Posted by: normanlgreen | January 27, 2013

Dream, January 27, 2013 School of Falling

Dream, home, 6:28 am

I prepare two miniature paperback books for Ragz, a clown friend here is Bellingham. Instead of working in my print/bindery shop, I perform the task in a large open area like the old open concept school of Texas (one giant room per floor – no walls to divide classes).

I become aware that I am in a school and watch to see what is being taught. The director of the school comes in with a guest teacher. They have been working outside with a group of students, a couple of whom follow to over-hear the conversation between the Director and his guest. I don’t feel comfortable staring, but I realize that the guest lecturer is Buster Keaton, who has been teaching the students the art of falling – appearance of danger performed with grace. I can not help but approach the master.

I offer to show him my variation on the one-o-eight. Thinking in the back of my head that I have not taken a good fall in more than twenty years and never was that good at it. Keaton nods that he would like to see my fall.

The director ask for me to wait while he gets “the 16 millimeter camera”.

After he leaves, the master asks, “What are you waiting for?”

I repeat what the director had said about the camera.

“You don’t need a camera to show me your fall.”

I start to swing my leg to propel me into a forward flip, but I notice the master walking backward. I check my fall and turn to watch him walk backwards, take a ninety degree turn on his heel then perform a one-and-a-half somersault ending by landing on his back – brutal and full of grace at the same time. The empty room booms with the sound of his landing.

The school’s director returns with a student who bears a camera. Keaton joins them at a pair of chairs setup before the camera’s tripod. The director and the master sit for a one-on-one interview.

As I watch them speak, the years fall away from Keaton – he passes through his sixties and fifties and forties, stabilizing in his thirties. I wonder if it is really him who gave me the lesson.



  1. really like this one.

    • thanks.
      been thinking: the director seems to reside there, but the master only visits. both seem to know something about graceful falls.

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