I woke from what seemed to be a very long, strangely significant dream in the early a.m. April 12. Being a great lover of dreaming & sleep, I rarely take the time to write down dreams because I would rather resume the program. Occasionally however, the dreams seem to demand otherwise. This dream haunted me as awakened. It haunted me as I attempted to return to sleep. It felt like I had received an important message. It contained several people I know in this life, which is unusual. It contained symbolic references to some matters at hand in my community, but more importantly, it also seems to have some bearing on my relationship to Morpheus -- a relationship for which I maintain a blend of gratitude & ambivalence. I could not find my notebooks in the dark, so notes ended up scrawled in coloured pencil in my child's sketchbook. This is what I wrote, for the files:
Night (only fragments of memory remaining)
- The High Priest is here.
- I am outside a greenhouse-like tent aglow in the dark. It is filled with people in celebration of some kind... a wedding? a festive dinner party?
- No. It is a church revival, a jubilee.
- The H.P. tells me to stay outside, safe in the dark. He will go inside & take care of what needs to be done.
- We all (who else?) stay in this area overnight, awaiting Sunrise in some kind of dormitory. (I stay in dormitories more often than not in my dreams.)
- The High Priest & High Priestess are here.
- Where is my family?!? Where is my husband, where are my children?
- There is no response via cell phone.
- Cold, cold, so cold with fear. Something is wrong (my husband is never without his phone).
- I must, we must find them.
- Maybe they went to NoHo (an abbreviation for Northampton, Massachusetts).
- In NoHo, we watch people, families go by, searching for mine.
- People keep trying to help, offering me children who are passing by. "No, no, no, they are not mine," I say.
- I recall thinking that NoHo is really nice & that we should visit here as a family, bring the kids here someday...
In the Bank (the transition from NoHo, if there was one, was lost)
- I am alone.
- I am in line to conduct important business.
- The three bank tellers keep switching stations. Lines continually form & re-form, following their seemingly random repositioning. I keep losing my place.
- I am in a hurry, desperate to finish business & find my family.
- I am very aware that this is a foreign town -- aware of being an outsider & I sense a mild antagonism, or suspicion towards me, especially each time the lines re-form & positions change.
- People in line become increasingly hostile in general & I try to remain unobtrusive.
- The security guard locks the doors & dims the lights, signaling that the bank will be closing soon for lunch break. I ask if that means we will be served & I am told yes, they are completing transactions for people inside but are not taking any more customers until after lunch.
- The woman in front of me & to the left, a portly brunette in a short ponytail & plaid shirt turns around & gets in my face about people who drive big trucks & SUVs, insinuating that I am one of them. I tell her that I drive a station wagon. She diffuses into a thin, mature woman reminiscent of Nancy Reagan, wearing a madras dress with an oversized collar. She gives me a big hug. I find this unsettling, but do not betray my feelings.
- The lines re-form a final time, leaving me second in the far right line.
- I notice that there are more people waiting in the bank than there were when the doors were locked. People are crowding in the line, they are crowding around me. They seem to have taken note of the shuffling of positions & I feel like some of them want my spot.
- All of the people are in black & white except for the two closest to me. One is a man in a green felt hat -- a tall, rounded gnome-style hat -- with a very full, rich brown beard & moustache & piercing brown eyes. The other is the woman in the madras dress.
- The woman in the madras dress has a smile that seems to be painted on her face (not literally) & she keeps hugging me. I was able to ignore it earlier, but now I feel like a cornered animal & her hugs feel vaguely violating. I say to her loudly --enough for others to hear -- but with control, "It is very sweet of you to want to hug me, but you know it is not normal to be putting your arms around strangers in a public place, don't you?" She seems to fade a bit & become less relevant.
- The man brown & green man tells me, "I really like how you drop off the ladies at the bookstore every day." His words are carried in a lascivious tone & he is leering without actually leering. The implications are clear enough to me. Everyone is staring, listening, waiting for my reply. Once again, I feel cornered. I am angered by him, but I remain controlled. "I'm sorry, but you have the wrong person. I do not live here. I am from the North, from lizard country."
- I see a map. The North country is dappled with places & land features named after lizards, their reptilian kin & their prehistoric ancestors. Looking at the map, I notice that its shape & borders are reminiscent of the state of Wyoming. I know that this place is very familiar, but it is not my own. For the sake of protection, I am lying.
- Phobetor. (It comes to my mind clearly & with force.)
- I tell the brown & green man (or, at least I think to tell him) that I am from Phobetor, or the kingdom thereof. I know that this man will recognize this place. He will also not be of it. I know that it will carry implications which will keep me safe. I know this word, but I cannot remember what it means. I know it is important, very important. I struggle to remember, but I cannot grasp the meaning. It does not matter now, as long as I am safe.
Something wakes me -- my baby, my bladder, something. I hear "Phobetor" echoing in my ears. Disoriented & confused, I get out of bed & use the restroom. I check the time. It is 2:22. I attempt to return to sleep, but the dream & it's symbols do not allow for it. I blunder about the house in search of a notepad which I will not find because I suddenly feel a powerful need to return to the bedroom. This dream has left me afraid of the dark.
On Phobetor: Phobetor is one of the Oneiroi, the dark-winged daimones or spirits of dreams. Ovid states that the gods call him I'celos, but men call him Phobetor: "...here below the tribe of mortals call him Phobetor." (Metamorphoses 11. 585) Phobetor means "to be feared" & he is the shaper of dreams which come to man, hence his name. He is brother to Morpheus, but unlike his brother who assumes the shapes of men, Phobetor "...forms the beasts and birds and the long sliding snakes." (Metamorphoses 11. 585)
|"Phobetor," by Italian artist, Beatrice Riva.|
Discovering this piece chilled my blood by a few degrees --
here is the face of the brown & green man in my dream.