Dreamscapes I — Betrayals (101 & 202 nights)
Combining fiction, poetry, theater, and memoir, this hybrid trilogy begins as Maia, a writer from the Sonoran borderlands, finally committing to her life’s work, suddenly beholds the vision of Ondine, a child she had desired yet reluctantly aborted 23 years earlier. Though Maia tries at first to discern and dismiss what is behind this spectral presence, the girl takes on a will and traits of her own, some evoking her father (who never knew a thing about her), others her “younger” siblings, but mostly recalling Lise, Maia’s mother, captured as a 5-year old in a 1920s photo.
Long guarded in the darkness by Hetna, Maia’s maternal grandmother, Ondine soon emerges to act and speak as her wayward mother’s ethereal helper, spurring her on to weave a protective veil of stories, under which the two can meet: tales spun from the threads of everyday life – dreams, thoughts, sensations, and memories that pass through her nights and days. Inverting the diversionary tactics of Scheherazade, who distracts her betrothed executioner every night by suspensefully relaying fantastic happenings outside the palace gates, Maia finds the courage to return to Ondine each morning, determined to keep near the spirit of this child whose earthly fate she had decided long ago. She does this by delivering, in episodic reprisals, words that expose and disperse dark secrets; unfathomable truths belonging to their strange and deeply troubled yet marvelous family; experiences that might have been Ondine’s had she too been granted a life.
The nexus of personal disasters that Maia must work through makes it impossible to relay the story of her “vraie vie” (true life, as Proust put it) in a linear manner. So she tells it instead in the ever-broken and revolving, layered way she experiences it, often reflecting works of literature, music and art that have marked her to create, instead of a tightly knit narrative, a spacious, suggestive mosaic; one that leaves gaps for the thoughts and dreams of others to shine through.
Dreamscapes I — Betrayals (101 & 202 nights) (2025)