Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

miércoles, mayo 04, 2011

The Elephant

When we last saw your Bloguero, he was in the sun, sitting on the deck, and contemplating Macedonio Fernandez’s Museo de Novela de Eterna. A question arose, as your Bloguero was fulfilling his role in that novel as its reader: is this museum your Bloguero lives in different in any substantive way from la Estancia de novela, where Museo takes place?

(Parenthetical Note to reader. Novela in Spanish has one “l”, in Ingles, it has two. Your Bloguero’s computer thinks it is supposed to insert a second “l”. Repeatedly. Despite constant correction. So language hegemony goes.)

Your Bloguero supposes not really. Dreams abound, and they have lodged themselves in some corners of this house. For protection. And longevity. And time has slightly discolored some of the walls, adding shadows, providing camouflage for the dreams’ many hiding places. Sometimes your Bloguero is amazed to find a dream sitting in the middle of the floor, or on the ceiling, there for the viewing.

One recent dream discovered thus:

An elephant has escaped from its handlers, and has run down the beach to escape the intense heat and to frolic in the ocean. It floats in the surf, blowing sea water through its trunk onto its back. On the shore, its handlers grow impatient for it to return. They yell at it, “Come bank, Sweetness, come back!” Sweetness, if that is her name, ignores them. She wallows in the cool water, she swims around in circles, she sprays the sea with her trunk. “Sweetness,” they shout. “Come back.” Evidently, she’ s not yet ready to return to land, to heat, to servitude, and to them. She ignores their shouts and continues her bath. The handlers become more impatient. And angry. One of them shouts at her and in frustration throws a coconut toward her. Sweetness apparently doesn’t care for this. At all. She trumpets and swims farther down the beach, farther away. The handlers run down the beach after her, kicking up sand.

But wait, your Bloguero mutters. Wait! An elephant? What is an elephant doing in your Bloguero’s dreams? Jaguars, tigers, bar flies, gangsters, judges, cops, sure. Spouses, ex-spouses, children, strangers, teachers, sure. But an elephant? How can there be a pachyderm, and a non-circus, domesticated, imprisoned one at that, in this dream? And what is this lumbering, heavyweight dream doing stuck to the slightly discolored wall of this estancia, your Bloguero’s casa, his finca

(A Second Parenthetical Note to reader. Admittedly this sliding from one language into another is not just another affectation your Bloguero has adopted. No. It has a point. Yes, it does. And the point is this: the border between the North part of this Hemisphere and the rest of it is an artificial, mental construct, that in your Bloguero’s opinion has facilitated exploitation and suffering. It needs to be made completely porous and then utterly ignored.)

This swimming elephant is obviously a dream elephant. There is no way that an actual elephant could be standing on the second floor of a wooden, 160 year old house in New England. Or swimming there. But that doesn’t make this apparition less valuable to your Bloguero. To the contrary: dream elephants are evidently rare. And paucity of supply, as the reader undoubtedly knows, increases price.

(A Third Parenthetical Note to reader. Your Bloguero is obviously afflicted with unusual, uncontrolled digressions. Bizarre associations. But never mind that. That is a McGuffin. Any paragraph that can connect the law of supply and demand with dreams of large mammals is worthy of your intense consideration. Is this intended as an illustration of the inter-connectedness of all things? Probably it’s more ambiguous than that.)

Your Bloguero doesn’t know how many dream elephants there are in the Northeastern United States this evening. They are not included in the census. But one thing is sure: there is at least one. And it is dutifully fulfilling its function. What, you may inquire, is its function? Your Bloguero never thought you’d ask. The dream elephant’s function is to be seen. It is to remind the viewer, the reader, of the primacy of imagination, of one’s innate desire to transcend ordinary, waking reality, and to step outside of it.

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