I suffer from hypnogogia, and have disconcerted family, friends, flatmates and my spouse by walking around chasing or fleeing creatures that have appeared before me.
(One of the spookiest lines for me of any song is "Dream walking in broad daylight" from talking heads 'Burning Down the House.')
My most frequent visions are malign: large spiders crawling across my chest, or snakes being dropped from the ceiling onto the bed, large fluttery slowmotion moths, cartoon-like devils with pitchforks. In my last flat, I was constantly hearing voices and certain that people were watching me continuously through the large windows in my bedroom.
My flatmate walked in on me one night shaking my duvet cover out of the second story window. I'd caught a bundle of mothcreatures in it, had punched them to into senslessness and was getting rid of the bodies
The benign ones: people and mice sitting watching me, an angel face in the ceiling, an angel fish, lights on that aren't in reality on. Once I saw my grandfather sitting in the chair in my room.
I discovered that listening to the Headless Chicken's 'Body Blow' album would give me the most amazing waking dreams- I don't know if it was the beats per minute or the 'snap' of the tape stopping and waking me up that caused it. Radio Head's Kid A caused a similar effect. I investigated shamanism and drumming rituals- certain areas combined with rhythmic sound cause visions.
Floating back to the surface of reality sometimes reveals that the dream was a chimera of real objects. My grandfather being a shirt over a chair, the mice a collection of socks and so on. The best example I can use to illustrate this effect is a portrait I saw at a Philip Treacy exhibition: when you looked at the object itself, it was a mess of feathers and mangled stuffed birds on it, but the sihilloeutte was of the profile of Isabella Blow wearing a Philip Treacy hat.
But more often than not, I get the malignant visions. They're caused by stress, by the light filtering through the blinds, by being unsettled by the animals climbing over the bed.
I hate them. I hate the paranoia and the fear, the loss of control and the unanchoring of reality. I worry that I'll hurt someone inadvertantly in my efforts to remove creatures from the house. Even moreso, now that I'm married with assorted animals in the house.
I love them. I love that my brain produces such augmented reality. I would miss the benign visits. The drift from the dream to reality can be spectacular.
Now, what has this to do with Gef? I had the idea that Gef was a mare, sent to torture the family. The idea doesn't hold much weight given the narrative of events, Gef isn't as ephemeral as a dream. However, if I could find a way to translate the weight that the dreams hold to Gef as a reality, I may be onto something. Playing with light states so that characters drift in and out of scenes, as they move through them.
The other thing that I need to consider: just how messed up would my dreams be if I had a creature, like Gef, living in the walls of my house, making odd noises all the time, disrupting my sleep? Pretty horrific, I would probably have ended up destroying the house, making it inhospitable to little creatures.
Tomorrow is the break day, Monday is Obsession!
The amazing milliner Philip Treacy
Isabella Blow was his patron and muse, and she wore the hats fearlessly as extensions of her own body. Photos of her inthe hats are down the left side of this page.