Friday, December 30, 2011

The Gunfighter

Before starting this blog four-and-a-half years ago, my mornings began with journal writing. Thirty years' worth. Re-reading pages from these journals is sometimes illuminating, sometimes depressing and sometimes surprising. There are many insights that would have been utterly forgotten had they not been captured in ink. For this reason alone keeping a diary or journal has important therapeutic value for nearly all who practice it.

Not every day of journal writing produces profundity, but for writers the discipline of writing daily helps us in two other important ways. First, as we dredge our hearts, minds, souls and record what we find, we develop the skill of making concrete in words what would otherwise remain misty, vague and nebulous. And second, I believe that writers can use these daily sessions to work on improving their craft. That is, instead of just writing what happened yesterday or what's going on inside or around us, we strive to record it well.

In high school I kept a dream diary for four years. Not every dream was significant or important, but the practice helped improve my ability to magically extract images and details from the scenes that typically played out in the nether world below the surface of consciousness.

Here's are some scenes from a dream that I recorded on April 13, three decades ago.

Scenes from a Dream

I was a gunfighter in the Old West.

In my dream I had ridden into an abandoned town on my horse... went to the town hall or saloon, some building with a stage, and entered. There were three or four women there, armed, weapons set up so as to protect themselves from an assault in a last stand kind of way. I was not who they were expecting and they let me stay. We talked.
It was not clear to me if the people the were expecting were bad guys or good guys, but it’s possible they were anticipating a posse. Their men had been killed or captured and they were in desperate straits.

It turns out I knew one of the women and I learned from her that she was taking care of two infants that were truly annoying to her. This was a woman with whom I had been somewhat romantically involved at an earlier time in my life. I told her to take care of the children “as if they were my own.” In truth, I suspected that they were my own when I learned who the missing mother was.


We talked and waited and finally the posse showed up. When they entered the saloon, they were surprised at my presence. They knew who I was.... a dangerous man and a sure shot. I had two guns in my hands, but no bullets. Possibly a dozen men entered, and we (the women and I) talked them down. No shots were fired. They agreed to leave the women alone.

2 comments:

Denise Costello said...

Cowboy Bob has a Stevie Ray Vaughn look about him. But we know who he is!!

ENNYMAN said...

Well, that's interesting. And yes, you are right.
Have a great 2012...