Input: Apparently, it was an ancient practice to sleep in temples – sometimes many people at the same time attempting to synchronize their dreams – hoping for healing, epiphany or the maybe cryptic message of an oracle. Sure, we think we have moved on from both this form of superstition as well as psychoanalytical dream interpretations. But then again, maybe there is something to it?
We lie awake. Together alone. Sleeping is mystical. It is alchemy. It is magic. We transcend. The whole world moves on, while we are seemingly inert and vice versa. Let‘s move towards collective dreaming. We can remember, recount, reinvent and retel the stories together. Let‘s remove the objects we rest our heads on from the confines of privacy. Let‘s find intimacy in moments of collective dreaming, in these special moments rubbing at transcendence.
Input: During hard times – biblically hard times – baked goods are symbols. Remember how the Israelites didn‘t have enough time to let the dough rise before fleeing the Pharaoh to the Holy Land? But still: it was a moment of communality, a moment to which a group of people until this day connect a shared memory
of something as supposedly trivial as the product of baking. Today, the ancient hardship and its miraculous outcome is celebrated through a placeholder. So, in good times, we use symbols, practical mnemonic devices to indicate how we are to feel. For example, cakes can be signifiers of celebrations, marking moments of happy togetherness.
I feel elated. Alone together. Baking is mystical. It is alchemy. It is magic. The creation of sweet, tasty nutrition from a bunch of individually inedible ingredients. I arrange my most joyous events around lumps of dough expanded by heat and ancient bacteria, covered in sugary artisanry. And then I got distracted, while I was existing in the superficial togetherness of this party. I forgot the cause for this celebration.
I suddenly remembered what I was thinking of yesterday when I couldn‘t fall asleep, haunted by insomnia. Drifting off in my thoughts, everything around me appeared fake: the people, their artificial attitude, even the reality I am moving in, the buildings, the furniture, the shadows and the structures – absolutely everything.
Cathrin Jarema, *1989, lives and works in Zurich and Brussels