Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Books, dreams and yoga

I'm reading Tinkers by Paul Harding which, incidentally, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and that is quite an interesting story in itself. Why I'm blogging this is because the book is affecting my dreams. Ever since I started reading it, my dreams have become more and more vivid. The novel is less than 200 pages and normally I would have read it in an afternoon. This isn't going to happen, I have to stop and digest the words, really, I mean that ... visceral.

Wikipedia tell us that The New York Times failed to review the novel before the Pulitzer Prize announcement, noting that it was the first novel since A Confederacy of Dunces in 1981 to come from a small publisher and win that award. The NY Times called it "The One that Got Away" - worth having a look at their apology!

Anyway, back to why is this book affecting my dreams? In a sense my dreams are becoming more lucid, I know when I'm dreaming and can actually change things that are happening. For somebody who tends to have fairly strong dreams, this is a breakthrough. Dreams of the ocean, clear and I can see through the waves to the sandy bottom. I can be high above or on the rocky shore. And then I dreamed I was in my mother's house and the window was open. My mother wasn't there but I could feel her presence.

However, the cat that visits me is not visible and not to be changed. I have a feeling that it is not a dream but an entity. It visits not every night, but occasionally, I feel it on the bed, cuddling up on my body but when I try and shift it, it digs its claws into me and that wakes me up to find there is nothing there.

Tinkers does have a dream-like quality although the characters are extraordinarily intense. As the book unfolds, the son, the father and the grandfather merge, or so it seems to me. Maybe it is their lives that merge?

I stood on my head yesterday and that is something I'm not really meant to do anymore, as osteoporosis limits such yoga asanas. It felt really good but I didn't stay there for long. I may do it again soon. I didn't go into a full headstand (Sirshasana) but my preferred headstand 'little bird' where the crown of the head rests on the floor, between the hands - also flat on the floor, and the knees are on the elbow bones - I can only find it listed as 'The Elbows-Knees Headstand'. The similar 'Patient Crane' (Baka dhyansana) where the head is lifted is beyond me as it entails more strength in the arms and also a finer sense of balance than that which I am capable.

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