Three Dreams


So, in the first dream I’m in Chichen Itza and walking from the ballcourt to the big pyramid and its just about to get dark. The ruins are placed on this flat expanse of grass that make it look like some big east coast university campus, which, in a sense, I guess it was. But then I realize that there’s going to be a big performance tonight, more than the usual laser light show. There’s going to be a big art performance and Kika Thorne is the director and I’m one of the performers, but I’m not sure what to do. I only know we’re supposed to wear these black turtlenecks and kind of dance up and down the four sides of the pyramid, but I can’t find my turtleneck.

So now I’m about to go back to the Yucatan and repeat more or less exactly last year’s trip, which included some snorkeling and a day trip to Chichen Itza. And so the challenge, the challenge of Chichen Itza, is to try and tap into the profound ancient spirituality of the place. But this is very hard to do. I mean you know its there and if only you were an ancient Mayan you’d be totally in awe and for sure you’d have spent your money’s worth, not just for the day’s trip but for the whole vacation. And so you have all these tourists walking around these vast ancient ruins and they’re all trying very hard, they’re concentrating to tune into the spiritual profundity of the place. And the only way, or at least the easiest way to do this is to imagine you’re one of the first Europeans to discover the place, some happy scientist in search of dead ancient wisdom. But then after this I dream I’m a European and I’m sitting in my library and what I do is I imagine primitive tribes. I just make them up and give them whatever attributes I want. But I am sure that sooner or later this imagined tribe will be found and it will be more or less exactly as I imagined it.

And so my second dream sort of follows this scenario, but this time there’s a kind of breakthrough and instead of just imagining the tribe, I’m part of the tribe. I’m a young man and I’m at a pig slaughtering ritual and I’m very hungry. I’ve been fasting for a while and only drinking this mildly hallucinogenic tea but the effects are wearing off and I’m sitting there watching my uncle slaughtering this pig and all I can think about is how hungry I am. I’m so hungry, but I know the pig won’t be ready for a day and a half. Its a ritual pig, ritual pork, so all I can do is look around for some more of that tea and imagine being in another life.

And the last dream, the last dream sort of follows from the dream before. It might even be the same one. I’m traveling around and I come to this island and the island is full of finches. All different types of finches and they’re all identical, except for their beaks. And their beaks are so functional, so utilitarian — kind of like the Flintstones. They can be used for opening tin cans or coring pineapples — every function has its own special finch. There are even spiritual finches for extracting the ghosts of the dead from thin air and divining finches for locating fresh water, as well as syringe finches for taking blood samples. And I thought, Wow, these finches, these finches are really nice birds, but they have no personality. Everything’s so beak focused, they have personality apart from their beaks.


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