timid explorer

there are degrees of
impenetrable darkness
— sometimes it’s OK
to travel no further than
the familiar unknown

I dreamed I was in France on holiday, running out of money and missing my flight home. In the dream I had a vivid enjoyment of being immersed in Parisian culture even despite whatever anxiety about money and practicalities. The poem is crap unfortunately, as it entirely fails to capture that enchantment of Paris, which was the most powerful feature of the dream, and instead interprets the general idea of France (from a UK perspective) as symbolising the familiar unknown. Much too abstract. I also dreamed of an episode of Doctor Who featuring the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. Though in this case, the Pied Piper was being hypnotised by the mice rather than the mice by the Pied Piper. Mice being proverbially timid, this links up with the poem’s title. First thing this morning, before writing the poem, I did some work on improving the text of my own story for a presentation in the new year. I decided to insert a few sentences very close to the beginning which makes it quite clear (I hope) just how committed I am to the notion of ‘the unconscious’. It’s crazy stupid just how difficult I find it to talk about this when I do these presentations. I always feel it is far too intellectual and abstract. But it’s fundamental to how I see the world and it’s really the main reason why I was able to process my own madness successfully and come out the other side. Here’s the text I inserted this morning:

Surely if you’ve never questioned your own sanity — you’ve never lived. I’m someone who believes that the conscious mind is just the tip of an enormous iceberg — the unconscious mind. And madness is just simply whatever you experience when the unconscious mind takes over. Madness is therefore an opportunity for self-knowledge. 


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