Off to Santa Fe
Picturing Him

Reading Salman Rushdie in New Mexico

Though I have very vivid dreams, it is only occasionally. The sort of dreams that you remember upon awaking. The sort of dreams that Descartes is talking about in the First Meditation. Some are the dreams that are so real and realistic that you have to consciously remember later that you haven't had the conversations or experiences with the real-life counterparts of the characters in the dream. Others are the ones that are so real and vivid yet surrealistic, magically realistic, or fantastically realistic (pick your genre). The ones where time is fluid, space is relative, characters emerge and merge and change, and plot is a convention of a lesser reality.

The occasions of such dreams should be cherished, for their very occasionality (if such a term exists. "Occasionalism" would suggest a philosophical dead-end I have no desire to take.). How incredible, then, to have such dreams three consecutive nights.

In the shower, pondering this wondrous experience, I wondered the cause. Unfamiliar setting is the likely simple and straightforward answer, but upromising because uninteresting. Whitehead said, "It is more important that something be interesting than true" (though probably not the precise wording, it is how the quote plays in my memory).

Maybe it was the precise location. New Mexico. The Santa Fe area. An area rich in dream imagery and imagination. A mixture of cultures and their spiritualities. A place where you can drive into a small town nestled deep in the hills ringed by mountains to visit a centuries-old little chapel famed for healing powers and encounter the pre-Christian practices and images whose devotees probably view the nuances (and absurdities?) of European theology with the same mystery that you do their mysteriousness.

Or maybe it is reading Salman Rushdie in such a place.

Three nights, lying in bed, filling one's head with the images of Kashmir. The rich characters that only come from Rushdie's pen. Characters who emerge and merge and change. Whose characters are their plots and whose plots are their characters. Described with that language that seems to absorb a little bit of everything and cast it back in images that can't be realistic but, yet, perfectly capture the author's meaning. There is always that sense of enigma, of not being quite certain what is going on. Could it be?

Comments

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Kelley aka Daddyo

fine poetic post! I'm sorry we did not get to meet while you were only an hour up the road from me. Yes, Yes, Santa Fe is a whirlwind of dreams...

Scott Jones

I was with the family, so it wasn't my own schedule. I did think about trying to arrange to meet you, but it seemed to difficult. One of my old college roommates lives out there, so I get there every couple of years.

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