Snow Globe Opera

I am inside a snow globe.

I am inside a snow globe. An old man yells through the glass, faceless mouth, dry and cracked albino tongue, mouthing through brown teeth against a black backdrop: Don’t indicate! or, Stop indicating! or, Don’t illustrate! or, Stop illustrating! (which “i” word was it?). The globe quakes from his timbre and shakes snow everywhere. The globe turns and it is spring or further south.

I walk along a dirt path leading to the cylindrical concrete tunnel in the schoolyard; step into the east end; now inside; now walking through. A whiff of Sweet Honesty breezes at me. I step over a bottle and remember the boy I wanted to kiss-didn’t-kiss-back. Out the west end of the tunnel I drift, Sweet Honesty leading the way or following close behind.

The snow globe shakes me into Halloween, frost on the car window. Now I am in the school auditorium, sitting first row across the stage looking up, always looking up. Everything is always out of my eye level, everything towering: the stage, the microphone, the scoreboard, the American Flag whipping Mrs. Morning Announcements in the face. Someone must have called my name because now I am standing, now I am walking, now I am closer to all things elevated and suspended four feet above ground. There are no stairs, only a platform where I am expected to be. How did the others make it up there? I turn to ask, but a word steps in the way. Not a word, letters scrambling themselves about, jigsawing me to dizzy and the sense that the world is waiting on me.

Remember this dream! wrestles with That never works! That never works! whispers something about remembering one highlight, one single detail, select a clue that will lead and enter you back in later whenRemember This Dream!s memory bank is instantly wiped out upon awakening. I shake myself awake, spring up in bed and shout: Wynn Handman! Fourth Grade! Spelling Bee! and collapse back onto mattress and into deep sleep.

Hours later, I remember those three clues and instantly re-enter the mise-en-scenes, montages, and sequences of each snow globe vignette. As I say this, I cannot be entirely certain that this is accurate, or even true. Once awakened and given time between sleep and wakeful, such enormous imagining and editing takes place that it is impossible to distinguish between original and embellished, between re-imagined and rewritten.

Dream 5,345,627 SnowGlobeOpera Jomolcastones 1-5


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.”

Tell us your dreams. Dreams are accepted by the editorial staff on the basis of aesthetics. That said, there are certain topics that will not be considered. Extremely violent or pornographic dreams will not be accepted on any basis so please do not submit them.

All dreams must have three components:

1) a title

2) a number of no more than 20 characters (subject to a request to reconsider if that number is already used)

3) your name as you wish it to appear

Dreams may be any length.

Please submit dreams in an attached word document only. If you, as the dreamer, are also a visual artist, you are invited to send one companion image in the form of an attached jpeg of a file size of no larger than 250k (no compressed files). If you are not a visual artist but feel a drawing you have done of the dream deepens the experience of it, please follow the guidelines for submission of an image above. In both cases, please specify if you are willing to publish the text without the image.