Waking Finnegan

“We are such stuff as dreams are made of, and our whole life is rounded with a sleep” ~ Shakespeare

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Location: zurich, Switzerland

Friday, June 10, 2005

Sick Bird Dream

I'm up in some sort of 19th century research lab. Traffic below. looking through a galvanized screen cage at a tiny, featherless cheep-cheeping chick with beaky head too big for its frail body. I'm repulsed by it, but while trying to rise, it is shaking horribly---I feel a strong urge to help. I'm carefully turning the cage so as not to knock down the fragile tinybird...where's the cage door? I accidentally bump the hanging cage, which is suspended from what looks like copper wire---WHAM! everything drops on the floor suddenly and I'm sickened for the bird and what has happened---but the cheepcheeping starts up onced again and now it's crawling slowly, painfully up onto the throw rug which is fronting the lab shelving. I get down low to look at it in closeup; nearer than the cage had allowed---it's now gone bumpy with sad little welted fractures and all brokenbeaked...I'm trying to foist it up but there's nowhere I can handle it without maiming or killing it. I feel around in my pockets and there's my favorite old Rapidograph pen! I pull the yellow tipped cap, and now, very delicately, prodding the stunned embryo with the fine metal slider tip to bring it back to it's feet. "Come on little birdy. It's a little perch for you!" The veiny broken beaked thing is now looking directly at me and conveying a deep understanding for what I'm trying to do. But the head's too heavy and just clacks back down after each attempt to raise itself. I'm thinking about finding a tiny flag to cover it up when it dies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sad...

7:49 AM  
Blogger d.K.m said...

loved the way u write.. staring into the eyes of a dying embryo.. dunno how that feels..

8:38 AM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

oh please, please make it live!!

6:51 PM  
Blogger Lorena said...

oh, this is sad. i'm very sensitive about seeing birds hurt. this must be the dream you mentioned? poor bird.

6:54 PM  
Blogger floots said...

Thanks for visiting - and for giving me a chance to see your work. What an undertaking: a dream diary. Baby birds are strange things even in reality - too much like ambient foetuses for me. Little touches like prodding it with the Rapidograph make the surreal real.
Loved the broken-handed walnut cracking too. Don't like pain in dreams - maybe that's why I'm becoming more and more of an insomniac? Cheers

7:50 PM  
Blogger Bouls said...

I swear to God, one of my finches looks like this bird you describe. For some reason it's all plucked up and horrible looking. Your dream is my reality. But I will bring my bird back to life.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Charles said...

a beauty of a horror story... something very grotesque yet tender about it. your blog takes magical realism to a psychedelic new realm. love it.

6:25 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Anonymous, for me weirder than sad.

Kishore, It's definitely not the first time this shaking embryo has appeared. It's sometimes bird-like and other times either human or
The feeling is always the same as when I actually ran over a mother opossum, whose marsupial sack let out a load of her offspring. She was gone but they were searching. Not a good feeling...but they weren't staring at me, or else I'd probably be writing this blog from a mental home.

Gulnaz, Ok, I'll eat another bar of late-night chocolate and see if I can't revisit the scene and be like Dr. Charles.

Lorena, This be the dream.

Floots, Ambient foetuses? Wow what a description. My dream 'pain' is always virtual. Sometimes there's extreme damage and just a deep and dull feeling of dread.

Thanks for your lively comments.

Bouls, What's the name of the finch you're describing? I will chant for it. If you see a shit-load of feathers and breast beating, it be me. If not, call the birdy equivalent of Dr. Kervorkian.

Dr.Charles, I guess having grown up in L.A. might be a major contributor to oxymoronic imagery. Disney on acid has absolutely nothing on some of the things I've witnessed.

I've never thought of my dream writing as magical realism---interesting thought actually.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous neko said...

Hey, that sounds like something my cat brought home yesterday!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Perfect Virgo said...

I know that "deep and dull feeling of dread" it is sickening. I then feel slightly embarassed when it has happened merely because of dark shadows and unfamiliar noises. Feels like I've been revisiting childhood fears.

Your horrific dream story left quite an impression on me. Fascinating that compassion should well up so easily in a dream.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous milktea said...

i have a cousin. when he was about 3 or 4 years old, caught a bird, wringed it hard and killed it. it wasn't intentional but still, poor bird.

4:25 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Neko, I'm assuming you'll be in sympathy with Bouls

Perfect Virgo, Interesting how certain sorts of fragility sets off such varying responses in people, including your own sense of dread and horror.
A case in point: I let my teenage son read it and he was on the floor laughing. Maybe it was the picture I chose.

The compassion that we exhibit in our dreams is telling. I've often felt more compassion for certain foes in dreams than otherwise. Why such a thing happens is, to me, the interesting thing.

Milktea, You should have a nightmare about it and find out your true feelings.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Pincushion said...

Hmmmm..the bird looked at you with a 'deep understanding' of what you were trying to do and THEN died...
I can't help wondering whether THAT is the crux of the matter..AND..the struggle of survival..YOU..were trying to put forward...

Sorry for the rambling! Blame it on my psychology background! But dreams are such fantastic things opening and telling us things even we didn't/don't know!
Love the way you turn them into little stories! :)

10:00 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Pincushion, Don't know what the 'crux of the matter' might be, but I can tell you that birdsong has been decidedly more vociferous in the trees lately.

12:21 PM  
Blogger . : A : . said...

I am on the edge with this one. But then most dreams don't have endings, or we don't remember them.

5:29 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

I wonder sometimes what happens to the dreams we don't remember. In fact, what ends up happening to thoughts and experiences in general?

I always wonder if they are like radio waves or television signals---frequencies that are there for the picking.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, your post comes up with something so odd that I have to re-read it to appreciate how strangely the human mind can operate!

4:08 PM  
Blogger transience said...

finn, this was both an experience of savage, then fragile, prose. the balance is just right.

9:32 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Anonymous, Strange indeed. Most I can't account for.

Transience, I've been called many things, but savage is one of the best. Thanks for stopping by Trans.

2:09 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Anonymous, Strange indeed. Most I can't account for.

Transience, I've been called many things, but savage is one of the best. Thanks for your beastly perspective.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Frances Nash said...

...reminds me of Eraserhead

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

try the hi-tec-c pen if you appreciate the rapidograph pen. you can find them at JetPens, a Japanese pen and stationery shop online! they are a great and cheap alternative!

9:23 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...

no thanks. but you should have spelt it "cheep".

9:52 AM  

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