Dream Landscape

15 January 2010

Deliriously thinking in the morning, half awake, lain in the bed. Not a dream but the kind of manic circular brain activity that goes with jetlag, tiredness, dehydration and (I think) the Malarone. Was awake around 5, already thinking vaguely that if I would still be awake at 6 I’d catch the dawn chorus again, which on the previous days showing was spectacular acoustic display of bird-sound fireworks from the tree just out back of the room. But basically lying there trying to sleep, aware of the form of the mosquito nets in the very faint light from outside.

For ‘no’ reason thinking about a place/culture where in order to sleep safely various kinds of spirit fences must be put in place to surround the bed as well as spirit traps to go underneath it. (There’s been pretty much no talk of this kind of stuff here in Cambodia, though of course you can’t help notice the various spirit houses complete with offerings everywhere on the street).

Notes (written at the point I just gave up and got out of bed to sit beneath the AC unit): Safe Sleeping. Spirit fences made with pendants and flags and other things hanging. The fences themselves made from thread stretched between posts – the thread should be unravelled thread from your own clothing but for expediency/in a rush it can be nylon thread or fine wire – makes the fence less strong but better than nothing. Particular shapes. forms, colours and materials (torn clothing, aluminium foil shredded plastic) for different of these fences which prevent entry of different spirits – a sequence in which they need to be laid out (concentrically) and in different heights.  Lying there I’m aware that this is somehow like computer firewall too.

Traps need to go under mattress. And other things – above.  All aimed at specific kinds of specific demons, spirits etc. Also specific fences needed in particular regions of country – mountains forests etc to deal with specific dangers there.


Days later a dream of someone bound, covered in mud, in the shovel of a huge digger at some construction site – digging the living out of the ground, or burying the dead.

Another dream. Some guy firing a gun into the window of a bus crowded with passengers.


All in all hardly processing Cambodia at all – the strange way that another landscape, another spatiality writes itself into you so deeply but in a way that can’t be understood or articulated. ‘Everything’ filed straight into back brain. Impossible (or at least slow) to digest.