I used to sleep

HYPNOS: I used to sleep. I used to sleep and dream. Dream about sheep. Just kidding — I never dream about sheep. Sheep are boring and expected. Still they are cuddly and innocuous little beings. Eating their grass. Baa-ing. Wandering around. Eating more grass. Laying down… what do you think a sheep thinks like? 

Do you think sheep have the same kinds of problems people do only maybe their gradiation is smaller? Like sheep has blue, yellow, purple, but humans got chartreuse, goldenrod, amethyst. How do you think a god sees? It’s… indescribable. You see, to understand it would be touching divinity. It would mean that you’d have to die. Maybe then you could understand. The dead understand a lot of things that the living don’t.

There’s a seed in the heart of the forest down in South America that is supposed to be THE remedy for sleep. It’s been 21 days. Even for a god, I’m starting to feel as though something is off. As if I don’t understand myself anymore. I was looking for ways to get this seed here, but of course, it’s near to impossible. 

First of all, you’d need a guide to even find it. But the guide doesn’t speak Spanish or Portuguese so you gotta find a guide for the guide who knows the language of deep within the forest. Second, the conditions have to be just right for the plant to flower and fruit, or so it’s indicated on these numerous websites that I’ve bookmarked. Apparently it’s a really stinky kind of flower that attracts the worst kind of bugs.

I’m afraid of bites… Well, I suppose that’s obvious though…

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite…”

“Good night!”

Good night. 

“Good night.”

I can feel the world’s people go to bed. And I’m going insane. People tell me “just go to bed,” but I can’t go to bed! I’m racing once I’m in there. Ready to go. Better than coffee. Better than any kind of drug. I’m like thinking a million things a moment. I have all these ideas like toaster with a side container to make eggs. Dog socks. A left-handed violin. Shoes that clean themselves. Jackets that turn into seat cushions. I could go on forever.

I could go on forever.

I could…

go on…

forever…

Forever. 

I need to sleep. The dreams do something with all these thoughts. The dreams know how to sort it out. The dreams point the direction. 

And I stop worrying.

I walk.

I enjoy my day. 

I remember what it’s like to laugh.

And the deepness of an instant.

I see me again. 

When I dream.

I miss dreaming.

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what is it like?

More inspiration writing for the play that is a part of the San Francisco Olympians Festival on the god of nonviolent death, Thanatos.

Incidentally, I’ll be interviewed about the play along with Veronica Tjioe by fellow writer, Jovelyn Richards, who is the host of a radio program on KPFA, Jovelyn’s Boutique. This will be on Wednesday from 3:30-4:00 PM PST, so listen in or check out the archived interview later.

T: What is it like to die… what does it feel like for them? I don’t know… I try to make it painless, or at least, if there is pain, maybe I help them come to terms with it before finally releasing it. The process of death is both quicker and slower than you think. 

Slower because, as you know, every moment in linear time is one step closer to it. To me. Quicker because ultimately, it’s simple. You are here and then you are not here.

The actual moment? I don’t know if it’s painful. I would imagine it is because everything in life lives on a pain scale. But maybe I’m wrong about that, maybe the feeling of death is the opposite of the feeling of life. Maybe what I do is painless.

How would I know that I had died and that I wasn’t just dreaming? See, that is where Sleep and Death — the fact that we’re twins — comes into play. It fools people. It’s calling for one when you mean the other. When you need the other. 

Now that I have started to dream… Vivid dreams as true as day. I wonder what it would be like to live there instead of here. I wonder if my experience is tempered and adulterated by the feeling of waking. Disorienting light. Words that make no sense. Symbols. Birds flying backwards make no sense, but in the dream world it’s just another thing to notice or ignore.

It makes me appreciate the reality we call, “life” much more. Little things, like the way the sun creates a painting that no artistic genius would every be able to put together — every day. The way that water feels. The color of people’s eyes. The sound of footsteps. Wind. Did you know each moment contains so much to be in awe of?

I think some of them miss that.

If anything feels painful, it’s that realization. I could imagine that it’s heartbreaking, which is why all these souls have so much trouble remembering who they are. Only the truly strong would be able to hold even a little of that. It’s no judgement — the weight of experience is just too much after a while. 

And so…


The Real World – Theater Edition: A Couple Words

Barbara Jwanouskos, speaking up. So, it’s been a while since I’ve written more of an editorial for San Francisco Theater Pub instead of conducting an interview with a local theater maker, but I thought I’d write down a couple words this week because I’ve been thinking. I’ve been thinking about how our artistic systems are […]

https://sftheaterpub.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/the-real-world-theater-edition-a-couple-words/

San Francisco Olympians Festival– support a new play I’m developing 

I was trying to think of the various ways to share the indiegogo for the San Francisco Olympians Festival, which is ending soon. I came up with a couple things on facebook. Ways to illistrate its importance to me and how it helps to foster an artistic theater community here in San Francisco. Then, today in the eleventh hour, I thought of my blog. 

Normally the way I communicate with you all here reading is by short story and poetry. As you’ve probably already noticed, I’ve been sharing a little something every day and it’s developed into a practice for me. Originally I felt like I needed to carve out something for myself with the lowest possible stakes so that I could share my creativity — specifically creative writing– with more people. I suppose because I get nervous about using my voice some times. I worry what other people think. I do. No excuses, that’s where I’ve been at. But the amazing thing is how using this “little bit a day” approach has helped me improve my confidence and become more self-empowered. 

I started this off because I needed a place where I could write freely. Where the writing could come naturally without any imposition by deadlines or writing contests or grandiose, ambitious ideas about publishing, producing, or rallying for my work in any way, shape or form.

A surprising thing happened.

People started listening.

People started following. Liking my stuff. Commenting and thanking me for doing what I do. This still baffles me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it doesn’t matter. And maybe the discomfort that I feel about it is okay.

I want to let you know that if you’ve read even one word or looked at some of my pictures or found some joy, support, or meaning in anything that I’ve put out there, I am truly grateful and thankful for that. It really does mean more than I can express in words. I’m touched.

So, what’s prompting me to say all this is that if you look at the rest of the site, you’ll see it’s kind of under construction in the sense that I haven’t yet put in plays I’ve written and pictures from productios, readings, etc. I don’t always share what I’ve done or what I’m working on and I want to get better at that. At this point, I feel okay in continuing to move forward and express that even though my hands are shaking, I have a knot in my stomach and it sort of feels like I’m going to cry. Don’t worry, I cry easily. I have tissue. 🙂 

Later on, I’m probably going to either read this and cringe — potentially resisting the urge to delete or make private this post. I may laugh because there’s a part of me even now that recognizes that this is really no big deal. It’s just another step. Even though lately my life has been feeling like I’ve been leveling up and yet struggling to manage that.

All this to say that I do have something to share with you. It’s that I’m co-writing a play with a friend of mine, Julie Jigour, that is inspired by the ancient Greek god, Thanatos, the god of benevolent death. I think of him kind of like the Grim Reaper, but less scary. Like he touches you, you die peacefully perhaps. Anyway, we’re writing this story that we intend to be serialized at some point. It’s a mystery where Thanatos has been having these dream-visions that he shares with his twin, Hypnos. Now Hypnos up until this point has been able to sleep and dream, but something happened to make them not work the way they used to. Julie and I think it has to do with their sisters who are goddesses of violent death. So, in a way, it’s a crime mystery. They need to remedy the past in some type of way. We’re also playing with the idea of alternative timelines/realities and past/future realities as well. 

It’s very complex. Mainly, we’re just trying to go with the flow and be kinda stream of consciousness about it. 

 

crow flying
Thanatos is also known as the black-winged god.
 
That reading will happen October 15th at EXIT Theatre in San Francisco. It’s a part of the San Francisco Olympians Festival and was commissioned by them. So many of you live far a way, but I did want to share that I’m doing this. It’s exciting! 

And if you wanted to support not only mine and Julie’s play, you could do so by giving a gift here, in these last few days.

This festival is not only a great place for community, but it’s brought to life SO many new works and artists. It’s an incredible feat to have done in the past six years andit runs on very minimal costs. It’s one of the few writing opportunities I’ve had that pays me and other artists for creating. Not much, but to even be recognized in this way means a lot. It saysthe work you put into this matters. And it does. Art has the power to change lives…

I’ll leave it there for now, but I am going to try to post more about projects I’m working on. Take this as the start (or a deeper continuation of what already existed, if you prefer) of this endeavor.
Thank you for reading! Thank you for listening!