world 1350

The Buddha of the Pillow Realm at Harrods

He carefully wrote his name, ‘Mr. Ram’, on a Harrods calling card.

Elegant gentleman, sovereign of the pillow section at Harrods: “I am a single man, Madame, but I have eight pillows. When it is warm, in the summer, I lay them all out in the garden so the sun can clean them. In Africa, as a boy, on a sunny day, my mother did this.”

I told him that my mother did this, too, but that she was Finnish so maybe there weren’t as many sunny days. He looked at me strangely and I worried that I might have offended him. Assuming it is sunny in Africa, maybe?

“I can still remember the smell of bedclothes fresh in from an outing in the summer wind and sun, Madame.”

Then he told me that his guru informs him that he is getting old and he must sleep on the floor every third night so his spine—especially the base of his neck and his hips—do not curl in too much.

“She tells me it will keep me young.”

He suggested that I try it. He showed me how to roll up a small towel and place it under my neck. I laid down on the floor of the bedding area and did as he instructed.

“You’re right, it is very comfortable.”

“I am not saying you are old, Madame, but you would do well to do this—every third night.”

I imagined myself doing just that but, for some reason, I envisioned my prone body under the bed. I considered telling him this but decided against it. I considered making up a story about how this would confuse my husband, but again decided not to. These things would misrepresent me. My husband doesn’t care about little eccentricities such as lying under the bed and I, too, have a guru—although I also didn’t tell him this.

Oh you have a guru? I do, too. But mine is a man and Tibetan.

He carefully wrote his name, ‘Mr. Ram’, on a Harrods calling card. I took it home and, later, noticed that the actual name embossed on it was Ramayana.

The vehicle or way of Rama, god of the beautiful darkness.

It is always easier to become what the society you are entering wants; makes them feel better about letting you in. You are willing, you are pliable. You want to fit in and not make too much trouble. Especially if your skin is not entirely white.

“You are very kind, Mr. Ram—a Buddha of the pillow realm.”

He laughed and said his guru would disagree but that he would tell her. Then he asked me if I required directions to anywhere else in the store.

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.

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