Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's Cooking in the Book Kitchen

Jung dreamed of a library of rare books, heavy on tomes of medieval alchemy, bound in rich morocco leather. Twenty years later, in his private study, he realized he now inhabited the library he had dreamed.
I'm enjoying a similar moment of recognition this morning. For more than twenty years, since long before I moved to my present home, I've dreamed of a kitchen that is also my creative center, and is as likely to be full of papers - book drafts, research notes, journals, binders and folders of every size - as the things you would normally expect to find in a kitchen. Sometimes books and papers are covering every surface, even the hotplates on the stove. I realized just now that this scene is fully manifested in the kitchen behind me.
Let me hasten to explain that my work space is the basement apartment in my house. Long ago my papers and files vastly overflowed the double living room that is my office and working library, so we created an archive in the guest kitchen, which is not used for cooking. Half the kitchen floor space is covered by documents boxes on industrial shelving. This winter I've been "decanting" those boxes, pulling out old book drafts and raw materials for my current writing. This morning, trying to contain a developing avalanche of paper, I started stacking files and drafts mentally tagged for imminent review on top of the hotplates on the stove.
My dream kitchen has taken over the physical one.


Worldbridger said...

Surrounded by ideas ... not a bad way to live at all, at all.

Nancy said...

Decanting your boxes of papers, then placing some of the contents on hotplates, makes me think of mulled wine, perfect for this wintry cozy indoor time of year. May the spirits be with you!

greenodream said...

Reminds me in the best way of some kind of mad scientist cooking things up in his basement lab in the middle of the night.

Justin Patrick Moore said...

On the same night I dreamed of swallowing coins, I had a dream in which green orb weaver spiders were all over my kitchen. Two sacks of spider eggs were hatching over the stove, and the adult spiders, with very long legs, were sitting on the walls. My wife was very happy about them.

Robert Moss said...

Hey Justin - How did you feel about that dream of the spiders in the kitchen immediately after waking? And how did your wife feel when you told her?

Robert Moss said...

Nancy, How sweet of you to think of mulled wine. Nice and warm and seasonal.

Laurie, I think your flash on the mad scientist in his lab in the middle of the night is probably close to what an outsider would make of this crazy scene :-)

Justin Patrick Moore said...

I felt a shiver of excitement and wondered what their purpose was for being in the kitchen. I did tell my wife this dream, she thought it was interesting, and was curious about the size of the spiders. She didn't want to shoo them out of the kitchen as people often do, but otherwise had no strong feelings about them.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks for the note on your feelings after the dream, Justin. I never really want to respond to any dream without considering the dreamer's first feelings on waking, which are generally the best guide to what is going on in the dream and how to work with it. Swallowing something unlikely or seeing spider eggs hatching in the kitchen would mean something entirely different had the dreams left different feelings.

The excitement and energy around the dream of the green orb weavers suggests (in my dream of your dream) that something good has been weaving and is getting ready to hatch, big-time. I might consider analogies between the way this particular spider spends its time (down among leaf litter, perhaps like a book-lover among his pages_ and how it spins and throws out lines to make its web. Since the female orb weavers drop their eggs in late summer or early fall, I'd look to that time as the one to hatch my own new creative projects.

Justin Patrick Moore said...

Thanks Robert. Reading about "hatching new creative projects in late summer or early fall" certainly sounds true as I had a strong chill run up my spine as I read the words. Until then I will keep on cooking, writing, and weaving, with an aim towards making public some of my current creative endeavours at that time.


Dear Robert,

Decanting boxes of papers and then getting certain ones linned up on the hotplates! This is great and sounds as if there is a lot cooking with great tasting book material!
I too have been decanting things in my studio and begining to get cooking with my creative projects!
Thanks, Love, Karen

Robert Moss said...

Hi Karen - I'll look forward to seeing your next wonderful artistic creations.

The challenge a writer may face, in looking over so much "old" material is that you can get so engrossed by the materials that you fail to get dinner on the table! I was greatly encouraged yesterday to find myself reading and transcribing notes and sketches I wrote 20 years ago that could have been written yesterday, absolutely on focus for a book project I consciously hatched only a couple of months ago. There's tha sense of playing catch-up, once again, with a creative self who traveled ahead.