Dream - Jorge Luis Borges
If this project were a space, a metaphor for knowledge and curiosity, I would that it were a threshold rather than a destination; that the little windows that I try to open through poetry glisten with the prismatic imaginations of those who could not control their yearning for dialogue with the unknown. These letters to the curious mind are intended to set off chains of explorations across artists and media.
Borges, for me, is one such magician whose writing is filled with the mystery and infinity of dreams, illusions and labyrinths. His mastery lay in a vivid exposition of systems (fictions) that in their metaphorical shadows transcended the rules of reality. His constant return to the idea that reality itself was a kind of dream rendered even the notion of the dreamer as ephemeral. Weaving myths and philosophical paradoxes into his work he created multiplicities and infinities that rounded back on themselves and formed fascinating new ways of looking at morality, justice, language, death and memory, among other themes. Naturally, he was interested in the nature of dreams.
Caught in this pandemic, I am reminded of Borges insistence of the immortal soul and the blurring and reversal of dream and reality. I know what Borges describes - the frustration of waking from the phantasmagoria of darkness. I return to the question that maybe this current manifestation of reality has a message. Maybe it is trying to tell us something, about ourselves (being inseparable from time). I do not know what it is. But in dreams, sometimes, truth visits us in a scalding nakedness of beauty and terror.
“…fragments from the treasure-house of darkness, from the timeless sphere that does not have a name, and that the day distorts in its mirrors…”
Would it not be beautiful to have Borges lead us by the hand to this delicious deep?
Imagery: Dream sequences from Satoshi Kon’s Paprika (2006)