The Power To Create Beauty   

After reading the 33 dreams which I have written in which "swords" somehow appeared, I concluded that for me swords could symbolize "the power to create beauty" and with that metaphor in mind, I examined those dreams more closely.

Dream of: 18 March 1985 "Seized Sword"

above all else, the true artist must seize the power to create beauty

A medieval king, one of his subjects and I had arrived at the walls of another king's castle. Detecting activity inside, the three of us climbed a high set of steps to a door at the top. When we knocked, a man opened the door, but quickly shut the door in our faces and wouldn't let us in.

Enemy soldiers had been chasing us, and when they arrived behind us at the bottom of the stairs, we knew they were going to attack us. Noticing swords hanging nearby, I grabbed one and handed it to the king. I handed a second sword to the king's subject and then I seized a sword for myself. Even though we knew we had no chance of winning against the hundreds of enemy soldiers at the bottom of the stairs, we stood awaiting their attack.

When I once again knocked on the door, the same man answered, but he still wouldn't let us in. Before he shut the door again, I glimpsed many people inside.

The attack from below commenced. I picked up a long spear hanging near me and threw it at an attacker at the bottom of the stairs. The spear struck the man between his legs in the area of his penis and he bent over with the spear sticking in him.

An arrow hit the king in the stomach! I caught the king as he fell backwards and I clutched the embedded arrow. I pulled the king toward the door and knocked again. When the door opened this time, I thrashed my sword about until the people inside scattered in front of me. Managing to pull the king inside the door, I closed the door behind me before the attackers could reach us, even though I knew they would quickly batter down the door.

After glancing around the room and realizing that everyone inside had disappeared, I decided to convey the king to the basement. After dragging the king downstairs, I laid him down. As I looked for a hiding place,  I noticed seats arranged as if for a symphony orchestra. I picked up a violin, then noticed lights arranged on both sides of the room so as to reflect the shadow of my holding the violin on the wall behind me. As I moved back and forth holding the violin, the shadows resembled bouncing musical notes.

Dream of: 22 May 1986 "Inherited Sword"

the power to create beauty is designed to conquer enemies

While in an apparent schoolroom, I realized that a sword in a closet of the room would give me great powers with which I could conquer my enemies. Also in the closet was a type of armored coat which would protect me. Both the sword and the coat had belonged to my father - I had never been able to obtain them before.

Knowing people in the hallway would probably try to attack me, I seized the sword, and when a warrior entered the room, I confronted and slew him.

After I replaced the sword in the closet and prepared to don the armored coat, another large muscular man rushed into the room and attacked me. Managing to reach back into the closet and retrieve the sword, I threw the man off me and aimed the sword at the man's vulnerable neck. Although I hit him several times with the sword, he continued attacking me until I finally knocked him down and he didn't rise again. I had defeated him.

Dream of: 23 July 1986 "Golden Sword"

simply seizing the power to create beauty is a battle in itself

My ex-wife Louise (we met as law students and were married for less than a year 1984-1985) and I traveled together around Europe for a while, then separated because she wanted to return to the United States and I wanted to stay longer in Europe. So she left and I stayed.

In France, I boarded a sailing ship which looked like something built in perhaps the 1600s or 1700s. I even seemed to be in a previous century when such ships plied the oceans. Only after having set sail did I realize the ship was a war ship. We spotted and prepared to attack another large sailing ship by ramming it with a silver ram which graced the bow of our ship. We sailed toward the enemy ship at full speed and rammed into its side. Our prow smashed through the enemy ship and exited the opposite side of the thoroughly damaged ship. Boards splintered and stuck out everywhere on the enemy ship.

Now an epic battle between the soldiers on the two ships ensued. With swords flailing the air, each side set about killing the other side. Right in the middle of the fray, I approached the captain of our ship and told him that I was concerned that when the enemy ship sank, it would pull our ship under with it. He seemed unconcerned and the battle raged on. Finally we all noticed that indeed both ships were sinking. Many people injured and in chains on our ship would obviously drown. Finally both ships plunged under the water.

The survivors either fell or jumped into the water. Still wearing his golden armored vest and holding his golden sword above his head, my muscular captain leapt into the water, where he struggled to keep his head above water. I thought my captain was of the opinion that our ship would dislodge itself from the other ship under the water and then bob back up to the surface.

A number of extremely large rocks – one might almost say hills – were jutting perpendicularly out of the water in different locations nearby. Soldiers from both sides swam in random directions toward different rocks.

I reached one rock and was able to climb onto shore, and found myself on what appeared to be an island. Other survivors, including some women who had been on our ship, had also reached the island.

Buildings, including a gigantic church, adorned the island. Clearly the island had electricity because lights glowed in the church and other buildings, but no people were to be seen. Along with perhaps one hundred other survivors, I  walked into the church. One woman found a telephone and acted as if she wanted me to call someone for assistance, but after I walked past her, she began calling someone herself.

I walked down a hallway until I found a small room occupied by a sitting woman busily doing paper work. She had black hair, was short and looked Hispanic. I walked into the room and asked her if she worked there. When she told me she did, I said something like, "Well, there's about a hundred of us out here. We've had a shipwreck."

When she matter-of-factly walked out of the room, I accompanied her outside to a car which she boarded. She said she was going to go get someone else to bring back to help us and she drove off.

When I walked back into the church, I encountered my ex-wife Louise, who hugged me and asked me what had happened. When I explained what had occurred, she seemed upset, but she seemed most bothered that I had had a number of my collages with me on the ship and that they had been lost with the ship.

She brought up the fact that my father had also been in Europe while I had been there. She wanted to know why I hadn't sent the collages back to the United States with him instead of taking them with me. I told her that since I hadn't known what was going to happen to either my father or me, I had thought the collages would be safer with me. She said she thought that with my track record, the collages would have been safer with my father. I told her I could make other collages. I thought new collages would probably even be better than the old ones. That I had had my collages on the ship with me and had lost them was indeed, however, a tragedy.

I thought about the type of new collage which I would make. I would make one about the size of one of my recent collages, about one by two meters in size. Thinking that I might use a map on part of the collage, I pulled out a map of Europe. As I gazed at the map, I wondered exactly where the battle and shipwreck had taken place and where I was now. It appeared we had been in the Atlantic Ocean close to the border of France and Spain.

The map was quite detailed and showed small islands close to the corner where France and Spain meet on the Atlantic Ocean. Names of cities in Spain were written there. We were apparently in one Spanish city, the first two letters of which were "Ba ...."

When some of the island's local people (including a couple fellows wearing large back packs) entered the church, I asked Louise who the people were and she replied, "Those are the good people."

Pointing out the survivors of the shipwreck who were seated around us, I said, "And who are those people?"

She answered, "Those are the bad people."

She then looked at me and asked, "Have you been false to your mom?"

We both began laughing. I knew what she was trying to discover. She knew that she had left me and that I no longer needed to be faithful to her. She was trying to say that I should be faithful to my mother and that I shouldn't be with other women. What she really wanted to know was whether I had been with any other women. I reflected that I had had sex with one attractive, black-haired woman on the ship.

I thought I would tell Louise that since I didn't actually have to be faithful to my mother, I could honestly say that I had indeed been faithful to my mother.

Dream of: 16 November 1986 "Killed By A Sword"

neglecting the power to create beauty, once seized, is an act of evil

I had joined a group of people who were planning to perform a play by Shakespeare entitled King Richard. Although I intended to be one of the actors, I was surprised when the director picked me to play the part of the protagonist, King Richard.

When the day of the play arrived, I found myself in one of the theater's dressing rooms. The play was scheduled to begin in about four more hours. I was beginning to feel frightened because I hadn't yet memorized my part. Indeed, I hadn't even read the play. Our group had never conducted any rehearsals (a fact I blamed on the director) and I wasn't even sure who the other actors were going to be.

I was holding a paperback book whose pages were browned by time, a book which contained the play. Flipping to the first page, I saw that my character delivered the opening statement, about 20 lines long. I read three or four lines and began trying to memorize them. Since I still had four hours, I thought perhaps I could yet do some good.

In the first scene, the King was supposed to stand before a medieval-looking city named "Erichthyus." I visualized a medieval picture of the city stretching out before me.

The meaning of the words I was reading seemed obscure. One word in the first lines was "de." Although the sentence containing the word couldn't make much sense unless the meaning of that word was understood, I doubted that most people in the audience would know what the word meant. Noticing footnotes for some words, I read a few notes.

I recited the first line to myself several times. Although I never spoke the line exactly right, I thought I probably knew it well enough to pass; my recitation didn't have to be perfect. Memorizing the lines was taking so long, it was becoming increasingly clear that I simply couldn't memorize the whole play in time.

When I skipped down to the last three lines in the opening scene, I recognized them as a famous Shakespearean quote. Since most people in the audience would be familiar with those lines, I knew I must be able to recite them correctly.

As I memorized, my attention was caught by the small dressing room's wall-paper which had been torn back on the wall right above my head, revealing old wall-paper which had previously adorned the wall. The new wall-paper appeared to have been ripped back on purpose to reveal on the old wall-paper a picture of the heads of a man and a woman, behind which was another small picture of the head of Jesus Christ. Light seemed to fall in long rays over the three heads, creating an attention-catching scene.

My mind, however, was more concentrated on the problem at hand. I still needed to dress for the part. Although I figured I would probably be given a long kingly robe, I had never even seen the guise I was supposed to wear. In the meantime I doffed the clothes I was wearing, except for a pair of under shorts and a tee shirt. I had a pair of clean blue jeans and a shirt which I planned to don, to be worn under my costume. As I dressed, the door to the dressing room was open, and I wondered if any women in the area might see me undressing. Since we were all actors, it probably didn't matter.

I continued to worry about how I could possibly perform. As I envisioned myself walking out on the stage and speaking the opening lines, I imagined how my voice might seem small, like a child's. I was afraid it would be so painfully obvious that I was acting that some of the audience might even leave. As I tried to concentrate on how I could effectively play the part, I seemed to improve somewhat in my mind. However, I still was obviously unprepared for the task before me.

Other people who apparently were also in the play entered the room including a strong husky actor (about 30 years old). Recalling some of the story of the play, I remembered that he played a repugnant character who would finally kill my character, the king. However, the death of the king wouldn't be a particularly remorseful event, because the king had a wicked streak in his nature.

Approaching the fellow, I engaged him in talk, thinking he likewise might be unprepared for the play. When I asked him if he were ready, he informed me that he had indeed memorized his entire part. Hearing this news, I was more depressed than ever; I didn't know what to do. How could I have let this happen? I remembered I had even had dreams when something like this had occurred – when I had dawdled and waited until the last day to begin preparing for a play. Now it had actually happened. Incredible.

Perhaps someone else could be found to take my place. Indeed I thought the very same play was being staged by several actors' groups at the same time. I thought that all the groups were actually part of a college class, and that other students had learned the parts to this same play. Since finding someone to take my place at this late date seemed almost impossible, I abandoned that idea.

In desperation I walked over to the other actor and shamefully admitted that I hadn't even read the play, much less memorized my part. He looked at me scornfully and said that I was going to have to try my best to act. He mentioned that my part wasn't very long, because the king (my role) died during the play. Obviously I needed to know about that. We began flipping through my book, from back to front, trying to find the scene where the king died. For page after page the king didn't appear. Finally after flipping from the back through probably three fourths of the book, I found the king's part, but the part seemed to be in a scene in which the king had already died, and only his dead spirit was talking. Was such a scene actually in the play?

When we finally found the scene where the king was killed in a sword fight with the other character, I began imagining how I would play the dying king in that scene.

I was definitely encouraged when I saw that the king's role was much shorter than I had originally thought. I now realized the character who killed the king had a much larger role – all the more reason to marvel at how the fellow had memorized his part. I was definitely impressed. I thought that the fellow probably wanted to become a professional actor someday and that he was therefore working extra hard in the college course to further his aims. I somewhat ashamedly reflected that I also would like to be a professional actor. Why had I been so neglectful?

Encouraged by the shortness of my part, I picked up the book and tried to acquire a better idea of the king's role. I still didn't understand the plot, and I obviously didn't have a feel for the character of the king. The characterization seemed increasingly important to me.

As I leafed through the pages, I noticed the name of one character was "Lord", and I wondered if that character was actually God, or if "Lord" was simply the title of a feudal personage.

Somehow I managed to bend back the pages of my book, and as a result I couldn't seem to find the opening scene again. Several times I flipped to where I thought the front of the book should be, but each time I only uncovered blank pages. Every time that I flipped further back in the book, instead of finding the opening scene, I would end up in the body of the play.

The task seemed so hopeless anyway. I obviously didn't have time. I couldn't even understand many of the words and I certainly wasn't going to be able to read the footnotes. I simply didn't know what I was going to do.

Dream of: 03 May 1987 "Symbolic Sword"

only the power to create beauty which lasts forever matters

Kim (a friend a few years younger than I whom I first met in 1977 in my old hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio) told me that she had recently attended a theater and that she had seen a live show by Jack Nicholson. I didn't know Nicholson gave live performances, but I figured the performance had probably been a comedy routine. That Kim would have attended such a show was a bit surprising to me since I thought she seldom went out anywhere. She told me she was trying to get out more. I was curious about where she had sat in the theater and she told me she had sat in the 18th row.

As we talked, it became apparent that I wasn't actually talking with Kim at all, but with my sister, who had attended the theater with her husband James. My sister, James, and I were in a house which apparently belonged to my father. As my sister bustled about, apparently preparing to go somewhere, she mentioned that some photographs which I had once taken had been developed and were there in an envelope. I picked up the envelope and looked through the photos. I remembered having taken the photos and I thought some were of me, but as I sorted through the photos, I had difficulty focusing on the images. Finally I laid them all down, and my sister told me there was another envelope there with more photos in it. I picked up the second envelope and likewise began going through it. The photos in the second envelope were much clearer.

Several photos seemed to be pictures which I had taken in a church and they depicted Christian scenes. I tried to identify the images, some of which seemed to be pictures of mosaics. In one picture was a sword, which seemed symbolic to me. Another picture in particular caught my attention. It appeared to resemble a picture in my collection of collage pictures. I needed a moment to discern the picture clearly because the image seemed to change even as I looked at it. Basically, the picture seemed to depict a man wearing a long, flowing, red robe. One arm was outstretched as if he were handing something to someone and in his hand was a red rose. I remembered that the picture in my collage collection depicted the scene which began the War of The Roses, when the symbolical red rose had been handed to someone.

It appeared that my sister would soon be leaving. Although I used to think it was better when my sister wasn't around, I wished she weren't leaving today. I would probably be lonely without her.

Dream of: 22 November 1987 "Sword Thrown Down"

once seized, the power to create beauty can never be honorably abandoned

Salvador Ibarra (a friend from El Salvador who with my help obtained political asylum in 1987) had been put in jail and I had gone to the jail to procure his release. Upon my arrival at the jail, Salvador began telling me about a battle and as he spoke, I clearly remembered the battle and I actually found myself at the scene of the battle. I was gathered with the soldiers on one side who were opposing the soldiers gathered on the other side. We seemed to be in a time before modern weaponry had been developed.

Even though I didn't have many soldiers on my side, I was their leader, and we had already captured a large number of soldiers from the other side. The captured soldiers were standing nearby and when I saw a couple captured soldiers with swords, I ordered that the swords be turned over to our soldiers. After one prisoner threw down his sword on the ground, I walked over and picked up the sword which seemed like a long white plastic sword. When I walked toward the prisoner who had thrown down the sword, one of the captured leaders was scolding the prisoner for having disgracefully thrown down his sword.

As I approached the prisoner, I thought about what I was going to do about his throwing down his sword. I didn't intend to punish him. In fact, I was thinking about taking all the swords and throwing them down a hill into a lake or a creek. Or I might even return the sword to the prisoner, to indicate that we were all just men and not enemies.

When I reached the prisoner (dressed in a white outfit), I stood in front of him and looked him in the face even as the captured leader continued talking to the prisoner about how disgraceful his throwing down of the sword had been. I realized that the captured leader considered the throwing down of the sword as more disgraceful than I did.

Suddenly, the prisoner fell over unto his back.

***

Still sitting with Salvador, I noticed a book lying on the table which described some of the events which I had just been experiencing. The writing said that only about ten people had survived the war. I realized that after the occurrence of the events in which I had just taken part, a large battle must have taken place in which almost everyone had been killed. I knew that Salvador had been involved in those events, and that he had been arrested somehow as a result.

***

Salvador was still in jail. I knew that a bond would need to be paid in order for him to be released. Someone mentioned that a woman (who was either Salvador's wife, Nelly, or Paz, an El Salvadoran girlfriend of Salvador's) had visited the jail for a long time, but that the woman had finally departed when she had learned how high the bond was. I thought at least she had stayed with Salvador for awhile at the jail.

I continued thinking about how I could obtain Salvador's release from jail on bond.

Dream of: 21 February 1988 "Rusted Sword"

wasted power to create beauty can never be regained

I was with Jon (my friend since we met in law school in 1981), Jon's wife Cathy, and another woman. We seemed to be a forest, although it also seemed as if we were in a house. I felt attracted to Cathy and I thought she felt the same toward me. I was unsure, but I thought Jon wouldn't be bothered if I had sex with Cathy.

Finally Cathy and I - both in a good mood - were alone in a room. I moved closer to her, picked up her hand, and put it inside my pants so she could touch my penis. Then I tried to put my hand inside her short pants. I finally succeeded and I began feeling her vagina. We both walked in a circle as we touched each other, but since I feared that Jon might walk in, we stopped.

Cathy and I walked into another room where Jon and the other woman were. Jon appeared to be intoxicated and I thought he had drunk much beer. As Cathy stood beside me, I put my arm around her. Her green shirt didn't have any sleeves and clearly she wasn't wearing a bra over her firm breasts. I thought I might touch her breasts in front of Jon and I had the feeling it wouldn't bother him.

Jon decided to leave with the other woman. They both climbed onto a motorcycle which Jon had, but when he started to leave, the motorcycle fell over and both Jon and the woman fell to the ground. I ran to them and saw that they weren't injured, although it looked as if the motorcycle was damaged. The front tire was knocked back from its correct position. Jon, stretched out on the ground, said he was very drunk. He clearly looked intoxicated. I helped him return to the house.

***

I was alone with Cathy again and we began having sex. Suddenly two or three uniformed men entered the room. Cathy no longer appeared to be a woman, but a tomato which I held in my hand and into which I had forced my penis. Since I didn't want the men to see what I was doing with the tomato, I stuck it into my mouth and ate it. I felt bad at first because I thought I was killing Cathy, but slowly I realized that Cathy was actually in her house and that she wasn't the tomato after all. I didn't understand it, but apparently Cathy could turn into a tomato when she wanted to and still remain in her actual body at the same time.

I walked into the next room where I found Jon. He wanted to know where Cathy was and I explained that she was in her home. It appeared that the uniformed men were actually forest-workers who were concerned about what was going on in the house, although they weren't going to cause any problems. They found a record player which apparently belonged to Jon in the room.

***

I was at the same place, but much had changed. I was now with three or four male musicians who were all working on creating music. A young man came to the door, walked in, and said he was a "groupie." Although he appeared to be about 20 years old, he seemed quite immature. He talked with the others, clearly bothering them. I walked over to him, led him to the door, and explained to him that the others were working hard and that they didn't have time for nonsense. I told him he could return some day when he was more serious.

***

After the young man left, I had a strong desire to sing and I began singing with an almost celestial voice. My voice was deep and sounded extremely good.

My song was a story which I invented as I sang with the use of poetic words. The story was in English, about a man who went to the south of Mexico. Many lines of the song began with the words, "I have seen", then went on to describe something which I had seen during the trip.

I had a vision of a battlefield bestrewn with many weapons and I wanted to describe the uselessness of war. I sang, "I have seen the arrows and swords rusted red – gone with foolish pride."

Dream of: 16 November 1989 "Make-Believe Sword"

only by use does the power to create beauty grow stronger

Three other boys and I were visiting a wooded area where I used to play when I had been about 10 years old in some woods near the House in South Shore, Kentucky (a four room cottage where I lived for about a year when I was in the fifth and sixth grades). During our visit, I remembered that the three other boys and I used to pretend that we were soldiers in this area and have mock battles.

One boy picked up a piece of wood and approached me as if he had a sword. I also picked up a piece of wood and prepared to defend myself. But we didn't carry out the action, and I sat down on the ground, surrounded by the wooden stalks of some kind of dead plant. It didn't bother me to be sitting there amidst the stalks, even though I figured I would probably get dirty. I reflected about how when one grew up, one was less likely to sit down in a place like this.

When I stood back up, I noticed a grapevine hanging from a tree over a small ravine and I recalled that the other boys and I used to swing on that grapevine. We walked closer to it, and only now did I see that the grapevine was actually next to the banks of a river. As I looked closer, I was also surprised to see that construction work had been undertaken along the river, and that apparently a walkway was being installed. It occurred to me that the area was going to be turned into a park.

After the other boys and I had walked a short ways farther, I was surprised to look up and see that we were right on the edge of a large city which had several tall skyscrapers. I was disoriented at first, but I finally realized I was looking at a large city near the small town of West Salem, Ohio (where I lived when I was in the first and second grades). I now recalled that my father and my mother were visiting West Salem, and that I had strolled off to revisit sights of my childhood. I was surprised to see that West Salem was so close to such a large city. I asked one of the other boys the name of the large city and I was told that the city was Dayton. Now it began to make sense and I seemed to recall my mother having told me that she used to visit Dayton sometimes when we had lived in West Salem. As a child I hadn't realized Dayton was so close to West Salem, but there it was.

Since I knew Dayton was about half way between Cincinnati and Columbus, I thought it might be a nice place to live. I decided to walk into the city to see it more closely.

***

Alone in the downtown area of Dayton, I walked into a store where I spent quite a bit of time looking around before I realized that my father and my mother were probably waiting for me, and that I needed to get back.

***

I was in a car being driven by Mary Biester (an attractive Dallas attorney friend) who was transporting me from downtown Dayton back to my father and my mother. An old man was also in the car with us. It seemed as if the streets were icy, and as Mary attempted to drive up a steep driveway into what looked like a parking lot, she was unable to make it because of ice on the driveway. As she backed off, I noticed that no other tracks were on the driveway, and I concluded that no one else had even attempted to go up it.

When Mary finally stopped the car for a moment, I moved next to her and kissed her. She became engrossed in the kiss and apparently she took her foot off the brake because the car began moving. I felt the movement, but we stopped just in time for her to avoid hitting some large stakes in the ground in front of us. I thought we needed to hurry so we could get to where we were going. The old man in the car seemed to agree with that.

Dream of: 28 November 1992 "Enemy Swords"

if lost, the power to create beauty must be regained

I was the leader of a large army which was about to be attacked by an opposing army. My men had congregated on a beach to fend off the attackers. Gradually all my men (except for two men and myself) managed to climb some enclosed stairs to our fortification. Remaining alone on the beach with my two companions, I suddenly realized I was in a predicament when I saw that the huge opposing army had arrived on the beach only a few meters from me. The enemy soldiers towered above me. Dressed in medieval garb, they appeared to have swords and shields, but no firearms.

I quickly wrote a message and gave it to one of the men still with me. He was to take it to a leader of a group of my men to tell them to attack immediately. I was uncertain, but I thought the battle was supposed to begin at a definite time in just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, I hoped that the door to the enclosed stairs wasn't locked and that the opposing army would give my remaining companion and me the chance to get through the door. Resisting the attack of the opposing army would obviously be futile.

Dream of: 13 October 1994 "Sword In A Church"

though the power of lust be stronger, the power to create beauty shall prevail

After my black-haired Salvadoran-American wife Carolina and I had arrived in my old home town of Portsmouth, we headed to a place on Gallia Street (just east of Gay Street) where we were living in an upstairs apartment. Before reaching the apartment, we stopped at a little store on the corner. When we entered, I recognized a couple women working in the store and I walked over to one woman (about 30 years old, rather obese) and lay down next to her. The woman put her hand on my leg, barely touching my penis. At first I didn't think she knew her hand was touching my penis, but then I realized she knew what she was doing. Finally she moved her hand and rubbed it right across my penis. Nobody but she and I saw what was going on. She acted as if she weren't doing anything, but obviously she was.

I stood up, walked over to the second woman (probably in her mid 20s) and began talking with her. She kept moving closer and closer to me, until finally one of her breasts was right in my face. Carolina, who was standing behind the woman and watching what was going on, wanted the woman to stop and hollered out, "Hold on!"

Only as the woman backed away did I realize she had been too close to me. I continued talking with the woman and I asked her if she knew anything about Beverly Hazlett (a black-haired girl with whom I had experienced one of my earliest sexual encounters when I was 14 or 15 years old). I thought that Hazlett lived nearby, but the woman told me that Hazlett had apparently moved, and that she didn't know where Hazlett presently was.

I asked if anything else new was going on. Although Carolina and I had been staying in Portsmouth, we had been away for two weeks. The woman pointed out that two grocery stores (one on each side of the street where we were) had closed down since we had been absent. Apparently things were really changing fast around the area.

When Carolina and I finally walked out of the store, I looked on the other side of the street at an old gigantic dark-brown church with large windows separated by columns. Obviously the church had been on fire - all the doors had been burned. I could see the church's interior which had been blackened by the fire.

I recalled that this church had never been opened to the public, that it had always been closed. I stopped in my tracks, walked back into the store and asked the women what had happened to the church, but they didn't know anything except that it had burned.

Looking back at the church again, I could see through one of its windows and I thought I saw people inside. When I again turned to the women and asked them about the people in the church, one woman told me that some parts of the church were now open and that people could go inside and look around. Carolina and I immediately decided to walk over to the church and venture inside to see what was there.

We crossed the street and walked through one of the church's doors. I first noticed how old and how beautiful the church was inside. Thinking that monks lived in the church, I became somewhat angry that the monks had lived in the church for so long without opening it up to the public. It had taken a fire to force the monks to open up a church which should have been opened long ago.

The walls of the church appeared to be constructed of rocks piled on top of each other. Timber was interspersed among the rocks, and some of the timber had been burned, but nothing looked as if it had been burned so badly that it couldn't be replaced. Carolina and I walked down a narrow passageway which was damaged at one point where the roof had fallen down, so we had to lie down on our stomachs and crawl along. I was somewhat concerned the whole edifice might cave in on us.

When we were finally able to stand up again, we continued along another passageway. The whole church seemed to have filled up with garbage and dirt over the years and obviously needed to be cleaned out.

We emerged into a large room with many people milling about. It seemed as if we were up high, perhaps on the third floor. I first noticed things sitting all around, such as might be found in a flea market. It didn't appear as if anything was for sale, but as if the items had simply been piled there. I had a feeling, however, that everything was going to be sold at an auction at some point.

A barrel was filed with walking canes, some of which displayed intricately carved handles. Of particular note was one cane's carved horse's head with a purple feather emerging from the top.

A couple old typewriters were sitting on a nearby table. A fellow walked up, picked up a typewriter, and after examining it, set it back down. When the fellow walked away, Carolina and I walked over to the typewriter and I looked at it more closely. I had never seen one like it. It was all black and about 60 centimeters tall. It had a small keyboard which would slide up inside the typewriter, then slide back out again. The keyboard wasn't made of individual letters, but of a line of letters which could be tapped. I thought the typewriter was well over 100 years old. Although the second typewriter was just a typical typewriter, the one I was looking at was quite extraordinary; I would love to have it. Carolina could immediately see I wanted the typewriter, but we weren't even sure yet it was actually going to be sold.

We walked over to another area, where I saw a slender box about 60 centimeters long. I picked it up, opened it, and found some long knives inside with blades the length of the box. I thought the monks who lived in the church used the knives, but I was unsure for what -- perhaps for cooking. I picked up one and swung it around over my head. Although clearly only a knife, it did seem somewhat like a sword. I laid it back down.

Carolina and I discussed the probability of an auction taking place. When I told her that I didn't want to miss the auction, she said we might miss it if we didn't find out when it was going to occur. I told her that the town was so small, we would be able to easily find out when the auction would take place. I said, "This is your home town."

What I meant was that Carolina should could call Portsmouth her "home town" since she didn't really have a home town and since we would always be returning here.

Dream of: 10 December 1994 "Letter-Opener Sword"

wielding the power to create beauty requires prolonged effort

While I was visiting Portsmouth for a few days, my father and I walked downtown so he could buy some new clothes. My father looked young, perhaps in his early 40s, and he had brown instead of black hair. We were in a mall-like area, and were just about to walk into Martings Department Store, when I noticed Steve Weinstein (my good Portsmouth friend from my late teens) standing nearby with two other fellows, apparently waiting in line to buy movie tickets.

I had intended to look Steve up while I was in Portsmouth, but for some reason, even though I knew he was in town, I hadn't visited him. However, I was quite happy to see him now. As I walked toward him, I reached in my right pocket for a black wooden sword, about a meter long, which resembled a letter opener. I tried to pull the sword out of my pocket so that when I reached Steve, I could pretend to good-naturedly stick him with the sword.

Before I could pull out the sword, however, Steve saw me, quickly walked over to me and threw his arms around me. I was happy to see him, but he was beyond happy – he seemed almost ecstatic to see me. After he had finished hugging me, I stepped back and looked at him. He didn't have a beard and he looked about 25 years old. He seemed healthy, but I noticed he seemed less effusive and not as haughty as he normally did.

The fellow standing next to Steve was taller than Steve, but looked to be only about 15 years old. The third fellow was also young, and quite overweight. That Steve would be with such young friends seemed peculiar to me and although I wondered if Steve had more than just a friendly relationship with his friends, I didn't say anything. I thought Steve would introduce me to them, but he didn't get around to it.

Meanwhile, my father had left me standing there and had walked down some steps to reach the clothing department of Martings. When he now returned, I told him that he should do his shopping and that I would look for him in a few minutes. He walked back into the clothing department.

When I asked Steve how long he had been in Portsmouth, he said two years. Incredulous, I repeated, "Two years!?"

I could hardly believe it. As we talked, I learned that Steve was now living in Portsmouth with his parents. While he had lived away from Portsmouth, he had apparently had difficulty either making telephone calls or paying for the calls which he made to his parents, so he had finally moved back to Portsmouth. Since I had visited Portsmouth several times during the last two years, I was surprised that Steve had been living there all that time without my knowing it and I felt a bit guilty that I had never contacted him during that time.

It seemed quite ironic that Steve was now in the same position that I used to be in when I had lived in Portsmouth and he used to visit me. Now I was living in Dallas - a large city compared to Portsmouth - and I was visiting Steve in Portsmouth. His having lived in Portsmouth for so long helped explain the diffident aura he now projected; I could see why he now seemed more humble.

As Steve and I conversed, I could see my father and I noticed that he would occasionally glance up at Steve and me. Although I realized he was impatiently wanting to leave, I wanted to talk with Steve – if not now, at least later. I wondered if Steve did any writing any more. Both he and I had once wanted to be writers. I figured if he were living in Portsmouth and if he had time to be watching a movie in the middle of the day, he obviously had time to write. At the same time, I reflected that I needed to be working more diligently on the book of dreams which I was writing. I felt somewhat guilty by my lack of effort.

My father finally stepped up to where we were, but he didn't bother me. Instead he began looking at the walls of the large lobby-like area which were plastered and painted an uninspiring blue. I finally realized that my father either owned or leased this building and that I would someday inherit it.

I also realized my father was interested in painting the walls. My father turned to Steve and asked him if he had a computer communication system with which he could provide my father with information about how to paint the walls. Apparently Steve did indeed perform that kind of computer work and he also began scrutinizing the walls. I knew Steve had a computer system, but I didn't know whether it was sophisticated enough to obtain the information which my father needed. I told my father that Steve Buckner (another old friend from my late teens) was also living in Portsmouth and that Buckner could provide my father with the needed information, since that was indeed the type of work which Buckner did. Steve, however, seemed to think that he could do the work, and he continued examining the walls. After a short while, Steve said that to do the job, he needed to first go upstairs and check on something.

When Steve then walked up the nearby stairs, my father and I sat down on two different couches to wait. Steve's two friends had also sat down. Suddenly an amazing thought struck me. I told my father I had recently had a dream which had contained three elements which I wanted to point out to him. First, in my dream, my father and I had visited this same building. Second, we had encountered Steve in the building. And third, my father had asked Steve to do some work for him. My father seemed surprised to hear that I had had such a dream. I was anxious to also tell Steve about the dream as soon as he came back downstairs. My having had a dream so similar to what was now actually happening gave me a satisfied feeling.

As we waited, some small boys walked around the area. One stood next to my left leg and after a moment I realized he had started rubbing his private area against my leg, almost like a small dog might do. Disgusted, I knocked him down on the floor. I didn't know to whom the boy belonged and I thought some people standing nearby might become angry by what I had done, but I couldn't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Another small boy (about 7 years old) walked up, sat beside me on my left, and told me he wanted to show me something which he could do. He first put his left leg behind his head, then put his right leg behind his head. I thought to myself that I regularly put my legs behind my head to exercise, but I wasn't limber enough to put both legs behind my head at the same time, as the boy had done. Although I didn't say so to the boy, I was impressed by his feat. As he quickly unwound himself, I had the feeling that he wasn't able to remain in the position long.

I told him to try it again, only this time to only do one leg at a time and to hold the position each time for two minutes; that was the length of time I held the position when I did the exercise. The boy sat on the floor to put one leg behind his head. This time, however, I wanted to add something different, so the boy attached what appeared to be stilts, about 60 centimeters long – such as a stilt walker would wear – to the end of each leg. He then started to put one leg behind his head.

But suddenly – puff – the boy disappeared. It almost seemed as if I had been watching a cartoon on television, and just as possible in a cartoon, the boy had simply vanished from sight right before my eyes. It almost appeared as if the boy had been performing, and the disappearance had been part of the act. Now before me, in mid-air, where the boy had been sitting, I saw a paper with some writing on it – a paper which apparently described what would be the next act. I quickly read that in the next act the boy would sleep for ten hours. I was befuddled by what I was witnessing. It seemed quite disconcerting to see in place of the boy a paper in the air saying the boy would be sleeping for ten hours. It also seemed a bit ridiculous. I didn't intend to sit there for ten hours, and I couldn't quite figure out the meaning of the paper. However, I had the vague feeling that the paper was intended to be satirical – to point out that sleeping for ten hours was no act at all – that indeed, such a feat required no effort.

Dream of: 16 April 1995 "Stolen Sword"

the power to create beauty is subservient to moral law

While I was sitting in the back seat of a public-transportation vehicle, on my way to work, a man sitting directly in front of me turned around and addressed me. Probably in his 30s, he was neatly dressed in suit and tie. I immediately recognized him as a boresome attorney with whom I had dealt once or twice in the past. I certainly had no desire to talk with him now, but since there was no way out of it, I listened to what he had to say.

He represented an auto company in a case in which I was the attorney for a black woman in bankruptcy. When I had filed the woman's bankruptcy, I had formulated a plan for the woman to pay some of her debts through the bankruptcy court, including the debt to the auto company to which she owed money for her car. I was aware that subsequent to my having formulated the plan, her car had been impounded for some unrelated matter. Since I thought the woman had subsequently decided to surrender her car to the auto company, the issue now was whether the woman would have to pay the storage charges for the approximately two months during which her car had been impounded. The attorney was particularly concerned that such storage charges be paid, because apparently his legal fees would derive from those storage charges.

The attorney pointed out that a law now existed which required the debtor to pay a fee of between six and seven dollars a day in cases such as this one. The attorney also stated that he had complied with the law by having sent a notice to me about the matter. Forwarding the notice on to my client was then supposed to be my duty. I couldn't remember the specific notice which the attorney claimed to have sent me, but I assured him that I always sent all such notices on to my clients. (In my mind, however, I was wondering whether I had done everything exactly right in this case, and whether I might have some liability exposure.)

I told the attorney that my problem with the matter was that the law to which he was referring had only been passed a few months ago, long after my client had initially filed bankruptcy. Therefore, at the time my client had filed bankruptcy, I had never advised her of any potential liability which she might have if her car were to be impounded. Although I argued that any fee for impoundment was unfair, the attorney seemed unmoved.

***

I finally arrived at the building in which my office was located. While walking through the hall along which several doors led to several different offices, I stopped in another attorney's office and visited for a while. As we talked, I picked up a decorative sword which the attorney had placed on display. Comfortable to the hand, the sword was entirely fabricated of a metal which had been had been painted green so the sword would look as if it were corroded. When I finally exited the office, I absent-mindedly carried the sword out with me, not realizing what I had done until I was in my office.

At first I thought I would return the sword, but then another thought occurred to me: Why not keep it? No one would ever suspect me of having stolen the sword; too many people had access to the other attorney's office to figure out who had taken it. As I looked around for a place to hide the sword, I began thinking that I could steal many different things from different offices. I had just noticed a small statue about 15 centimeters high in the office where I had been. It was carved from blue stone and resembled an Aztec god sitting with his legs crossed. I might like to steal that. In fact, reflecting that I might have already stolen something else,  and I recalled that a quart of apple juice which I had purloined from someone was sitting in a refrigerator in my office.

I finally hid the sword behind a file cabinet in my office.

When I turned back around, a man was standing there in my office. I quickly learned that he was the father of a female client who was coming to confer with me that morning, and since she was supposed to arrive at any moment, I realized I needed to turn on my computer to review her case, but I recalled that I had stored my computer over night in the refrigerator in my office. Since I needed to first remove my computer from the refrigerator, I opened the refrigerator door and asked the man if he could help me. I pulled my computer out of the refrigerator, handed it to the man, then grabbed some other attachments which were connected to my computer. We carried my computer over to my cluttered desk, set it down and turned it on.

We were in a rather large room, and a woman who was my secretary was sitting at a nearby desk. She began talking with the man, whom she obviously knew. Only then did I realized that he might be embarrassed to see someone he recognized in my office, especially if the person could overhear what we were saying. I asked him if he would prefer to go to another room, but he said he was satisfied where we were.

As soon as the man and I had sat down, his daughter (a black woman about 30 years old) arrived. I was uncertain whether she was the same client about whom I had been talking earlier with the attorney on the public transportation vehicle, but I at least knew that she had a similar problem: she was trying to retrieve a car which had been impounded.

When I asked her if she had any papers, she pulled out one and handed it to me. I also looked at her file and was surprised by what I was seeing. This lady's car hadn't been impounded; it had been repossessed by the very auto company which she had been paying through the bankruptcy court. Since I knew that such a repossession was a violation of her bankruptcy protection, I asked, "Do you want the car back?"

I figured I could retrieve her car without much problem, especially since I saw that the paper which she had handed me was actually a bill for the balance owed on the car – only $90.90. When I looked at her bankruptcy plan, I saw that $90.90 was the exact amount which the auto company was being paid each month. Apparently, therefore, the auto company was only owed for one more month. Conferring further with the woman, I learned that the car had been repossessed almost two years ago, which meant that the auto company had been accepting payments for two years while illegally possessing the woman's car.

I asked her why she hadn't come to me sooner. What she told me was a bit confusing and I had trouble making sense out of it, but apparently she had been at a race track with the car about two years before. The congressman Newt Gingrich had been in the race, and during the race, Gingrich had crashed into the car of another black woman who had died as a result of the collision. It was possible that Gingrich had also hit my client's car.

By now an older attorney who worked with me was sitting at my desk and listening to the story. He and I both immediately realized that my client had an excellent case against Gingrich (although I wasn't exactly sure of the basis for the case). I was sure that Gingrich had never told anyone about the accident nor of his responsibility for it. If Gingrich were sued, I figured he would be desperate to quickly settle. A law suit against New Gingrich might prove profitable.

After I discussed the matter further with my client, she asked me what would happen if we reached a settlement which provided that she couldn't tell anyone about the details of the crash. The older attorney assured her that she need not worry about that, that there would be a way to get around it.

My main concern was whether she had waited too long. If the wreck had been more than two years ago, the statute of limitations would have run and it would be too late to sue Gingrich.

Dream of: 25 June 1995 "Bolt-Of-Lightening Sword"

wielding the power to create beauty depends on the will of the creator

I had been whisked through the world from one magnificent monument to another with each succeeding monument more resplendent than the previous. I was unsure how the odyssey was being accomplished, but when I realized the seeming impossibility of simply appearing at one place after another, I tentatively concluded that I must be dreaming.

Suddenly I materialized at a new monument. I was standing on a high mountain which I knew was somewhere in South America, probably either in Argentina or Brazil. Although I could see and think quite well, my body seemed almost rigid, almost unable to move. The panoramic view of the valley below mesmerized me even more.

There below, winding through a verdant jungle, stretched a mighty swath of brown earth which had been plowed up for a four lane highway. I recalled that when I had first started the trip, one of my initial sights had been a huge highway under construction. That same theme had presented itself at other stops, and now, in what I perceived to be my final destination, I saw the same sight again. I knew this motif had some monumental significance, and I scoured my mind for its meaning.

Meanwhile, straight ahead of me on the mountain, stood a bench which had obviously been set up so people could sit and gaze out on the valley below. I felt my body move toward the bench and take a seat on it. Now having a better view of the valley, I saw to my left an enormous monolithic monument rising from the valley high into the air. At the top, almost on a level with me, was a ring of many statues surrounding the monument. All the statues seemed important, but one in particular caught my eye – a man holding a sword about waist high and parallel to the ground. The sword resembled a bolt of lightening.

Although I realized I was having an unusual and momentous experience, I was still unsure of the meaning of it all, and my mind was still not functioning well enough to sort out the significance. It was almost as if I were hypnotized. At least I did realize that it was important for me to make a record of what I was seeing, perhaps so I could record it on film. However, already much of what I had seen was fuzzy in my mind. I thought that perhaps I could repeat the entire journey the following night, and that maybe then I would be more prepared for what I would witness. The entire fatiguing journey seemed to have lasted three to three and a half hours, and I somewhat dreaded having to repeat it. But I knew I would.

In the meantime, it seemed as if I needed to do something right now, and suddenly I knew what I should do: I needed to cry. Even though other people had shown up and were sitting on the bench around me, I began a loud sob which grew in intensity to a scream. No one said anything to frustrate me. I cried to God. I cried for the misery of man in the world, and for my inability to understand it. When my fervent cry had grown as loud as I could possibly make it, I abruptly stopped. I felt a remarkably equable peace rise within me, as if by rapturously crying, something had been released within me. I sat reflecting, realizing I had accomplished something important.

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.

Dream of: 20 September 1996 "Hands Like Swords"

a beautiful destiny awaits those who obediently wield the power to create beauty

I could recall what had happened so well that it seemed as if a gothic memory of the episode had played out over and over in my mind, so well that I always knew the ending before it even happened. The whole episode had been set inside a black renaissance cathedral whose ebony walls I could visualize towering into an inky night, a cathedral composed of massive black stones, housing labyrinthine halls.

There in a hallway directly behind the cathedral's altar, a hallway with high spacious ceilings and cold black walls, a young man dressed in black, like some medieval would-be knight, dared to confront me. I had expected him and I had tried to avoid this meeting, even though I knew it was inevitable; I already knew the outcome. And yet, even knowing the urgency of fate, I beseeched the young man to let it pass. I didn't feign that I was afraid, for I wasn't. I didn't seek to muster my confidence, for I was abundantly self-confident. I merely tried forthrightly to persuade him to withdraw from his attack upon me. My only real feeling was pity, and I sought only to extend mercy.

But he would have none of it. Full of his blustery strength and youthful foolishness, he rushed upon me in frontal attack, determined to down me. There was no contest. With foreordained ease, with my bare hands as strong as swords, in an instant I decapitated him, and walked away from his bloody headless body.

***

Still walking through the somber halls, I now carried a large book which I had picked up at a book store inside the cathedral. I was also carrying ten long thin stiff blue ribbons which I had also taken from the bookstore. I hadn't paid for either the book or the ribbons, and I now contemplated leaving the cathedral without paying. What did another peccadillo matter to one such as I, whose destiny was as dark as the black vestments which now adorned me? I knew that the price of the book and the ribbons would be added to the total of my not inconsiderable wealth, wealth strong enough to impede even the church from challenging my leaving without paying.

The ribbons I needed, although they might be considered tawdry, and even difficult for me to explain to myself. I knew that the young would-be knight was the first whom I had slain, and that a ribbon placed in the book would be a sign of this battle and its consequence. More such battles must now follow, and I would add a ribbon after each one. I would also remember my first slain foe by his name: "Sylvan."

My attention was drawn to two people standing and talking by the wall of the hallway. I recognized them immediately. The woman dressed in black mourning was Sylvan's mother. On her head she wore a black medieval hat shaped like a cone, perhaps 30 centimeters high, from which fell pendent a black veil which covered her face. She was talking to an official of the church, a man dressed in black, probably a priest. She implored the priest to take her to me, so she could speak to me in person. I tried to hurry along; I certainly had no desire to speak with the mother of the man whom I had killed. But my step was tardy, and before I could pass her, she stood in front of me, pulling back her veil to look me straight in the face. My eyes met a beautiful visage, the image of a black-haired Sophia Loren in her prime.

This story was becoming twisted. I wasn't sure of her intentions, but I rather imagined that now that I had killed her son, she wanted to take up with me, to be my lover. But maybe not. Perhaps she hated me for having killed her son. I tried to see how the story would end. Could I envision the mother of the dead son going on together with me?

Not clearly. What I could imagine however was that this whole episode would be wrongly interpreted. The name "Sylvan" was very similar to the name "Silvio" and I knew that "Silvio" was a nick name for John Jacobs (a young fellow in his early 20s who had been a member of a dream group with whom I had been exchanging dreams on the Internet). I also knew that Silvio was no longer a member of our group. Since I knew that the entire episode in the cathedral would be written down and that many people would read it, it was possible that some people would misinterpret what had happened and would conclude that "Sylvan" had been "Silvio." I thought it was further possible that the episode could be misinterpreted by reaching the conclusion that the mother was Donna Griffiths (a woman in her late 20s who was also a member of the dream group). This possible misinterpretation concerned me because I of course knew that Donna wasn't Silvio's mother.

Since I didn't think that this episode had anything to do with anyone in my dream group, I didn't want anyone to misinterpret it as being involved with the dream group.

Dream of: 12 November 1996 "Grandfather's Sword"

the power to create beauty is transferred from artist to artist

I was in the home of a man who had been my grandfather and who had just died. I pictured him as a dignified elderly southern gentleman. His body had been carried off to a nearby building where it lay in state. I didn't know much about the deceased except that he had once been a great writer, even though I had never really been aware of his history as a writer while he had been alive. In his later years when I had known him, he had given up writing, and his story-telling skills had been reduced to telling fairy tells and fables to children. I had always appreciated the little stories he had told, but only now did I begin to suspect their inherent power; the stories had had a disproportionate impact on the people who had heard them.

Other relatives were with me in the house, and it seemed that some of my grandfather's possessions were being divided up. One relative - a matronly woman dressed in black - was talking in a narrative style in the background about what had happened and what we were doing. Although I was listening to her, I was more interested in something which I had found: a sword which had belonged to my grandfather.

As I held the sword in my right hand, I seemed to have a vague recollection of having seen it before. Perhaps I had seen my grandfather with it, or perhaps I had even once held it. All I knew now was that I liked it, that in fact I loved it. There was no question in my mind that this sword was mine and that my grandfather had wanted me to possess it. I held the sword out in front of me and examined it more. The blade was about a meter long, and very thin. It was so thin that when I swung the sword in front of me, the blade actually bent from the pressure, and I had to bend the blade back. Obviously the blade wasn't strong, and I doubted the sword could be used in combat; it was more of a novelty piece, but I loved it all the same.

Continuing to examine the blade, I became cognizant that the woman had stopped talking in the background, and slowly I realized the sound hadn't been coming from the woman at all: it had originated from a tape player. I also made other realizations. The voice on the tape player had been telling the very story of what was happening to me right now, about my grandfather's death and all. At the same time that the story was being narrated, I was actually taking part in the story. I also realized what story was playing: Light in August by William Faulkner. That surprised me somewhat, for I was familiar with that story, and what was happening now didn't seem to me anything like Light In August.

I walked over to the tape player, opened it and saw that the tape had come to an end. Since I was right in the middle of the story, however, I didn't want to stop there; I wanted to continue. Unfortunately I didn't see any more tapes. Then I remembered that I had the entire book Light in August on tape. The book was one of many which I had on tape and to which I had listened. I knew exactly where the tape was – on a bottom shelf of my large walk-in closet in my bedroom. I had just seen the tape the previous day when I had been rearranging some things in the closet. Without delay I turned, walked to the closet to retrieve the tape, and returned to the tape machine.

When I took the tape which had been playing out of the tape player, I saw that the chapters on the tape were listed on the tape's case and that they didn't match up exactly with the tape which I had brought from the closet. I saw that I would have to begin the new tape from the closet at a chapter which had already played on the old tape. I didn't mind; rehearing would simply refresh my memory.

As I inserted the new tape, I saw that the tape was unusual and that it didn't look like a regular tape. It was about the size of a compact disk, and had only one circle of tape, unlike a regular two-circle cassette tape. Nevertheless, the tape fit snugly into the player. I turned on the tape player and the story began again.

I sat back and listened, once again picturing my grandfather lying in state, a man who I now realized had an uncanny resemblance to William Faulkner.

Dream of: 19 June 1997 "Russian Sword"

the power to create beauty can transform imagination into reality

I awoke from a long complicated dream which I was trying to remember so I could write it. The details were sketchy, however, and I couldn't seem to recall some of the most important elements. I knew the central theme of the dream had involved moving to Russia, learning the Russian language, and immersing myself in Russian literature. More specifically, in the dream, I had resolved to read and thoroughly understand Tolstoy's War and Peace. I had previously read War and Peace, but the novel was vague in my mind. When I studied it this time, I was resolved to completely understand everything in the book.

In the dream I had felt as if I would read and thoroughly study quite a few other novels besides War and Peace. I had seemed to be searching for a niche in life, and I thought I had found that niche in the world of novels. I wouldn't merely read the novels, but I would immerse myself in them, becoming familiar with all their characters. I had realized that such an immersion would be a peculiar concentration of my efforts. However I had recently met a man who had made an occupation of studying light, and mastering the many distinctions of light and shadow. Surely studying the characters in novels would be no more peculiar than that.

In the dream, a textbook which described some Russian novels had been in front of me The book was peppered with pictures of Russian art, and one picture in particular caught my eye: a tall white marble statue of a man holding a sword. Although the statue was in the section of the book dealing with Russian literature, and the statue had been created by a Russian sculptor named David, the statue itself portrayed a figure from Moslem history. The picture of the statue remained firm in my mind as I thought back on my dream and tried to remember the dream's details.

I felt as if the dream had been trying to tell me something. I knew that I had been emerging from a rather dark period in my life, and that lately I had been having a number of dreams suggesting a new direction which I should take. It occurred to me that perhaps the dream was suggesting I should actually travel to Russia and take up a new life there. I recalled that I used to dream about Russia quite a bit, but that I hadn't had any dreams of Russia in a long time.

I thought about John Jacobs, a young fellow with whom I had once exchanged dreams on the internet. Jacobs had once written me about Russia's being an element in so many of my dreams. I had forgotten about Russia being in so many dreams. I had never understood why I dreamed about Russia anyway, but I was happy that Russia now seemed to be calling me again.

I was still lying in bed next to my young Salvadoran-American wife Carolina. Finally I stood up so I could write the dream. Once on my feet, however, instead of writing the dream, I walked over to the door and stepped outside of the room. I was fully dressed in heavy clothes and a cumbersome dark coat. Snow covered the ground. As I looked around at the landscape, I tried to remember where I was. It seemed as if we were at a small roadside inn where Carolina and I had stopped to spend the night, a temporary place to lodge on our way to Russia.

Since we were off the beaten path, I was surprised when my first wife, Louise, walked past me, right in front of the inn. I hadn't seen or talked to Louise for so long, her being out here in the middle of nowhere seemed strange. Along with her was a whole troop of probably 20-30 men and women who obviously worked for Louise in her law office. They were all dressed like peasants in dull heavy clothes.

I immediately wanted to talk with Louise. Although I hadn't considered it much before, it now occurred to me that I thought about her every day. Since we no longer spoke with each other, however, I was never able to say anything to her. As she passed, I opened my mouth and asked her if she would talk with me for a few moments. She paused and indicated she would, although she seemed in a hurry and disinclined to afford me much time. She looked quite beautiful with her black hair and rosy cheeks. I wanted to talk to her alone, but talking was difficult with all her workers there. One woman in particular stayed close to her. Finally I simply said, "How ya been?"

She seemed a bit sad. I had the feeling that her present marriage hadn't worked out well and that she was having trouble with her husband. I just wished that she and I could at least be friends, and that we could talk to each other - but she seemed so distant. I regretted that connecting with her was almost impossible.

Finally I began telling her a little about my present life. I knew that she, like I, had worked as a bankruptcy attorney. I told her that I had handled over 1,000 bankruptcy cases, but that I only had 31 cases left to finish, and 10 of those were ready to end. When those 31 cases were finished, I would be free from practicing law, and I would be able to travel to Russia. I thought Louise would be impressed with the idea of my being free of the law practice, but she merely held up her hand and waved a mock good-bye, as if wherever I went didn't make any difference to her.

As Louise and I had been talking, I had noticed that I seemed to recognize one man in her troop. I stepped away from Louise for a moment and I began talking to him. I now recalled that I had met this man once before and that he had been a Russian. When I asked him where he lived and he told me that he lived in the slums of Fort Worth, I told him I didn't want to know where he lived now, but where he had lived when he had resided in Russia. Unfortunately he didn't seem to understand what I meant. I finally gave up and walked back toward Louise.

Although she seemed impatient to leave, she ran toward me and almost slipped on the ice. I caught her in my arms. Holding her felt good, even for a second. Even though I knew nothing was left between us, I still regretted that we couldn't be close in some way. After she stood back up on her feet, we both stood in silence about a meter from each other. There was so much that I would like to be able to say to her, to tell her about my life and to find out about hers. I would especially like to tell her about my dreams and about my writing. Our inability to even talk was painful. Suddenly, however, as if a revelation, I realized that that was just the way it was, and that there was no hope of changing it. In fact, I only needed to do one thing: I needed to write my dream.

I turned from Louise and walked away without saying anything else to her. I headed back inside, wondering whether any paper was inside the inn, paper on which I could write my dream. Maybe someday if I ever wrote a successful book of dreams, maybe then Louise would want to talk with me. But for now there was no hope, and I only needed to focus on writing.

Dream of: 21 October 1997 "Antique Swords"

imagining the beauty to be created ignites the power to create beauty

My young Salvadoran-American wife Carolina and I had recently moved into a new habitation. Although the building was a spacious complex of interconnected apartments and shops, it retained the atmosphere of a single-dwelling abode. At the moment, Carolina and I were on the back porch, which had a cozy homey feel, but at the same time was crowded with other people coming and going, or just standing around.

While Carolina sat in a chair on the back porch and watched a movie on a television, I stood and stared at the television screen a few minutes, tying to figure out what movie was playing. Dozens of dinosaurs - standing up straight about the height of a man were running across the screen with their small fore legs in the air. I was surprised when I finally realized Carolina must be watching the movie Jurassic Park, even though I hadn't thought Jurassic Park had yet premiered on television. I reflected that I generally enjoyed movies by Steven Spielberg, who I knew had directed Jurassic Park.

I looked out over the area surrounding our building. We were obviously located atop a hill, allowing me to gaze down on the small neatly-arranged homes spread out in all directions below us. I noticed several tall office buildings and one in particular attracted my attention. Atop the building, on the top five or six floors, were perhaps a dozen young women climbing around outside on the ledges and windows. They appeared to be doing acrobatics. The women provided a fascinating sight, but their acrobatics looked frighteningly dangerous. Questions rolled through my mind. What would falling from such a height be like? Would falling and landing on one's feet or side make a difference? I asked someone standing near me what he thought, but he didn't seem to have an opinion. I concluded that landing on the side or on the feet would make no difference, that the person would die no matter in what position she fell.

Carolina spoke up and mentioned that she might like to go to a fair being held nearby. It seemed as if other people in the building might also want to accompany us. I, however didn't want to go. I didn't like fairs, and besides, I thought they were a waste of money. I would rather spend the money on something tangible, something I could keep, rather than on some transitory entertainment like a fair. For example, I would prefer to spend the money on something like old record albums.

It just so happened that right next to the porch was a shop which handled old record albums. I could clearly see two young black-haired women stationed behind the shop counter (right next to where I was standing). Most intriguing was a tall stack of 78 rpm records sitting next to the counter. I walked over to the shop and looked through the records in the stack. When I noticed dark maroon labels which I thought I recognized, I realized that these records were all mine. Questioning the women, I discovered that for some reason, Carolina had brought the records down to the shop and had simply left them there. Apparently Carolina had intended for the shop to sell the albums for us.

One of the women behind the counter told me she had already sold one album for $10 to Sussie Schultz. I hadn't seen Sussie in years, and I was surprised to hear her name. (I had only been 15 years old when I had first met Sussie, and I had dated her several times. She had been a pretty blonde, a couple years younger than I.) I found it curious that Sussie should have been the one to buy one of my old record albums. In fact I was surprised that anyone would have bought the albums, because I didn't think they were worth much. All the albums seemed part of a huge compilation of popular music from the early 1900s. I knew I had an interest in hit records from the first part of the century, but since these records weren't the originals, only simply part of a later compilation, I hadn't thought they would be particularly valuable.

The women behind the counter, however, seemed to think otherwise. They thought I could probably sell the records for about $2. I thought maybe the women were right, especially if they had already sold one for $10. Maybe I would let them try to sell the rest.

The women put one record on a record player and the music began. The music was an Italian aria which I found fascinating. I recalled that in the early days of recorded music in the United States, some of the most popular recordings had been Italian arias. I knew I had some of the original records from that period, and I found it fascinating to listen to that kind of music which had once been so popular, but had long ago faded from the public mind. When I tried to remember the names of some of the arias which had been popular, I couldn't recall any. Nevertheless, I treasured the music.

I continued looking through the records, still uncertain I wanted to sell them. Some albums looked as if they might be warped, and I was concerned they might be ruined. The women were friendly and offered me some paper sleeves in which to place the albums so they wouldn't scratch. They said I could simply store the records there with them if I wanted.

I realized that another stack of more modern record albums sitting on the counter were also mine. I was surprised to see those albums because most of the album covers were badly damaged, and I had previously considered them to be junk. Several of the albums were by country and western artists and one was by the rock group "Quicksilver Messenger Service." One woman at the counter told me that although I was welcome to bring more 78 rpm's to them, she didn't want me to bring in any more "sodbuster" music. At first I didn't know what she was talking about, but then I realized she was referring to country and western music.

When I finally scrutinized my surroundings more, I began to realize that this establishment wasn't just a record store, but in fact was an antique shop. An elegant lady with a thick French accent had now entered the shop and was talking to one of the black-haired women who had been behind the counter. The French lady had found something she liked. At first the objects which she was examining appeared to me to be two antique swords. When I looked closer, however, I saw that the objects were actually candle-lighters, the long metal kind that are used in religious services, with a little wick for lighting candles, and a little cup-like device for extinguishing them.

There were two candle-lighters. The French lady offered $1,000 for one, and $2,000 for the other. The black-haired woman immediately accepted and walked away to prepare the transaction. Obviously the French lady now feared she had offered too much because the black-haired lady had accepted so quickly. So when the second black-haired woman stepped up to the French lady, the French lady asked her if she would take $1,500 for the piece for which had originally offered $2,000. The second black-haired woman said she would accept the $1,500. Upon hearing this, the French lady was still concerned she had offered too much, but she decided not to make any more offers, and to simply proceed and pay the $1,500 for the second candle-lighter.

Meanwhile the Italian music was still playing, and I was still listening to it. I could see the album rotating on an old record player which had an exceedingly curious construction: it looked like a chair – a hard-backed chair with a lavender velvet seat. The record player was constructed into the top part of the chair, about the point where a person's head would be. But the record player portion didn't stay in one place – it would move up and down the back of the chair, and even move out over the seat of the chair. Once, when the record player slid out, the music stopped, as if the record player had malfunctioned, but then started again. The device was all the more remarkable because it was obviously so old and still in excellent working condition.

A man standing next to the record player had already decided to buy it. I asked him if it was still possible for someone to sit in the chair, even though it was a record player, and he explained to me a little about the way it functioned. I asked the man if everything on the record player worked, and he said it did.

As I was talking, another man stepped up close to me. I was bothered by his presence, and I had the presentiment that he might be gay. When he wouldn't leave me alone, in frustration, I grabbed him and threw him over a small waist-high wall next to me. I hadn't realized that the wall was a railing next to a stair well. I had thrown the man down a considerable height. I quickly ran around to where the man was and found him lying on the ground. What I saw was gruesome. The man had hit the floor with such an impact, that as I ran toward him, I could see part of his innards smashed on the ground. When I finally reached the man, I saw that I had actually been looking at his head – or rather the insides of his head. His entire skull had been torn off, like pulling off a mask. All that was left on his shoulders was the inside of his skull. But the most peculiar part was the appearance of this mass. It didn't look like a brain. It wasn't even gray. It was a slimy light-green color. It resembled the head of an insect, like a fly, only the size of a man.

Realizing the man was obviously dying, I was immediately concerned about what would happen to me. Several other men had seen what had happened, but they hadn't liked the man, and they seemed to indicate they would cover for me. I felt guilty about what I had done, but I definitely didn't want to become incriminated. So I saw no reason to admit anything when the police came.

Dream of: 27 December 1997 "Sword Of Brilliant Splendor"

the power to create beauty is part of a larger riddle

Another fellow and I were in a spacious room with a light-brown hardwood floor, reminiscent of a gymnasium. This room, however, was definitely not being employed as a gym. It had more the feel of a religious sanctuary or meditation hall. Although I wasn't particularly concerned about the nature of the room, I was intrigued by some of the items which I encountered therein. At one end of the room I had found a couple objects which had been placed there as a riddle. Examining the objects, I was able to quickly solve the riddle, and move on.

Ambling to the other side of the room, I found yet another group of objects, arranged on some intricately designed wooden shelves. Above the objects, just out of my reach, I saw something which immediately interested me: a long curved silver sword. Enlisting the aid of my companion to lift me, I reached up and pulled the sword down. Holding it in my hand, I was moved by its brilliant splendor, and waved it around in front of me a few times. It seemed as if I might have need of it later, as if something ominous might be lurking in the background somewhere in this building.

I turned my attention back to the shelves of objects in front of me, laid the sword aside, and began picking up the other objects one by one and setting them down on the hardwood floor. As I carefully placed the 20-30 objects on the floor, I became convinced that all the objects, as diverse as they were, were somehow connected. Each object was a clue to the solving of the riddle presented by the objects. But this riddle was far more complicated than the first riddle which I had solved which had contained only two objects. Indeed, this riddle was so complex, I began to fret that it might be unsolvable.

My companion picked up one object, about the size of a small apple, and handed it to me. Made of thick paper, it seemed to contain something inside. Turning the object over in my hand, I noticed the word "bombeo" written on it. I thought that the word was Spanish and that it indicated that the object was some kind of fireworks. The object had a short string which could apparently be pulled to set it off. I thought of pulling the string, but decided doing so wouldn't be best just yet.

My companion then showed me another item which I had already laid down on the floor. I had thought the object was simply a long piece of rolled-up thick blue paper, but the fellow unrolled the paper to reveal a movie poster inside. On the front of the poster was a colorful picture which showed a hot air balloon. The title of the picture was "Around the World in 90111 Days." The movie apparently told the story of a girl who took a lengthy hot air balloon trip around the world. Some of her destinations were listed in a time-line, the most prominent of which was England.

As I examined the objects, I noticed that a black man dressed in a robe had stepped up near me. I had the feeling that he must live or work in this building, and when I told him that I was trying to play the game of solving the riddle of the objects, he replied with a smile, "Its no game," and he walked away.

There was something just a little scary about what the fellow had said. I had the feeling that he was correct, that I wasn't playing a game, and that something quite serious was transpiring. I still felt as if danger was lying in wait in the background, but the diverse objects seemed so unrelated, I didn't fathom how I was going to be able to ever figure out this riddle. Suddenly it occurred to me that the answer might be that there was no answer. Perhaps these objects were merely a distraction from the real puzzle, and the solution was not to try to solve the riddle at all. Perhaps I should ignore the objects and return my attention to this strangely fascinating room.

Dream of: 20 May 1998 "Gleaming Swords"

the call to exercise the power to create beauty is unmistakable

A fearsome army of medieval-looking soldiers had gathered to march off to war. Most men were dressed in tawny leather and buckskin, carrying gleaming swords and bucklers. Standing beside their war horses, the men ranged off in long lines, each line forming a fighting group.

I had been appointed as the leader of one line. As I stood in front of my line of men, facing them, I thought we could best prepare ourselves for the coming battle by shouting together. If we could scream, perhaps we could strike fear into the enemy. I also sensed that my line of men was in competition with the other lines of soldiers, and that if we could produce the most intimidating shout, we would win the competition. Directing my men, I began with a low muffled groan to get them started. Gradually I intended to raise the groan to a piercing shriek, but suddenly I thought of a better sound, and I changed my groan into a low hum. As the men began humming along with me, I hummed out an old religious hymn which I had often heard in my youth. I recalled the words to the hymn as I hummed along, but I didn't sing them out loud. I just kept humming, louder and louder, as my men did the same. The intensity of our humming grew until it became painfully loud. Even I was amazed at the potency of our hymn and I thought the hymn was just the right sound to terrify the enemy.

Abruptly I had to stop. Someone had walked up to me and had handed me a single page of white paper with writing on it. I was immediately deflated as I read the paper. I had been ordered to stay behind and not march off with the army. It appeared that I would be needed to take care of my mother and my father, who were ill.

***

I was standing in a stables between some horses. It was almost time for my men to march off to war. I had decided that despite the orders to remain behind with my father and mother, I was going to try to go to war anyway. My intention was to conceal myself between two horses. As my line of men would march by, I would simply join the line and march off with my men. Hopefully, when my departure was finally discovered, it would be too late to send me back, and I would be able to take part in the battle with the others.

Dream of: 28 February 1999 "Sword Held High"

the products of the power to create beauty must be judged by moral law

I was watching a lengthy movie about a man who appeared to be living somewhere in a desert region, probably on the Arabian Peninsula. I had been under the impression that the action of the movie was taking place before the time of Muhammad, whom I knew had lived around 600 A.D. But suddenly a whole new segment of the movie began, and the man who was the subject of the movie was shown riding a horse while holding a sword high above his head. In the top right corner of the movie screen were the words, "16th Century."

Obviously this man on the horse had lived long after Muhammad, and was apparently an adherent of Islam - a Moslem warrior. The idea that the man had lived so much later than I had thought threw me off for a moment, but I quickly adjusted to the time period. I knew that the term "16th century" meant that the time was in the 1500s. All I had to do was think of something with which I was familiar during that time period, and I would be able to place the time of the action.

I first thought of the fall of Constantinople to the Moslems, which I was thinking had occurred in 1492. But then I thought of someone whom I knew even better: Machiavelli, who I knew had lived and written during the early 1500s. I was fairly familiar with Machiavelli and the world which he had described. So, I decided to use Machiavelli as my reference point to better understand the time period of this movie.

Dream of: 23 October 2002 "Lord Of The Sword"

the imagination is the fundament of the power to create beauty

I was at a big party being held outdoors in a garden area which seemed to be part of the grounds of a palace. As people mingled all around me, I noticed my ex-wife Louise (about 30 years old) in the crowd. She looked intoxicated on alcohol. I walked over to her, invoked her attention, and began talking with her. After we began hugging, I pulled her close to me and finally we lay down on the ground next to each other. I liked being with her.

When she said something about my shirt, I admitted to her that I was wearing her shirt. I knew that I only owned three shirts, and that all three belonged to Louise. When I noticed that the black leather pants I was wearing also belonged to Louise, I wondered if everything I was wearing belonged to her. Even though we hadn't seen each other in a long time, I had somehow obtained her clothes and was wearing them. 

I closed my eyes and continued lying next to her until someone suddenly grabbed me and pulled me away. As I struggled with the person (clearly bigger than I), I soon realized the person was Louise's husband, Vernon. Obviously he was trying to pull Louise and me apart. Even though it was so dark that I could barely see him, I was ready to fight. 

When it suddenly seemed as if someone was trying to separate Vernon and me, I looked down on the ground and saw a small body lying on the ground right in front of us. I immediately recognized the body as an Orc, just as I had seen depicted in the movie Lord of the Rings. Looking to my side, I saw that five or six more Orcs had invaded the party. Other people at the party also noticed the Orcs, and an intense tone of anguish and worry passed through the group. Since no one seemed to know what to do, I hollered out, "We have to fight them!"

I knew that in a few moments Orcs would swarm in from all sides. They would kill us all if we didn't do anything. People protested that we couldn't fight them, that we didn't even have any weapons, but I noticed near me an umbrella stand with some swords in it. I pulled out one sword and hollered out that we had swords, that people should look around them for the swords. As other people began grabbing up swords, I told them we would fight with anything we had. 

After everyone had grabbed a sword, I noticed one particularly long sword which had not been seized. I was still holding my sturdy sword in my hand, but I handed it to someone and I picked up the other sword (silver, double-bladed, and almost two meters long). The sword was so heavy, however, I could barely lift it. 

Suddenly, I saw a man (over two meters tall) standing near me. I recognized him as the comic book hero, Thor. When I carried the long sword over to him and handed it to him, he took the sword in his hand, obviously able to wield it. I now knew we had a strong person on our side who could mow down the Orcs when they again began swarming. I turned around to look again for the first sword which I had handed away - but it wasn't there. Someone handed me a little sword (about a half meter long) with a triangular shape which reminded me of a Christmas tree. The sword was light and I didn't like it, but it was all I had now. 

Since everyone was still mingling around as if they didn't know what to do, I hollered, "We need a plan! To the perimeter!"

Everyone swarmed to the wall which surrounded the area. Obviously these people didn't know how to fight, but I could see they were courageous. They mounted the walls, which seemed built for defense. It looked as if we were soon going to have a great battle.  

Dream of: 23 September 2003 "Rats With Swords"

the power to create beauty can be used for evil purposes

I walked into the front living room of the House in Patriot (the home of my maternal grandparents when I was a child). I had been staying in the House and had set up a computer along the wall between the living room and the dining room. My computer was sitting on a small table in front of a wooden bookcase which covered the wall. I had earlier been trading stock and the computer was on.

My mother was also in the House, sporadically passing through the room. My first cousin Alan (a man of questionable character, the son of my mother's brother) was in the room busily cleaning up the area on the floor (around my computer) which was cluttered with all kinds of junk, mostly small toys which I had drug in a while ago. I didn't particularly want Alan to be handling my things – he appeared to be throwing most of it away – but I didn't say anything to him because I felt a little guilty about having left the junk piled up there for so long. I even joined in and began helping.

I pulled out a couple blankets which were mixed in with the piles of toys. Then I found some small action figures a few centimeters tall which I wanted to keep. I found a large plastic gray figure – about 20 centimeters long – of a rat-like creature riding a horse. The rat-creature looked like something from a cartoon, with a long out-of-proportion snout. The creature was carrying a sword and dressed in a long coat. A second plastic black figure – only smaller – of the same type of rat-character, was standing and holding a sword in the air. I thought the two figures might be part of a set of militant rat-characters.

I laid the larger figure – the one with the horse – on the back of a gray leather chair which belonged to Alan. Lying on the chair, the figure resembled a lizard. I pointed it out to Alan, who seemed a bit uncertain of the significance of what I was doing.

While I had been picking up junk, I had also been checking the screen on my computer, which showed the prices of stocks I had been trading. The prices had been fluctuating markedly. I knew I had sold shares of eBay short, and I had bought shares of Intel, but I couldn't tell for certain whether I was losing or gaining. At one point Alan unplugged the machine, causing the screen to go blank, but he quickly plugged it back in, and the figures on the screen reappeared.

The room began to look much better; it was remarkable how much better the place looked when clean. I decided that from now on I would try to keep the place tidier. I thought I might now put my computer on the book shelf on a place designed to hold a computer, but I didn't know if there was enough room.

Dream of: 13 April 2004 "Wooden Sword"

too much preparation can dull the power to create beauty

I was sitting in a spacious room which seemed to be inside a college library. I was attending law school and I was debating whether to go to class today. I had two classes scheduled for today, Friday, and I didn't want to go to either. I wasn't prepared for my constitutional law class which would begin in about ten minutes. I hadn't read the assignment and I was worried that professor Guinn would call on me. When I reflected, however, I realized that Guinn hardly ever called on anyone. Nevertheless, I still didn't want to go to class.

A fellow studying at a desk near me had a pile of comics sitting on his desk. I managed to pick up one and I leafed through it, but I didn't I find it interesting and I laid it back down.

Time was running out. Even though I didn't want to go to class, I finally stood up. I still had five minutes to make it. I walked across the room and out the door, entered a hallway, walked to the stairs at the end of the hall, and began descending. A stick about a meter long was hanging from my belt on my left side, a bit like a wooden sword. I thought people might ridicule the stick if I went into class with it, but I didn't mind because I liked the stick.

I still had time. I decided to go to class after all. At least then I would then know what was going on in the class.

Dream of: 13 July 2004 "Soldiers Wielding Swords"

the power to create beauty can always use the help of a little magic

I was living in a fabled age with a small band of people in the forest. Since we feared we would soon be attacked by a powerful tribe which neighbored our area, we decided to attack the other tribe first. About 20 of us rode our horses through the woods to the encampment of our enemies and gazed down on their white tents from a high ridge. Since the enemy far outnumbered us, we decided on a surprise attack, and at the signal, we all shot a round of arrows into the tents. When we shot a second round, this time with the arrows on fire, `the tents began to burn.

The enemy soldiers streamed out of the tents and began mounting their horses. We continued shooting arrows at them as they tackled the hillside toward us. I debated whether to shoot at the soldiers who were wielding swords and ready to attack, or at the ones who weren't brandishing swords. I feared that too many of my people would shoot at the enemy wielding swords and would waste our arrows. Shooting at the less dangerous-looking attackers might be more advisable.

We fled before the attackers could reach us (although one or two of our party appeared to have been caught). We rode and rode back through the woods, successfully escaping. Finally we stopped to camp. One of our members (a fellow about 30 years old) said he intended to go ahead back to our home ahead of the rest us to see if any problems had arisen. As soon as he rode off, a small boy with us followed him, heading up over the mountain at whose base we were camped.

Suddenly, something strange began to happen. Some of our members seemed to become thin and weak, right before our eyes. I myself felt disoriented. Then I noticed that some short figures had entered our camp. They were little people, only about a meter tall, all wearing colorful masks and colorful Asiatic-appearing robes.

My mind was definitely not functioning well and I quickly concluded that these little people had cast a spell over us. I thought if I could simply find the leader (whom I assumed was a woman), I could reason with her and she would lift the spell. I went from one to the other of the little people, saying, "You're the one."

None, however, would even acknowledge me, and I had no power in my body to pull off their masks. At least they didn't appear to want to harm us. As weak as we were, they could have done anything they wanted. I thought about what a powerful team we could make if the little people were to join forces with us and fight our enemy. If I could only persuade the little masked people to join us with their magic powers, we could defeat the enemy.

Dream of: 31 May 2005 "Swordfighter"

       using the power to create beauty need not necessarily be a fight until the time of death

For quite some time I had taken part in sword fights in a city park. All the fights had been to the death, and I had always killed my opponent (who had usually been oriental). Sometimes I had fought as many as three times a day.

Finally, I had decided to give up the fights, and I had decided to give my sword to my nephew Steven. As he stood in front of me and I handed the sword to him, I told him he didn't have to fight, and I even tried to dissuade him from fighting. I told him that in any given fight, he only had a 50 % chance of winning, and if he lost, he would die. I told him I had given up the fight, and I felt fine about doing so.

Dream of: 26 December 2007 "Queen With A Sword"

if the power to create beauty is temporarily lost, it may sometimes be recaptured by the worthy

My young blonde girlfriend Michelle (34 years younger than I) and I were in the playground area of a little park. I had just bought a chess game and I poured out the pieces onto the ground so we could play. I picked up some pieces, closed my hands, then held out my hands so Michelle could choose one hand. She did so, but when I opened my hand, I had pieces of both colors in the hand, so I had to start all over.

This time I made sure I had a white piece in one hand and a black piece in the other. The pieces looked like checkers instead of chess pieces, and they were so big, I couldn't even wrap my hand completely around them. I knew Michelle could see which color I had in each hand because a little bit of each piece was sticking out the sides of my hands. She picked the white piece.

Michelle and I started setting up our pieces on a board on the ground. I pointed out that another paper board had come with the chess set, but it needed to be cut out and affixed to a hard board. So we just used a chess board which happened to be at hand.

I looked at my pieces as I set them up. They were so unusual and intricately detailed, I had difficulty telling which pieces were the knights, the bishops, and the rooks. A couple pieces looked like wizards, one of which was holding a round crystal ball while the queen was holding a sword. I finally realized that each piece was different and that the two knights, bishops and rooks didn't even match each other. I pointed this out to Michelle and I told her that this game was therefore going to be more difficult than chess games which we had played in the past.

Michelle, however, had become distracted. It looked as if she had seen someone she knew over in the park area and she wanted to go speak to that person. As she walked away, I felt certain that she was going to try to buy some drugs, but I couldn't stop her.

I continued setting up my pieces alone. In addition to the pieces which went on the board, we had additional pieces which were supposed to be placed in extraneous little tents set up near the chess board. As I set up my little figures in my tent (they mostly looked like little toy action figures), I thought Michelle and I probably should have counted the pieces to make sure we each had the same number. One of my figures looked like a little robot only a couple centimeters tall. When I tried to set it up, however, its feet fell off and disintegrated.

To my surprise, when Michelle quickly returned, she wore an innocuous smile and she seemed happy. When I spoke to her she spelled out a word for me:  "B-l-o ...." I wasn't sure of the last letter, but it sounded like "l." That didn't make any sense. I wondered if she had meant "g" and was trying to spell "blog", but that didn't make any sense either. Anyway, I was just glad she was back.

Dream of: 16 February 2011 "Etruscan Sword"

the knowledge of history foments the power to create beauty

As I was happily riding a motorcycle on a highway through some low mountains, it began raining. I thought the rain felt great, even though I knew it was dangerous, with the cars speeding along so fast. Finally the rain stopped.

As I was riding up the side of one mountain, I noticed a car pulling into a small cave right along the side of the highway and I wondered what was in the cave. After I continued riding for a short while, I suddenly realized that I had somehow managed to verge off the main highway and that I was now on a side road circling around the top of the mountain. I was having some problems with my motorcycle so I wasn't able to steer it correctly. I finally stopped, climbed off, and looked around.

I began walking a little street which had been carved out of the dark-gray mountain rock. Right in the side of the mountain I discovered a door on the other side of which two women were talking. When the door suddenly swung open, I realized the two women would mistakenly think that I had been eavesdropping on them. They walked out and suspiciously eyed me. I continued walking, but I had trouble squeezing through the path, which had become more narrow.

I was able to continue on until I entered a room where people were gathered for an exhibition. An intricate-looking statue was standing on a table. I couldn't quite figure out what the statue represented, but I finally realized the statue was Etruscan. I began talking with a fellow standing near the table who said that he doubted that Etruscans had ever actually existed. He wanted my opinion. I felt young, as if I were only about 25 years old. I rather exuberantly told him I was sure the Etruscans had existed because many of their artifacts had been found. I told him I even had a copy of a metal Etruscan sword which someone had once given me for a present. (I recalled that my copy was small, the size of a letter-opener.) I was definitely convinced of the former existence of the Etruscans.

I sat down at the table and looked more carefully at the statue, but I soon stood back up because everyone in the room was leaving. I followed them outside, where I jumped off a small cliff down to where the people were standing. Most of them were carrying some gear with them and they all appeared to be waiting for a bus. When the people gave me unhappy looks, I realized that I had jumped down to the front of the line and that they thought I was trying to cut it. When I asked a fellow (probably in his mid 20s) if a bus was coming, he wasn't at all friendly. Suddenly I realized that all the people (there must have been 40-50 of them) were in a contest to go and find something. Everyone was trying to win the contest and they weren't being at all friendly with each other. I wasn't sure that I would take part in the contest, but I did need to catch the bus and leave.

Dream of: 13 March 2012 "Swords Of Soissons"

history is glorified by those with the power to create beauty

While I was reading about French history on the Internet, I began looking at a slideshow of colorful paintings of French battles. I was moving farther back in history until I thought I was looking at battle paintings from around 500-600 A.D. I focused on one painting displaying a violent scene of horses, swords and spears (The painting actually closely resembled a painting I had seen of the Battle of Tours which took place in 732 A.D.). In this painting, two enemy forces were clashing in the center where the warriors on the right, higher than their enemy on the left, seemed to be winning the battle.

Scrutinizing the painting, I concluded that a period of time was represented an early period of French history when the Germans had been moving from east to west across Belgium, and then striking down into France. The Franks in France had been trying to fend off the Germans. In this particular painting the Germans were on the right and were defeating the Franks on the left.

I then seemed to hear a voice which said that this painting depicted "The Battle of Soissons." I (erroneously) already knew that the Battle of Soissons was a famous and important battle in French history wherein the Germans had defeated the Franks around 500 A.D.

Mesmerized by the painting, just for a second I thought that I might be dreaming and I reflected that this was exactly the kind of dream which I wanted to have.

Dream of: 11 April 2012 "Light-Held Swords"

emulation of sense impressions sharpens the power to create beauty

Late at night in a dark parking lot, I was sitting alone on the passenger side of the front seat of a car when a brown-haired fellow (probably in his late 20s, dressed in brown) stepped up to the open window on the driver's side. Although I really didn't know the fellow, I had met him earlier and I knew his name was Steve. As he spoke with me, he reached inside the car and took a red pack of Marlboro cigarettes off the front dash, pulled out a cigarette and lit it. When I asked him to give me one, he said that he had taken the last one. I reached into the upper-left inside pocket of the jacket which I was wearing and discovered a couple cigarettes.

 When he continued talking and mentioned something about our going out and doing something, I began thinking that he might be gay and that he might be coming on to me. I quickly let him know that I wasn't gay and that I wasn't interested. He answered that he wasn't talking about him and me getting together, but that he meant we could find a couple girls, and he averred that he knew a couple attractive girls with whom we could have sex. That two girls would simply have sex with us sounded a little strange, but when he clarified that we would first have to buy a little heroin, for the girls, his proposition made more sense. He figured we would have to buy $50 worth of heroin for each girl (I imagined the girls being in their early 20s). I thought I would want to see the girls first - I certainly didn't want some skank. He said the girls were attractive, which I thought was definitely possible. I thought that as soon as we would meet the girls, I would want to confirm that they would have sex with us if we gave them the heroin.

As I thought about his proposition, I began to vividly imagine the scene where we would meet the women (even though I didn't envision the women themselves). I could see two little metal cans (perhaps five centimeters tall) which contained the heroin. The place which I envisioned was a bare grimy room with a few pieces of furniture. I envisioned the women as being artistic and I thought that while we were in the room, they could paint a painting of the sordid little room. I could clearly see the painting of the room taking shape, and I thought I might even add a few piles of brown dog feces to the painting to emphasize the decadence of the scene.

Suddenly, however, as I looked at the painting, it was as if a bright light went off in my mind, and I thought of adding something else to the painting: I would add several rays of bright light streaming into the room from different angles and at the end of each ray would be a little hand clutching a sword sticking straight up. Simultaneously, as I envisioned the light-held swords, I thought how my thoughts of the rays of light seemed to somehow originate or be connected with imagery from some dreams which I had lately been reading on the internet by a woman who went by the name of "the Messenger." The imagery of light seemed to derive from her dreams and the addition to the painting of beams of light holding swords seemed fitting.

Dream of: 22 May 2012 "Sword Proverbs"

wisdom comes to those who faithfully wield the power to create beauty

I awoke in the morning, unsure what I was going to do first today. As I lay on my back in bed, I thought about how I had recently assembled all my dreams in which swords had appeared and how I had been reading them one by one. After reading and rereading each dream, I would try to preface the dream with an appropriate aphorism which I would derive from the dream. However, I had been having difficulty inventing the aphorism for one particular dream in the assemblage and I decided to now concentrate on that dream to see if an aphorism would come to me.

In that dream I had been in a battle in which the odds against me had been overwhelming and I had been forced to flee the battle. As I now tried to derive the slogan or aphorism to describe that experience, I thought of the expression "Discretion is the better part of valor." I didn't want to use that phrase, however,  because I thought I had heard it before and I wanted something original which I had thought up myself. But even though I didn't want to use that particular phrase, I liked the sound of it and it seemed to fit the events of that particular dream. I thought I needed to look up that particular proverb to make sure that it already existed like I thought it did.

I thought about how unusual it must be for a person to wake up in the morning and start trying to understand a particular dream - not the one he had had the previous night - but one which he had dreamed long ago. I enjoyed doing that and it seemed as if that was exactly what I should be doing. I simply needed to spend my time concentrating on one dream at a time until I finished this particular dream assemblage about swords.

 

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