Dream of: 07 August 1995 "Battlefield Swords"

history is most alluringly depicted by those who wield the power to create beauty

Before me lay an open book with a picture of a large painting spread across both pages. The painting showed a medieval battlefield; two awesome armies with thousands of cavalry and infantry clashed against each other. The scale of battle was so immense, I seemed to be scrutinizing an expansive mural instead of a picture in a book.

A slender attractive woman in her mid 30s walked up on my left. She resembled Victoria de Anda (whom I had seen on television in the Dallas area in her role as a hostess for a Spanish talk-show). She also began examining the picture. Then my black-haired Salvadoran-American wife Carolina stepped up and joined in the scrutiny of the picture. Carolina, however, wasn't as interested in the picture as Victoria, who seemed determined to discover the identity of the combatants as well as the date of the battle. Victoria exuded an air of authority over Carolina and me which compelled me to closely scrutinize the picture to comply with Victoria's wishes.

At first Victoria seemed to think that one army had already won the battle, but I pointed out several different areas of the painting which depicted the battle still raging. Although hundreds of bodies were scattered in disarray around the battlefield, many more men were still fighting. I pointed at the bottom center of the painting, where two men were facing off with their swords raised, while dead bodies lay strewn beneath their feet.

Victoria also began referring to one side as "Welfs" and to the other side as "Guelphs." I pointed out, however, that the name "Lancaster" was printed at the top of the painting on one side, while the name "York" was printed at the top of the other side. Having seen the names, I began to understand who the combatants were: this was obviously a scene from a battle in the War of the Roses in which the houses of York and Lancaster had fought in England against each other. I also noticed that helmets were depicted directly under the name Lancaster, and other helmets directly under the name York. Each helmet had a design painted on it. The helmets of one army had the design of a rat, while the helmets of the other army simply had a design of an actual helmet painted on them.

Now that I knew what war was being fought, I tried to recall the date of the War of the Roses. I knew one of the houses had first been in power, and then the other house had risen to power. I also knew the names of the kings involved were Henrys, but I couldn't recall exactly which Henrys those particular kings had been. I concentrated more, trying to bring to memory the exact time when the War of the Roses had been waged.

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