Skip to main content

sleep mask


i usually try to keep track of my dreams and nightmares as a way of analysing possible base causes of waking thoughts or anxieties. while i was away this weekend, i had ana experience that's happened to me only rarely- a nightmare bad enough that i woke myself (and my mother) up with my own screaming.

there's no point in trying to explain what happened in the nightmare, since prose always robs them of their sinister power and reduces them to low-brow comedy, but i do find it strangely appropriate that the nightmare should have involved an enemy wearing a mask.

after all, dreams themselves are masked, with familiar, sometimes farcical imagery serving as a cover for underlying meaning. but what is more interesting to me is that the wearing of masks is actually just as common in waking life as it is in dreams. we all have disguises that we wear, an image that we project to impress or intimidate others, or something that allows us to defend ourselves, blocking access to our true interior workings.

popular culture is replete with images of masks. in a mainstream variant, all our superheroes are forced to hide their identities under ordinary exteriors. in perhaps his most brilliant work, edgar allan poe has death infiltrate the home of prince prospero wearing a disguise in order that he might blend in with the guests who are orgiastically celebrating their immunity from him. stanley kubrik, in his debatable final work eyes wide shut features a mysterious group, who gather to act out their fantasies in anonymity, where the greatest fear/ punishment is to be unmasked.

possibly my favourite example, and the one closest to the tone of my nightmare, of the use of a mask in film, however, is onibaba, where the hideous disguise eventually becomes more powerful than the person wearing it.

sweet dreams...

Comments

pelao said…
i wake up quite often screaming mad banshee, but not that often from terrible nightmares...more like waking up in lucidity and not being able to move....funny i should be reading your post listening to billie´s "i cover the waterfront", which could be re-interpreted as masking-the-unmaskeable...hm....weeperies!great flick, onibaba!

Popular posts from this blog

so hip it hurts

there aren't too many artists who stand out as being iconically canadian. it's too easy to mistake us for some other people, mostly americans, who are, let's be honest, pretty similar in a lot of ways. [this is the bit where i apologise for avril lavigne, justin bieber and drake.] the guess who/ bachman turner overdrive held sway over an earlier generation, and musicians and those who appreciate technical proficiency will speak of rush like they are gods, but last night the country said goodbye to perhaps the most canadian of canadian bands, the tragically hip.

for those of you not familiar with that name, the hip emerged in the mid-to-late eighties, among a slew of canadian bands [54-40, the northern pikes, the pursuit of happiness, the grapes of wrath] that balanced on the line between mainstream and alternative rock. all of them played accessible guitar-based music with none of the bombast of seventies dinosaurs, but equally with no hint of the drug-fueled anger that w…

shut up

general reaction seems to be that last night's vice presidential debate was close to a draw, with a slight edge going to mike pence [other than among cnn's panel of independent voters, who overwhelmingly chose tim kaine as the winner]. i feel that's an accurate assessment, although it's largely a question of personal preference. pence absolutely projected the stoic, unflappable, unwavering image that many americans [not just republicans, either] seem to like and equate with strength. for my part, i prefer someone who's a little more mercurial, someone who's able to gets excited about ideas and who's able to expand on them, not just repeat talking points.

so, from my point of view, both vice presidential candidates were pretty disappointing. i found that kaine had a fantastic command of facts and history- he knew pence's voting record better than pence knew his and possibly better than pence knew his own. his opening answers were so smoothly delivered i…

mental health mondays :: parabnormal?

for north america and parts of europe, halloween marked the apex of spooky events, where the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its most diaphanous. but if you're a very traditional roman catholic, you'll know that the 31 of october is merely the beginning, and that the entire month that follows is dedicated to remembering and praying for the dead, specifically for those whose souls are trapped in purgatory. if you listen to dante, purgatory isn't especially pleasant. sure, there's the possibility that you'll end up working off your debt to celestial society, but until then, you get to endure things like having your goddamned eyes sewn shut with iron wire. [much like condo developments, it gets better the higher the floor you live on.]

however, the more common view of purgatory among catholics is that the souls relegated there can't do anything to help themselves, and are reliant on the prayers of their living relatives and loved ones to …