Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Dreams can be terrifying at times, especially when they contain guest appearances from God. I haven't posted on my blog for almost three weeks but it's only been one of the more eventful three weeks of my existence, even if you include being incapacitated with the flu for about two weeks.
God does appear in dreams. Or I assume so when it's a tall old man named Ely. A thin, white haired gent whom I meet at a cocktail party. It's obviously God, and I know so even in the dream itself, because of "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani" and other popular quotes. This cocktail party is on the stage at the Thailand Cultural Center and it's on the occasion of the production of some spectacular new play (maybe, as it is on stage, the cocktail party IS the play.) He is a charming gent who sort of oversees the party and he is not just a gent, he's an AGENT. There is also a fat playwright, thinning hair, elegant suit. I mistakenly call him Ely. Big mistake.
In the wings, downstage right, there is a shed. Trisdee and I camp there. We have our own sleeping bags. I tell the playwright we always lie down there to watch the plays unfold. Trisdee have a discussion about whether we should send free tickets to Achara, the chairperson of the Bangkok Symphony.
I leave early. I find myself alone.
I walk around, get lost. I am walking along the edge of a canal, and it is the dead of night. I realize I have been pickpocketed. I hail a taxi. I am stressing. All the credit cards are gone. I get out my cell phone. It is pink. It is the wrong phone. The numbers don't work and there is a strange message.
Panicking, I believe they have substituted a phone as well as taking all the cards and money ... not that much money, about 8000 baht wich I had just got from the ATM, but I won't be able to pay the taxi.
The taxi -- fat bully, intimidates me hideously -- in my confusion, I ask for Soi 52 (ny old house number, from my childhood) then soi 25 ... before getting the right one. He says he will take me by a different route because of the traffic. i say anything as long as I get there. I worry how to pay. Everything is unfamiliar. It's dark with the occasional garish neon.
I find my real cell phone hidden deeper in my pocket I pull it out. I think about all the people I have to call to replace the credit cards. I call my mother. I wonder if she's at home to pay the taxi.
I say "Are you at home?"
In a shocked voice, she answers, "Are you planning to move out?" (She misunderstands, thinks I am going to give up this house and move to Soi 33, the real house that is in my name) I say No, I would never move out, do you happen to have any money .. How much she says, obviously thinking it will be a fortune ... "taxi money" I say....
The taxi moves through alien territory.....
This is a dream of immense complexity that deals with many issues from the Oedipal to the Cosmic. It also deals with the nature of reality and illusion. I associate the pink phone with Jay, the young violinist who is now living in my house, because that's his favorite color, so the dream is also about members of my family, both blood and adopted. It's also about how familiar territory is actually an alien country. And the notion of God as an agent....
This week came the official announcement that I have won a new national honor, the Silapathorn Kittikun Award, for my contributions to the arts. The award has come to me, I suspect, through an enormous amount of political maneuvering (though not on my part) and signals a dramatic change in the Ministry of Culture's attitude towards me. I feel that perhaps my career at this point has something in common with that of Prokofiev, who fled to America and enjoyed great artistic freedom, then felt impelled to return to his native country where there was always a certain ambivalence at work. The Heisenbergian shifts in my landscape, both inner and outer, are confusing to say the least. But if this award somehow makes it easier to achieve my vision of a huge artistic renaissance in this region, then it must be worth it.
Posted by Somtow at 1:31 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Last week I went to give a reading at the Neilson Hayes library, and nobody came!
Now, the background to this is that I'm supposed to give a bimonthly reading from my new novel in progress, JADE, which for some bizarre reason, none of my New York publishers seem to want. The first reading was attended by a huge rainstorm as well as by about a dozen drenched enthusiasts. The organizers moaned and groaned ... the rain had ruined everything! Could I do a second performance for the people who had not managed to make it because of the storm? I agreed.
This time, the weather was sunny, the afternoon highly conducive to an hour of storytelling, yet the library was ... empty.
The moral of this story is that when the weather's nice, people have better things to do than to listen to the ramblings of some writer who used to be big in the 80s....
Posted by Somtow at 12:14 PM
Maybe not. Yet it does seem that blogspot was unavailable to people in Thailand for about 48 hours, though not everywhere. And when I accessed it through aol, usually a surefire way of reaching anything in America, it came up with a German menu. Now, the political scene is calm again. And blogspot is accessible again. The coincidence seems remarkable and I wonder about a possible connection. The above picture shows how I live in constant terror. It actually does depict the desk I write and compose at. And I do write in the nude, a trick taught to me by the late Theodore Sturgeon. It makes you more vulnerable to the raging psychic storm around. Or something.
Posted by Somtow at 11:25 AM