Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Synchronicity, Spiritus Mundi, "The Shirt! The Shirt!", or, crap, I've really lost it and gone off the deep end.

Benedict Cumberbatch--production photo from "Third Star"
The cast from "Third Star" takes a break and has tea

I had a dream after watching the film "Third Star," an independent British film in which the main character, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is dying of cancer and wants to take one last trip to the coast of Wales with his mates. The main impact of the film on me was the portrayal of this group of young men as caring and being able to be emotionally open and vulnerable; qualities I want to believe men have, or are capable of, but which I haven't experienced firsthand from guys in any satisfactory way.
In my dream I was suddenly with someone and I felt this great relief--that I could stop fighting and struggling so hard and just relax and know that this person, this guy, cared about me, almost implicitly, instinctively, as though we had always known each other and there was no fear or anxiety.  I don't know who he was, I couldn't see him clearly, but I did notice his shirt.  He was wearing this white/off-white thin cotton shirt with a delicate, almost floral reddish/pink pattern on it.  In the dream, in my letting go, I just wanted to put my head on his shoulder.  I wanted him to support me, hold me.  I had all this sorrow and struggle in me and I wanted to let it go.  As I moved in closer to lean on him, I felt this terrific heat rising up from his torso from beneath his shirt.  I suddenly felt that I had misjudged him, that I had made him into this strong impermeable rock that would hold me; maybe not misjudged, but not known completely because I hadn't previously been aware of his sorrows, his struggles, his vulnerability, his human frailty.  How much was he like me?  I could feel his heart beating, but it was jagged, as if he was only kept alive by some fragile and powerful grace, both mystic and wild.

This dream felt very real and dear to me.  I took it as a message that I can and will find the connection I crave, that I will find someone safe, a soul mate.

I wanted very much to write about this in a poem, but I kept getting hung up on the shirt.  I did some Google searches but I couldn't find what I wanted.  I wanted a poetic fabric, but batiste, though favored by Tolstoy, seemed too obscure, too distracting.  I just couldn't come up with a terse, poetic description.  This was what I wrote:

Last night I was thinking:
You, oh, you.
Like a comfort, as though your shoulder
was a pillow for my sorrows.
But when I rested my head there,
the warmth of your torso blazed up like a furnace
and I felt the sudden fragility of your pulse
through the thin print of your shirt,
the unease of the machinery,
and shuddering.

Ah, well, anyway, "the thin print of your shirt" was the best I could do.  So, blah.  But I was pretty pleased with the rest of the poem (Iridium Nib), and so it goes.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I was trolling around the internet.  After "Third Star" I watched another small, independent film that Benedict did--"Wreckers"--which kind of screwed with my head because it's one of those films where nothing is quite as it seems.  I found a short, but insightful forum on the plot of the film on the wonderfully named "The Baker Street Supper Club" website.  I also found a "Wreckers" page on Facebook.  So, yeah, these small budget films want to promo themselves, so they have FB pages with lots of fun pictures and behind the scenes stuff.  I had a great time looking at all the passionate, creative types who are never seen on camera, but do lots of work planning out shots, and painting scenes and dressing sets and the actors.  The art people seemed like people one would like to hang out with.  They had lovely lunches with piles of fruits and veggies and baguettes on the set. 

The Art Crew on "Wreckers" have Lunch.  Love that wallpaper!

The Dog, Lucy, and the Production Designer, Beck Rainford, on "Wreckers."  I just couldn't skip this photo--too cute!
Crew Member of "Wreckers" resting on location in The Fens
I felt some connection with these people.   In my job as a Pastry Chef at a convention center, I am behind the scenes, too, doing my creative work and remaining anonymous and invisible.  My team and I work like hell on a big project and then it's over.  OK, so on to the next show.  That's how it goes.  Not many laurels to rest upon.

So, back to scrolling around the web.  I wanted to find similar "behind the scenes" stuff for "Sherlock."  Oh, my.  This show has an incredible following and a host of websites devoted to almost any aspect you can imagine.  Like that wallpaper in 221B?  Well, you can buy it, or the teapot, or the perfume Irene Adler wore.  Gah.  Too much stuff.  I can see, though, that I am hardly alone in my obsession.  That makes me feel somewhat better, or at least not as crazy.  Anyway, just rummaging through Sherlock pictures and sites and I found this--the shirt!  the shirt!--from some panel discussion somewhere.  God, I almost fell off my deluxe executive task chair.  This is the shirt from my dream.  Why is Benedict wearing it?  Why did I dream about it in detail?  What does this mean?  I have lost it.  I am supposed to be having fun with this obsession, right?  

The Shirt!  The Shirt!


  1. I like "the thin print of your shirt." It's my favorite part of the poem.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I guess it did its work then.

  2. The photos add so much. Their very banality make the dream sequence with shirt even more ethereal.