The writing prompts are getting into my head. So is my body. You know how thoughts, people, or objects from your daily life will work their way into your dreams? (My friend Sarah, after taking a data-entry position, dreamed of spreadsheets.) My life lately has included the daily prompts, which I also invent and schedule into automatic email newsletters, and capoeira classes three times a week.
Last week, after capoeira and a climbing and slacklining session at Bridges, I dreamed I was on an LA freeway. I was taking one of those off-ramps that slopes up a hill and curves 270° into a near-circle. But I wasn’t in a vehicle. I’m not sure how I was propelling myself; I don’t think I was walking; but it was definitely just me and the road. What I remember most strongly is the sensation of leaning my body into the curve for balance, as if I were skateboarding without the board.
The next night, I dreamed I was with friends and we were doing writing prompts and word games. My friend Caroline offered up a game called Swoop, in which we wrote a word vertically and then came up with a phrase for each letter of the word. (Yes, I’d already scheduled Friday’s Open Mic by then!) The trick was that you had to use the same phrase for all appearances of that letter — so if you had repeating letters, you would repeat the same phrase. I used the word quizzical (only in my dream it had two q’s… quizziqal?) and when I wrote the phrases out, was delighted to see that they all came together into a coherent poem. After waking I remembered this poem for about half a second and then lost it, but I suspect it was not actually as awesome as it seemed in sleeping.
In the same dream, another prompt had me writing a different poem, and what I remember from that one is the last lines were “her tiny blue-green bikini / the exact color of the sea seen from a distance.” I remember thinking of the blue-green of the floorboards in Hilary Knight’s The Owl and the Pussycat, which I had shown to Sarah that very day, and the blue-green of the background in the self-portrait which I’d also painted that same day.