I always wondered, but never asked as an adult, why, if the Bis so great, it sounds so boring when it is explained or translated.As a child, I always wondered, “If sex is so great, why don’t my parents and most of the other adults I know talk about it? Dream” (This might not be as true for kids today, who can easily find information in pop culture. Still, the lack of a clear meaning makes it hard to answer the question, “Why is it so good?”
During my teen years, I fell in love with poetry. I thought it would help me win the heart of the smartest and sexiest young woman I’d ever met (we’ll leave my mother out of this). She was so much better at reading than I was that I didn’t want her to find out how bad I was, so I made her read my own cryptic sonnets instead of talking about Shakespeare’s. At least I knew that a text with contradictions would get more attention or discussion than one that was just a bad copy.
Dream About Being Eaten Alive
So I started writing poems about strange things.
I also made a lot of mistakes, which made it likely that I would keep going down the poet’s path until I could respect my own intelligence. I couldn’t get the girl to talk about my poems at all, and when I finally did, she told me she would have told me sooner but was afraid it would stop me from writing: she had started dating the star fullback and beefcake at her high school. Again, I was stuck because I didn’t know enough about sex. But I was determined to learn it from the best source I had at the time, which was my own sexual dreams. I was in the tenth grade at the time, which was a very religious time.
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My plan was to sneakily wake up after midnight and try to write down those dreams. I found that the dreams were scarier than I thought they would be. There was a lot of sex, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on, just like in my sonnets. At this point, I started reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce in my tenth-grade English class, and things started to make sense. First, Joyce made everything seem like a dream, even real life. Second, Stephen Daedalus’s vision of hell sounded like some of the things I’ve seen in my own dreams.
I started looking for evidence to back up my feeling that all great literature was written as if in a dream.
I read “A Season in Hell” by Artur Rimbaud and then “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg and “Life Studies” by Robert Lowell. They all sounded like fever dreams where the soul crossed over from the real world into a mirror world of hell. The same seemed to be true of Jackson Pollock, the most famous painter of the time. His fast-moving drips of paint seemed to show how close the soul is to the body. By this time, I knew that dreaming could be dangerous, and I was able to connect this to my childhood feeling that words could be dangerous.
For example, the word camp. As a child, I found out that my smiling aunts, uncles, and cousins had “died in the camps” and, even worse, were turned into soap. Still, every summer I had to go to camp. My body went to Camp Fresh Air, but my soul might have gone somewhere else. The famous Psalm 23, which is read at camp and in many graveside scenes in westerns and war movies, helped me through this time and helped me again as an adult. I am a sheep, and the Lord is my shepherd. I can go anywhere with him and not worry about bad things happening, because my soul will keep walking after I die. As if in a dream, my soul will find a table set up for a person instead of a sheep with a full cup waiting for it.
Even though this seemed like a happy ending, for me the most important thing about the poem was that it showed that dreams were about death and the fear of being lost or eaten (either fate associated with sheep). Where was the sex, though? “He makes me lie down in green pastures. Your rod and your staff comfort me. You put oil on my head, and my cup overflows.” Sex was in the body, whether a man or a woman. When a person fears something, they ejaculate to get rid of that fear. Does that sound crazy or even offensive? We are getting close to the method of Kabbalah. We can only do it if we face our dreams, because that’s where we learn that the soul has its own life, but that it can’t live without sex. Nothing less than a very smart person
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