Friday, May 15, 2015

The Man with the Lantern

Lori Witzel linked to this fabulous series of accounts of the Man in the Moon, which I knew little of. My Man with the Lantern is a recurrent image I have upon falling asleep: not quite a dream, I think, though it might have come from a dream originally. I am far underground in a system of branching tunnels, and ahead of me is a man carrying a lantern. He appears and disappears, as he goes around corners, but I'm always able to follow the lantern-light on the walls, whether I can see him or not. He half turned once and he was Dave Bonta, but I think that was a nonce avatar: he can probably take whatever form is handy. I imagine he's been Diogenes as well. He's not usually very distinct. 

He is patiently searching: stopping sometimes and scrutinizing the walls or the ceiling. I am not. I am not looking for anything in particular, and certainly not for a way out. I am just following him into the dream world.

A dark May morning, heavily overcast and thinking of rain. I am slow: I slept too long this morning, after a night of wandering from bed to couch, in various stages of half-sleep. Duermevela, you say in Spanish, sleepwake, but we seem to have no word for it in English. 

Shaking off intimations of defeat and disaster, the fret of little-mind about its own precious continuity  as if it could care about, or understand, continuities larger than itself!  and finding, at times, a rightness underneath. I have taken to worrying, lately, in an uncharacteristic, unattractive, and mostly unfruitful way. Not a habit to encourage. No. Return to the sky: bright or gloomy, dry or wet. If I spend too much time indoors I start to believe in a world little enough to understand, a world of sense, a world that can be accounted for and rendered into credits and debits. That won't do.

1 comment:

jo(e) said...

I'm the same way if I spend too much indoors or on the computer -- I need to be outside to get some perspective.

I love the idea of a Man with a Lantern leading you into the world of dream.