Serpent Blog

Dreams...More Memories From the Serpent's Journal 
What are dreams but messages and signs? What I saw in the midst of my sleep became the framework upon which I hung much of Serpent Box. Looking back on my letters to Andrew Wilson during that time, I am amazed at how much of what I have written did come to me in dreams. How do you explain this?

Monday, January 28, 2002
Higher Grounds Cafť, San Francisco


I woke in the middle of the night after a horrible nightmare. The strange thing about it was that it was non-linear and not character driven. It was a nightmare of pure tone and that tone was evil. I was filled with fear. But I was not unwilling to go back to sleep and in fact was hoping to get back into the dream in order to find out what it was that disturbed me so much.

The moon is in a phase now that is conducive to my dreaming. I donít want to bore you with this, but the final dream I had last night was that I found a dead garter snake which was unusually, if not freakishly, long. It was over ten feet long and someone had slit it open from its neck on down to its tail. I was beginning to examine the snake as I woke. In the dream, I was fascinated with this dead snake. Isnít this strange? Iím writing a book with snakes as primary elements and I have this dream. Not of a deadly snake, or even a living snake. These must be something to thisÖ

I will try to invoke the feeling of these dreams today as I work. The first one being almost too powerful to confront, too powerful to wield. I wish I could somehow convey the feeling to you. If I had time I would try. Wait, I just had an idea. Iíll pick this up later...

[Still January 28]

...I just put about two hours of work in, realizing that what I saw last night was not a dream. You wonít believe me if I tell you what I think it was. Itís amazing, the revelation I had, and itís also amazing that it relates directly to the book. I may have seen something not meant for my eyes specifically, but meant instead for Jacob to see and I did my best to translate it, though I will continue to rework it for the remainder of the day. This may the hardest passage I have ever written, the toughest five hundred words of my career. If I can pull this off, it will be the most powerful moment in the book so far. Wish me luck.

I try now to do the impossible. I try to describe an encounter with the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the omnipresent and the ubiquitous. How does one pull this off? The only way I believe is not to invent it, but to actually experience it. I could not imagine such a thing without drawing from hackneyed cliches at least to some degree. But I saw something, and more importantly, felt something the other night that gave me a clue. I am not, and will not say, that I had such an encounter. Only that I saw something so strange and unfamiliar that it could almost pass as one. If I do this right and try very hard not to go too far, it might just come off as something astounding.

I will tell you this, we have had the freakiest weather of late. It has been so cold here and there has been snow, even here in the city. Yesterday in Petaluma, they had a snow day. No school. I have never heard of such a thing here (though Petaluma is north of here and it does get cold in Sonoma county). Also the moon has been very large and bright these days. The sky is spectacular, with every shade of smoke gray and gun metal blue you can imagine. This must be having at least a coloring kind of effect upon me. I can use this. I can use everything. Iíll let you know how it goes.


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