Skip to main content

The Building of Dream



* (Gentile Bellini, St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria(1504-7) With his posthumous ubiquity paled comparing to that of his baby brother, Giovanni, Gentile Bellini nonetheless managed to achieve an optical accuracy through his relatively less prolific oeuvre. Providing a monumental painting like St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria, the canvas has ample capacity to enclose an almost panoramic view of the religious ceremony- people uniformly thronging around here and there, blocked only by the encompassing buildings. Every subtle detail is attended to with great finesse. Just by looking at those adorned pillars and the ruffles on the monks’ robes one might be illusioned of seeing some work of photography. A compelling sense of solemnity surges from the painting and swirls around the pillars, the rooftops, until it finally reaches the zenith.)

I toss and turn yet the somnolence is ever one-step behind the descending darkness. I feel the pulsating heart of weariness, my eyes glance involuntarily at the clock which proceeds so slowly. This will be a long night. I try every possible means to build a dream, or at least pave a pathway that leads to the final reverie. Building dreams can be laborious, and frustrating also if the kingdom of dream you built lasted no sooner than the sun, who untimely awoke and exerted its formidable power, onto every brick that eventually melt.

Thus I begin to build my dream, employing every brick that is likely to create a dream that will tide me over this night of malice. Someone once told me building dream is like forming a well-fabricated story. Such story is permitted to be the most chimerical, with every disparate detail amalgamates to a hodgepodge of wonder. Every piece of one’s memory is by no means an undervalued block to be overlooked. I dredge up mine regardless of the sadness or painfulness of some. A dream is a dream undistinguished of its good or evil.

Bad memories, if included, are the unfitted piece that ever tricked out from a well-structured dream, as if only a single window is crowned above with a single piece of cornice. However, if such bad memories are served as a base of the architecture of dream, the magnificent building you create will be something far different from a normal, dull one. This is the manifestation of genius in its unconsciousness, and I defy anyone who brands it the embryo of a nightmare.

So every incident that has left bitter aftertaste within me I gather them altogether as the base. Every betrayal, trauma, failure, deceit, fraudulence, stupidity, inanity, and behind them, the initiator, the foe- once and for all I recruit them into the dream I build diligently, as intimate as the act can be, and treat them as my confidantes, my lovers. To dream those bad memories off I naively supposing the termination of them.

Nevertheless, I am wrong. I wake up unknowing the lapse of time, pajamas drenched in sweat. The dream sleeps by now but as soon as it ends I start pining for it. Yes, I pine for the fantastical building I have built, forgetting what I don for its middle bulk and the top, knowing only the base I stuff with all the past malice. An unaccountable longing and passion yet surge, and heave my whole body up. I long to seize those bad memories and foes close to my heart, to squeeze them and fondle them, treat them as a once estranged lover of mine I never want to lose again. I can even slave away for them, regardless of how much hatred and indignation I had accumulated. In light of the longing I plot and sketch furtively a building of dream for tonight, and those that are served as the foundation should be piled higher.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Honore Daumier

“If you shut up truth and bury it under ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”- Émile Zola
Exited HonorĂ© Victorin Daumier, 10 February 1879, in an impoverishment that many of his contemporaries, especially his foes, would have thought was his long overdue retribution- the painter was blind, heavily in debt, and later relegated to a pauper’s grave. His friends, upon visiting his resting place, would, I imagine, see it a chance to admonish their children: “Now that’s a lesson for you cheeky devils whose tongues rattle off things that should better stay unspoken.” But Daumier devoted his life in revealing those “unspoken things.” His lithography ink proved sharper than most writers’ pens. He vented his rage and stigmatised others’ infamy in his satirical and, oftentimes, side-splitting cartoons. The tone was relentlessly acerbic but only because Daumier was exposing truths that, in the time…

Review: Gaslight (1944)

Despite its varied forms or narratives, all Gothic fictions revolve on a fundamental contrast: that between the tenuous comfort of an isolated self and the dangerous fascination of an intrusive otherness. The Victorian is an age characterised by its obsession with the supernatural – poised on the verge of modernity, with scientific advancements like Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species inspired missions to unlock the myths of the natural world, people began to take notice of what lay outside their limited knowledge of things, of anything that is external to the closed domain of humanity. This curiosity for the unknown provoked an appraisal for the known – the immutable social system was revealed as hostile to the cultivation of individual minds, and time-honoured ethics such as that dictating a woman’s role in a traditional domesticity a menace to the preservation of personal integrity.
The negotiation between the old and the new, the internal and the external, is the dominant theme of V…

Review: Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)

Every adversity in life is a test of one's fortitude, the occasion of which, as proved invariably in the past, man is capable of defying destiny, of reversing the inexorable course to which life is doomed to tend. Too often we sympathise with the travails of the dogged, indefatigable fighter, whose hard-on victory we shed tears of relief and admiration, and whose stories and examples we evoke when in need of a boost of morale or motivation, that our notion of heroism has come to be hallowed with a glow of divinity peculiar to those who triumph in their fights. Those who fail – the martyrs who labour for nothing, who die without fulfilling what they die for – they are regarded with no less sympathy, but to recount their stories we averse, refusing to be reminded of what ultimately makes us humans – our inherent and infinite capacity to fail.
To face up to one’s failures, especially with the forlorn hope that such failures can ever be remedied, requires a special kind of courage. Wil…