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

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Spinal Tap Dream

I'm on a circus-sized swing tethered to something unseen above---feeling a mighty belly-rush as I oscillate forward, my toes stretching at the pendulum crest to make physical contact with the stuccoed wall against which is projected the lasar-light Hubbell images of phosphorescent stars and shadowy planets.

There is an uncanniness about the perspectival changes. As I swing away from the projection, the heavens become much more than a convincing illusion---the sudden display of starry light sends a tremendous sparkling megawatt charge through my spine. When the swing reaches the hump at the back of the crest, all is startlingly Big Bang, with time-lapse shifts of slivered, quartered, halved and gibbous moons encircling other worlds in an astounding and never-ending multi-dimentional complexity.

As I once again swing into my downward arc I make the sudden decision to close my eyes and let go of the ropes just like I use to do at the beach. But this time I'm letting go with no sand in sight. I am certain that if I let go while holding on to that intergalactic vista, that I'll be able to land on one of those other worlds.

Nested in the vault of my lids I lose my gravitational center. With a sudden dread, I realize that wherever I land will now be my grave. I'm holding my breath and cringing, knowing it will all end in a split second. I am spinning down mental spiral that makes me dizzy.

But a billion split seconds pass---the g-force tug on my guts and the bloodrushing thrill of the fall goes on and on until the moment I realize "I'm far past the point where I should have hit the ground". When I finally open my eyes, I realize I'm tethered to a rubber chain "bungee cord" connected to a deep-sea bathyshere. Someone inside is waving at me. Is it a greeting or a valediction?

A solar wind roaring by like a desert train while I try to get a fix on whether I'm right side up or upside down. I wonder "Is this tether tightening or going slack?"

But I succumb to an amniotic, weightless limbo where worries don't worry. It's all as clear as those distant stars that I can travel forever in this fractal dream by orbiting myself---that this is a small taste of what the soul is capable of when it leaves the body for good.

Note: I woke up this morning after having battled a herniated disc. It had me coiled in its grip like a mean snake for nearly a month. I'd finally fallen asleep last night after endless, excruciating hours spent wondering if this were the rare sort of pain women felt while giving birth to octuplets.

When I (finally) awoke to the bird reveille, my bed was soaked in sweat.
I felt like a boneless chicken who'd just wrestled with a fox...and won.

Nota Bene: My chiropractor warned me that the fox is likely to return disguised as boa constrictor.


Blogger Maddy said...

My favorite post so far Finn-
lovely language and it MOVES
along so beautifully -
undulates rather....
freefalling into shards of


No pain no gain. (groan)

6:36 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...


Thanks sweetie. I took a lot of punches in the gut for it though.

"No pain no gain" might be the worst punch of all---it deserve the "Austin Power Award" for obnoxious quips.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Really cool dream. I love the freedom at the end. Good luck with the disc, heal well.

8:34 PM  
Blogger skelety said...

Poor Fin...
At least the pain led to this wonderful post...
Heh, octuplets...

10:46 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...


Thanks. I will


I'd normally don't mention my waking dramas here, but I thought it relevant to the content.

Here are more multiple-order Latin terms for more frightful pain.

Note: This is also known as litter.

Nine offspring — nonuplets
Ten offspring — decaplets
Eleven offspring — undecaplets
Twelve offspring — duodecaplets
Thirteen offspring — tredecaplets
Fourteen offspring — quattuordecaplets
Fifteen offspring — quindecaplets

7:15 AM  
Blogger mermaid said...

Finns, as a young boy on the swing, you must have had a totally different perspective of the world with you in it. As an adult, you are able to describe it with such expertise. Seeing yourself from up above or down below makes you realize everything isn't as it seems. Either totally f-c-ed up or better than you imagined.

Hope the spinal fluid is bathing you with insight. It appears that there’s more in there! Rest up.

11:24 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...


The youthful memories often morph over time; shifting closer towards the place we imagine. That's the nature of storytelling I guess.
How we recall things in adulthood often reflects how we remember our past. Or something like that.

The spinal fluid is all tapped out. It's bone on bone till I'm dust.

3:51 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

Another wonderful ride.
(I'm relieved we have different chiropractors. ;)

9:56 PM  
Blogger GEL said...

Forgot to add Feel Better!!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I feel as if I, too, have been orbited, and traveled far after reading this post. Beautiful writing, Finn.

Hope it scares away the mean snake.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

is a pain in the back worse than a pain in the neck?
[may so but who?]
the idea of having octuplets does sound grand but i'd rather suffer a legion of demons nailing my scrotum to a cactus.

the back is better?
[not yet. nary ahwile]
i hope it recovers soon.

later than those orbiting, spinning stars that finger point to an alarming freefall to an open ?[grave]death.

at least, from a selfish point of view we get our dream chaser back but maybe we all should have a whip round just to make sure your friendly neighbourhood chiropractioner is forever on call.

take care big f.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous cooper said...

That was beautiful Finn, I wonder how. I mean to me, if in pain, I would write in a more staccato fashion, abrupt and rather screeching.

Please take care.

4:37 AM  
Blogger luz de la luna said...

Great dream and well written, as always :-)

Get well soon and beat all comers be they foxes or snakes!

- Martin

6:06 PM  
Blogger MAHARAJADHIRAJ said...

Next time untie your feet before going to sleep! Here's also wishing the 'amniotic, weightless limbo' on you and more dreams where you actually fly sans g-force and the bungee chord :)

10:42 PM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

Talk about hitching a ride to a star!
You know finn, anyone can dream, and just maybe anyone can dream about the heavens, BUT, there's one thing for sure...you're the only one that I know who has the ability to write about the experience with such an awesome flare.
The visuals, and the discriptions of sound, and tactile connections to the waking world makes this a perfect post!
Despite the horrendous pain you've been subjected to, I want to thank you for sharing your dream. It's actually quite beautiful.
Get better friend!
Bonzai Buckaroo!

4:10 AM  
Blogger GEL said...

Dropped back in (no pun intended about your painful back) to send more healing wishes. I hope your pain is lessening each day, King of Dreams.
Word Verfication: "UHFEL" If only you felt this way as in "uh", not "awful." :(

7:02 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...


I can't blame you for being relieved. However, relief is the thing sticking out of my back.


Glad to have put you in orbit, Patry. Dreams let us travel with the mind, which is the only thing
that's faster than light.

The snake has returned unfortunately, but I've got an anti-venom that will turn him into harmless little wormlets, hehe.


Pain in the back is far worse---no discussion.
Having your easter egg pouch transformed into an echidna sounds worse than demonic, C.J. Suffering the birth of octuplets
already straddles my personal pain threshold.

As to needing a chiropractic pain prodder to give birth to this sort of dream, I'd just as soon fold up this circus tent and head out to pasture with my tongue in my cheek.


Yeah I thought about that too. When I wrote down the dream, I was actually experiencing the first relatively good day in weeks. The dream was the catharhic, gyronautic event that allowed me to actually sit down and write. I had a lot of ooky dreams throughout the spell, but couldn't even think about recording and recalling anything but "Mommy!"


Hey Luz, good to hear from you again. And thanks. I'm vigilant against all slithering creatures who see me as a snake snack.


That's good advice, M. I've always been told to get the lead out of my feet.

Perhaps we all eventually slip back into the amniotic slipstream, untethered and gazing upon everything at once. Or not. Maybe we get chased in the deep by some ill-tempered sea bass.


Gosh, you make me see stars, Queeneetee. You are just the right sort of medicine a Finnegan needs. I feel like I've shooed away 3 anacondas and a viper. Now what to do about the octuplet rattlers. A big "Banzai!" from the Buckaroo to you.


You are very kind to stop by with your healing purple wand and spritz me with analgesic dust.

6:56 PM  
Blogger floots said...

i feel almost guilty having enjoyed reading something insoired by your pain
(ok - not that guilty) :)

soul space sounds good to me
(not so sure about being circus-sized though - very old joke) :)

thanks for recent visits

7:45 PM  
Blogger finnegan said...

Your visits always leave circus-sized sole impressions.
Big Foot Floots. Cheers back on ya

7:14 AM  
Blogger Queen Neetee said...

finn, I just want to tell you that I finally ordered the book - On Beauty - that you recommended to me some time ago. I can't wait to read it!

(Carry on)

8:23 AM  
Blogger finnegan said...


Zadie Smith is a wonderful writer, Neetee. The book is unputdownable
in every sense. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Zataod said...

Finn -- I've been dealing with some back issues on and off for the last few months, so I feel your pain (but maybe not quite with the same intensity).

Did your back feel any better after this swinging about?

8:38 PM  
Blogger boulies said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finney, this is really incredible. It's definitely one of my favorites. I was tumbling and freefalling with you right through the stratosphere. This was better than any of the flying dreams of my youth. And it must be a good sign in relation to your ailments because it was certainly about letting go of all issues concerning all earthly/ bodily disorders. I love the part where you finally open your eyes and realize that you're tethered to the bungee cord which connects to the deep-sea bathyshere. It's hilarious to find someone waving at you after all that tension. I love the way you ended this, referring to what the soul must experience.
I really feel a kinship to this dream so I'll say Thank You!!!

3:40 AM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

It sounds like you had something of an astral projection dream. It's funny how gravity is conditional in dreams -you can defy it but then it can become terrifyingly real again. I'm sure the dream was at least partly influenced by sensory discomfort from your herniated disc. Your back wants to feel all floaty and nice again but it's tough. Nurse yourself gently friend and keep an eye out for that fox, no matter which animal it's disguised as. A fox knows a fox well. Out-fox the fox and be foxier than it can be. Once it tries to sniff you as a fox, it won't be able to resist exposing itself and then you'll have it right where you want it.

7:46 AM  
Blogger karma said...

Finn, sorry to hear about that disc. get well soon and keep swinging


4:38 AM  
Anonymous Silvermoon said...

I'm here again, sprinkling more purple, but I hope you're already healed!
BTW, I consolidated my blogs into one, yes purple one, but it's different... I patiently await the mark of Finn.

11:10 AM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

tight hug....not boa constictor tight!!! missed your dreams but you sound in a lot of pain, you better take care of yourself you know....i'm good and i'm sooo moved that you cared enough to even save all my posts and pix...now how does one say thank you to that!!!

this post is amazing for how it transforms pain into something which liberates. bravo!!!


1:47 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

where r u??????????????????????????/

9:36 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Owch, no wonder what a rola coaster of a dream-may you soon feel better-love the picture

10:22 PM  
Blogger bittersweet said...

Oh my.
Feel better soon Finn!

4:37 AM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

Oh dear, I can't tell you how much I empathize; I've struggled for the most part of last year with severe (spastic) back pain, being a constant visitor/patient of an orthopedic surgeon. And I definitely agree: far worse than neck pain. Incredibly so. The daily hefty dose of painkillers, muscle relaxants, and more painkillers alone render a drugged sensation of weightlessness (even though bedridden for most of the time). The "motion" in and of your dream reminds me of this, of dreaming of being swept away, of being "moved" by another force... because the body loses the will. Dear Finn, I hope you're feeling better now, and that I hear from you very soon with good news about your health. *big hug*

8:23 AM  
Blogger bert moth said...

I was here a bit ago but didn't comment for some reason, and I found my way back.

I'm a bit blown away by your subconscious. You're recording real dreams? It sounds brilliant.

I hope that grip loosens and some pleasant sleep provides more dreams for the sharing.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Missing your dreams...

11:01 PM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

finnegan oh finnegan where are you?

8:51 AM  
Blogger Kieran said...

Good work. I'd award you a Nobel Prize but I've given four out today and I've run out. You can have the first of the next bactch though.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Is your back still bad, I hope not those boa constrictors can be tricky

8:45 PM  
Anonymous cooper said...

We need you so that we could die
We love you so and that is why
Whenever we want you, all we have to do is dream
Dream, dream, dream, dream
Dream, dream
Whenever we want you, all we have to do is dream

Dream, dream, dream

Hope you're ok

we miss you

6:17 AM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

a menagerie of delights.

sad to see you've not posted recently.

if you're dreams are evading you, then I am worrying.

I'm also back and recuperating by the way - from my latest bouts of pretension and absence.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come back soon

3:52 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

oops forgot to addd my name, the above anon is me

3:56 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

I really liked reading this piece. The photo and words were great.

Sorry to hear about the pain...sending good vibes.

7:53 AM  
Blogger stella said...

it was about this time last year when i made a simple wish on a shooting star one night, i think it's about time i do it again... miss ya!

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Wow* Your writings are gold!

Thats all I can say. Besides- "Sorry you are in pain about your back dear"


3:55 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

oh dear. one of th hardest pills to swallow has been the passing of sweet old finnegan.

6:41 PM  
Blogger {illyria} said...

you are being missed.

~the girl FKA transience

4:41 AM  
Blogger Zataod said...

Yes, we miss you greatly.

9:18 PM  
Blogger {illyria} said...

happy new year, in any case. xx.

4:30 AM  
Blogger Hippie Craque said...

worries don't worry

reminds me of how i attempt to transcribe dreams - i mix of literalism and poetry - i think it works, about as well as can be hoped for anyway

3:55 AM  
Blogger Pecos Blue said...

trust the chiro and take care

5:05 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Stopping in to say hello. Miss your dreams and your incisive commentary.

7:36 AM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

i just wanted to let you know that i miss you and i hope that you are fine.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fear that if we don't comment from time to time, blogger might eventually take Finnegan's blog away. So I leave this here.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Bubs said...

I miss you forever - Bubs

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Finn, just dropping you a note that dreamclue.com has officially launched, it features a dynamic interpretation system, visual guide regarding messages from the dreamworld and some great stats along the way.

http://dreamclue.com ... get the message!

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for everything!

10:44 PM  
Blogger RuKsaK said...

yes - I know you're gone, but at least let this place stay. I never met you, and it's been some time, but it's such sadness just typing this.

8:18 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

just to let you know that you are missed still. RIP dear finnegan, i hope this sleep is more restful than any other.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog . In this, the body is studied by regions rather than by organs. This is of importance to the surgeon who exposes different planes after the skin incision and who, of course, must be perfectly familiar with structures as he explores the limbs and spine anatomycavities.

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6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soon another year has past ... but you're still here. Love Bubi

1:33 PM  
Blogger Cooper said...

peace finn.....all this time....

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to keep you running ... miss you butchy

3:24 PM  
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12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy new year! miss you!

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Frogger for this blogg!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1825 days later and still miss you very much. Big embrace - Bubi

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy reading you once again after all this years have past by - you're still missed.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost 10 years ago ... seems as if I'd seen you just yesterday.

11:02 PM  

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