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[Easy Chair]

An Artist of the Sleeping World

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Long years ago I gave pain by saying, with the arrogance of boyhood, that it was foolish to tell one’s dreams. I have done penance for that remark since. . . . I have cultivated, so far as I care to, my garden of dreams, and it scarcely seems to me that it is a large garden. Yet every path of it, I sometimes think, might lead at last to the heart of the universe.

— Havelock Ellis

I posed a question a few years ago to the readers of my website: do men and women both dream about interactions with famous or powerful people? The question was prompted by a dream I had about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran at the time, who was a big figure in the news and who (in the dream) had come to stay in my town to get to know ordinary Americans. He was glad to see me — apparently we had hung out before — and wanted to show me a poster he’d made for his new American-style business startup: a cigar-sales company. The company, the poster said, would be selling “broken splits” cheaply. I told Ahmadinejad that if he wanted to be successful he couldn’t use arcane cigar lingo on a poster.

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