A very proper dream.
Here is a new place. I am sitting in a large auditorium. I am in the gods, looking down a steeply raked group of seats towards a small bright screen below. It is showing a film but I am unable to make out which one. The seats are covered in red velour or velvet and there are shining brass safety rails separating the seating blocks. Just in front of the screen two larger seat groups are turned to face the audience. There are couples in these seats , smiling at our view of the screen and obviously enjoying their experience of our enjoyment.
I am aware of a number of important facts about my presence. I am to be given a present or award. I am careful not to betray my knowledge of this, as one may be, given info about a surprise birthday party.
I have a briefcase on my lap. It has a loose cover of leather and no amount of effort can replace it properly once opened.
The film has become live action. The cast are now live and approaching audience members. Everyone is having a good time. I am happier than I have been for a long, long time.
A very tall, well built, good looking woman, appearing to be of Mediterranean origin with dark thick hair and tanned complexion, climbs up the rake towards me. She is wearing an upper face mask and headdress. It appears to be of Mayan or Egyptian design, bird like, dark, painted.
She speaks, “Come on, Me-mon. Follow me now.” I pause, simply to ask myself where she had got my name but understanding completely who she means and who I am. We walk down the steps to a blood red curtain covering an exit.
Outside, in the pre dawn light. I see a smooth grass area. Just too small to be a field and too large for a lawn. There is the hint of sunlight coming purely from the low horizon and, for the present, it is blocked by the bulk of a titanic mountain. This is remarkable in its placement and material. This is no more or less than a vast boulder, pale stone but rising sharply to a peak straight out of the grass and without plant life upon its sides. I am forced to turn a full ninety degrees in either direction before I lose sight of this monument.
I turn to face the inhabitant of this place. I know who I am to see. Walking towards me, another woman. Older than my guide and yet equally beautiful. She has long, thick grey or light blonde hair ornately plaited and twisted about her head and an oval symmetry to her face. Her frame is draped in (and wears) a ground kissing dress made from raw silk or cotton. Unbleached and thick, it is decorated with barely discernible designs quilted and smocked into the breast and hip panels. A wide loose rope of the same material somehow informs the dress which way to fall whilst also supporting the woman’s right hand. Her left hand keeps time with her walk and loosely grips the knotted end of her belt.
The sun breaks cover, a shaft of light hits the ground just in front of me. A sound like no sound ever heard happens from all around and from within me. My local companion looks straight at me and tears begin to fall. Rain from her lower eyelids. Her tear ducts are almost visible. There is no reddening of her skin or eyes. The sound becomes (not louder) clearer. More important, my companion is recognisable now as my mother. She has no name, but I have. It is not Richard. I put my arm around her. I am aware of the height difference as my shoulder measures the extra space that the angle of my arm demands. I begin to cry too. This is a mutual outpouring of grief but no grief is felt. We are vessels for emotions, courier passengers on an aqueduct of sorrow. The music rises and moves with us as we walk away from the mountain. As we depart, it seems more understandable and recognisable as a kind of ensemble, mostly brass, Gamelan perhaps. I feel very much at peace.
An older man appears. He has the calm and reason of a Buddha whilst also seeming mischievous. He wears robes of a similar cloth to my female companion but in a darker colour. I am impressed by how similar to the colour of heather or lichen they are. It is on the tip of my tongue to suggest that he has used roots or moss to dye his cloth but feel unwilling to talk, for fear of breaking the very tangible peace of this place. The man indicates that I lie on a curved wooden couch. It is upholstered in the same red cloth as the seats in the auditorium. There is a soft filling to it, more accommodating than feathers but definitely organic. Moss perhaps.
The older man speaks, I hear his voice internally. He has a statement about my reason for being in this place. I was right. By this time I had forgotten the surprise that I had anticipated earlier and I was gifted with a powerful regeneration of this impression as he talks.
“Here’, he holds out a sheaf of papers, ‘I believe you will grow to love this place..” I examine the gift. It is a brochure or prospectus of sorts. “Go here. It is easily found”. He turns away from his new task of covering me up with the same rough cloth and addresses my newly arrived son Nathan. He is delighted by a book of tear-off vouchers for amusement rides.
Nathan shows me how to use the vouchers he has been given. Each one corresponds to an area on the prospectus. An area delineated by faint, sepia ink. The legend on the front cover describes the opportunities available within the place. We are offered access to other times and other places, a kind of temporal and cultural theme park, like a museum but infinite in its scope and possibilities. And driven by dreams. As the place begins to fade and become unstable, we are deciding where we should go….
Here are a few thoughts about this one. I am often struck by the clarity and apparent meaning in my dreams but this seemed somehow different. It lacked that definable, manipulable quality that other lucid dreams I have experienced have had. I was in the presence of other people to a far greater extent. I was a welcome guest in the place. In my exploration of the symbolics or meaning of this experience, I started with Brewers Dictionary Of Phrase And Fable, looking for my Dream Name.
Me-Mon or Meh-Moon. The Mediterranean woman who became my guide was unequivocal. This was my name. I felt no surprise at her usage and would have looked around to see who she meant if she had used Richard.
Memnon Prince of the Ethiopians, who went to the assistance of his uncle Priam, and was slain by Achilles. His mother Eos was inconsolable for his death, and wept for him every morning. The Greeks used to call the statue of Amenophis III., in Thebes, that of Memnon. This image, when first struck by the rays of the rising sun, is said to have produced a sound like the snapping asunder of a chord. Poetically, when Eos (morning) kisses her son at daybreak, the hero acknowledges the salutation with a musical murmur. The word is the Egyptian mei-amun, beloved of Ammon. I think that the key words and phrases here are:
· Wept for him every morning
· struck by the rays of the rising sun
· sound like the snapping asunder of a chord
· musical murmur
Over the last few days, I have been considering a couple of items in the news. In particular, the discovery of a ring of stones in Egypt, two thousand years older than the Great Pyramid of Cheops and of significant astrological importance. Also, the sunken lake in Antarctica, a possible time capsule. Remarkable in this era of intrusion and desecration because the scientists who have found it are unwilling to explore it. They are worried that their examination will become contamination. I am very much encouraged by this and it has forced many thoughts about our rights as temporal explorers. As a child, in my first school, I was often left alone by my teacher. She was confident that, so long as I was reading, I was learning. The material she had to offer me was mostly Victorian and Edwardian text of an “improving” nature. I feasted on the Greek and Roman Myths. My favourites included Achilles and Oedipus. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. The Laocoon, Prometheus, Pandora. I believe that I have been privileged to meet Eos and inhabit the same space as Memnon. I have no idea why this should happen. I am very glad that it has. I would prefer not to look too closely. I think that this is somehow important. That is enough . More understanding will come in time, I am sure.