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Buffalo eyes…

December 8, 2009

When the human world leaves him in peace,

the child feels like the son of the cosmos…

And thus,

in his solitudes,

from the moment he is master of his reveries,

the child knows the happiness of dreaming which will later be the happiness of poetry…

Gaston Bachelard, in The Poetics of Reverie

This morning I had a dream,

that there was a pair of boxer shorts laying on a tiled bathroom floor,

and outside of the room there was a hide-a-bed,

pulled-out and made-up,

but empty…

The person who was staying in the room wasn’t there,

but his clothes were…

I sat down and read the sports section,

while I waited for him to return…

Hearing the sound of your voice in the house... (photo: Starshine)

An hour later Starshine woke up and came into my bed…

She said,

in her first talk of the morning voice,

I had a scary dream…

I was with a group of people,

adults and children…

Some of my friends from school were with me…

We were being forced into a school portable by these big men wearing darkness…

One of them looked like the Joker…

They were pushing us towards a door,

and then the doors opened up…

I woke myself up just as we were all about to be pushed over a cliff…

We just stayed there for a few minutes,

breathing together…

And then I felt her calm down,

I felt myself relax,

and I felt the fear go away…

I asked her if she felt better…

She said,

Yes I do…

Then we all got up to start the day,

in a panic of course,

because we knew that the school bus was coming,

and now we were running late…

Things like this make me wonder,

why do I still feel anxiety about going,

and getting to school…

Yet when I am in an institution with a big group of children,

like I was yesterday,

hula-hooping to Mamma Mia during lunch hour at my children’s school,

I am completely at home…

I always had lot of scary dreams as a child,

But after I got to be a certain age I was no longer allowed to go into my parents bed in the morning…

I always went to my father’s side,

and I noticed that my sister still could go to our mother’s side,

for years to come…

My parents gave me a reason why,

but I could feel something else I didn’t have words for,

and I thought I had done something wrong…

So I just stayed in my own room,

with my nightmares and my dreams…

Including the dreams where I could fly,

just with my body,

and other children,

in the indigo sky of dusk…

At that perfect time when the sun has gone down,

and the moon has come out,

but it isn’t quite night just yet…

I practice taking off and soaring and landing,

all blissed out of my mind…

Sometimes I still have flying dreams…

I haven’t forgotten everything that I can do…

Sweet dreams are made of things like this…

When appropriate,

I sometimes told my students about my dreams,

as I was starting them for our daily writing practice,

even as I worried I was being too personal,

and not professional enough…

My dream-telling inspired my students,

gaving them permission to share,

and draw,

and tell stories abut their own dreams,

without fear of imposed interpretation,

or being marked,

for life…

One boy, whose first language is not English,

drew this picture…

Home is where you are...

I watched him draw,

using a ruler to painstakingly make the squares and triangles,

and then colour them in…

He told me that he wanted me to finish writing the story of his dream…

He couldn’t get the words down fast enough,

knowing the buzzer for recess,

was about to go off,

and he said,

Yesterday I had a dream about patterns and the patterns were an odd number….

And there were millions of squares in my dream but this picture only shows part of it…

The pattern was colourful…

I felt sad when I woke up because it was so pretty and I wanted it to continue…

Some of my dreams I have five days in a row and every day I woke up I was feeling a little sadder because it keeps getting prettier and I want to stay in the dream…

Three days later he added another page to his dream…

He brought the focus in like a microscope…

Angels on the skytrain...

This is a much closer view of the patterns and shapes that I see in my dreams…

The closer view is more colourful than the far view…

The next morning when this boy came into the classroom I asked him if he wanted to show his dad the story of his dream…

He did…

His father looked and listened,

standing in silent awe of this child who is his son…

His dad,

a lovely sweet man,

told me…

I had no idea that my son experiences such things and can communicate about them like this…

I really didn’t know…

When this boy was six he was tested for reasoning,

and showed up at 11.5 years of age…

I gave the boy a picture of a fractal image a few weeks later…

He said,

That is what I see in my dreams…

but this is the closest I could ever get to drawing what I can see,

with my hand…

I just got lost...


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