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Poe-try for Halloween

18 Oct

To inspire some Halloween dreams, why not visit Poe Park in the Bronx? Edgar Allan Poe Poe rented the white farmhouse that’s there for a few years, and it’s conveniently located along the Grand Concourse. The visitor’s center keeps a full schedule of creative-arts events. Or take the walking tour of Poe’s Publisher’s Row. We all know about the famous, scary stories Poe wrote. But there’s his poetry, too—and yes, “A Dream” and even “A Dream Within a Dream.”

The cottage at Poe Park in the Bronx

The cottage at Poe Park in the Bronx

Newish dream books by New Yorkers

10 Jul

Add these recent books to your reading list. They’re by local members of the International Association for the Study of Dreams:

About Dreams, by Suzanne T. Saldarini

About Dreams, by Suzanne T. Saldarini

 

  • The Gap, an ebook by New York psychoanalyst Lou Hagood, is available on Apple’s iBooks Store for iPhones & iPads, as well as Amazon’s Kindle and most other readers. It’s about a blind seer who does dream play in the Underworld.
The Gap, by Louis Hagood

The Gap, by Louis Hagood

 

Lavender, by Judy B. Gardiner

Lavender, by Judy B. Gardiner

 

1855 print: “A Dream of Twelfth Night”

8 Jul

New York City is a wonderful place in the summer (except maybe for the heat and humidity). There are scads of free events, especially outdoors: movies, drumming, opera, symphony performances, bike rides, gardening, art shows, and theater, Shakespeare in particular.

I’ve been on a Shakespeare kick the last few years as a result, but I’m still a beginner. So, always on the lookout for blog material, I Google a play’s title in combination with the word “dream.”

Twelfth Night is one of the plays being offered this year, at the municipal parking lot at Ludlow and Broome streets on the Lower East Side. (Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is, in its own right, one of the great things about summer in NYC.) Correct me if I missed something, but apparently dreams don’t figure in Twelfth Night (unlike, say, Macbeth, also being offered this summer — Macbeth in a New York Minute, by Classical Theatre of Harlem and Dimona Theater/Cultural Lab [based in Israel]).

A Dream of Twelfth Night is a different story. It’s not being offered in NYC, per se, but online (Amazon and eBay, also to be found on Google Books): it’s a drawing by George Thomas that appeared in The Illustrated London News of January 13, 1855.

"A Dream of Twelfth Night," by George Thomas

“A Dream of Twelfth Night,” by George Thomas

“The Everything Guide to Sleep” . . . Isn’t

13 Jun

New York magazine’s website has a set of articles collectively titled “The Everything Guide to Sleep,” which includes an infographic showing the sleep habits of a number of well-known artists, inventors, and so on. (As a commenter there pointed out, the group is short on women.)

There’s also a short interview titled “In Conversation With a Lucid Dreamer,” which is interesting but a woefully skimpy treatment of dreaming. Go on over and let New York know it’s missing so much! And that a good place to find it is the International Association for the Study of Dreams website, ASDreams.org. (I’m just back this week from IASD’s fabulous 2014 annual conference in Berkeley, so rich with everything from lucid dreaming to neuroscience to collage and poetry to church-based dream groups to Kabbalah. Endless dreaming and ways to work with dreams!)

The Creative Power of Dreams: conference report

31 May

With abject apologies to Ira Barouch, from whom I solicited this guest post, at long last I’m posting his report on the New England Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)—which took place one long year (and a few days) ago. Two main reasons for my delay: The article happened to come to me just a few days after I had to move out of the apartment I had lived in for 26 years because my landlord needed to sell it (and I was still deep in trying to find a new place), so life was rather chaotic for quite a while. Also, a synchronistic typo occurred as I was doing a light edit of the piece. It occurred in the paragraph after the one on Kabbalah and dreams. Intending to type an em dash (Alt-0-1-5-1 on the number keypad when using Windows), I accidentally typed something I never have before or since: ק, a character I recognized as a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Because I’d heard of the Kabbalistic use of a numerology system called gematria, I emailed the friend who had told me about it for help in deciphering a potential gematria meaning of this little synchronicity. He was on his way out of the country, and at that point, I’m embarrassed to say, procrastination set in on both following up with him later and getting Ira’s post posted.

A small saving grace for me: Ira’s report has timeless relevance because of the subject matter. It also has timely relevance, because several of the people who presented at the New England conference will be presenting at IASD’s annual conference next week (June 3–8) in Berkeley, California: Linda Yael Schiller, Tzivia Gover, Curtiss Hoffman, and Deirdre Barrett. So Ira’s report can serve as a bit of a preview of the upcoming conference. Continue reading

It’s gonna be a strange and wonderful weekend

2 Aug

Trying to be disciplined about staying on theme here, I don’t indulge much in posts about things that are dreamlike. But a selection of activities in New York City this weekend (and honestly, I’ve searched only Thursday and Friday at ClubFreetime.com) is too quirky to pass up commenting. And anyway, there really are some dream-titled ones among these events.

And me with a camera that’s refusing to work. Assuming I’m in town, I plan to get to as much as I can; thanks to the apartment search that’s become never-ending (and no further word from my landlord), I’ve been missing summer in a big way! Regardless — If you get to any of these events and find truly dream-related material (or have resulting dreams yourself), report back here!!

THURSDAY

Arctic Summer, Part 1, National Museum of the American Indian,several times during the day (and Friday, too)

The Owl and the Lemming: The quick-witted lemming outwits the hungry owl. Puppets made of sealskin by local artists act out this Inuit folktale.

The Twenty-First Annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: Competitions in strength, agility and traditional skills highlight this 1982 event. We see such events as the two-foot and one-foot high kicks, the knuckle hop, the blanket toss and the four-man carry.

The Owl who Married a Goose: An owl falls in love with a goose, but has a tough time adapting to life on the water. Continue reading

Nora Ephron’s bedbug dream

30 Jun
Nora Ephron in April 2010 (photo by David Shankbone, from Wikipedia Commons)

Nora Ephron in April 2010
(photo by David Shankbone,
from Wikipedia Commons)

A small item to contribute to the memorialization of New Yorker Nora Ephron, who died this week. It’s been on my list of posts to write for more than a year now, and it comes from a New York Observer article (11/10/10) by Chloe Malle that appeared shortly after the publication of Ephron’s book I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections, which happened to be at the time when New York was experiencing its bedbug panic:

Nora Ephron has many unanswered questions. Is this the beginning of the end? And will they go away or is it like the plague? The director of Julie and Julia adjusted her black booted ankle, pulling it closer to the seat of the white tufted couch in her guest living room. “You know the science fiction ending where the world has only bugs left? Is this it? And why do they say crazy as a bedbug? They seem to know exactly what they’re doing.” Ms. Ephron sat placidly in the living room of the guest apartment several floors below the one she shares with husband Nick Pileggi.

She hasn’t thought about bedbugs today, though she did dream about them recently. “Don’t you think everyone has had a dream about bedbugs?” She asked. What was her dream? “That we had one! I don’t remember anything else except that I woke up and said, ‘I dreamed we had bedbugs,’ and Nick said, ‘Of course you did,’ and that was the end of it.”

What about you? Have you had a dream about a bedbug? I don’t remember having any, and that’s fine with me!

 

“Hamlet” and hamlets

14 Apr

I woke this morning (4/13)

hearing the name (Something) Hamlet, probably at the end of a brief conversation between a man and a young-ish blonde woman with a high ponytail.

In other words, “Hamlet” was someone’s last name in my dream.

A series of associations came to mind right away: 1> Shakespeare’s play. 2> I have a videotape I bought recently titled Discovering Hamlet. (Then later) 3> I’d love to be able to get my videos, cassettes, and LPs recorded to a hard drive before I have to move. It would make one less set of stuff to pack.

That “have to move” part was roaring through my mind as I went to sleep (or attempted to) last night. I’d called my landlord in the afternoon to report a couple of things that need taking care of, and got his secretary, as usual. “He hasn’t talked to you?” she asked. Um, no. Then she dropped this bomb: “He wants to sell the apartment.” Continue reading

Montague Ullman’s influence lingers at publication parties

11 Mar

On what’s probably the last day of vaguely winter weather of 2011–2012’s vaguely winter season, I’m getting back to work here by writing about a holiday party I attended at the other end of the season, in December.  More to the point, about the books I received from the party host, Cosimo.

Appreciating Dreams, by Montague Ullman

Cosimo, a specialty publisher in New York City (whose owner is a Dutch expat),  does “publishing on demand” in several categories. In 2006, Cosimo republished Appreciating Dreams,

in connection with a seminal 2005 talk by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Montague Ullman (1916–2008). The Ullman Method of group dreamwork has widely influenced how people work together to understand their dreams. Appreciating Dreams is the “manual” for the Ullman Method.

Montague Ullman, on his site maintained by Markku Siivola

Montague Ullman, on his site maintained by Markku Siivola's

Understanding Dreams, by Markku SiivolaCosimo gave out gift bags at the party, and some of the bags included a just-published book by Finnish psychologist Markku Siivola, a friend and student of Monte Ullman’s. That book is a restatement and introduction of the Ullman Method, titled Understanding Dreams: The Gateway to Dreams Without Dream Interpretation. Markku and I met at one of the weekend-long dream group dream leadership trainings that Monte used to conduct in his home in Ardsley, New York. That weekend afforded a convincing demonstration of the Ullman Method’s ability to be just as insight-inducing and satisfying for group members as for the person whose dream they’re working on: at some point in using the Ullman Method on a dream I’d brought, both Markku and I were deeply affected, each for our own reasons. So I’m particularly looking forward to reading his take on the method. Continue reading

200,000 descendents of Nieuw Amsterdam’s miller

25 Jul

This past week I finished reading the novel City of Dreams, by Beverly Swerling, which traces several generations of surgeons and apothecaries from the Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam through the English takeover (making it New York) to the American Revolution. (Vivid and fascinating. It was frequently my bedtime reading, and to my surprise, few or no nightmares resulted: the era’s surgery, medicine, and public punishments were all gruesome, and all vividly and copiously described.)

After six months of that, I’m highly alert to anything Nieuw Amsterdam…such as a June 22 article on The New York Times website: “The Van Dusens of Nieuw Amsterdam.” The Van Dusens in question are the numerous descendents—now spread across the country—of “one of Manhattan’s first few hundred settlers, the operator of a windmill where the Dutch ground grain….

It all began with Abraham, whose forebears were from the town of Duersen in northern Brabant. Known in official documents as “Abraham the miller,” or “Abraham Pieterszen,” as in son of Peter”….Two of Abraham’s progeny — Martin Van Buren, a great-great-great-grandson; and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (add four more greats) — served as presidents of the United States. A third, Eliza Kortright (Generation 7), married one, James Monroe.

Another is the current mayor of Astoria, Oregon. (Lots of multimedia with the article—including recipes from a 19th-century cookbook, Civil War diaries, and a bucolic 1814 view from 110th Street.)

I wanted to blog about the article, but I had to come up with my own excuse, because there’s no mention in it of dreams. So naturally I Googled: “‘Van Dusen’ and dream.” I was handed plenty of news hooks. From just the first page of search results: Continue reading