Crossroads, from Pieces of Dreams

Below is the basic design for the first twelve parts of a 60 part contiguous work, that begins an exploration called Pieces of Dreams, as these are interwoven into our daily lives. This work has many layers and is of multiple dimensions. Symbols play a part, but no literal interpretation can begin to tell it all. What matters here is what you find, not what I came to say.

Originally the images were 19.75″ x 26.50″.

Click on each image for greater detail, use the browser ‘back’ button to return here.

Dreams image 1 Dreams image 2 Dreams image 3 Dreams image 4 Dreams image 5 Dreams image 6 Dreams image 7 Dreams image 8 Dreams image 9 Dreams image 10 Dreams image 11 Dreams image 12

I invested 18 months in this sketch, and it’s an unfinished work that was designed simply to introduce the cast of characters for the entire 60 parts of this project. The second set of 12 was to have been Odyssey, and would’ve used the cast of characters (puzzle-people, shadow-people, games-people and survivors) to explore the interior of the mind. This was to have been a journey through condition and circumstance in both conscious and unconscious thought. The final 36 images – Quest – would have explored the various houses of personality: as we are, as we seek to be, and as others see us.

This began as a puzzle project for American Publishing, who later became Bits & Pieces. Because of the scale and ware-housing difficulties the project was scrapped, shortly after I started. The puzzles were to have been marketed in small groupings – from pairs to groups of three – to encourage the collection of the entire image of the completed work.

Artistically this was a bit of a cop-out as the work needed to be “completely filled with complexity” (when artistry often dictates much less cacophony). But this was my idea, and the company did not dictate any prerequisites about the composition for this work. In the end I lost my way – because of the basic contradiction at the core of what I came to say. Now, almost 20 years later, I’m thinking that perhaps an artistic version of these concepts might be well received – not as jigsaw puzzles but as a work of integrity, interconnection and potential – because of the conflicted state of the world today.

San Francisco, 2003

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Dreams part 1 through 12


1 – First Light

The earth erupting into life

The rivers of our tears
  a mix of joy and sorrow,
Cascading into canyons of our singularity
  only to rise again
    as the ground fog intermingles
with the autumn leaves
  that consecrate the fertile ground again
    This is the beginning point of Dreams

The earth erupting into life

The rivers of our tears
  a mix of joy and sorrow,
Cascading into canyons of our singularity
  only to rise again
    as the ground fog intermingles
with the autumn leaves
  that consecrate the fertile ground again
    This is the beginning point of Dreams

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2 – Whispers

In a requiem for nature
  mother earth awakens,
calling forth her shadows
  that whisper into dreams
Secrets now of nature’s realm
    that was

While plans are made
  to build the dreams of others
    out of her
And all of this before the din of progress comes,
  to shape us in its image

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3 – Shadows

Suspended in the twilight
  a fugitive from genesis,
    is this castle of the heart

Our shadow selves engage each other
  in a dance for those
    who have forgotten how to see

Upon this stage we live,
  beneath the bridge of two beginnings
    our conscience balances,
      cliché upon cliché upon cliché

But in this fragment
  which is real,
    and which imaginary?

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4 – Rubiayat

The possibilities between us
  embodied in mirage
The forest seethes with changing life
  fitting witness to the feast

Shadows frolic on the fringes
  some that seek to touch,
    and some that choose to flee
      among the idle thoughts,
        that populate this private banquet
          between the forest and the sea

All Words by Lisa Gonzalez and Kirwan © 1984

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5 – Genesis

In the chasms between us
  we radiate our ordered games
As pieces of an uncompleted puzzle
  we watch the dance of change

Upon the twisted concourse
  these figures from the game
    begin to burn with life

Becoming as they leave the board
  New figures,
    in the wider world,
      of dreams…

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6 – Crossroads

At the vortex
  beneath the monolith of memory
dreams are ordered or deferred
  across the bar of promises

The surrounding carousel is pace
  by past and future visions,
    which linger here unopened
      among these secret seekers,

Possibilities are endless
  at this crossroads,
where realities have come
  to intertwine with dreams

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7 – Saturday’s

Upon the sound-stage,
  we dramatize our thoughts

Dreams as yet unclaimed
  are rising from the footlights,
    while we rapture in performance:
That in the chorus thus created
  no scrap of life
    remains unlived

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8 – Cage of Freedom

The city of the future-past
  and present
The suburbs coalesce from bits of plastic
  metal coins and loaded dice
Yet in the chaos
  a tapestry of grand design,
    takes form

Life and love and varied paths
  between monuments to other times
While we move through – no longer held
  within this cage of freedom

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9 – Backstage

In the wings of every moment
 we pause,

Observed, observing
  we are both the puppets and the masters,
    in a world where equilibrium
      is suspect

We balance here,
  Upon this backstage of our lives,
    where so many dreams
      are found…

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10 – Crescendo

Survivors drift on leaves of learning
  within a city turned to ice
    while we return to that
      from which we came

One measures things
  by greater moments here;
Than all our constructs for the weight of time
  can fathom

Cataclysms spark that flexibility
  which frees us from our narrow selves,
Reminding us that dreams are never lost
  along the path that’s filled with options…

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11 – Night Mirror

In the glare of neon-night
  we seek the questions that could make us wise,
Beneath the cloak of never-darkness
  we search for long forgotten memories,

In the ebb and flow
  that always follows
    we ponder;

Reflected and reflecting
  in this looking glass
    of self

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12 – unfinished – Pandora’s Gate

The always open door,
  where life and death
    become of equal weight

Beyond the portal,
  the frozen sky
    is shattered by new light

Ever-changing forms across the landscape move,
  as transition colors all the unformed dreams
    that hunger for each coming hour…

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All images are © kirwan, all rights are reserved (unless otherwise noted).