world 1497

Guru in White and Snow

Scene One

I am sitting in a small, cheap, white room, with a small group of people facing an old pull-down projection screen in front of a white wall. Below the screen sits a small man in off-white robes. He is the Tibetan master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (who died in Bhutan in 1991; he was known for his incredible peace, his incredible height and his fondness for being un-clothed).

A question arises—as if it was asked from the audience but I do not remember it being asked. The question is ‘What is a guru/teacher for?’ I, also dressed in white, walk up to his left side and go into a deferential child’s pose. After a while I lie on my right side, lay my head on his thigh and rest.


Scene Two

I am in a rich white bedroom. Dilgo Khyentse is lying face down on a bed covered in white linens. His robes are undone to his waist, exposing his back. I am also on the bed massaging his neck, shoulders and back. He is ill, perhaps a migraine or more. I ask if he needs some drugs (thinking Advil). He says that someone will find out (that he is ill or using drugs, I’m not sure) and that can’t happen. He says it is just like my cat (which makes sense in the dream). The massage goes on for a long time.

Scene Three

I am in the parlor of a large house in the country (France or England). Rinpoche’s bedroom is upstairs. Students gather and want to see him. Myself and a few others (one of them like Trevor Howard in The Third Man1 1   I had seen 'The Third Man' the night of this dream.) know Rinpoche is ill and want to protect him. We do not want the others to know he is ill.

We tell them that he has gone out. It is night and there is deep snow (there is a blizzard outside my window as I write this). Through a glass door in the parlor we point out a track in the snow running parallel to the house. The track looks like a path made by heavy robes dragged through the snow. The outdoor lights on the house illuminate the path. Beyond the path is very dark with a steep hill.

We all decide we must go out and look for Rinpoche as he is in the dark and snow alone. Moment to moment I don’t know if he is really out there or up in his room sick. I am not conflicted by this contrast. I go outside to look for my skis. I find the right one with an end stuck in the snow and attempt to wrench it out. Then I realize what I really need is boots. I go inside where the others are preparing to search, put on boots, and leave to search for him.

I do not know if he is out there or not. The path was not made to mislead anyone…


Dream of the Drawing for Everything alchemies dream-like things: images and texts and films and sketches and philosophy and half-thoughts and visions and moments and fragments of all kinds. Resting and exploring here may deepen your relationship with the oneiric and, therefore, all apparent reality. Resting and exploring here may augment your psyche’s healing tendency—as Jung called it—through highlighting and delighting in humanity’s hallucinatory creations. (Without them, after all, neurologists assure us we would go starkers.) It is time there was a potentially infinite, intimate museum to what cannot be seen. Welcome to the museum.

Dream of the Drawing for Everything is some of the collaboration between artist Nuala Clarke & writer Crystal Gandrud. Our work arises out of what dances on the edges of perception and our collective attention gravitates to the dream-like nature of human experience. We have been in collaboration since 2010. Our merged practices of visual and textual art unfold on a continuum, as part of an interconnected series evolving over time. Both performed “Fair Shouldered One” (a book which is not a book) at the &Now Literary Festival in Paris, 2012 and installed “Between Spaces”, a Yeats inspired dreamscape at the Hamilton Gallery, Sligo, 2013. Most recently participated in the Find Arts Project in Castlebar, Ireland. Our public art installation of words and images printed on linen, “Woven Found”, hung on Castle Street. The project won the best commissioning practice award from Allianz Business to Arts, 2014.

Nuala Clarke

Nuala Clarke, visual artist, lives and works between Co. Mayo and New York City. Educated at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, she moved to New York City in 1993. In September 2007, she received a fellowship to the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo and began returning to Ireland from NY to work every year. Clarke has been represented by Boltax Gallery, NY since 2005. Recent shows include, Amid a Space Between: Irish Artists in America at the SFMoMa Artists Gallery, San Francisco, (2012); to Tremble into Stillness, a WB Yeats related show at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; RHA invited artist; and A drawing for Everything, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2013). BLINK, a public art installation at the Westport Arts Festival, Co. Mayo (2014). Upcoming shows (2015): Impressions of Yeats, Hamilton Gallery, Sligo; Of this place, Sligo and Madrid.

Crystal Gandrud

Crystal Gandrud, writer, lives in New York City and Normandy, France. She holds an MFA, Creative Writing and a BFA, Classical Theatre. Recent publications include “Yeatsian: Numberless Dreamers,” The Encyclopedia Project, 2014, “Here,” Lost Magazine, and “Idiom: Woodbird Flies Early,” The Encyclopedia Project. Her dissertation, “Murdoch: the Mandala Maker,” was presented at Kingston University’s Iris Murdoch Conference (2006), London. At the most recent Murdoch Conference, she performed a multi-media excerpt from a work-in-progress entitled “The Forgotten Man,” inspired by Murdoch’s philosophical writings. She is under contract for a memoire entitled “Astonishment: A Litany of the Uncanny.”

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