Back In Bologna

It is amazing that I can wake up one sunny (hard to believe) morning in Rochester, New York and when I lay down to sleep (after a ride in a space ship) be across the planet in a different country, or as I view it a different world.

In Bologna I have a different life.

I am a different person there than I am in Rochester, as I wrote before. That is not to say that I have a different color skin or horns growing out of my head or anything like that. But if I drop all of my known cultural beliefs and look at it from that point of view, it literally is a different life for me in a different world.

Lets go back a century or even more. Just the fact that I can get in a horse-less carriage(!) and go to the launch pad(!) and arrive in Rome and get in a horizontal space ship(!) is something that would amaze my great grandparents, let alone the fact that all of this took place in only half of a day. As I sit here at the keys the entire six week trip to the states is the same as a dream for me. I've thought about this many times. The beauty of the camera and journal allow me to give form to these dreams. To be able to record forever what the eye sees for a moment and what the mind thinks of is what all this writing is about.

But I often wonder if dreams (be them from sleep or actual past experiences) are really a look into another actual (or spiritual?) world. And if so does that 'world' have any relationship to what we call heaven?

Webster defines heaven as: "...a place or state of supreme happiness". If we assume that happiness is a state of mind, then why can't we assume that heaven is also a state of mind? OK, let's say it is a state of mind only when we are happy.

In his writings Joseph Campbell describes nirvana (defined by Webster as "...a state of freedom from worry and the external world") as a physiological state of mind. I'll call it a mind set.

If these ideas are true, or let's assume that they are true, then heaven and nirvana and dreams and fantasies are all the same. And, it is our imagination that defines them, and our cultural pressures implement the segregation's between them.

So, with this rather strange idea presented, let's take a stroll through the garden.

It becomes, for me, a blending of dream, fantasy, memory, imagination, history etc... When I think about it my mind gets full of questions...

...What is Real? What is a Dream? What is Fantasy? What is True? What is Not? What is Heaven? Where is Earth? Who am I? Where are You?

And because I have always been curious about the imagination, when I see something that someone has created I wonder how that form came about. Was it based on an actual experience? Or taken from complete imagination? Or is it always a mixture?

When this fresco was made I wonder what was going on in her mind as she was creating it? (did you think it was a man who made this?)(I did too) I found it in an old theater on the wall by the stairs. It is actually a fresco announcing the woman's toilette'.

My writing that last sentence has altered your perception of that image. Perhaps you thought of it as an old art piece in a church or something like that. It is interesting how words change our perception of things. I often wonder if they (words) are useful for the interpretation of a visual thing?

This shows me the importance of the artist as a translator from creation to creating.

During my trip to the states I recorded many vignettes of life in America.

Now as I sit in Italy I wonder if this image was actually a dream or a still from some families home movies, or was I really there?

But I do remember certain moments clearly. Especially the precious moments shared with a loved one. There is something about Michele and my time together that goes beyond the idea of a dream. For me it enters a different kind of spiritual connection. Perhaps it is also because we were reunited after a few months apart.

I also can not forget our time together at the cabin. What a wonderful place to connect with each other and the natural world.

So I think about my time on this earth and stand in wonder about so many things during this life. When I am on my deathbed, at that time all I have are my thoughts, dreams, fantasies, history, imaginations...

...and when my spirit goes up and my body disintegrates what matter does all of this have. Once the body is gone, where do the memories go? Remember, energy never disappears, it just gets transformed.

As I began to wake up from this computer I wonder if everything is a dream. Our mind is full of them. Our being is defined by them. Our personality is carved from them. Dreams involve reality, and remember reality is just a state of mind.