In my dream, I am descending a flight of stairs in a lavish stairwell. The walls and banister are a dark polished Walnut or Mahogany, the lush carpet a deep red wine. The handrail brackets and stair rods are shining brass. Antique gilt framed paintings adorn the walls and are highlighted by ambient fixtures.
Midway down the staircase is a landing intersected by a corridor to the right and a heavy door on the left that exits the house. An attractive group of elegant yet casually dressed women are gathered there conversing, each with a glass of wine or cocktail in hand. There is a feeling of subdued excitement and expectation in the air. Perhaps there is a party going on in the main part of the house. They smile at me as I pass and open the door to step out into the night air.
Shirtless and shoeless, I begin to wander away from the grand house across an expansive lawn, wearing nothing but my favorite pair of jeans. The scene is almost monochromatic, lit only by the dim light of the moon filtering through the overcast sky. The grass is cool on my feet.
With no idea of the surrounding landscape and no destination in mind, I soon find myself hip deep in a swamp. The thought of turning back never enters my mind and I push on relentlessly. My curiosity of what lies ahead is enough to spur me on, though the going is getting tough if not dangerous. My progress is slow as I trudge through the heavy mud and weeds which feel as though they might drag me down. I have moments of doubt as the light appears to grow even dimmer, and in my night blindness I can see no end to this drudgery in sight.
Eventually, the ground begins to firm and the water becomes less deep. Soon I am ascending a shallow gradient, cool water flowing past my ankles. I follow the stream upwards and onwards as my mood brightens with each step. At the top of the rise I climb a few man made steps over which the water is channeled and now rushing by me knee deep with greater force.
Suddenly, the clouds part and radiant moonlight bathes the scene in an ethereal glow. I am standing in the spillway of a glorious fountain facing into a constant summer breeze. I am euphoric and lucid.
I realize there is a divine plan and a keen intelligence behind all of this ..all the parts connected and working together with the precision of a clockworks. The builders of this fountain, those who live on this grand estate, know this and are deeply in tune with it. Their life is a constant state of joy and abundance.
I searched the web for a fitting image. This is a scene from a film by Darren Aronofsky (who recently directed The Black Swan) called The Fountain. After toying with it in Photoshop to create a moonlight effect, it evokes a very similar feel to that of my dream.
Not a day goes by that I don’t mentally stand at that fountain of my dream and know that it’s coming up ahead.
Fight the good fight, people.
Jim Seals and I have the same birthday! October 17. 🙂
“Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one.” ~Black Elk
My first perception is that I am running hard and fast. I feel powerful vibrations through the bulk of my torso in time with the thunderous crash of my hoofs on an unseen ground. The wind whips back my hair. I feel great..very strong, euphoric. It takes a few moments for the wordless realization…I’m a horse.
The landscape is a featureless, misty white plane as far as I can see in any direction. No sky. No horizon. Nothingness to infinity. As I slow my pace to take in my surroundings, I see over my right shoulder that a strange, impish creature is running beside me. He is maybe three feet tall and running on two legs in a human like body covered in sleek black fur from head to toe. His face is similar to that of a Tamarin or Lemur with large, intelligent eyes and elvish ears. I sense that he is somehow a part of me.
Looking ahead, I spy a fleck of darkness against the endless white backdrop, and make my way toward it. In what passes as the ground in this unexplainable place, it appears to be a hole. As the two halves of myself morph into my own body, I reach into the hole and pull out a shining key that is bigger than my fist.
Immediately, I am shocked and amazed to find myself here, standing in the middle of nothing, fully present and more aware than I’ve ever been in my life. Lucidity!
“What the hell is this place? I’m here…but my body is back in Sewaren having a nice, cozy sleep in bed. Let’s go see!”
In the next instant, I am standing next to my bed looking down at my self while my logic brain lamely tries to make sense of it.
“Am I dreaming him or is he dreaming me? Did I just check out of that body, or what?! Maybe my ‘real’ life is just another facet of this larger dream.”
I somehow rationally contrive that I am in the third level of dreaming. The first being my real life, the second my normal dreaming, and the third being this profound lucid state to which the white expansiveness is something like a mid-world or threshold. I am whisked back to ‘the lonesome plane’.
The white mist begins to swirl and is transformed into a sunny forest glade. Bright and cheerful and full of birdsong. The voice in my head tells me I am now in the fourth level of dreaming. Standing in the middle of the glade is a dilapidated woodshed type of structure about fifteen feet square. It is constructed of rough sawed planks with rusting corrugated tin sheets for a roof. I pull open a creaking door and step inside.
All is darkness as my eyes take time to adjust to the little light that filters through the cracks in the walls. I hear and sense a malevolent presence stirring in the center of the room. I have awoken a sleeping giant who begins to rise with his back towards me. My instinct tells me that if he turns around and sees me, he will undoubtedly murder me. In my peripheral vision I sense more movement along the walls, and start with shock to realize I am being watched intently by a group of robed hooded figures whose faces are concealed in the shadows.
Extreme panic sets in and I realize I have only a split second to act. What will I do?! The key I still clutched tightly in my hand I realize is now a wicked long knife. I plunge it into the giant’s back (not very sporting of me) expecting a fight. He immediately falls dead while I await some form of violent retribution from my audience. To my astonishment, all are nodding their heads in silent approval. (End of dream).
The following day as I was driving the green pickup truck to a job site somewhere in the vicinity of the Middlesex County Jail, I couldn’t help wondering about the strangeness of it all. At just the instant I was wondering what color horse I was, my eyes were magnetically drawn to a small street sign about a quarter mile down the road on the opposite side. When I was close enough to read it properly, I was dumbfounded to read ‘Black Horse Lane’.
“Black Elk saw the earth becoming sick. The animals, the winged ones, and the four-legged ones grew frightened. All living things became gaunt and poor. The air and the waters dirtied and smelled foul. Below, Black Elk saw a blue man living in and empowering the sickness. The powers of the four directions, represented by four horses, charged the blue man, but were beaten back. The Grandfathers called upon Black Elk. His bow changed into a spear, and he swooped down on the blue man, killing him. When the blue man fell, all life came back upon the earth; all things became fresh and healthy again.” Black Elk’s Vision
Who is the Blue Man? What does he represent? See also The Seventh Fire.
A fitting soundtrack to my story. Brilliant song and performance by KT Tunstall. A song about forsaking love one too many times until it eventually turns it’s back on you and walks away forever.
The Black Horse image is by Rashed Al Ben Ali, aka Taaj, who magnanimously gave me his blessing to use it . Here is the link to his Flickr page: