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Spiral spot

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OKLAHOMA CITY – So, in this particular dream, I find myself in the year 2020, just a matter of months into the future. I find myself in a small town – not sure where, exactly – and I wander into a house where *something* happens. What that was, I am not entirely sure at the time, but when I exit the house people are around, but they are somewhat different in appearance. I think it is their clothing, which seems dated for “present day.”

I seem to realize that I have entered a different timeline, parallel to my own time and reality, but next door, somehow.  The light seems different, kind of a dark, hazy, gauzy appearance. Dreamlike, naturally.

When I talk to people, I try to explain who I am but they don’t seem to understand my situation. Returning to the house where I first came to this place, I run into the owner, who looks an awful-lot like Rick Harrison, the guy who runs the Las Vegas pawn shop on the show Pawn Stars. This man is in bad shape, from what I am told. Because of the “spiral spot” in his house, that acts as a doorway to other realities, dimensions and so forth, he and his wife have developed leukemia and are dying.

This is all very depressing. But I need to get back to my own reality and I enter the area in this house – which reminds me of a style from the 1930s/40s, like the ones you would see in the HBO series Carnivale, set during the Great Depression.

A few other things happen – which I failed to recall – and then I find myself on the (seemingly arbitrary) boundary separating Arkansas and Oklahoma – the state line. I am apparently on the Oklahoma side of the line, looking at a “welcome” sign that reads: “ARKANSAS! Come Back Sooner!” In my dream, I laugh at this, as it is as if Arkansas is making an Okie joke. You know, Boomer SOONER? We are “The Sooner State,” referring to the Land Run of 1889 in Indian Territory.

My forthcoming book, The Stilwell Enigma, addresses the state boundary between those two states and other states. Perhaps Arkansas was beckoning me, a native living in Oklahoma, to come back, sooner? Perhaps I have more to uncover in Arkansas. I wouldn’t be surprised. That state has always loomed largely in my life. That liminal spot on the Arkansas/Oklahoma boundary is also where a community once existed that I have written about (and was noted recently in the Arkansas Times): Ultima Thule!

HARRISON, FORD

The Boomers, as you may know, were those white settlers who sought for the opening up of the Unassigned Lands here in what became the state of Oklahoma. Sooners were the settlers who settled on those lands before they were officially opened up, following U.S. President Benjamin Harrison’s proclamation allowing for the land run and settlement.

There’s that name, Harrison, again. It’s a pretty common name and my favorite Beatle is George Harrison. Interestingly, “Harrison” is the 42nd most common surname in England and the 123rd most common surname in the United States.

What is interesting, and aligns with Twin Peaks: The Return – and the whole Twin Peaks series – is that every state admitted to the Union during Benjamin Harrison’s presidency includes Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota and Washington. All of the states (save Idaho, from what I recall, although the state was where Twin Peaks co-creator David Lynch lived as a boy) are linked to Twin Peaks, somehow. South Dakota, in particular, is of interest, because it is in Twin Peaks: The Return, at a small house at 2440 Sycamore in Buckhorn, South Dakota where a “portal” to an alternate dimension exists, much like the one in my dream two nights ago.

Local high school principal and The Search for the Zone blogger Bill Hastings (Matthew Lillard), had investigated the portal at 2440 Sycamore (sycamore trees play an important role in accessing other realities in the world of Twin Peaks) and had found Maj. Garland Briggs there.

What is interesting is that when Hastings is being interrogated by the South Dakota State Police after Hastings’ mistress, Ruth Davenport, is found dead (she had accompanied Hastings into the alternate dimension), South Dakota State Police Detective Don Harrison (of Rapid City, not far from Mount Rushmore – which Lynch’s character Deputy Dir. Gordon Cole calls “faces of stone” – Benjamin Harrison’s face is not among the four former presidents carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore) oversees Hastings interrogation.

(Lynch/Frost Productions / Showtime)

At the website Twin Peaks – Unwrapping the Plastic, a November 2017 post titled “The Metaphysical Peaks” begins thusly: “The world of Twin Peaks is of a metaphysical nature. What does that mean? The word “metaphysics” derives from Greek and signifies “beyond physics”. In Twin Peaks, physical reality is not enough, there is also something “beyond” – another reality above, below, or behind the one in which we exist. A Fourth Dimension that “transcends” the limited traditional 3D reality of everyday life. Twin Peaks‘ physical world is nothing but a double, an image, a shadow of this other more fundamental reality."

Then there is award-winning and much-beloved actor Harrison Ford. That name, to me, almost seemed bigger than the man himself. Something about it. He was the focus of a piece I wrote in 2015 titled "Exploring myth and madness along 'The Mosquito Coast.'

(Zoetrope)

I wrote, in part, at the time: ““(Referring to the scene in Apocalypse Now, where the decision is made to kill Col. Kurts) In this war, things get confused out there … but out there, with these natives, it must be a temptation to be God,” says General Corman to Capt. Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) as Col. Lucas, played by Harrison Ford, sits nearby, listening to Corman address Kurtz’s descent into madness.

Because there’s a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irrational. Between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the ‘better angels of our nature.’Every man has got a breaking point. You and I have them. Walt Kurtz has reached his. And very obviously he has gone insane.”

Willard agrees with Corman’s analysis of the crazed Kurtz. At this point, Col. Lucas (Ford) jumps in and explains Willard’s secret mission – to proceed up the Nung River in a Navy patrol boat and “terminate the Colonel’s command.”

And just as Willard and the others go upriver – the serpentine, snaking river into the heart of darkness, so does the Fox family in The Mosquito Coast.

Ride the snake, ride the snake, to the lake, the ancient lake … he’s old and his skin is cold …”

Recall that Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is based on Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness

Anyway, during my research into all of this, I stumbled upon a 2011 story in The Guardian about a 1901 “science-fiction” novel that Joseph Conrad (The Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim) co-wrote with a man named Ford Madox Ford (born Ford Madox Hueffer) titled The Inheritors, a difficult-to-find book about "cold materialists" from the Fourth Dimension, who seek to take over Earth. As the Wiki entry for the book explains: "The authors (Conrad and Ford) introduce the story via science fiction tropes such as the uncanny – coincidences, ESP, unearthly lighting effects, distorted visions, supernatural aural frequencies and scenes dissolving into another – pointing to the underlying threat of instability that drives the novel. The story is told through the eyes of Arthur, a writer turned journalist who feels he is compromising his art. Although Arthur at first holds to high ideals (he values "literature" over journalism, sacrificial literary types over opportunists), he gradually moves away from them because he wants to be a somebody."

The Fourth Dimension? Like the portal that took me to an alternate dimension - via a "spiral spot" - in my dream - and the alternate dimension that is accessed through the portal in Buckhorn, South Dakota in Twin Peaks: The Return. Oddly enough, while writing this piece, I noted that a man I know in Sedona, Arizona reported a portal opening up over that unusual community very recently. Things seem to be ramping up, it would seem.

(Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

This is all rather stunning, because at the time, approximately 1900, railroad promoter Arthur E. Stilwell - the Stilwell that is the focus of my book The Stilwell Enigma - was working on a new railroad plan, to build the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway from Kansas City to a place he called Port Stilwell (his city of Port Arthur, Texas had been created only a few years earlier).

Over the course of his adult life, Arthur Stilwell organized 41 companies of various kinds and is credited with building more than 2,300 miles of railroad in his lifetime and founding more than 40 cities in all.

Stilwell was very interested in spiritualism and the things Conrad and Ford note in The Inheritors. Also, Stilwell was an idealist, much like the "Arthur" character in The Inheritors. What is interesting, is the love angle in the story, where a woman from the Fourth Dimension intrigues Arthur - he desires her, despite her evil intent.

Arthur Stilwell famously saw his wife Jennie one day when both were quite young and right then and there stated they would be married and together the rest of their lives. In fact, after Arthur Stilwell died, Jennie committed suicide by jumping out of a window in their New York apartment, 13 days after her husband's death in September 1928.

The Stilwells, portrayed in the PBS series Meet the Past. (PBS)

I stumbled upon an interesting fact: Japanese-American pulp fiction/crime writer Milton K. Ozaki, would often set his somewhat lurid stories in a town called Stilwell, Wisconsin. Additionally, the actual Stilwell, Oklahoma was ranked as the town in America with the shortest life expectancy rate. It is the home to an annual strawberry festival - and brings to mind the fact that the evil Cooper in Twin Peaks: The Return, refers to a "Mr. Strawberry" when frightening Warden Murphy at the Yankton Penitentiary in South Dakota. 

So, while watching the series crime/thriller series Mindhunter, I was struck by the similarities to Twin Peaks, in certain respects. Of course you have the FBI angle. And the traveling across country. And the gruesome murders by serial killers and such - based on actual cases (it is produced by David Fincher, who directed Zodiac, featured in my recent post "Blame it on the Stones") . But I think what really caught my attention was the main FBI agent's name: Holden Ford. After all, "Holden" is most associated with J.D. Salinger's character in The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield. (I note it in my March 2019 Dust Devil Dreams post "Clues and instructions"). And then there is the "Ford" surname. A ford being a low-water crossing. Where one crosses from one side to the next, only getting a little wet, right? Sounds familiar for those familiar with those liminal places. 

It is associated, now, with assassinations. Recall John Lennon's assassin, Mark David Chapman, identified with Holden Caulfield and was found "calmly" reading it before he was arrested for Lennon's murder. And John Hinckley, Jr., after his attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, had a copy of The Catcher in the Rye in his room when he was arrested.

The novel appears in the most unusual places in cinema.

And in my November 2015 Dust Devil Dreams post "Cheap tricks and secret sauce," I note The Catcher in the Rye thusly: "In a scene in The Shining, where Wendy (Shelley Duvall) is sitting with Danny (Danny Lloyd) at the kitchen table, she is reading The Catcher in the Rye, just as Arnold would in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This novel is often linked to mind control, assassination and political conspiracies (Beatle John Lennon was assassinated by Catcher-reading assassin Mark David Chapman in 1980, just months after The Shining was released), as our friend Adam Gorightly noted in this 1992 Paranoia Magazine article. One wonders if Arnold is an "in-the-know" character, or simply a future, bespectacled "patsy" for some future tragedy?"

Indeed. With the recent passing of a number of people linked directly or indirectly to the JFK assassination in recent days, one has to wonder *shudder* what looms for us in the near future, particularly as we rapidly approach the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 catastrophe/tragedy.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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