I was feeling a little more relaxed anyway, having relieved myself of a burden...I have been blocked (probably stagnant liver qi) for the past few weeks, unable to complete a painting project to which I had committed myself. I owed one more image to my friend to illustrate --as if it's necessary-- her collection of haiku. But the dragon I envisioned just wouldn't come. I did a little Chinese New Year's sketch that had been taunting me on my table as I passed everyday, but I just couldn't finish it. I confessed my blockage, but not to worry, she is not waiting on me, so some relief. Perhaps now the dragon will come easily; it is hard to get the image out of my head and on to paper when there is an obligation involved. It interferes with the spontaneity. I am not professional or commercial enough (which simply means I'm not getting paid for it) to produce on demand.
On awakening in the dark --the moon has long set--I made a conscious effort to remember the dream I was having. I was at an academic conference of some sort. I went back to the dining hall to retrieve a missing shoe, a red stiletto. It was still under the table. Attached to it was something like a bicycle chain, which on closer inspection turned out to be something like a tapeworm. (In dreams things are always "something like.") To the tapeworm was attached a card with instructions on how to ingest it, with special notes on how to take it camping. I know there are people who use tapeworms as weight loss devices. My reader who recently did a piece on her own dreams might explain what all this means. Unblocking the liver qi?
At the same time, I am nearly at midpoint in 1Q84, Haruki Murakami's new big novel (925 pages). I'm not sure why, but I need to finish it, hopefully without injury. The last time I read a big book like this, that big Ken Follett book about gothic cathedral building, I did actual diagnosed arthritic damage to my wrist (which I have since overcome through qigong). 1Q84 has the pace of a long Korean drama with cliff-hanging chapters, with intense and possibly unnecessary physical descriptions of characters, especially the shapes of people's heads. With even more bizarre sex scenes than Ken Follett's, set in contemporary Japan, it has a manga, Studio Ghibli feel, as if interpreted by John Irving. It's oddly compelling, but I'm not ready to say yet that it's really very good. A few good lines to underline...in 925 pages one would hope. Easy to read, but one wonders what might be lost in translation. I have read some Murakami before, none of his novels, just short stories in the New Yorker. Over the past several years I have ceased reading New Yorker fiction, and now I think I know why.
The sky is lightening, but not like it was at 3 a.m. The world seems a little different today, though not as different as 1Q84's with TWO moons in the sky. I must get ready for my day in my academic office.