Over the course of my life, I have recorded twenty-seven dreams in which elephants have appeared. Their mysterious message tends to uplift me.

Dream of: 02 December 1981 "Plastic Elephant"

While I was in a house which reminded me of the House in Patriot (the home of my maternal grandparents when I was a child, in the small village of Patriot in hill-cradled Gallia County, southeastern Ohio), I wanted to take a bus to the Gallia County Farmhouse (the two-story frame house which sits on the Gallia County Farm of my paternal step-grandfather Clarence and my paternal grandmother Mabel) and I was trying to find the phone number of the bus station in Chillicothe. Since I couldn't remember the number for information, I simply dialed "0" and the operator came on the line.

When I asked her the number for the bus station, she couldn't seem to find it, but she told me the bus ticket would cost a little over five dollars. I still wanted the phone number of the bus station because I wanted to ascertain what time the bus was leaving. Since I didn't think that a bus ran directly from Patriot to the Farm, I thought I would first have to take a bus from Patriot to Chillicothe, then travel from Chillicothe to Gallipolis. Once I reached Gallipolis, I would arrange for my grandparents Clarence and Mabel to come to Gallipolis to fetch me and take me to the Farm.

It was already about 4:30 p.m. and I didn't know whether I would have enough time to reach the bus station. The operator seemed to be taking a long time trying to find the number of the bus station. I must have waited ten minutes on the phone, but she simply couldn't find the number. When I finally asked her if I could call back and talk to another operator, she responded, "Yes."

I hung up.

While my mother stood at the kitchen sink and washed dishes, I looked through the back window over the sink and noticed that the view was not the normal view of the back yard, but of the Swiver-family's house across the street. Suddenly I saw what appeared to be a falling star, except it rose from the ground into the air and then fell back to the ground. I didn't know what to think of that. I couldn't imagine what the object could have been.

When the sky began filling up with what appeared to be bombs, blasts and fireworks, I wondered if a war had begun. Indeed, my mother was suddenly convinced that atomic bombs were being dropped. I told her that so many bombs wouldn't be falling at the beginning of a war and that the sky wouldn't look like that.

Since I nevertheless couldn't figure out what was going on, I walked outside where several people were in the road. One fellow was walking toward me from the direction of the blasts. I asked him what had happened and he said a plane had crashed. By now only one large billow of smoke could be seen rising from one spot. I thought the plane must have had some armaments or something similar on board.

After walking back into the House, I decided I wanted to see the crash. I assembled my brother Chris (crippled with muscular dystrophy) and my mother's brother George (crippled with polio), and I loaded them into a little red car. Other fellows from the neighborhood also boarded the car, and even though the car was mine, I climbed into the back seat and let somebody else drive. We took off down the road.

We rode for a while until I finally decided to drive and I exchanged places with the driver. As I started driving, George, sitting next to me on my right, was crowding me so much that I could barely drive My leg also seemed to be going numb. Suddenly George started shaking and appeared to be having an epileptic fit. Then he began singing loudly.

When we reached a place which reminded me of Shawnee State Forest, the road changed into a dirt road on which we continued. We passed some guard rails, and when I finally spotted parked cars, I thought we must be approaching the crash site. After I pulled up behind some cars and parked, I suddenly realized that Chris and George weren't going to be able to see the crash since both were crippled. I was going to have to leave them in the car.

I stepped out with the rest of the people in the car and we headed in the direction of the plane, still farther back in the woods. As we walked through the trees and encountered other roads, I realized I could have probably driven closer to the crash site if I had I known that the roads were there. We walked down dirt roads and even on one concrete road.

When we reached the crash site, the fire from the plane was no longer burning. I walked over and stepped inside the plane, which was white inside. The hull of the plane (broken in places) looked as if it were six or seven centimeters thick and resembled Styrofoam, except it was hard like cement. The plane didn't even look like a plane and as I walked into one little completely empty room of the plane, I thought, "Well, everything has been burned out."

I walked into another similar room and found a black man atop an old freezer which he was trying to open. He pounded on the freezer until it finally opened. My father - also in the room - and I both looked into the freezer which appeared to be empty. Nevertheless, my father reached inside and said, "Well here's a gun."

He pulled out an old gun which looked as if it had been burned up. At first I thought the gun was real, but when I looked at it more closely, I discovered it to be a small, gray, plastic, squirt gun.

I looked into another section of the freezer and saw things which hadn't been burned including paper sacks - through which the black man began searching - and some cloth which looked like darning material. I thought the sacks had probably belonged to the plane stewardesses who now were all dead.

It looked as if the black man were going to take some of the things and when a crowd gathered around the freezer, I thought the people were actually going to take everything in the freezer.

A couple sacks contained some attractive women's shoes. One woman in the crowd said the shoes probably cost about $35 and she rummaged through the sack. I thought the people were simply going to take everything, and even though people were apparently allowed to take whatever they wanted, I didn't want anything. I foraged about in another box a bit and saw a long slender leather satchel which I pulled out and unzipped. Inside I found a pretty, stringed instrument which I thought was a mandolin. I plucked a few strings and it sounded great. When I noticed other people looking at the instrument, I put it back into the satchel, zipped up the satchel and thought something like, "Well I'm just going to keep this myself."

I walked into another room of the plane where I found some little statues sitting on a table, including many intricately carved ivory statues, and I put some of those in my pocket. When I found larger statues, I thought I would take those for my mother. I would give one statue to my brother Chris and other statues to other people. As I rounded up statues which I could give to people, I looked around and found a little box into which I put the statues.

I found a long wooden frame, about ten centimeters wide and two meters long - designed to hold plants - filled with flowers. Carved ivory elephants were attached to the edges of the frame. I thought someone would even eventually take that frame.

I found another carved elephant sitting in the flowers inside the frame. I picked up the elephant which also appeared to be made from ivory. I thought perhaps I would take it, but upon closer scrutiny, I saw that the elephant was actually made of plastic, so I put it back.

After looking around and taking a few more things, I walked into another room which had a hardwood floor, walls and ceiling - all of which hadn't been burned. The room was completely empty and appeared perfectly normal. I said something like, "But why is it that none of this stuff has been burned out if this plane burned up?"

Then I thought, "Because this is a dream. I'm dreaming now."

That satisfied me so I continued looking at things.

My father and I finally decided to leave. So many people were now flocking in that the crowd was becoming oppressive. Everyone was trying to get as much as they could. I thought that they were all scavengers and that I myself was a scavenger, even though I thought everything we were doing was perfectly legal.

My father and I began thinking that since so many people were now coming in, some policemen would probably soon appear. Thinking the police might even try to take the stuff away from us, we decided to circle over top of a hill and then come down by our car from the other side so nobody would see us.

Where in this world of woe is left a place for elephants? Such magnificently spiritual animals, they have become little more than a curiosity. I feel guilty of their plight.

Dream of: 17 January 1982 "At the Zoo"

Katherine (a fellow law student at Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas, with whom I had a short romantic interlude) and I had gone to a zoo together. We walked through the bird section and came upon a cage harboring a colorful blue bird. First the bird would walk backwards in the cage, then walked forward to the front and chirp. A couple other birds were also in the cage. We walked on over the sawdust-covered ground and saw other birds in cages. The birds seemed friendly and the tails of some stood up when they cooed. Finally we came to a turnstile where we had to pay and we exited the bird section.

We came to the elephant section. One elephant began sucking my hand and at one point two baby elephants charged at me. The right tusk of one of the small elephants was broken off. I mounted an elephant that was a darker gray color than the smaller ones. It had both its tusks. As I rode the elephant, I was wearing a cowboy hat, and I held my left hand under my butt. I did an excellent job of riding and when I finished I slid gracefully off its head.

On the other side of the section I saw some pink caskets and I wished I had my camera so I could take pictures.

We continued on to the monkey and ape section where a gorilla charged at me. As Katherine and I walked along she kept holding on to my arm. When I broke away from her, she cried out loudly.

When we reached a lounge area, we sat down on a couch. Katherine began talking and threatened to publish some kind of agreement I had made with her concerning a pair of Levi pants I had given her which had shrunk. I told her I would have her expelled from law school. When Haim (another fellow law student) showed up, I began explaining the agreement to him. He said something about my having been a nice guy for having given the pants to Katherine. I agreed.

Donna (another law student) was sitting on the other side of the room, while a pretty black-haired girl I had seen at law school was sitting next to Katherine. When Katherine finally left, the girl said some funny sarcastic things about the agreement.

I joined back up with Katherine and we lay down together on a park bench. She moved ever closer to me and I told her to put her breast in my mouth. A woman nearby (who seemed to be a law student) began screaming. Katherine wanted to leave. I refused at first but finally gave in.

When I told Katherine I wasn't going to see her anymore, she became quite upset. I wanted to tell her that if she would simply lose 50 pounds, I would see her again, but I didn't know exactly how to say it. Being overweight was obviously her problem.

Another woman, who had overhead me talking to Katherine, said something to Katharine. I asked the woman if she would accompany Katherine home, and as they talked, I slipped away. I walked back to where the gorillas and elephants were. I felt sorry for the larger elephants being in stalls.

Imagination. How vast, how huge as an elephant is the power of imagination. Yet how neglected by most people, including myself.

Dream of: 18 January 1982 "Ghost Story"

Birdie (my girlfriend when I was a teenager) and I stopped by the home of Mike Walls and his wife Connie (two other friends from my teenage years) in Portsmouth, Ohio (my hometown when I was a teenager). After Birdie and I walked into the living room, I sat on the far right side of the couch and Birdie sat to my left. Another couple was lying down on the couch on the other side of Birdie.

When I saw Steve Buckner (another teenage friend) in the room, I rose and said, "Buckner, I have a treat for you."

I had intended to read him some dreams in which he had appeared (just as I had recently read some dreams to Walls in which Walls had appeared), but then I said, "Oh crap, I don't have them with me. They're not in the car."

I told Buckner I dreamed the night before that I had been bronco riding an elephant. He said that would be difficult because an elephant was so large. I told him the elephant had only come up to my waist.

Two fellows whom I didn't know stopped by and Walls walked into the kitchen with them. I heard Walls say to one, "Bet you fellows are in need of some grass."

The fellow replied, "No, I have four or five which will last me till Monday."

After they talked for a while, the fellow decided perhaps he ought to get more marijuana from Walls. Walls said, "Well, why don't I just give you the key to the compound and you can go get it yourself."

I walked into the next room for a moment. When I returned, Birdie was sitting where I had been sitting. I said something to her about it and then I sat down where she had been sitting. The reason Birdie had shifted places was soon apparent: the girl lying on the couch had been crowding Birdie. The girl kept touching me with her legs until I shoved her legs away from me a couple times. The girl finally got the message and stopped.

The guy and girl on the couch finally left. Birdie also wanted to leave but I wanted to stay longer. So Birdie shifted back over to the other side of me, lay down and fell asleep. She had seemed very withdrawn and I hadn't heard her speak with anyone.

Apparently Walls had cable television and a show called "Ghost Story" was just going off. The words sounded like poetry as they flashed across the television.

Birdie awoke and said we had to leave. Several other couples were now in the room. Birdie stood and walked out the door without saying anything to anybody. I knew she couldn't get into the car because I had the keys. When I likewise rose, Buckner walked over to me. I had hardly spoken to him before. We stood next to a large Christmas tree and I just looked at him for about 15 seconds, unable to think of what I wanted to say to him. Finally I said, "Steve, what are you doing now."

Holding a drink in his hand, he looked sheepish and replied, "Nothing."

He said he lived in Columbus, Ohio. I surmised that his parents were supplying him with money. He continued, "Oh in the day I read a lot. And at nights I party."

I visualized his life and thought how dismal it would be to party every night.

When Birdie walked back in, I walked over to her. She grabbed my arm and said, "Let's go."

I quickly told Buckner that if I were still in town the next day I would call him. As Birdie and I began to leave, I said good-bye to Walls and Connie.

I felt guilty about having kept Birdie out so late and I began wondering about her husband. Should I take her home myself or should I send her in a cab? I didn't even know where she lived.

I seem to need my imagination to piece together the broken shards of my life. Recurring images, such as those of elephants, seem to have some meaning to which I cling for solace.

Dream of: 21 December 1983 "Hindu Marriage"

I was with Jim Terrell  (a Waco lawyer) in the Law Office in Waco (where I worked during my last year of law school). He was preparing to go somewhere to research a case and I asked if I could accompany him. He said I could and we left.

He told me he was going to the train station to pick up a parcel (which had something to do with his case) from UPS. He needed to find out what was written on a particular document.

As we arrived at the train station, the train carrying his parcel pulled up, but it continued to move along the track and didn't seem to be stopping. The train was going so slow, I thought perhaps we should simply hop aboard.

When the train finally stopped, we saw a freight car with "UPS" written on the side, boarded the train and walked into the UPS car which was filled with mail. As we walked around amidst the bundles and packages of mail, Terrell pointed to one bundle and said, "Well we need to start going through this bundle. Throw the packages over here in this bin and go through them and look for the address of Vail."

I began picking up packages and throwing them into the bin. Terrell did the same. The train began moving and was soon going full speed as we continued looking through the bundles of mail. I thought our activity was an interesting aspect of legal research. Quite impressed by Terrell's conduct of the investigation , I said, "Well, you certainly do know some tricks of the trade, don't you."

When I finally spotted a package which said "Vail" on it, I pointed it out to Terrell. He came over and opened it. It contained many sheets of paper which were all the same. On the front of each sheet was a picture of an elephant.

Terrell began reading some writing which was also on each sheet. The writing was about a girl named Pam Brown. It occurred to me that I didn't know the name of Terrell's client.

The sheet said Pam Brown was going to marry in a few days. The marriage was to be a Hindu type marriage and the papers were invitations to the wedding.

The papers described some of the events to occur at the wedding. It interested me. The papers said, "You are all invited."

Apparently the sheet was going to be printed in a magazine and the public was going to be invited. I thought perhaps I would go and take Louise (my girlfriend, a law student at Baylor Law School).

I fancy that in my dreams, elephants represent my imagination. Applying this fancy, the elephant dreams become immensely more enjoyable and understandable.

Dream of: 25 December 1985 "Rented Elephants"

I had rented two elephants, a baby one and another large young one, with the intention of riding the large one from the House in Patriot to Mexico. Although the House was the same as the one in Patriot, Ohio, it was now located in the vicinity of Austin, Texas. I thought the trip would take about two or three days.

I took the two elephants behind House and since they hadn't had anything to drink all day, I carried them a bucket of water. I didn't have anything to feed them except some pop corn, some of which I gave them. I was surprised to see them eat it. I carried them more milk and I wondered if they would drink milk. The larger one was very thirsty.

Somehow the smaller elephant climbed unto the larger elephant's back, then suddenly tumbled off. I caught it and set it back on the ground. It only weighed about 25-30 kilograms.

After I had taken my eyes off the elephants for a while, I looked back I saw the larger elephant had crossed over into a cornfield of the neighbor, Bobby Saunders (a farmer who lived next door to the House in Patriot when I was a child). I walked down to the elephant and brought it back into the back yard. It lay down and I carried some grass over to it, but it didn't want it. Instead it raked its nose over some tall grass growing near it and began eating it.

I began having doubts about the entire endeavor of riding the larger elephant to Mexico. Would the elephant be disturbed by the traffic and by horns? I didn't have a seat to put on the elephant and I didn't know how I was going to climb up on it. The idea of riding the elephant to Mexico seemed less and less attractive. I also began to realize the trip to Mexico and back would require more than three days, and I had only rented the elephant for three days.

When I again looked toward the elephant, it had disappeared. Someone nearby pointed out the elephant once again in the Saunders field, this time in a patch of sugarcane. I was upset because Saunders had such good crops and I figured he would be angry because the elephant was ruining them. I then noticed a man hitting the elephant with a stick trying to drive it out of the field. I ran down and guided the elephant once again back to the yard.

I looked into Saunders field and noticed a garden there in which a number of different kinds of vegetables were growing. I wondered if Saunders sometimes grew more than he could eat and took the surplus to town to sell. I thought he would then be able to feel as if he were helping the community.

I was afraid the elephant was going to go into the garden and walk on it. When I found a piece of cabbage lying in the yard, I was at first afraid my elephant had trampled the cabbage, but then I noticed the cabbage apparently was no good and I thought Saunders had probably thrown it away.

Looking at the garden I was impressed by what a good job Saunders had done and I wished I had the ability to raise a garden. The land on which the House in Patriot sat contained mostly scrub, while Saunders' land seemed productive and full of good food. Some space still was left over next to the fence on Saunders' side and I thought there was still room for some more corn to be planted if Saunders wanted to.

I thought Saunders had probably worked hard at using the right fertilizer on his land. I noticed one patch of extremely black dirt and when I looked at it more closely, I realized the dirt consisted of dry decomposed raspberries. I picked up one of the raspberries and touched my tongue with it. I could barely taste the flavor of raspberry. I wondered if Saunders had grown raspberries there before and then had put them back to enrich the soil.

It would seem that even the imagination is restricted by rules. The imagination is confined to those images which we have experienced.

Dream of: 04 June 1987 "Washing Elephants"

I was walking with my old friend Steve Weinstein, whom I was visiting in New York City. We had left the street and had begun ascending the stairs of a tall building. As we climbed, Weinstein talked of a previous time I had visited him in New York. I remembered the occasion about which he was talking, but my memory was extremely hazy.

Weinstein appeared apologetic about the way he had treated me the previous time. Although I had come to visit him that time, he had spent very little time with me and had left me to go somewhere else without inviting me. As he talked, I remembered what had happened. I hadn't been upset with him at the time because I had figured he had simply been busy and preoccupied with matters about which I knew very little. I did remember that I had arrived on a Friday and that I had left fairly soon thereafter, probably Sunday, because I had perceived that Weinstein was so engaged with his other business.

What was interesting though, was hearing Weinstein talk about how the weekend I had been there had been one of deep importance in his life. And he seemed to think that although I hadn't been with him, my presence in New York had had an influence on him and on the events of the weekend. He then began describing the weekend and its impact on his life.

I was quite interested in what he was saying, but I didn't retain most of it. As well as I could tell, he had spent the time meeting a number of spiritually bizarre, but impressive, people. I seemed to be able to somewhat visualize some of them as he described them, but the images were dim.

It did seem that one thing Weinstein had learned was that his relationship with me was more significant than he had previously thought. Now, although we weren't communicating perfectly, he seemed to be making more effort to do so and he seemed more at ease with my presence. He seemed more aware of my feeling of friendship toward him and more inclined to accept it.

As we continued ascending the building and he continued talking, I began to realize that something had happened to Weinstein in this building the previous time I had been in town and that Weinstein now wanted to show it to me. Finally we came out on the black, tarred roof of the building. The building was tall, perhaps one of the tallest in New York, but the area on the roof was rather small, about the size of an average room, and there were no railings along the edges. I immediately became uncomfortable.

Weinstein had become quite animated and seemed completely unaffected by the height of the building. When his conversation turned to the "atomsmasher", I slowly realized he was referring to the building, inside of which apparently was some highly developed scientific machinery used for smashing atoms. In fact I seemed to feel the building vibrating to a certain extent and I felt quite queasy and apprehensive.

Weinstein however appeared self-confident. He pointed out that the previous time I had been there, part of the difficulty between him and me had been my reluctance to climb atop the atomsmasher as I was now doing. He asked me if I was now ready to raise my hands in the air and wiggle them over my head. I knew that such a gesture was in line with our being atop the atomsmasher and indeed I felt as if I might do it; however I was still not thoroughly comfortable with the height.

In fact I finally had to sit, almost lie down, on the roof to ease my anxiety. Weinstein continued talking and spoke of the differences and significances of looking up at buildings from below and looking down from atop them. I told him I wasn't afraid of looking up, but I did have some problem with looking down.

***

Weinstein and I were walking along together in a park in which we had just arrived. It looked as if Weinstein and I were both just wearing a pair of cut off shorts and we didn't have on any shirts. We passed a row of perhaps 20 men and women (probably in their early 30s) who were jogging and seemed quite healthy. They were all wearing new clean shirts and tops. All their clothes had thick stripes on a white background, and each person's stripes seemed to be of a different color. Their clothes looked comfortable, and I somewhat wished I had some like them. But at the same time, I was unsure I would want to wear the same clothes everyone else was wearing and jog along in a group like that.

Nearby in a shallow pool were several elephants and sitting atop them were young black boys splashing water on the elephants and washing them. It looked like such an extremely pleasant thing to do, and of everything I had seen in New York, I thought that was what I would most like to do: I would like to be sitting just as the young black boys were, atop the elephants. The boys appeared to be nude and I couldn't tell for sure if they were wearing shorts. I thought how good it would feel to be young and nude on the elephants, to feel my testes and my legs rubbing against the skin of the elephants. I wanted so much to join them.

While I was standing by a pool of water in the park, a large hippopotamus came to the edge and placed its mouth around the bottom part of my left leg. It wasn't clamping down and causing me any pain, but I realized the strength of its jaws was such that it could crush my leg if it wanted. So although I rather enjoyed having my leg in the hippo's mouth, I was quite apprehensive and wanted to remove it. When I called to Weinstein and pointed out my predicament, he seemed to think it peculiar, but he didn't seem alarmed.

As Weinstein and I walked on through the park, he began talking about my physique, "Collier, you're in the prime of your life."

He then became slightly critical, although not abrasive, about my not building up my body, and he seemed to want to compare my body with his, which was in excellent shape. I had lost some weight since the last time I had seen him, but I had added little muscle to my body. He pointed at my stomach and said something about my pants just hanging on me. He then said something about a red line around my stomach and I noticed somewhat of a crease there.

***

I found Weinstein standing inside a small booth in the park, practicing what appeared to be some kind of exercise which I had never seen before. Hanging from the ceiling of the booth was a string which held a mirror about head-high. In the booth next to the one Weinstein was in was a similar arrangement, except the mirror in the next booth was perhaps 30 centimeters square while the one in Weinstein's booth was only about 15 centimeters square.

Weinstein seemed to be totally absorbed in practicing with the mirror. As well as I could tell, the exercise consisted simply of hitting the mirror in such a way that it would move as much as possible and still not be broken by the blow. Weinstein held what appeared to be small pieces of cardboard in his hands and hit the mirror with the cardboard. Obviously Weinstein had had considerable experience in practicing with the mirror and he seemed quite adept at making it twirl and move around without breaking. I was unsure I could actually see the practicality of what he was doing, but I thought the exercise might help develop ability at martial defense.

A similar arrangement was in the booth left of Weinstein's, except that instead of a mirror, a green tennis ball was tied to the string. I thought hitting the tennis ball would be more to my liking and I decided to exercise with that. Before I began, however, I wanted Weinstein to try to hit the tennis ball. I turned to him and said, "OK now hit this ball."

He stepped into to the booth and the tennis ball was put in motion. Weinstein had difficulty hitting the ball; he could barely connect with the ball as it swung back and forth. Weinstein still had the small pieces of cardboard in his hands and he tried to hit the ball with them, but his swings lacked force and his motions seemed like those of a very small child. I said, "Is that the way you're going to hit it when you fight?"

I didn't think he really had the idea of what it meant to fight. I knew I would be fairly good at exercising with the ball. I thought part of my ability would derive from my having developed my awareness. I stepped up to the booth, prepared to begin hitting the ball and said, "OK, now watch this."

I have often neglected my imagination, and although aware of the importance of my imagination, I have nevertheless become domiciled in the world of reality.

Dream of: 23 June 1988 "Elephant House"

I was observing an elephant run around what appeared to be a large living room. Some objects which looked like tree-limbs were sticking out the tops of the walls, and the elephant grabbed the limbs with its trunk as it passed by them. The elephant also climbed up on some furniture and stuck its head through some holes in the walls.

Finally the elephant's owner walked in and began talking about the elephant. The elephant had been in an old house when the owner had first acquired it. Then the owner had brought the elephant to this place. When the elephant first arrived, a stuffed moose's head had hung on the wall. Left alone alone in the room for a while, the elephant had pulled the moose head from the wall, leaving a hole in the wall. The elephant had then stuck its head through the wall. A second elephant was in the room on the other side of the wall and the two elephants had thus been able to communicate.

Thus the owner had learned that the elephant needed holes in the walls through which to stick its to see what was going on in the other rooms. The owner had also learned that the elephant needed the limbs to grab as it ran along. Thus with the limbs and the holes in the walls, the elephant had learned (with some degree of success) to adapt to living in the room.

Reality is often a cruel home for the imagination.

Dream of: 16 March 1990 "SPCA"

I had gone to a house on top of a hill. The house was supposed to be famous because, back in the hippie days, many parties had been held there. When I walked in the door I saw a picture of a fellow wearing a tee shirt with the word "Sunny" written across the front . Apparently "Sunny" was the fellow's name. A group of people in the house were standing around some kind of writing which contained the words "Where has all the ivory gone?" There were also some little statues which were either made of ivory or had ivory inlaid in them. There was even a little statue of an elephant. The people were apparently bemoaning the fact that they could no longer obtain ivory because of the international ban on the sale of ivory.

I began thinking of the initials of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals SPCA. I thought about how involved the people in that organization must be and how much time they must devote to the organization.

Working in the real world, I have often ignored my imagination.

Dream of: 23 June 1991 "Carved Ivory"

I had gone to a public market where I was searching for a small elephant tusk so I could have something carved out of it for me. I began looking through a bin which contained various items to see if I could find any ivory. I was looking for a piece about a centimeter in diameter and about 30 centimeters long. I already had about 10 pieces about half that size, and for some reason I thought my pieces were also in the bin. But when I began looking for them amongst the junk, I couldn't find them.

When I finally saw Daffin (a female Houston attorney) also looking through the bin, I thought she might work there. She was standing to my right and I asked her if she had any ivory. She seemed happy to see me and pressed herself tight under my right arm. We were so close that at one point a suction was created under my arm and when we moved apart a bit, a popping sound was made, which slightly embarrassed me.

She didn't seem to understand exactly what I meant, but nevertheless she said she did have some ivory. She extracted a key chain with keys on it from the bin. Something on the key chain was wrapped in green tin foil and she began taking off the tin foil. I thought it must be a piece of ivory, but when she was finished, I saw it was some kind of metal medallion instead. I tried to explain that that wasn't what I was looking for, and once again I began looking for the 10 pieces of ivory which I had brought with me. Finally I saw them in my black suitcase which I had laid over the bin. I felt relieved to find them.

I continued trying to explain to Daffin what I was looking for. Nearby another woman appeared to be carving something in a piece of ivory. I thought I would point out the woman to Daffin. I began thinking of how intricate carvings could be in the ivory. I even pictured small metal screws being drilled through the ivory to hold it in place. Actually I just wanted a piece carved which I could put on my key chain.

Although my imagination suffered from neglect, I remained aware of its plight.

Dream of: 16 July 1991 "Plight Of Animals"

I had been watching a vast migration of animals, perhaps all the animals in the world. The animals were grouped together plodding along a long trail, until they broke into a run, and in an incredible sight, began stampeding. I was unsure where they were going. Some were trampled, and some became turned around and went the wrong way. I didn't know what it was all about, but I was amazed to see so many animals grouped together. I particularly noticed many camels and elephants in the herd.

Two other fellows were with me, and together we were marching along, trying to get out of the area. Ahead of us we saw a group of Latin American soldiers dressed in green army fatigues. Since remaining where we were was dangerous, we would have to pass the soldiers. As we walked past them, we realized the soldiers had been ordered to give us safe passage because we were Americans, and Americans were allied with these particular soldiers. As we passed I thought we were in the southern United States. If we had been in the northern United States we could have reached where we wanted to go without having to pass the soldiers, which were only found in the southern United States.

As we passed I noticed a group of elephants nearby and suddenly I realized the soldiers were planning to kill the elephants. I was bothered by the fact, but knew there was nothing I could do about it at the moment.

***

When we had finally reached a safe spot, we began trying to see the animals through a powerful instrument similar to a telescope through which one could see objects at a distance. The instrument had been built by one of the fellows with me, and we thought if we could perfect its use, it might be able to help with the plight of the animals. The fellow had been trying to put a grid on the instrument by marking small vertical lines along the bottom, and small horizontal lines along the left side of the view-piece. I began helping him with the project, and wondered how we were going to be able to use the grid.

I looked through the telescope several times and could see that he had been making progress, however laborious, with the little marks. As he and I talked about the project, the second fellow voiced a skeptical opinion that he didn't think the grid would be of any benefit.

I knew the idea was to ultimately take a picture of something at a distance, blow up the picture, and then pinpoint something on the picture. However when the fellow had begun making the marks for the grid, he hadn't known exactly what he was doing and he still didn't know. In fact he had originally begun making one set of marks, then had changed and begun using a second set of marks mixed in with the first set. I realized that he had a good idea and that he had already spent much time making the marks, but I thought it might be necessary to begin the project over from the beginning.

Finally I realized exactly what the problem was: there needed to be a definite number of marks going across the bottom and a definite number of marks along the side. I concluded that the number should be 1,000 marks across the bottom and 1,000 marks along the side. With such a grid of coordinates, the location of any point on the picture could be found. I was quite excited because I now knew how the grid could work, even though I also knew the other fellow might be disappointed because we would have to start all over. I wanted to make the point to him that he would have to abandon all the work he had already done in order to perfect the new grid.

I hesitated to dedicate myself to my imagination.

Dream of: 30 September 1992 "Washing An Elephant"

While on the Farm (of my paternal step-grandfather Clarence and my paternal grandmother Mabel in Gallia County, Ohio), I discovered a young elephant living there. It stood about two meters tall. Another person and I decided to give it a bath. While doing so, I pulled out a large push-broom and began scrubbing the elephant's skin. The elephant didn't seem to like the scrubbing and the other person told me the broom was rough on the elephant's skin. I had wrongly assumed the skin was hard, when in reality it was soft. I thought I needed to find a broom with soft bristles to use on the elephant.

When we finished, I petted the elephant and felt close to it. I realized how important it was for me to have a relationship with an animal like this. I even began thinking of what I could do to keep it there on the Farm. I would need to build a large fence made of heavy logs all around the bottom of the little hill where the Farmhouse was. I would also need to build some kind of shelter attached to the Farmhouse and heat it in the winter. The elephant's manure could be shoveled out and used as fertilizer.

When I heard something near the road at the bottom of the hill, I realized Clarence and Mabel had returned. I walked down the hill and saw a red pickup truck had been parked crossways across the road. On the other side of the truck, Mabel and Clarence were getting out of their vehicle.

I quickly saw Mabel (about 50 years old) was extremely angry with me about something. By the time we reached the Farmhouse, it was clear she didn't want me to be there. I told her that I would leave, and also that this was the last time she would ever see me, because I would never return.

***

My wife Carolina and I were in a car which I was driving away from the Farmhouse. I soon realized the roads were beginning to be covered by water from recent rains. I hurried along hoping not to be stranded in the water.

We continued until we reached what appeared to be a German town. We got out of the car and began climbing a steep hill in the town. I was delighted at the thought of being in Germany.

All art is dependent on the imagination. Yet the concept of the imagination is so vague and diffuse, it defies conceptualization.

Dream of: 16 October 1993 "Omisdon"

I was in an outdoor area where a fair appeared to be taking place. My first cousin Jimmy (son of my mother's brother) was sitting and playing poker at a nearby  table. I recalled having played cards with Jimmy before, but I hadn't realized he was well-versed in card playing.

I could see the cards in his hand; he hadn't put them in order according to suit or number. The cards were simply mixed up in his hand. Since he knew so much about card playing, it seemed odd that he wouldn't put the cards in order.

My father was sitting nearby in a chair at a table. I walked up to him and saw one chair next to him and another chair on the other side of the table. Since something appeared to be in the chair next to my father, I walked around to the chair on the other side of the table. However, I didn't sit down. Instead I began looking at a number of large thick art books lying on the table. The books were for sale for $51 each. I had the feeling someone had paid $50 apiece for the books and was just making a profit of $1 on each.

I thought I might be interested in buying one, even though my money was rather tight at the moment. I looked through the books, one of which appeared to be about Rembrandt. I picked up one book almost eight centimeters thick. Starting in the middle of the book, I leafed toward the front. I saw a large close-up picture of elephants either sculpted or painted on walls. The picture covered both pages of the book.

I leafed on, saw some maps and realized the book was about the art of a specific region. On one map a line meandered down through cities in France and ended up in a city in Spain (which seemed to be in Africa). The meandering line represented journeys people had taken through history traveling from France to Spain. An article describing the art of that city interested me because the city somehow seemed significant to me personally. It occurred to me that I had never studied this particular region, which also appeared to have historical importance. It was interesting that the older I became, the more I learned about obscure places and things. It occurred to me that if I were to study these obscure places with a younger person, then that person's development would be different from mine, since I had never studied the places when I had been young.

I would like to learn more of the history of this particular area. It seemed as if I already knew something about most of the cities on the meandering line, but I felt as if I needed to know something about the area where the line finally ended. It looked as if the name of the city where the line ended was "Omisdon."

Although my power of imagination improved, I was continually beset by distracting forces.

Dream of: 27 July 1995 "Animal Sanctuary"

I was in a car which my father was driving on a country road in Gallia County, Ohio, headed to a farm where I was going to begin working. A farmer had decided to hire me to work on the farm, and although I was inexperienced with farm-work, I was a hard worker and I would be able to do the work well.

The scenery we passed was picturesque. Large round bales of hay lay in one field along the side of the road. I kept my eyes on the hay after we drove past, and I noticed one bale had rolled into the road behind us.

I had never been to the farm where we were headed, but I had a map to show me the way. On the map I could see the farm was at the end of a dead end road in an isolated area. However before we could reach the farm, we ran into a problem: the road became so narrow and uneven, we couldn't drive any farther on it, and my father had to stop.

Since we weren't far from the farm, I decided to walk the rest of the way. I began walking and I hadn't gone far when an unusual sight confronted me: along the hill to my left I saw four small elephants marching along a path just over my head. They were only a few meters away from me. I stood facing them and lifted both my hands into the air over my head, almost in an act of homage. The elephants stopped and looked at me, and I had a vague feeling I could communicate with them. I recalled I had a candy bar in my father's car, and since I thought my father was still nearby, I told the elephants I would feed them some candy. I distinctly heard one elephant tell the others that I had a candy bar. They seemed pleased with the idea that I would give them some candy; but suddenly, without warning, they turned and ran off.

Turning around and looking behind me I saw what had frightened them: a large orange tiger with black stripes, standing not 10 meters away from me. I began backing away from the tiger. The immediate landscape around me was rocky mostly large, smooth, round rocks. It would have been a pleasant area to walk through, if not for the fact that the tiger was facing me. I backed up until I could go no farther, for I found myself at the edge of a high cliff with a valley down below me.

The tiger didn't make a move toward me, but it didn't move away either. Finally it simply lay down, blocking my exit.

I turned and looked out over the valley, and witnessed another unusual sight. There below was a herd of dark red cattle being chased by two mountain lions. I was mesmerized by the chase, thinking this was the way nature was supposed to function, with predators chasing their prey. However I knew such chases were generally no longer the case since man had wiped out most predators. One lion knocked down a calf and pinned it to the ground. The second lion knocked down a second calf and the rest of the herd stampeded away. In the commotion, one large cow (perhaps 10 times larger than the others, completely out of proportion with the scene) stepped on one of the smaller cows and seemed to squash it. The herd then continued running out of sight, leaving the lions to their feast.

Now that I looked around the valley and the surrounding hills, I could see other herds of animals which didn't look like cows, although I couldn't tell exactly what they were. It finally dawned on me what was happening: the owner of this farm had obviously turned the farm into an animal sanctuary. I wondered if there was fence all around the farm to keep the animals in, or whether they just knew where to stay.

I loved the idea of the farm being an animal sanctuary. However that didn't solve my immediate problem: how to get past the tiger. When I now turned back to look at the tiger, my problem had multiplied: now a mountain lion had also shown up and was slowly moving toward me. The lion looked so powerful, I knew I wouldn't have a chance if it attacked me. And I saw no means of escape. However, it wasn't completely clear whether the lion viewed me as prey, and whether it intended to attack me.

The mysteries of the imagination seem infinite. Discovering the meaning of even one of the symbols is rewarding.

Dream of: 01 September 1995 "Elephant Symbolism"

My sister  and I were in a house in Portsmouth, where we were living with my father. As I was sitting in the living room, it suddenly dawned on me that my father had been absent for two days. I recalled that around 10 p.m., two days earlier, my father had said that he was going to the store to get something, and that he would return in a short while. I distinctly remembered having seen him leave; he had looked as if he were about 40 years old; his hair has still been black.

Now, two days later, he had still not returned. His absence hadn't bothered me until now; but suddenly I realized something must be wrong if he had been gone for so long.

I called to my sister and told her to get ready, that we needed to go and look for our father. She came to me and without delay we walked outside, boarded my red 1986 BMW, and drove off. I was sitting in the driver's seat, and my sister, instead of sitting in the passenger seat, was sitting on the middle console right next to me.

My sister didn't look like herself. She had long black hair and was wearing braces. She seemed in her late teens, and resembled the actress Juliette Lewis. She was wearing a dress and as I drove off, I put my right hand on her bare left knee. I would have moved my hand farther up her leg, but she kept her knees pressed tightly together so I couldn't position my hand between her legs.

I thought we could report our father as a missing person to the police; but I first wanted to see if we could find him. I decided we should first look for him on the Gallia County Farm and we soon found ourselves on a country gravel road, headed for the Farm. On the way, I told my sister we needed to think of every place where our father might be, and then we would go there. As I thought, it occurred to me that our father might be with his mother (my grandmother Mabel) in the home into which she had moved on Eighth Street in Portsmouth. I said to my sister, "He's at grandma's."

That would account for why my grandmother hadn't been calling our father every day as she usually did. But suddenly it occurred to me that another reason might account for my grandmother's not having called: my grandmother might have died. The thought that my grandmother had died became so vivid in my mind, I immediately concluded it must be true. I turned to my sister and said, "Grandma's dead."

My attention to this troubling thought was quickly interrupted by an unusual sight. We were deep in the country not far from the Farm, with forest all around us. However to our left was a large field, in which (to my surprise) were standing several elephants. Although seeing elephants running wild in that area was extraordinary, I knew some elephants did in fact roam around there.

I slowed down the car and pointed out the beautiful elephants to my sister. At least two large adult elephants had six or seven small elephants near them. The elephants awed me; I felt extremely fortunate to be able to see them. I felt as if elephants symbolized something special for me and as if my seeing them there had some meaning, but I couldn't at the moment divine what that meaning was.

The elephants (obviously alarmed by our presence) began moving away. At about the same time I heard a gunshot in the woods nearby. Obviously hunters were in the area. How sad that hunters were out. Only a few elephants still remained in the wild like this; they had little chance of surviving much longer against the hunters.

All the elephants were quickly dispersing into the surrounding woods all except one, a large male with long tusks. I could see the male in my rear view mirror, on the road about 50 meters behind us, striding in our direction. I quickly pushed the gas pedal to take off, but to my chagrin, the car would barely move. I frantically kept pressing down on the pedal, but the car hardly responded. I cried to my sister, "The car won't move and there's one bearing down on us!"

Gradually the car began to pick up speed and I was able to pull away from the elephant, which disappeared from my view. But now up ahead, something else caught my eye. The body of a large animal was lying in the road and blocking the entire right side. At first I thought the animal must be an elephant which one of the hunters had shot, but when we were almost upon it, I saw the animal wasn't an elephant, but a dead buffalo.

As we drove to the left side of the gravel road to pass the buffalo, I noticed how strange it looked. Most of its body had already decayed and the head was sticking straight up in the air. I could see right through the eye socket to the empty air behind it, the back of the skull being missing. Lying on the ground were large white horns which were out of proportion with the head three or four times the expected size.

I also realized the buffalo hadn't been killed by hunters. Wild buffaloes often crossed the road there. The buffalo had needed to climb up a steep bank to reach the road at that point. This buffalo had obviously had difficulty crossing the road, and had died in the process. It seemed appropriate for the buffalo's body to be left there.

Once we had passed the buffalo, I saw the Farmhouse on the hill ahead of us; now my thoughts returned to my father and my grandmother. Although my thoughts seemed confused, I abruptly remembered I had overheard my sister talking to someone earlier in the day on the phone. When I asked her about the conversation, I realized she was about to cry. When I probed more, to my astonishment, my sister admitted that my grandmother had called my sister earlier in the day, and had told my sister that our father was staying with my grandmother. I was utterly flummoxed. I couldn't understand why my sister hadn't told me this. Why had she basically lied to me?

As we pulled up at the bottom of the hill in front of the Farmhouse, still trying to collect my thoughts, I stepped out of the car. When my sister also stepped out of the car, I picked her up in my arms, intending to carry her up to the House.

Right in front of me, at the bottom of the hill, was a large muddy area. I plunged into the mud, sinking up to my waist, but managing to hold my sister above the mud. As I plowed through the mud, I thought that at least when we reached the Farmhouse, I planned to have sex with my sister. I recalled our having had sex together many times in the past. Although I anticipated she didn't particularly want to have sex today, she would probably acquiesce. She obviously felt guilty about having misled me about our father's whereabouts, and I was sure since she felt so guilty she wouldn't refuse having sex with me. As I pushed through the mud, I thought to myself that she didn't realize how hard it was for me to have to carry her like that through the black mud.

The treasure of the imagination is unrealized unless it is transformed through art into reality.

Dream of: 11 August 1996 "Diving For Treasure"

My wife Carolina and I had gone to what appeared to be a resort, to spend a couple days. We decided to do some swimming, and dressed in swimsuits (Carolina was wearing red), we walked outside to a pond where other people were swimming. While Carolina walked around to the other side of the pond, I jumped in near some people in the water. Some wanted to wrestle, even though wrestling in the water was obviously a bit dangerous. An older man grabbed me and pulled me under, but he immediately let go when he saw that I needed to surface. I did the same thing to him, only I pulled him down deeper under the water, then released him when I felt he needed to surface. Still, I thought the game was dangerous, and I didn't want to continue.

I looked across to the other side and saw Carolina swimming over there. It was an odd sight, because it looked as if she had swum right through the bank on the opposite side. Curious, I climbed out of the water and walked around to where she was.

Finding her standing on the bank, looking down into the water, I looked down and saw what she was looking at. It looked as if there was a key and a quarter lying on the bottom of the pond. I decided to see if I could retrieve the objects. I dove into the water and swam down until I discovered that from above I had actually seen a nickel and a quarter lying next to each other. Once I was on the bottom, I saw many other items: another quarter, a cloth elephant about 12 centimeters long, some small silver religious items, some earrings which looked as if they had never been used, an item which had a word that started with "Elect ..." but which I couldn't read clearly, and a brass key which looked like a motel key. The key reminded me of an old cellular telephone key which I used to have. I thought it might even be the same key.

There was so much stuff, I just began scooping it up in handfuls and bringing it back to the surface. Carolina held open a bag, and I put the things in the bag. I loved doing this. Since we were going to be there for two days, I could spend the rest of the day, and also the following day, looking for things.

Although I was learning to love my imagination, I still balked at the cost of maintaining it.

Dream of: 07 May 1998 "Feeding The Elephant"

A white van was pulling away from the curb, headed down the street. I had run out of the building to catch the van, but I had been too late. The van was supposed to transport me to work, but now I had clearly missed my ride. As I turned back toward the building, my pet Dalmatian Picasso and my pet Dalmatian Chaucer bounded up to me. Suddenly I realized my missing the bus had been providential, because if I had caught the bus, I wouldn't have known my dogs were out running loose. Anything could have happened to them. After calling the dogs to me, I headed back inside.

The interior of the building resembled a library, with books stacked on the shelves of the spacious circular room which I entered. I felt at home there, and I wasn't disappointed that I had missed my ride to work. I was sure I could find something there to occupy my time.

No sooner had I taken a seat, than a man walked in and stood in front of me. I immediately recognized him — Mike Cosby (a former fellow law student). I hadn't seen Cosby in many years, since we had been in law school together. We had been in a study group together during my first months of law school and had become well acquainted. I was happy to see him. He sat down and we began talking with each other. Our conversation quickly turned to what I was doing with my life. Cosby seemed completely unsurprised to learn that I was no longer practicing law. He said, "You're completely different."

I understood what he meant. He was saying that I wasn't like other lawyers, that I was set apart, that I would never fit in. He he wasn't talking disparagingly; he was simply making a statement of fact. I in turn replied, "We're completely different." I was simply agreeing with him, pointing out that he and I were very different from each other. As if to confirm that despite how different we were, we would remain friends, Cosby replied, "You'll always be my girlfriend."

Another old classmate from law school had also taken a seat behind Cosby. I quickly recognized him as Coppock. I had never known Coppock well. I recalled that he had been a police officer before going to law school, that he had made excellent grades while he had been in law school, and that he had been expected to prosper once he became a lawyer. He joined in our conversation and interjected that the only thing he wanted was to own his own home. When I heard this, I reflected how low Coppock had set his sights. But of course this was typical for many lawyers. The only thing they really wanted in life was a little security. They would work their lives away just so they could have a house. In the process they would lose any ambition they ever had for more elevated goals in life. I mentioned to Cosby that I already owned my own house. I was glad of that fact, but I definitely didn't consider the owning of a house as my paramount goal in life.

I hadn't asked Cosby anything about what he had been doing since law school. I thought he had worked for the Texas Supreme Court after he had graduated, but I was unsure he was still working there.

Before I could find out what Cosby was doing now, however, my attention was distracted by something else. Another man had also walked up to our little group, and with him he had two young elephants. One elephant was just a tiny baby, about as big as a medium-sized dog. The man held the baby elephant in his arms and didn't let go. With the man was another young elephant which stood a little higher than my knees. This elephant walked over to me and allowed me to pet it. It had long soft hair all over, the feel of which was exquisite. The elephant even climbed up into my lap and rolled over on its back, allowing me to rub its stomach. I figured it probably weighed a couple hundred pounds, but it didn't feel at all heavy on me. Finally the elephant rolled off my lap and onto the ground. It lay on its back, still allowing me to pet it.

When I asked the man how much the elephants cost, he said the little one which he was holding cost over two hundred dollars, while the bigger one which I was petting cost over six hundred dollars. That seemed cheap to me. The elephant I was petting was so wonderfully charming, I even thought about buying it. But then I began to realize what I was thinking about. Surely feeding an elephant must cost a great deal. What would happen when the elephant grew to an adult. Where would I keep it? As much as I liked the elephant, I began to see how impractical actually owning it would be.

Laying claim to my own imagination has proven exhilaratingly difficult.

Dream of: 29 May 1998 "Romping Elephants"

I was sitting in a long white recreation vehicle owned by my father. The vehicle was parked on a narrow gravel road which traversed a large farm which my father likewise owned. All my attention was focused on the field beside the road, where dozens of elephants were romping and running. There must have been 100 of the magnificent animals. Especially prominent was one superb creature, whose deep gray color was almost black. The elephant flung its head into the air, flapping its huge ears and displaying its enormous tusks. I was impressed to see my father had taken to raising these splendid animals.

Suddenly I noticed my brother Chris walking in the field where the elephants were. Although Chris didn't appear to be crippled with muscular dystrophy, he did seem to be having some difficulty walking. I could see he was at least somewhat hampered by the mud through which he was sloshing in the field. He also appeared to be all bundled up in heavy winter clothes. When he reached the side of the road, I stepped out of the RV, walked over to him and picked him up in my arms. He seemed as if he might be around 10 years old. I turned and carried him back to the RV.

Once we were inside, I set him down on his feet in front of me. When we were looking right at each other, I suddenly felt like singing. A tune popped into my head and I sang out, "I like me. I like me. I like me." Although I realized the words were a bit peculiar, the song was actually quite beautiful. Chris and I both enjoyed the song.

Albeit slowly, my power of imagination grew. Mystical realms loomed.

Dream of: 02 September 2002 "Controlling An Elephant"

I had arrived at a small hotel room or apartment where I found my sister and two other girls (all about 15 years old). My sister didn't look at all like herself, but she did have long brown hair. They were all acting a little funny and I immediately realized they had taken a drug.

My first concern was my brother Chris, who wasn't present, but who was supposed to be under the care of my sister. He was in another room of this place which seemed increasingly like a large hotel. I picked up the phone and called the place where Chris was. He answered the phone and I could hear his voice. I asked him how he was. He was having a problem and he asked me to come up. His voice was sweet but weak. He wanted me to come up and help him.

I hung up, intending to go up and help Chris. However, I began talking with my sister and the two girls, all of whom were very pretty. I realized they were all high and I learned they had paid over $300 for some drugs, but they had been ripped off and had only received a few drugs.

One extremely pretty girl was lying on a bed. I walked over to the bed and thought about lying down next to her and kissing her on the stomach ... but I didn't.

Instead, I decided to help them recover their money. I was rather angry that they had paid this money to somebody for drugs.

***

I pulled up in a car in front of a little white trailer-house and I stepped out of the car. I could see through the front screen door into the interior of the trailer where an oriental woman was sitting at a table in the kitchen area. Before she could do anything, I walked up to the door and stepped into the trailer. I immediately confronted the woman about the drugs and I told her I wanted the money back, about $320. She balked ... she didn't want to give me the money, and I realized I would probably have to take action.

When a man called from the next room, I walked in there, found the guy, grabbed him, and threatened him. Then I heard the voice of another man from another room. I released the fellow I was holding and I headed to the other room. I walked in and saw the man lying on a bed. He, like the other two, was oriental. All were probably in their early 20s. As soon as I saw this fellow, I knew he had some kind of power and I wished I had brought a gun. I almost felt as if I had a gun. If I did have one, I would point it at the fellow's head and threaten him. As I imagined pointing the gun, it seemed as if I were actually doing so.

The man had the power to control things around him. Some different animals were in different rooms of this trailer. Although the trailer was small, it contained many rooms. An elephant was in one room. I could feel the man controlling the elephant and I thought the elephant would come into this room and attack me. I realized this fellow had much more power than I had imagined and I concluded I needed to leave. As I started walking out, I realized the fellow could not only control things, but he could control the whole environment with mystical power. The whole trailer seemed to begin to change and the atmosphere almost seemed unreal.

I pushed forward until I managed to exit the trailer. Outside, I wondered if the man might even be able to control the environment out there. I hoped I could simply get back in the car, but when I looked, I couldn't see anyone in the car. It looked as if the three girls weren't there. I wasn't sure what I was going to do because I was still worried the fellow was going to control the whole world around me.

Once dedicated to the imagination, I could not turn back. The secure real life simply was not to be found. There lay pain and rage. My only hope was in the imagination, even though it was a definitely frightening place at times.

Dream of: 06 July 2003 "Pain And Rage"

Walking in the downtown area of a small town, I stopped in front of the display window of a store. Dozens of small items had been carefully arranged on the shelves in front of me however, I couldn't precisely make out what the items were. I thought that the store might be a beauty salon and that the items were small replicas of old beauty devices, such as antique hair dryers. As I continued perusing the items, however, I discovered all sorts of small replicas of items which had nothing to do with beauty salons. Even some small artistic sculptures were mixed in with the lot. The entire display was well-done and impressive.

I stepped further inside the small portico (still outside) near the doorway. I could see the display window on the other side of the door hadn't been completed yet. A woman (obviously the owner) was also standing outside in front of the window. She seemed to be in the process of working on the second display window. She was probably in her late 40s and had kinky hair. She somewhat reminded me of my Dallas friend, Eloise LaGrone. As she sat down for a moment, her skirt raised up and I had a glimpse of her pubic area.

I stood a few minutes more, admiring the display, then turned to leave. I stopped in my tracks however; I felt like complementing the woman on her display. I turned back to her and said that I had been in many cities, and that this was one of the best displays I had ever seen. She seemed flattered; I turned and walked off.

I had only walked a short distance when a commotion from the other side of the street alerted me. The other side of the street didn't have any buildings on it. Instead, it was simply the side of a hill. All along the bottom of the hill, at the street, ran a tall wire fence. Now I saw why the fence was there: two gray elephants were enclosed by the fence on the hillside. The elephants were causing the commotion. They seemed in pain and rage. Trumpeting a screeching sound, one thundered toward the wire fence. Dramatically, the elephant leaped over the fence, about 50 meters from me.

The elephant turned toward me. Alarmed, I perceived my danger and ran around a corner. No place to hide only a fire hydrant I might squat behind. I peeked back around the corner. I couldn't see the elephant now due to a dip in the street. Maybe I could find a store I could hide in. The first store I found was closed; but the second store was open. It wasn't exactly a store just a hole in the wall, about waist high, through which refreshments were apparently served. I pulled myself into the hole and began half-crawling, half walking through a rocky tunnel which was white and lit. I thought I could hear a Hispanic woman speaking Spanish in the end of the tunnel. She must be the one who served the refreshments there. Maybe at least there I would be safe from the elephant.

Turning my imagination into art became my dream.

Dream of: 25 July 2003 "Porcelain Elephant"

After my wife Carolina and I walked into a Goodwill store, I was immediately surprised to see a group of intriguing statues standing clustered on the floor. Two statues in particular were alluring: statues of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. These two were about 30 centimeters taller than I. They were hand-carved from dark brown wood, and had been created in exquisite detail especially John the Baptist (the Christ statue was not quite as well-carved as the Baptist). The faces on both statues were a bit distorted, mouths gapping open, as if in shock. I stood admiringly in front of John the Baptist and looked for a price tag. Several different tags hung from the statue, but finally I found the one with the price: $98.00. It was a little expensive, but since I wanted it, I picked up the statue to claim it before someone else saw it.

No other statue in the room was as tall nor as appealing as these two, but the other statutes were likewise enticing. Carolina was already carrying around something she wanted to buy and I wondered whether I might also find something else. Many other statues were about a meter tall and portrayed very thin emaciated people. The other statues looked a bit African in origin, but the features of the faces didn't seem African. Had one person donated all these statues to Goodwill? I rarely visited Goodwill anymore, but I thought maybe I would begin to do so more often if these kind of items were available.

Another man walked up and perused the statues. He set down a bulky item which he was carrying, a blue and white porcelain statue of an elephant, the kind with a flat back for setting a flower pot on. It was quite attractive, standing about 60 centimeters tall.

I looked on some shelves at other items. Some cloth bags about 10 centimeters tall were sitting on one shelf. They were filled with sand and had artistic designs sewn on the side. I stuck my finger in the sand of one bag. The bags were pretty, but I wasn't interested. If a person had many things like these, storing them would be necessary part of the time; maybe big plastic boxes could be used; but that would be a lot of trouble. And was I not trying to reduce the number of my possessions, to lighten up? Maybe I shouldn't even buy the statue of the Baptist.

I picked up a picture frame with a print which looked as if it might be by Marc Chagall. The frame was well-designed, the kind which allow easy changing of pictures. I was somewhat interested; but again should I be acquiring more possessions?

When Carolina walked back up to me, still carrying her item, I became more convinced I didn't need to buy anything. At this juncture in my life I didn't need to acquire, I needed to get rid of things. The Baptist statue was so exquisite not buying it would be difficult. Abruptly, however, I realized I didn't need to buy anything right now. Carolina and I agreed: we wouldn't buy anything today.

Although I have been firmly grounded in reality, I have tended toward mysticism, and I have sensed that my imagination is the portal to the mystical world.

Dream of: 06 August 2004 "Elephant's Eyes"

I was at my Center Street House (a two-story frame house I had bought in Portsmouth at a foreclosure sale). I had hired some people who were cleaning up trash in the back yard, putting the trash in the trunk and back seat of a little white car parked in the alley. One load of trash had already been hauled away by the owner of the car (but he had used a truck for that first load, for which I had paid him $50). I was now a bit reluctant to pay the man another $50 to have a another load hauled away in a car. Since I hadn't been there when my workers had begun loading the trash into the car, I didn't know if they had already told the fellow I would pay $50. The car was already almost loaded down. I picked up a long tree branch and tried to fit it into the car, but the branch was too long. I tried to break off the small end of the branch, but it only bent without breaking. Finally I broke off a meter-long piece on the thick end of the branch.

I still didn't want to pay $50. I walked over to the back porch of the next-door neighbor, Ralph. I thought maybe I could hire Ralph to use his black truck (which was sitting out back) and I could pay him $30-$35. I still had about two loads which needed to go to the dump (three piles were in the yard). The yard would look so much better if it were clean. Of course I would also have to pay dump fees. It was all getting expensive.

I tracked through fresh untrampled snow on Ralph's back porch. Unfortunately it looked as if Ralph was not up yet. Since Ralph didn't come to the door, I walked back over to my House.

About 10 large white wooden doors were stacked against the side of my House. I had forgotten those doors. I remembered I had torn some walls out of the House and had already hauled the walls away, but I had forgotten these doors. I hated to take the doors to the dump -- they were heavy and would be expensive to dispose of at the dump. Plus the wood in the doors was so good, I hated to destroy it. But I didn't see what else I could do.

I walked inside the House. Most of the trash which had been inside had already been taken out. Only a few items which had been left in the House remained. There were a couple old trophies. One trophy was of a foot; another was of a man driving a tractor (but the man's head and torso had been broken off). Another trophy (which was broken) had Hebrew writing on it. I wondered if the people who had lived there before had been Jewish. I knew the name of the previous owner had been Barbie Fowler; I didn't think her name was Jewish.

I picked up a lock (with the key) which I had taken off one of the old doors in House (I had several of the locks). The key was about 10 centimeters long and thicker than a normal key. The key worked well in the lock -- I turned it several times. The locks almost seemed like antiques. They also had some writing on them. I thought I would save them.

It almost seemed as if there had been an estate sale in the House and these were the last few remaining items. As I walked through the House to see what else was left, I was surprised to find a live baby elephant standing on the carpet in the living room. I was fascinated by the elephant which stood about as tall as my waist. I had never been this close to a baby elephant. When I walked over to it, the elephant touched me with its snout. It already had long tusks. I was a bit afraid of it. I petted the darling elephant.

Seeing other people in the room, I asked if the elephant had been sold and was told it had. A man standing nearby seemed to know about it. He seemed a bit Indian (from India). He said the elephant was 3-4 years old. The man said the person who had bought the elephant already had several other elephants on some land not far away. I wondered if I could visit them sometime.

As I continued petting the elephant, I told the man it had a good personality. He pulled out a complicated little chart and told me that many traits could be determined in the elephant by looking at spots in its eyes. He had a whole range of traits which he said were in this elephant. I looked at the chart, but it was too complicated. Besides, I thought the chart was probably hocus pocus and not legit. I just enjoyed being with the elephant without looking at any charts.

Nothing compares to the fire of art, raised high by imagination.

Dream of: 16 December 2004 "Setting The Forest Afire"

As another person and I wandered atop a forested mountain, we noticed several elephants which were excited about something. One elephant was holding some burning sticks in its snout and I had the impression the elephant was trying to set the forest afire. The elephant finally threw down the sticks and all the elephants raced off away from us. I especially remarked how fast one elephant was running, gracefully sprinting into the distance.

I next noticed several cheetahs grouped together in a thicket, apparently pursuing their prey. The cheetahs adroitly wound themselves through the brush.

With so much wildlife in the area, I was surprised to see a couple small houses nearby and I wondered who would live clear up there. Both houses were small, probably not more than one room. After my companion and I walked up close to one, I wondered if I might be able to stay up there sometime -- this was such a picturesque place and I would surely enjoy some time up there alone.

I walked up to one of the little houses, and finding the door open, I walked in. I was immediately greeted by a man standing in the room and I instantly knew who he was: Ernest Hemmingway. He was a tall slender lanky man (probably in his late 40s). I felt rather presumptuous being in the house of Ernest Hemingway, and I figured I wouldn't be allowed to stay, but he was quite cordial and unassuming. We spoke and he quickly put me at ease and made me feel welcome.

A tape recorder was playing and I quickly recognized the recording as a play by Shapespeare. I realized Hemingway and I would have something in common: apparently we both enjoyed listening to tapes of Shakespeare plays. Maybe Hemingway and I could spend time together. I didn't know much about him, except that he was a writer, but I felt at ease there and I thought he and I could be friends.

I immediately thought of something we might be able to do together and I pulled out a book which contained poems by Dante. I motioned Hemingway over to a chair and we both sat down. I opened the book to a poem and began reading. I quickly stopped however, because the Shakespeare tape in the background was interfering with my reading. I asked the other person who had accompanied me there (whom I now identified as my wife Carolina to turn off the recorder so I could continue with my reading. She did so and I once again began reading.

Hemingway was now standing, and as I read, he seemed a bit distracted. I quickly surmised what the problem might be: I was reading the poem in English and he would probably prefer it read in the original Italian. I stopped and asked him if he would prefer Italian. He didn't answer, but I felt from his looks that he was assessing me, weighing his own language abilities against mine. I still felt comfortable, but slightly disconcerted. I knew some Italian, but I didn't really know the language well enough to read the poems out loud in Italian. I hoped my inadequacy wouldn't impact upon this blossoming friendship.

The pictures of my past form the primary trove of my imagination. As an artist, I must bring those pictures, however painful, to life.

Dream of: 16 April 2006 "Picture Of An Elephant"

I was driving a car in which my mother was riding. I drove far into the country, enjoying myself. I had taken some LSD the previous night and I still had a couple hits of acid with me in my pocket. I hadn't decided yet, but I was thinking of taking those today.

I pulled up to a tiny house in the country. Other cars were parked around the house. We were in Gallia County, Ohio, in the area of the Gallia County Farm, but not on the Farm. We were in the mountains and we had a splendid view. Other houses were nearby, like a little village, but many houses had been torn down. One semi-circle area looked designed for a little plaza. A little store was down the road.

My mother and I walked into the house. Other people (apparently some of my relatives) were inside. After I sat down on the living room floor and began going through a box of pictures, I found several pictures of my family which I had never seen before. One picture seemed to have been taken inside a church. About 20 steps (longer at the bottom and gradually diminishing in length to the top) could be seen in the picture; about 100 people were sitting on the steps. Many looked like members of my family. I looked for my maternal grandfather Liston (I didn't have many pictures of him) but I couldn't find him. Apparently this was a church where my father used to preach years ago. I vaguely remembered going up and down these steps when I had been a child. I definitely wanted to keep this picture.

I looked at more pictures and found one of my father riding an elephant. I vaguely remembered this picture. A long time ago we had gone on a trip and my father had ridden this elephant. Altogether I found four or five pictures with my father and the elephant. His image wasn't clear in the pictures because he appeared so small. I thought these pictures would make good additions to the pictures which I had of him.

I found another picture of my family, including my brother Chris and I thought it would be a good picture to keep.

My first wife Louise and my old girlfriend Birdie were in yet another very nice picture. I thought how they had both been together with me one time.

Another picture showed a group of about 15 people. I remembered all of us had been in the country together. Some of these people had been my friends, but they had disappeared from my life, and I hadn't had any pictures of them, so this would be a good picture to keep.

My mother (probably in her mid 30s, trim and in good shape) stepped up and said she had a picture which she wanted to show me. She said the picture depicted one of my great-grandmothers, whose name had been "White." She handed me an envelope which contained the picture. When I opened the envelope, however, I found nothing except a little piece of cloth -- my mother had been playing a joke on me. I became a little miffed. She walked away, then came back and handed me another envelope which contained the actual picture. She said she had played the joke on me because I had once done the same thing to her.

Several pictures were in the envelope. One looked like a driver's license and it apparently depicted a step-relative. Finally I did find a picture of my great-grandmother White. That would be a good picture to keep.

Other people had also entered the room. As I had been going through the pictures I had scattered stuff all over the floor. The other people had also scattered stuff. I wondered who was in charge there. Finally I asked a woman and she said, "Casey" was in charge. She pointed to a woman (about 50 years old) sitting to my right. Apparently the woman named Casey was in charge, even though no one actually lived in this house, which was empty, except for all the stuff which was there. Everyone had just happened to show up there today, and for some reason, the woman named Casey was in charge.

I was still thinking about taking the two tabs of acid which I had in my pocket. However, I fretted that if I took them now, I might become so disorganized I wouldn't know what was going on. This might not be the best time to take the acid, especially since I had just taken some the night before. I probably shouldn't take any right now.

I noticed one tab of acid had fallen out of my pocket onto the floor. It was a little round chalky tablet. I picked it up. I searched in my pocket for the second tab, but I couldn't find it. I looked around. The tablet I had was white. I thought the missing tablet was red, but when I finally managed to find it in my pocket, I realized it was black. I put both tablets back in my right pocket, thinking I might take them later.

If I could only learn the lessons of my dreams, my imagination would soar, instead of being locked in subterranean chambers.

Dream of: 01 July 2009 "Screeching Underground Elephants"

I had gone to visit my paternal grandmother Mabel (1908-1997) and my paternal step-grandfather Clarence (1916-1993) at a house which they had bought in the country. I was somewhat reluctant to visit them, since it seemed they only wanted me to do some work in the kitchen for them.

I walked outside and entered a long barn-like building. I became intrigued when I saw boxes of board games stacked up in the barn. I couldn't see the boxes well, however, because stacks of newspapers were between me and the boxes. I thought I might climb up on the stacks of newspapers so I could better see the board games.

Just as I started to climb on the newspapers, an old 1950s model, light-blue car entered the barn and turned around in a circle. Since I didn't want to talk with anyone, I started walking toward the exit. Once outside, I found myself in what appeared to be an amusement park. As I walked around amidst the other people, I thought I would prefer spending the day in the amusement park instead of with my grandparents.

In my hand I was holding a little white paper which I folded up and threw down on the ground. Almost immediately I realized the paper had been my ticket for the amusement park. I walked back to where I had thrown down the paper and started looking for it. I saw a piece of paper (which someone kicked) and I picked it up, but it wasn't the piece I had thrown down. I worried someone might check me later and throw me out when I was found not to have a ticket. 

I passed some people standing at the top of a ramp which stretched down into an underground room. When I stopped and stood with the others, I could hear a screeching sound emanating from the room, and suddenly I saw a little baby elephant walking up the ramp. It was so pretty. It walked toward me and as it passed me, I reached out and touched it on the back. As it walked though the crowd of people, I followed it until I finally reached out, grabbed it and began petting it, even though I was unsure petting was allowed.

I could still hear the screeching sound from the underground room and I realized the screeching sounded like a whole heard of elephants making the noise. A man walked up to me and said something about "one forty." I concluded that at 1:40 the elephants would be brought out of the underground room for viewing.

Instead of waiting to see the elephants, I walked on. I passed a large circular room filled with magazines. I thought I could get a magazine and spend the day reading it, if I wanted. But I didn't stop, and I next noticed a boy (about 10 years old) had walked up to me and had excitedly started talking about a big snake which was close-by. I walked with him over to the entrance of a room and looked inside. Some men were knelt down on the floor and were energetically trying to pull something up out from under the floor. I finally saw the macabre thing. It looked something like a giant head of a snake (about a half meter wide), but more like the head of a giant catfish. The men pulled and pulled until suddenly the thing popped out. It wasn't a snake at all, but a big brown cow (at first I thought it was a bull). It was a long-horn. It lay on the ground on its back - an amazing sight. I couldn't figure out how the cow had been under the floor of the room. 

Unruly though my imagination may be, however, I have finally attained some modicum of control over it.

Dream of: 27 October 2010 "Beating A Rhythm"

I was attending a class reunion. Not many people had shown up. I finally lay down next to woman who was apparently the wife of someone there. She was wearing a skirt, and I was naked from the waist down, so my partially erect penis was rubbing against her bare leg. Suddenly everyone stood up and I also stood. Apparently it was time to leave. I didn't know if anyone had seen what I had been doing and I tried to pull my tee-shirt down over my penis, but I was still worried people would notice my erection. I overheard someone say that if a vote were taken as to who would be most likely to cause a scandal, I would win.

Lying on a nearby table was a little pamphlet which contained information and pictures about the members of my class. I wanted to make sure I had one of the programs and I picked one up. I opened the pamphlet and saw a list of the names. As I ran my eyes over the list, it appeared to be incomplete. I specifically looked for the name of "Hurley" because I knew Hurley hadn't actually graduated, although he had originally been in my class. Thus I was curious whether his name would be on the list. I didn't think he would be on the list, and indeed he wasn't. 

When everyone walked outside of the building, I found myself on a city street lined with shops. While everyone else walked along, I climbed on the back of an elephant and rode the elephant down the street. In my right hand I was holding a long silver dagger, while lying in front of me on the elephant's back was some kind of metal plate. I began pounding the tip of the dagger on the plate, the same as hitting a drum with a drumstick, beating out a march-rhythm as we all proceeded along the sidewalk.

As we passed the little shops and outdoor cafes, I thought I noticed George W. Bush sitting at a table in one cafe. As we drew closer, however, I couldn't tell if the person was Bush, and we rode on by.

When we reached a corner where a green plant was growing, the elephant balked and wouldn't go straight on. Instead we turned left and headed down a narrow shop-lined corridor.

I do not understand the meaning of my imagination, yet I feel inspired by its beauty and determined to bring that beauty into the light.

Dream of: 03 November 2010 "Elephants In A Tunnel"

I was inside a house, staring out the window at a large group of people outside. The people were gathered there because they were impressed because I had told them how to do something. They had also gathered together a bunch of elephants. I didn't quite comprehend, but somehow the people had herded hundreds of elephants into a tunnel. I sat staring out the window, amazed by what the people were doing with the elephants.

The elephants passed through the tunnel all the way through to the other side of the earth. I had a vision of hundreds of elephants coming out of the tunnel. When they emerged, however, the elephants were all wrapped around each other and seemed to merge together into the form of one gigantic elephant snout. It was an intriguingly strange sight. I simply did not understand what I was seeing.

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