It is 4:21 am and of course I am awake. I fell asleep around 10:30 and woke up at 1:00 and have been up since. Last night or yesterday morning, time has ceased to have any meaning to me anymore I revisited Nabokov's Insomnia Dreams. I started reading it about two years ago and then put it on a shelf and forgot I was reading it. I remembered in my own insomniac state that I I should finish reading it and picked it up again.
Nabokov was a life long insomniac. In 1964 after reading John Dunne's An Experiment with time he decided to conduct his own experiment with time. John Dunne was a philosopher and poet. The purpose of the experiment was to test the theory that time might go in reverse, so that paradoxically, a later event may generate an earlier dream.
So Nabokov for eighty days wrote down his dreams on index cards then connected them to later events and even some of his novels. The result is Insomniac Dreams. I am halfway through reading it.
After I finish reading it I plan to repeat the experiment on this blog. I set about getting a copy of John Dunne's An Experiment with Time (because of course I will need to read it to do the experiment ),it was harder to get a copy than I imagined. It has been in an out of print since it was written in 1927. All the used book sellers in the U.S were asking ridiculous prices for a battered crappy copy. The most expensive was over 500$!!
I finally found an excellent condition hardcover with dust jacket on Abe books for about 25 bucks but it is from the UK and cost 30$ for shipping, still way cheaper then the 150-500$ crap copies found here. I should get it in about two weeks. I am excited about doing the experiment because I am fascinated with my own dreams and have been reading everything on dreams lately. I started reading Carlos Castaneda's The Art of dreaming about an hour ago. As far as time goes I have never believed it is linear because the way my mind works it has never been linear. Most people who have PTSD have issues with time.
Yesterday I took a nap. I suppose my insomnia finally caught up with me. It was a short nap but I dreamt. I always remember my dreams when I nap as opposed to when I sleep at night I only remember them most of the time.
Anyway I dreamt that my daughter came home from her dad's with a ferret. In the dream her now dead hamster was still alive and she still wasn't taking care of it so I was annoyed she brought home this ferret. Ferrets smell pretty bad. She didn't bring it with a cage or anything. So it wandered around the house and the hamster cage for some reason she had taken it apart. So now I have a ferret and hamster running free in the house and the dream should be comedic but it isn't. She ignores the ferret like she does the hamster and I feel bad for the neglected animals and end up having to take care of them when she goes back to her dad's. I also vaguely remember a blackberry bush somewhere in the dream and eating blackberries or feeding blackberries to the ferret who is wearing a tiny scarf.
Ferrets are from the weasel family. Weasels are weasels that is all I needed to know about the symbology in that dream.
In a couple weeks my aimless blog will not be so aimless as I document my own experiment with time and dreams.
An excerpt from Nabokov's Insomniac Dreams
23 Nov. 1964 6:45am
End of a long "Butterfly" dream which started after I had fallen asleep following upon a sterile awakening at 6:15 am. Have arrived (by funiculaire?) to a collecting ground at timberland (In Switzerland? In Spain?), but in order to get to it have to cross the hall of a large gay hotel. Very spry and thin, dressed in white, skip down the steps on the other side and find myself on the marshy border of a lake. Lots of bog flowers, rich soil, colorful, sunny, but not one single butterfly (familiar sensation in dream). Instead of a net am carrying a huge spoon-cannot understand how I managed to forget my net and bring this thing-wonder how I shall catch anything with it. Notice a kind of letter box open on the right side, full of butterflies someone has collected and left there. One is alive-a marvelous aberration of the Green fritillary with unusually elongated wings, the green all fused together and the brown of an extraordinary variegated hue. It eyes me in conscious agony as I try to kill it by pinching its thorax-very tenacious of life. Finally slip it into a Morocco case-old, red, zippered. Then realize that all the time a man camouflaged in some way is seated next to me to the left in front of the receptacle in which the butterflies are; and prepares a slide for the microscope. We converse in English. He is the owner of the butterflies. I am very much embarrassed. Offer to return the fritillary. He declines with polite half-heartedness.