December 8th, 2013



It's the Open House Meme for the day. lyrstzha asks me, "How about 10 surreal things that have happened to you."

I'm not sure i experience much as surreal. Part of it is the daily rut does not allow much in the way of novel experience. And then my context for surrealism is Dali, Magritte, and de Chirico. What does surreal mean for me, my experience?

When i read the question, my first thought was that the one surreal event was when the VP called to tell me about the re-organization that would give me a new manager. The out-of-the-blue and unlooked-for nature of the phone call, coupled with the utterly uncharacteristic nature of simple communication from the VP pushed me into a different sense of time and place.

Another moment that popped into mind was a hotel stay in Chicago due to a missed flight. Was that this year? I can't recall. The sense of out-of-time and out-of-space of the hotel stay created a sensory rich but untethered memory: arriving in the dark, departing in the dark, the luxurious room and no luggage, the glorious soaking tub, the disappointment of not arriving at home but the relief of the weekend.

Much of what i intentionally experience is the landscape, and i don't think of it as surreal. I could frame it that way, i think, particularly the trip east of the Sierras in May. The predawn drive across the basin to the tufa at Mono Lake could be cast as surreal. The long sloping vista from the highway to the lake revealed the car lights of similar travelers ahead of me, the dust rising from cars rattling down the dirt road, all under the red velvet sky. Another moment from the trip was our afternoon nap in our tent cabin. The dry heat was particularly noticeable in the tent, but the large fan, its cast iron stand something out of a movie from the 40s, relieved much of the unpleasantness. Above us, the sun cast the flickering shadow of the cottonwood leaves. Then there was being hit by a dust devil near the long abandoned train platform named Zurich, the night drive out of the White Mountains descending eight thousand feet in an hour from the cold bristlecone pines back to the warm desert.

Hmm, i read the question as ten things this year -- and see my whole life was game. There is a mystical experience i had one foggy moonlit night that could probably be described as surreal, but i'll take five this year as my answer.


You too can pick a date and give me a question or prompt (or more than one!) at DW or LJ.