Friday, September 02, 2005

Illustration Friday - DREAMS


I love dreams. It's like being the leading character in your own movie - and a few of mine have been spectacular. I don't have the time for the story that goes with this but I promise I'll add to this post later.

Later on...
I've had terrifying nightmares that have haunted me, I've had joyful dreams - that have made me smile on recollection, and I've experienced flying, breathing under water and all sorts of amazing things that will never happen in real life. The dream that this poster refers to was unusual in that the first half was thought-provoking and terrifying and the latter part of the dream was so absurd and funny that I woke myself up laughing.

The story goes that I was going to be executed by strangulation, for a crime I hadn't committed. At the time I was only 24 years old. I felt terrible fear - firstly that it would be painful, but mainly because I was terrified that this was it - my life finished and maybe nothing afterwards. What if God and some kind of existence after death was only something we humans had made up to comfort ourselves. I realised at the point of death that the one thing I felt huge regret at missing in my short life was the experience of having a child. I desperately wanted an afterlife so that there might be a second chance.

The execution took place. It was swift and relatively painless and then there was a period - I don't know how long - of black nothingness. I then opened my eyes to find myself in a shabby paint bespattered corridor of my old art college watching a young blonde woman folding sheets and stacking them in an airing cupboard. With overwhelming relief and gratitude I said ' Oh my God, so there is something afterwards'. She turned round and said kindly but briskly 'Yes, and He'll be along in a minute to show you where you're staying'

God arrived a a couple of minutes later, apologising for not being there when I'd arrived. Physically He wasn't what I'd expected. He was a slight, prematurely balding Chinese man in his late thirties, casually dressed in sweatshirt, trainers and jeans. He was very kind and explained that Heaven was a bit crowded at the moment and I must excuse
the rudimentary nature of the accommodation and that initially I would have to put up with a dormitory. I was beaming from ear to ear because I was so delighted to be there. God then took me to my dormitory which was housed in a room that was exactly like my high ceilinged art college studio but with single beds pushed up against all the walls.

He then asked me if I could tell which was my bed. I looked around and there was one bed which was piled up with a huge number of familiar objects. Handbags, shoes, coats and so on. As I looked closer at them I realised that they were all things that I had managed to lose in my life before I'd died. I asked Him if that was my bed, to which He smiled and nodded. When I asked what these things were doing here, God set me off giggling when He said that these items had not been lost, but had been taken from me (and also from other people) as we all needed a few practical items in Heaven - a handbag or two, some clothes and so on. At this point my happiness, hysteria and giggling fit took over and my laughing woke me up.

Anyway - the lessons I learnt - the one thing in life I really wanted was to have children and if I lose a possession it really doesn't matter, it's probably waiting for me on that single bed in that dormitory in Heaven.

11 Comments:

Blogger vfm4 said...

great poster! how did you make it? it looks almost like lino cut..

9/02/2005 11:02 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Julie, this is too funny! Really, really well done ;D

9/02/2005 12:27 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Very good! I wonder if she is dreaming of a life with her own caretaker...perhaps on an exotic island?!

9/02/2005 1:32 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Well done! It's a funny thing about dreams...sometimes we have no control in them and sometimes we have all the control. I like the strong graphic style you used here. It really looks like a theater poster or prohgram cover.

9/02/2005 4:12 PM  
Blogger carla said...

oops...meant to say "program."

9/02/2005 4:13 PM  
Blogger isay said...

i like your illustration-kind of peaceful but questionable from the time i lóok at it and haven't read your story. and afterwards i feel that it was a bit long, scary and comforting dream....

9/02/2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

vfm4, laura, ellen and carla I really appreciate your comments. I'd been thinking about this all week but was very short of time due to work commitments, so I decided that a poster that was a 'homage' to the great designer Saul Bass would be something I could just about get done in time. It was done in Adobe illustrator. I see I was the last one to scrape in by the deadline.:)

9/02/2005 10:21 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

isay, you must have been commenting at the same time as me! I don't mind scary dreams if they make a good story!

9/02/2005 10:23 PM  
Blogger isay said...

julie, i forgot that it made me giggle too about those lost things!....

9/02/2005 10:58 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

I love this story so much! I wish you'd publish it somewhere, or send it out to a broader audience. Outstanding!

9/03/2005 11:37 AM  
Blogger vfm4 said...

i love the complementing story... almost cried but then i hadn't dried the tears i shed watching The Father of the Bride 2.. when i was young i never cried over a movie, now i can hardly prevent it...

9/03/2005 8:05 PM  

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