Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A History of Dreams

This is going to be a long post, so please bear with me. In follow up to my two recent posts about dreams, I am posting some dreams I have journaled over the past couple of years. These dreams are of a different quality than my normal dreams; they have a sort of clarity and sharpness that most of my dreams lack. The coloration of the dreams is brighter even than real life, and they seem to contain colors that waking eyes can't even see.

Dream #1, 4/29/04 (repeated exactly 5/3/04)
In this dream, I was a seminary student. I was sitting outside somewhere on campus with a group of other students on a sunny afternoon, and we were having some sort of deep discussion about some bit of theology or philosophy.

This dream happened when I was preparing rather intensively for my Confirmation, so the first night I laughed and thought it was because I'd been spending too much time with the priest and parish coordinator. When I dreamed it again, it became cause for thought.

Dream #2, 5/17/04
In this dream, I was kneeling at an altar in some unknown place. There was a Being of Light before me with its hands on my head in blessing. There were also other beings in the room behind me, whose presence I could sense, but I could not see them if I turned my head at all. (Ghost People.) It was nearly unbearable to be in the presence of this being—it was wonderful and loving, but it was impossibly intense. I would have probably fallen away if the Ghost People had not been behind me propping me up.

Fragments of this dream were repeated during the course of that summer. This is the first part, apparently, of the dream I reported here a few days ago.

Dream #3, late June 2004
In this dream, there was a battle raging somewhere in the distance. The sky was red from fire. I was far away from the battle, but aware that it could come to my little area. I was in a sort of alleyway, and I had a sword. Behind me was a group of small children, all around age 4 or 5. They were remarkably calm, considering what was going on. I don’t know who they were—there weren’t any kids I recognized from waking life. My task in the battle was to protect these children, because they were somehow vital to the outcome of the ongoing war.

This dream appeared on two consecutive nights but has not been repeated since. This one I'm almost hesitant to include, because it doesn't quite fit with the others, but it has the same quality as the others, so I put it in.

Dream #4, 10/8/04 (repeated periodically)
In this dream, I was wandering in bright autumn woods. It was a very idealized sort of forest—it looked similar to areas of West Virginia, but there were no steep areas to give me trouble with climbing or falling. There wasn’t any underbrush, and there were no pesky bugs. It was afternoon. As I was wandering along this path, I came to a river. The path split there—I could go alongside the river in either direction, or I could cross a rickety, claptrap, unsafe-looking bridge. On the far shore I could see a clearing where an altar had been set up. The altar looked ancient—it seemed to have been made of stone. It was set up as if for a Sunday service, though. The chalice was brightly polished silver and the cloths were gleaming white.

I wanted very badly to get across, but that bridge was a mess. I looked upstream and downstream a little way, but didn’t see any other bridges. The river was too wide to jump across and looked like it was too deep and had too fast a current to swim. I stepped towards the bridge, and when I got closer I saw that there was some sort of carving on a large rock near the side of it, but it was mostly covered with moss. I cleared away the moss and saw that someone had carved, “None may cross who be not willing to surrender into love.” I took a deep breath and stepped onto the bridge as lightly as I could. The old rotting wood held. I took another breath, then stepped forward.... and woke up!

This one changes a little each time I dream it. The moss stays cleared away from the stone, and I can see my footprints from previous "visits." I get slightly further across the bridge most times, but I've never made it across before waking.

Dream #5, November 2004
In this dream, I was trying to find my pregnant aunt in a crowded mall. (My aunt is not pregnant in real life.) She was always just a little ahead of me in the crowd so I could never quite catch up. She kept going down levels and levels, like the miles of underground mall in Montreal or Toronto, until we finally came to something that looked like a combination of a family room and a church. It was a long cozy room with lots of big pillows on the floor. There was an altar set up along one of the long walls, but it was off to the side, not centered. A lot of people were sitting down getting comfortable, so we sat down too. Most of the people there were people I know or knew, from church, school, or past jobs.

My church's former rector was there getting ready to preach, but he was on the opposite side of the room from the altar. He gave a sermon, which I'm going to have to confess I don't remember a word of, and then moved over to the altar to start Communion. There were no EMs to help him, so he called me and another lady from church up out of the crowd to help serve. But when it came to the time that he would have handed me one of the cups, he instead handed me the plate of bread, kissed me on my forehead, and said, "It's your turn to do this, little sister." So I served the bread to the people, one by one. There were so many people that I couldn't count them, but the bread didn't run out until the last person had been served.

I only dreamed this one once, but it's quite full of many types of symbolism.

This was right about the time when my ex and I started having horrible problems, and the dreams of this strange clarity backed off. But now it seems they are starting again, now that I am safe and can listen.


Bougie Black Boy said...

Dream #5, I remember you mentioning to me and Dolphin-Boy via email soon after it was dreamt.

Collectively, I think that though religion or spirituality may appear to play an important role---it actually does not. Most often it's what's under the "underbrush" to which we should pay closer attention.

I think it's easy for people to come up with their own interpretation. BUT, justly, one can come up with a more accurate one, once they nkow the "TRUE" Bainwen and your everyday psyche.

Tirithien said...

I don't truly know, my kola. We've discussed them before, so you know my stance, and I promise I'll help as much as I can. :-)

clew said...


I might borrow this post idea in the future, do you mind?

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Go right ahead and borrow away. I borrowed your "100 things" idea, after all!