say that you should keep a notebook by your bed if you want to remember your dreams. This has never worked for me. When I put a notebook close to my pillow it makes me think of the notebook all night. My sleep gets even worse. Yet, dreams are so fragile. They fade with the first cognitive motions of morning. It's as if the the other dimensions shut down with shuffling of morning feet. Working on one's art during the night is exhausting work.

I've always loved the night, preferring it to daylight. I am a child of the moon, not the sun. So, it is natural for me to work with dreams and bring them back out of the shadow. This kind of art is good for my soul. But, my creaky, old body needs its sleep. I have yet to figure out a way to follow my dreams and wake up refreshed in the morning. So, today, this old bird of the night is cranky. But, that too can be good for art!

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