Four Dreams

Yesterday was very cold. I was working at home, trying to write a paper for a conference I foolishly signed up for some months ago. I don’t even have a date and time for my presentation, even though I think it is at the end of next week. I felt out of sorts all day, suffering from what I have heard called loss of journey. What was I doing, where am I going, why? Went to bed early, it was the only way I could think to keep warm: ever since this building was painted a couple of years ago I’ve been unable to close the windows in the sitting room properly so that in really chilly weather, it’s impossible to heat. In the course of the night, four dreams came. At the end of the first, whose detail is otherwise lost, a good old friend, now ten years dead, reached out and we clasped hands in some coded manner resembling perhaps the secret handshake of the masons. In the second my father appeared, sitting on the edge of the bed and explaining to my cousin, who lives in England but whom I saw in Sydney a few weeks ago, certain aspects of his war experience. There was a kind of scale model of a scene in the desert and Dad was showing Rod how the convey dropped down a precipitate slope to the valley below and there reinforced the positions with ammunition and other supports. This was odd because it was Rod’s father, not mine, who served in North Africa; mine was in the Pacific. Curiously, though, and especially as he ages, Rod looks a lot more like my Dad than he does his own father. Or rather, they both resemble my paternal grandmother Ada. In the third dream I was climbing up into a landscape that could have been the original of one painted by Joseph Lycett. There were booming cataracts, streaming water, those squarish chunky rock outcrops, exotic looking feathery trees, stubby palms. And yet it also looked somehow South American. We came out onto a shelf of rock near the top of the waterfall and saw that there were sculpted terraces standing on the flat area beyond; like the ball courts in Mesoamerican temple complexes. An animal in a tree was chewing upon the greyish rind of some fruit; it paused and looked curiously down at us then resumed eating. I said to my companion – Maggie had joined me – that I thought we were on the borders of Peru and there, suddenly, away to the left, was the vista of a street lined with low buildings; but the street itself was under shallow water and there were men fishing at its edges; while others, dressed as gauchos, splashed away from us with their guns propped lazily upright on their hip bones. We went on to the terraces and saw they were littered with rubbish of various kinds, as if neglect of the sacred places was a consequence of the pursuit of commerce in the half-inundated border town beyond; and yet I felt there was something benign in the neglect, allowing an aura of the past to persist, which would have been destroyed by meticulous conservation strategies. In the fourth dream I saw my old comrades of the future, the Red Moles, in some cavernous hall where a performance was to take place; one of them, who is still living, led me by the hand from that great room into her private quarters. I suppose I must accept that these four dreams, all of which gave me comfort, indeed reassurance, emanated from the recesses of my own mind: where else could they have come from? Yet I persist, or my mind does, in believing they also carried some message from a true beyond where there may just be entities that do watch over us, that do guide us on our way, that do restore to us a path that has been lost.

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June 18, 2013 · 5:11 pm

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