Monday, October 5, 2009

I Dreamt a Dream

I Dreamt a Dream! what can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen:
Guarded by an Angel mild;
Witless woe was ne’er beguil'd!
And I wept both night and day
And he wip'd my tears away
And I wept both day and night
And hid from him my hearts delight
So he took his wings and fled:
Then the morn blush'd rosy red:
I dried my tears & arm’d my fears,
With ten thousand shields and spears.
Soon my Angel came again;
I was arm'd, he came in vain:
For the time of youth was fled
And grey hairs were on my head

--William Blake

Last night I had the strangest dream. Rarely do I remember my dreams, but this one came back to me in my early waking moments and I hastened to scribble down notes so I wouldn’t forget. It involved people I had known in high school, at least one college professor, my parents, my employer, and others whom I didn’t know. We were all engaged in some kind of activity—some learning or personal growth exercise. The beginning is murky. Something about…leaning over a barrel of water, with a gleaming horse eye staring back at me and the reflections of hideous caricatures and cruel faces bouncing on and off the surface, with what explanation I cannot fathom.

The culmination of these activities involved a high platform overlooking a creek. The point, as I understood it, was to jump in the water, observe the ecosystem (huge alligator snapping turtles lurked everywhere, but they were totally benign unless provoked), and estimate the volume of the flowing water in gallons. This value would then be compared with the volume of one’s own blood to show how utterly small and insignificant the individual was. I was the first to go, and as I crept down the rocky bank, a cold burst of water spurted out from a dam system underneath the bridge. I whined about the temperature; my friends laughed and splashed cold water at me. Then I waded into the creek and soon the others followed suit.

Following along the creek bed, there was a large building that somewhat resembled a cross between a sunroom and a planetarium. (In fact, I believe the whole thing, creek included, may have been enclosed in a huge warehouse of sorts.) I entered the structure, which was incredibly dark inside. It was surrounded on three sides by windows, and through these was a gorgeous winter scene fit to grace a Christmas card. Silver-blue light shone on a frozen lake, glistening on the tops of show-covered evergreens, bounced from the smooth surfaces of gently sloping white hills. I stood in awe of the beauty for a while, then returned “outside” to the creek. Before, it had been spring or fall, with cool weather but greenery all around. Now snow lay on the ground, although the trees were uncovered and still sported vibrant green leaves. Additionally, the banks were now studded with suburban houses, neatly arranged and looking as though they had always been there. The juxtaposition between the soft blanket of snow and summery foliage and unmarred houses was quite odd, but of course in the sense of the dream it was easily accepted.

I returned to the observation window room. The scene had changed to one of horror. Now a huge building resembling an airport was in view, with what appeared to be a parking lot stretching out before me. Fragments of a broken plane lay in pieces out among a few abandoned cars. Everything was covered in layers of thick ice, solid, inches deep, coating every surface, icicles draping down throughout the deserted carnage scene. What tragedy befell this place? I mused. What disaster occured here; what happened to the people?

Again I went outside; the snow was gone, as was the creek. Now there were simply houses arranged neatly along a plain yellow-lined road.

One final trip to the winter room: The terminal had vanished, replaced by a sea of slushy melting ice. Antarctica, perhaps? The melting of polar ice caps? The coming of summer? The ocean was cold; the ice was broken and floating eerily; night was falling while tiny stars twinkled in the black sky.

I turned to a companion and commented on the changes, the strange disparity between the snow and summer outside, the oddness of the lake/airport/ocean room.

And then my boss the mystic was beside me, and she repeated a snipped of a conversation that we had just yesterday. “Time is not linear, as we imagine it to be. Instead, it is multidimensional.”

And then I was awake, and the snippets of memory were fleeting.

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