Wednesday, May 27, 2009

dreaming worlds

Dreams are weird things but I once had one, a night time sleeping dream, that was so real I remember it now better than I do the faces of some long lost old friends. We lived on the top floor of an elegant house on Providence's Benefit St., a spacious aerie with many windows looking over the city. The floors were polished golden parquet and between the front and back parlors was an arched and pillared colonnade. Not that any of this matters but I wanted to let you visualize the setting.

In my dream I was sitting on the chesterfield in the front parlor watching as the city lights met the starry night sky in the distance when I heard the chime of a tiny bell to my right. The door of the vestibule opened and three ladies dressed in pitch-black robes stepped into the room as though from a little elevator descended from another world. Their faces and hands sparkling with tiny points of colored luminescence, they walked into the room ignoring me and laughing between themselves. I tried to talk to them, wanting to know where they were going and if I could join them, but they deliberately pretended not to see me. Somehow I knew it was a considered strategy of theirs and I watched helplessly as they walked through the next room to another door which opened to a radiant though otherwise indescribable vista. They passed through but before the door closed the last one turned and whispered, 'Not yet'. They were the dark angels of a vision I've never forgotten.

Years later, two months before my birthday, I decided to make gifts for the ladies in my office and a couple of other special friends. It took most of that time to make their little embroidered, quilted faces, bodies of black velvet filled with rice, antique silk head-dresses and little black wings. There were 2 dozen ladies in that office, some whose company I enjoyed more than others, and on the morning of my birthday I carried 2 dozen little rice angels to work. Each was wrapped like a bouquet in thick red film and each had an individual special message inside a heart shaped tag. When you think about it there's always something good to say to everyone.

Not long after that birthday I suffered a grand mal seizure which led to surgery and months away from work. I've wondered now and again if that little tribe didn't help with the good results that ensued. We never really know anything.

The two I kept live on a shelf nearby and are pictured here. They look nothing like the angels in my dream but serve as a hint and a reminder of deeper mysteries.


  1. sometimes you just take my breath away, su. what an experience!!! and what lot you give of yourself! i first read of the idea of giving gifts on your own birthday in The Hobbit. love the concept, and every now and then i think i should do something about it, but i always forget before the next birthday. ...i had an equally vivid and unforgettable dream when i began teaching violin to children, nearly 30 years ago, that warned me that there are serious consequences for those who abuse the privilege of teaching kids.... i'd nearly forgotten about it till i read your post tonight. thanks for the reminder.

  2. You take my breath away too. Was the house an actual house you ever lived in? The details of the house are as wonderful as the dark angles. And I do remember from long ago therapy that the elaborate houses I dreamed we me. My interior. My windows. My staircase. I love knowing that you have given them the power to heal you. You are god in your dreams. God and you are one or so I've heard.

  3. What a privilege being your friend would be! Giving gifts on one's birthday--why that has never occurred to me but it makes sense in a very real way. I also like your thought that everyone has something good about them and that we should practice kindness to each other. Those ladies are especially cute.

  4. I wish we could just sit down with a cup of coffee and discuss this whole thing. The making of the gifts, the surgery, the dream. You'll have me thinking all day long about this post. Magnificent. (By the way, I make Dream Catchers)

    Some dreams stay with me forever. Some wake me up, (last night for example), but I have no memory of what I dreamed at all. Some I recall bits and pieces of later.

    I read that post about your surgery. Glad you are with us.


  5. Wow--what an amazing dream, so much detail! I've had a few dreams that were so real that, like you said, you can remember every detail. In one dream I was on the Interstate I55 and driving behind a big semi-trailer truck. The weather was dreary and rainy and suddenly the truck hit its breaks and I couldn't stop in time. I remember the license plate of the truck coming closer and closer and I can still remember a few of the numbers on the plate. I woke up with a start and from that time on, I do everything I can not to drive behind a semi...and I make sure never to tailgate. Not sure if it was a warning or just a vivid dream, but it freaked me out!

    Of course, this doesn't compare to your very cool dream. I loved the description of the house you were in...amazing.

  6. Many years ago I was in the midst of a very serious health crisis and He-weasel had a dream( he says it really happened and would bristle at me calling it a dream) in which three angels surrounded me. One was at my head, one was by my right side and one at my feet. They all had bells and they were ringing them. He-weasel told them to be quiet or they would wake me. The angels told him I would be fine. Shortly after I recovered. He still talks about my three angels. I still call that experience a dream.

  7. What a wonderful thing to do for the people you worked with. They are adorable and I'm sure watched out for you while you were out of work and recovering.

    My very vivid dream involved my mother. It was not long after she died and I was in the worst part of grieving. I remember crying myself to sleep and had the most viivid dream that I still remember with clarity after almost fifty years.

    I was walking down the street and saw my mother walking on the other side. After crossing the street to meet her, I was so furious with her for leaving me, and I guess I was letting her know. I remember her leaning down and giving me a very serious talk - something about the future and we had talked about this - like it was some kind of plan. I woke up "knowing something" and had a sense of calm. Strange, huh?

    You always leave me thinking!!!

  8. I had a dream about zombies once. Yours are much more interesting. And I love those angels, there's definitely a mysterious undercurrent running below their collective visage. Very groovy.

  9. thank you for sharing such a gift, your velvet ones and the dream you were gifted or perhaps you gifted yourself (?)

    one never knows....


  10. What an amazing dream and the story of your surgery! Some cultures do practice gift giving on one's birthday, especially the giving of a party for one's friends. I should do that sometime, what a gift of love to others! Thank you for sharing...

  11. gfid - It was a neat thing to do that one time but way too much effort to do again. I do have one friend who is cloistered and I give something nice to a semi-stranger on her birthday (but never tell them why). Dreams are potent messages.

    utah - Yes, it was an actual place we leased for a year after selling an old house wiser heads had advised us not to buy. It was pretty and had 'possibilities' we had neither time nor skill (or money) to make happen. We needed some luxury while planning the next step.

    I've dreamed of other houses and walked through rooms that never existed. You've heard true.

    liberality - It's occurred to me that our own birthdays and those of people close to us are the only ones we ever take time to consider but in truth we're all children of something much more mysterious than we can imagine. Why not give presents out of sheer joy?

    spadoman - You make beautiful dream catchers from what I've seen. Sometimes it's enough to be able to share a thought or a smile. None of us are big enough to give what's really needed and what we have - nature and a fine planet to share.

    nunly - I definitely think your dream was a real one which likely saved you more than once. My husband and I keep away from the interstates unless we're traveling far and don't have time to meander - which is preferable :-) I tried to keep the description to a minimum but it was a neat place. There was a dumbwaiter near the dining room where we kept a ceramic puppet skeleton, Deacon Jones.

  12. I'm back. I had to go make the dinner salad so it can rest in the fridge for a bit.

    belette - I think I'd believe whatever He-weasel had to say about his experience. If someone is color blind that doesn't mean color doesn't exist. Since we're wholly dependent on consensus reality for our normal experience in the macro world doesn't mean we aren't all color blind to other levels..
    most of the time but not always.

    lol - Wow. What can I say? I know your mother died when you were six and that's a time when a child is still strongly attached to a time before being born. This is a tricky subject to discuss in writing because almost all human language is lacking when it comes to saying much more than 'please pass the salt'. I'll just say I have a story too about a mother who left before she could tell me a last good-bye. Maybe one day I'll tell it - if I can find the words.

    randal - Must be why I like you. I've met a few dream monsters but never a zombie. My husband has though and cartoon characters too

    linda - Having been blessed by the Dakinis I know you know there's magic in everything... well, maybe not so much in plastic :-)

    marja-leena - How did I forget to link to your lovely blog? As adults I think we learn the best presents are the ones we give.

  13. What lovely ladies, Susan, and I love the look of mystery on their faces.:)

  14. the crow - The funny thing about making vaguely human forms (or any other) is that they take part in making themselves. It's never just me and kind of like what happens with writing too.

  15. i couldn't believe i missed your post about your seizure, until i looked at the date. January 8th was the day i was in that earthquake in costa rica.
    we come so close sometimes. i think i'd go crazy worrying about everything if i let myself.

  16. susan, that's some really neat tale, so glad things turned out well :)

    girls are lovely, too...

  17. sera - There's an old English saying I think applies, 'A miss is as good as a mile'. Ultimately, we take the next step and trust the time will be right when it happens.

    :D wolf - I'm glad I got to stick around to play a bit longer :-)

  18. and "close" only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

  19. What an interesting dream! The three women in your dream dressed like goth chicks, and yet wore glitter!

    Are rice angels edible? I think that I might like to eat one...

  20. sera - Yep, not in baseball either :-)

    dr zaius - Just one rice angel can feed a family of four for a day.. or a family of one for four days. I suppose I could've used beans but that makes them too gassy.

  21. Well, IRGYMI (I'm really glad you made it) through the surgery and all. What an extraordinary story... that mass all those years, the dragon, the witches... I mean, angels. they're wonderful and it's all such a beautiful interweaving of life and art. even that x-ray is beautiful, and those little angels do look like they know something...

  22. Wow! I knew some of the story, but not the tribe of healers working on your behalf. Thanks for this Susan.

  23. rene - I was both lucky and blessed but one never knows. A doctor my husband works with collapsed a few weeks ago at home. The biopsy report says she has an incurable brain tumor. I know a good thought from you would help.

    gary - It was just a little connecting of the threads that weave through all our lives :-)