Tall And True Short Reads
Episode 11 (10 January 2021)
It’s a warm, sunny day and I’m strolling along Brighton Promenade during my lunch break. Seagulls are circling and squawking, and sunlight shimmers on the blue-green English Channel. I look away from the bright horizon and see her walking towards me. Twenty metres and twenty years separate us.
Episode 11 (10 January 2021)
Read “Her”: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/her
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I was living in England in 1992 when I had a dream that felt so real it reminded me of the 3rd Century BC Chinese philosopher, Chuang Chou.
One night, Chou dreamed he was a butterfly, “fluttering hither and thither, enjoying itself to the full of its bent”, unaware he was Chou.
When Chou awoke, he was himself again. But after that, he observed, “I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”
I’ve never dreamed of being a butterfly. But I have had vivid dreams of flying (unaided), sitting on a bus (naked), and standing dumbstruck on a stage (because I didn’t learn my lines). And I’ve also dreamed of visits from departed family and friends, even a dear old dog. The experience always feels real and evokes real emotions.
It was the same for my dream in 1992. When I woke, I was confused about where I was and whether what I had dreamed had happened. Was it a dream or a memory?
At the time, I was experimenting with form in my writing. And I used the dream to write “Her”. It’s part reality, I lived and worked in Brighton, and part fiction. I was thirty when I wrote “Her” and any relationship from twenty years ago would have been a school ground romance. But mostly, “Her” is a surreal interpretation of my vivid dream.
It’s unlikely Chou was a butterfly who dreamed he was a philosopher. And I’ve never followed an old flame into the English Channel.
I hope you enjoyed my short dream. Please subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite listening app. And don’t forget to tell your family and friends about Tall And True Short Reads and the Tall And True writers’ website.
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Podcast Theme and Sound Effects
Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.
Crowded beach: https://freesound.org/people/Sheyvan/sounds/476099/
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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