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along the way

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libertygrl
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Posted 04/19/05 - 9:58 AM:

[this is a short story based on a dream i had last night.]

As we crossed the meadow, we came upon an old rabbit by the name of Wheatfield. He took us into his home and told us stories of the revolution. His son, Bunzig, had left home some time ago to join a band of revolutionaries, on their way to greener pastures. I searched Wheatfield's expression for some indication of whether he was proud of his son, or whether he simply felt abandoned, but I could find none. I finally decided that both were true.

Wheatfield showed us a photo of Bunzig, and they were indeed strikingly similar in appearance. Both long in the torso, with especially strong hind feet, Bunzig had only his smooth brown pelt to distinguish him from his father, whose fur was rumpled and grey with age. After many hours had passed, we thanked Wheatfield for his hospitality and informed him that we must be on our way.

In the morning, we met up with a chicken in the middle of the road, and it struck me that this chapter of the story should simply be titled, "Chicken". It seemed clearly to be very upset as its feathers were ruffled and it stood motionless in the road, as if making a declaration of some sort. "Chicken," addressed my partner to the fowl, "have you too been oppressed?"

The chicken blinked, but did not respond in any other manner. It began walking up the hill toward the farmhouse, and we followed it. The chicken led us to a bag of grain, from which it had clearly been feeding itself for some time, unbeknownst to the farmer who lived there. My partner remarked to me that it was no wonder the chicken was upset, as it had been stealing food from the oppressor and thereby suffering some karmic repercussion. "Come with us," said my partner to the chicken. "Where we are going, you can eat bugs and worms and live a free life with a clear conscience. What say you?"

The chicken said nothing, but evidently accepted the invitation as the three of us made our way onward.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 04/20/05 - 9:35 AM:

wow...raised eyebrow
dreams ...
they can be so absurd :p
i love it ! grin

death to the oppressors!nod
libertygrl
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Posted 04/20/05 - 2:10 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:

wow...raised eyebrow
dreams ...
they can be so absurd :p

indeed. and still the archetypal patterns manage to emerge...

trippy stuff. and that is why i love dream interpretation.


smokinpristiformis wrote:

i love it ! grin

death to the oppressors!nod
word!

smiling face smiling face smiling face
b.mellow
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Posted 05/16/05 - 1:13 AM:

Very strange, and also very interesting. Although I can gather nothing from it as a source of information (via dream interpretation), it is interesting as a story in itself. The ending seems to mark a very long and tenuous journey ahead, one filled with optimism and determination, as well as the lingering knowledge of karmanic influences of past wrongs. The struggle and philosophical quest for this utopian society would be interesting, and story-wise, it would make for a good sub-plot to watch the chicken resolve its own demons, knowing it has bad karmanic clouds lingering ... and just how much will "you" and "your partner" be affected by this diseased chicken whom you've taken under your wing? It is also interesting to note an air of predeterminism, as the main character takes specific notes of biological traits in the father/son rabbits, wondering how the father feels of the son's actions, when, really, their actions would be identical: it is then looking deeper and beyond any familial relations and staring into a mirror - are you happy with yourself, your blood line, the you that is inevitable, the blood that runs through you which ran through another who made mistakes, and can you blame this person, and if you do, what does that say about your feelings towards yourself? This karma, that is your heredity. It is your DNA and your bones and your flesh and your smile. And all the ups and downs that accompany it. But from freeing yourself from the biological pursuits of the flesh this main character will strive on a journey of her own towards a world free of oppressors, free of karma, free of the dirt of the Earth, and into one of pure spirit, which she will find upon her leaving. The journey she is taking is the rest of her life, with a new outlook and resolve (who is her partner, taking her hand and guiding her peacefully), yet the very real fact of her former actions and their very real consequences (the chicken) must be brought along as well, for the narrator of this piece is no liar, nor dreamer, but one who wishes to cooperate with life and live as best she can, given what she's been given. Admirable, to say the least.
b.mellow
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Posted 05/16/05 - 1:19 AM:

Dammit lib, I'm convinced. I think you should turn this into a full-out story. You could add your own illustrations (or hire the help of one Mr. Field, or da Monk, or myself) and aim it towards young adults with a serious metaphorical backstory, ala Animal Farm.

Yup, that's it. I'm convinced.
e.
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Posted 05/16/05 - 4:10 AM:

Goodness lib, your juices are really flowing at the moment. This one reminded me a little of George Orwell, 'Animal Farm' (I always have to make a connection,it's so bloody academic! Why can't I just enjoy.)

Cheers, e
libertygrl
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Posted 05/16/05 - 9:18 AM:

ah yes, animal farm. i hadn't even made the connection, although i did see the potential for the story to become a social commentary.

basta, thank you for your thought-provoking comments and interpretation.

one thing that struck me as significant while i was transcribing the dream was that the rabbits have given names while the chicken is addressed by the name of its species. i also noticed that the chicken has no gender. this immediately gave me the impression that the chicken was not sentient, and thus it struck me as humorous that the main characters projected their own belief systems and values onto the chicken: assuming first, based on its stance in the road, that it was upset; assuming second, that it was "leading" them to the source of its upset, whereas it could have just been hungry.

of course, the question of the chicken's sentience or level of comprehension then becomes ambiguous as it joins the 2 main characters in the end; why would it follow them if it didn't understand on some level what was going on?

"The struggle and philosophical quest for this utopian society would be interesting, and story-wise, it would make for a good sub-plot to watch the chicken resolve its own demons, knowing it has bad karmanic clouds lingering ... and just how much will "you" and "your partner" be affected by this diseased chicken whom you've taken under your wing?"

i personally remain especially fascinated by the chicken and your suggestion of unfolding the chicken's story is a good one. in its own way, the chicken is also an aspect of staring into a mirror, although it's hard to escape that interpretation with almost any facet of a dream.

"But from freeing yourself from the biological pursuits of the flesh this main character will strive on a journey of her own towards a world free of oppressors, free of karma, free of the dirt of the Earth, and into one of pure spirit, which she will find upon her leaving. The journey she is taking is the rest of her life, with a new outlook and resolve (who is her partner, taking her hand and guiding her peacefully), yet the very real fact of her former actions and their very real consequences (the chicken) must be brought along as well, for the narrator of this piece is no liar, nor dreamer, but one who wishes to cooperate with life and live as best she can, given what she's been given. Admirable, to say the least."

beautifully stated. these were my thoughts too, although not quite so eloquently formed. thanks again!

smiling facelib
b.mellow
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Posted 05/16/05 - 11:12 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
ah yes, animal farm. i hadn't even made the connection, although i did see the potential for the story to become a social commentary.


Well Animal Farm was just the most obvious, for its talking animals and its plot being a hard-hitting philosophical/political statement. I see all the ingredients right here, with the Chicken representing the past, included in it its mistakes and many consequences for these mistakes as yet unrendered; it'd be interesting to show the two characters eventually trying to ditch the chicken because of the gloom it constantly holds over them, and the next day around the morning campfire, BAM, there he is, just standing there, not speaking, as if nothing had happened. It may have served as an emotional mirror because the past will always reflect only how you're feeling at the moment. When the characters get mad, they blame it on the chicken - 'Mad Chicken' is chapter VI. 'Chicken Ecstatic' chapter IX, and hopefully, 'Chicken Content' or 'Chicken is Pleased' could be one of last chapters.

Your partner represents the path to your future, he is the guide for where you want to be. Included in him should be all the turmoil of whether or not he can make it, or whether you trust this "route" to take you where you want to go. Is this the right path which you *choose* to follow on such a long journey? A wise choice would be to have your partner take you somewhere slightly other than where you'd planned and where he promised, only to come to terms with this fact in any facet of life and accepting the idealistic v. realistic worlds and how they interract.

The main point is that this story, narrated through your own perceptions, is instantly universal, as there's not a single person alive who isn't doing something similar. On a journey into the future with the past lingering behind and a promise for something better in tomorrow. Even if its not immediately recognizable (the metaphor, that is) people would still relate unconsciously and find themselves drawn to the story, such a simple story, so simple that is speaks a universal, basic human truth. Hmm... I like it. But I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries here, cause this is kinda fun. It seems I've been itching to use some creativity recently.

one thing that struck me as significant while i was transcribing the dream was that the rabbits have given names while the chicken is addressed by the name of its species. i also noticed that the chicken has no gender. this immediately gave me the impression that the chicken was not sentient, and thus it struck me as humorous that the main characters projected their own belief systems and values onto the chicken: assuming first, based on its stance in the road, that it was upset; assuming second, that it was "leading" them to the source of its upset, whereas it could have just been hungry.


After I typed my message last night, my mind lingered on it later and I realized it was the same exact context by which the chicken stands in the road as the father rabbit reveals his attitude toward his son. Their demeanors are the same and thus I think a greater link is between them than you may have suspected, thus why I pronounced the chicken as being a sort of "bloodline." I've little doubt (if your story stays true to the structure of your actual dream) that this attitude of the father rabbit struck you in some certain light and these feelings remained with you, either into the next phase of your dream and dominating it unconcsiouly (literally creating an entire character out of this one emotional reaction to a previous characters action, or, lack thereof) or being so forceful as to cause you to redirect the dream away from these rabbits and onto the more pressing problem/question/dilemma. They do stay with the rabbits for hours, presumably chatting away, and yet this one emotional reaction changes the entire landscape of the dream.

i personally remain especially fascinated by the chicken and your suggestion of unfolding the chicken's story is a good one. in its own way, the chicken is also an aspect of staring into a mirror, although it's hard to escape that interpretation with almost any facet of a dream.


Yes, I certainly see, as hopefully I've articulated better here, as each character ("you", "your partner" and the chicken) as all representing different facets of yourself - each is a mirror - yet two look in opposite directions and you, who in the story, it is revealed very little of, are actually the embodiment of all of them, the naive optimism and determination of the partner and the glooming bad-karma receiving chicken, making you the most interesting character as you must mediate between the two.

beautifully stated. these were my thoughts too, although not quite so eloquently formed. thanks again!


You're very welcome. This was quite enjoyable.

basta
libertygrl
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Posted 05/16/05 - 2:26 PM:

basta wrote:

But I hope I'm not overstepping my boundaries here, cause this is kinda fun.

not at all! your input is most appreciated, and certainly apropos. nod you're a natural at this stuff, i tell ya.


basta wrote:

Even if its not immediately recognizable (the metaphor, that is) people would still relate unconsciously and find themselves drawn to the story, such a simple story, so simple that is speaks a universal, basic human truth. Hmm... I like it.

Two pertinent quotes from Marie Louise Von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales:

"It is in the same way true, Jung says, that the dream is its own best explanation."

(However...)

"The interpreter is useful, for he says, "Yes, look here! The dream begins very badly, but the lysis is very good! Surely it says that you are still a fool or half-blind, but it also says there is a treasure." Interpretation gets a bit more objective. The dream or tale is not only pulled into the already existing trend of consciousness. Hence, we practice interpretation in analysis."
b.mellow
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Posted 05/16/05 - 3:29 PM:

"It is in the same way true, Jung says, that the dream is its own best explanation."


"It is thought to be much more beautiful to solve unnoticed an erotic tension, in the elevated feelings of religious poetry, in which perhaps many other people can find joy and consolation. One is wrong to storm against this conception from the radical standpoint of fanaticism for truth.

I think that one should view with philosophical admiration the strange paths of the libido and should investigate the purposes of its circuitous ways."

Jung - Psychology of the Unconscious
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