Day 14: Dreams/Confessions/Peckham’s #4 & #5

AB Dreams/Writing update:
I made a discovery about a dream that my narrator had about herself. She saw herself as a bog woman, a wet suit, bloated, rank-smelling in the murk of a marsh. This makes more sense to me than a dollhouse-self, or a dollhouse head, which I think is what her grandmother’s self is made up of in this dream world.

I know this makes little sense, but dreams rarely do unless you’re mired in context, right? And if I am to get to know my narrator, my narrator’s world, then the first thing I need to be sure about is her dream world. I wrote the dream about 5 times over the course of three of my writing days.

If she dreamt of herself as a hollow book within a book within a book–a nesting book self of sorts–then maybe her unconscious sense of self would be about empty containers. But this person is a real mess, not a stack of boxes.

And then I go back and ask myself–if this dream has her grandmother in it, what new thing is her grandmother saying to her dream-self, and how is it different from what her grandmother told her on her (grandma’s) deathbed?

Are dreams more urgent, stripped bare, then anything a grandma could say to a granddaughter on a deathbed?

Back to Irv’s visit.

Nola Studiola Question 3: What fruit and what vegetable each deserve a week-long celebration? 

Fruit:  Strawberries.  Vegetable: spinach.  Artichokes.

Nola Studiola Question 4: Is there a time in your life you could have used a Nola studiola? (alone, in New Orleans, semi off-the-grid, unemployed) What’s one thing you’d be sure to do if you were ensconced in my Nola studiola?

Nola—I don’t think so.  I’m learning to appreciate NOLA more.  If I were ensconced—I would be writing on my laptop.  And I would be playing my guitar.  And I would be reading a good book, like the one I am just finishing—Birds without Wings.


Dear Studiola readers:

A confession. I’ve bounced back and forth between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, in and out of fake solitude these first two weeks of Studiola-hood. I am a silly version of solo-retreating. I have been hugging a dog, hugging a man I love, filling holes in walls, labeling my possessions and re-arranging my boxes in a storage unit as if my life depended on it, half-dreading and half-desiring studiola-ing. Saying lots of goodbyes, unpeeling goodbyes, unravelling, hoping to find that at the center of it all there are no goodbyes. Only the meatiest bloom.

And, for Irv, eating artichokes on the last of our dishes.

About alison barker