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Return to the Serpent Path

June 9, 2013

Batik Dragon As I write this I am preparing to return to the serpent path i.e. revisit Barcelona. You may remember that the city’s fantastic architecture inspired me to write the following poem last year:
Barcelona’s topsy-turvy trees
disrupt the patterns of my mind.
I sturggle to cross-match them
with known species of sycamore and lime.

I register the squiggles
and scrawls of a lattice
of limbs which stretch
their skeletal forms
seven storeys high,

consider whether their predecessors
were the source of inspiration
for Gaudi’s creative designs
or some other resonance
more serpentine,

a Medusa whose sinuous curves
are discerned in the stone
seats, arches, pillars and facades
of la Perdera, parc Guell
and la Sagrada Familia.

But how to relate to the pallau rooftops
procreated by chimneys
whose crystalline camouflage
encapsulates a mosaic of memories.

I decipher the confusion
of fossilised impressions,
slough off my outer skin,
shift into original form
to assimilate this reptilian world.

Hence, the return to the serpent path, once more on the trail of Gaudi’s creations. An example of what can be achieved when the imagination is given free reign.
I read an interesting comment in Cheryl Moskowitz’s article ‘The Impossibility of Recipe and the Importance of Risk’ in Writing in Education, Issue Number 59 (N.A.W.E. Spring 2013) in which she puts forward Sigmund Freud’s proposition that: ‘artistic or literary creativity occurs when reason ceases to police the imagination and productive fantasy is given free reign.’
It is difficult for reason to police the mind when absorbing the architectural delights of Barcelona. I look forward to giving my imagination free reign over the next few days.
Cheryl’s quote is from Sigmund Freud’s essay on ‘Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming’ (1907). The rainbow serpent is both a symbol for dreamtime and the creator god in aboriginal myths.
You might like to take some time to dream, to let your imagination wander this week and discover where day-dreaming leads to on your creative path.

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