A Kind of Real

I rarely mention dreams because I rarely remember them. But this morning. This morning I woke up from a vivid (seriously, vivid-qua-real) dream in which exactly twelve mud wasps had landed on me and were checking things out, feeling around for something to eat or sting or who knows. They were antenna-tive, curious, threatening, sampling but not feasting on sweat. And they were scattered, even-spread, in no especially clear way organized or systematic in their checking out the human landscape. In the dream–maybe also in the waking world–I was still and extremely cautious not to make any sudden movements. Yet, given those constraints, I was slowly managing to remove each mud wasp, one by one, crushing the thoraxes crunch and discarding them unstung and unstinging until exactly half of them remained when I woke up.

Bracketing the allegorical and resisting the dream-interpretive leaps (oh, well, yes, of course, this is about Writing Program Administration!), I nevertheless thought about the dream intermittently throughout the day, which makes it all the more un-usual. It’s one thing to dream, another to remember; quite another to rehearse the dream-memory throughout the day. Twelve wasps into six, stung or spared, the “experience” recalls and and at the same time deepens this curio from Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think, a book I’ve been reading off and on over the last two weeks: "Dreams too are part of the empirical, and they are a kind of real" (13). A kind of real.