Dream Narrative


I had a quite strange dream last night.

I was Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes. I was with Hobbes, of course, and was playing (what else?) Calvinball. For those who don’t know, Calvinball is… well,

Other kids’ games are all such a bore!
They’ve gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It’s never the same! It’s always bizarre!
You don’t need a team or a referee!
You know that it’s great, ’cause it’s named after me!

— Calvin

Anyway, we were playing indoors for whatever reason. (You know how those things are in dreams.) Suddenly Hobbes went over to the window and told me to come look at something. There were a bunch of blue jays outside (not that I know what a blue jay looks like – I just knew that’s what kind of bird they were). Hobbes said they were playing calvinball, and playing it better than we were.

Suddenly, they started bringing stuff to us. It seemed to have something to do with the game. When we inspected their gifts, however, they turned out to be body parts of birds –  heads, talons, wings. They weren’t bleeding, or messy at all, but they were clearly from actual birds.

The dream then ended. (Or, rather, shifted to a completely different setting such that I’m even sure it was the same dream. This second one was less interesting; it had to do with physics class or something…) For some reason I remembered it.

Why am I relating this narrative? Because of this blog post from Heaven Tree, which I happened to read a few days ago (I have absolutely no connection to the author, but it looks like an interesting blog so I might start reading it regularly). The above dream narrative sounds full of mystical significance, at least to me. But it doesn’t really mean anything; it resulted, most likely, from my brain randomly piecing together stuff that had been floating around in my head the previous day. And, detail-less as it is, I’m not even sure if the details there are are correct. Was I really Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes? I think so, but I’m also pretty sure the dream was in three dimensions. I have no idea what Hobbes looks like in three dimensions. So how could I have been Calvin, and my companion Hobbes?

And what the hell does it mean for blue jays to be playing calvinball better than Calvin? It sounds like something out of T. H. White –  remember the wild geese, and how man supposedly wouldn’t fight wars if he learned how to fly?

But even if it makes no sense, it still seems full of mystical significance. What this indicates, perhaps, is that this sort of artistic mysticism is really just randomness, and its mystic appearance comes from the human impulse to find order and meaning in things that are really random. If that’s the case, then, does that mean that things of this nature are worthless? Was this dream worthless?

I don’t think it was, because meaningful or not, it still seems like a rather beautiful image. Meaningless, but haunting, I would say.  Perhaps that is the nature of most art – randomness that we attempt to find meaning in, and sometimes succeed, but even if we fail it doesn’t matter. All I know right now is, I’m not going to be able to forget the image of blue jays bringing body parts as gifts while playing calvinball for a long time.


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