Monday, June 4, 2012

Past Life

I am in dreaming.  The year is early 90's when this dream takes place.  I am in a jungle, a tropical environment.  I am on top of a very looks like a mound.  It rises to beyond the canopy of trees, or very nearly to their tops. I am on the top of a building of some sort. Everything is wet.  There are boys, little boys, all around working.  They have clothes wrapped around their bodies almost like diapers.  They are all very young, they look to be perhaps 12 or 13 at most.  I am struck by how small they are.  I know in the dream that they were chosen to be on this building because anyone heavier would slip off or sink into the mud which is everywhere.

The forest looks wet.  It looks as though it has just rained.  It is early in the day.  We are all soaking wet, but happy to be wet. Everything glistens.  Every boy on top of the building is smiling and happy.  They are involved in some important work for which they are jubilant about.  They are here with me, and they look up at me and smile. Somehow, it is an honor for them.  This is not solemn.  It is joyful.

The mud everywhere is very light in color, and they are somehow involved in laying this mud all over the building.  Right now, though, it looks to be a mess.  They are in the beginning stages of a still larger work. They have somehow had all this mud laid over a larger building.  The mud squishes between their feet.  While it is wet, they work quickly.  The mud is a very light color, though.  It has a tan color, a mix between beige and a slightly more reddish hue. Its not a deep red.  Its buff.

This is the entire dream.

Dream #2

I am sitting in a building, a small stone room that has an entry to my left, and a small window looking out into the jungles to my right.  I am sitting, curiously, in something of a hole or shaft that has stairs going down.  It is a large hole in the floor and strikes me as odd somehow.  It is not just a staircase downward.  Its not a normal staircase.  It is night time and the feeling is one of foreboding somehow. There is lightening, and there is rain. As I ponder the loss of something, I look out through the rear window and notice that the scene changes.  It becomes daytime.  I see two men in armor ride up on a grassy road from off in the distance.  As I look at these two men, I know that they are "knights gone bad."  They are both riding through the countryside looking to loot gold from buildings, old stone buildings. I know that one of them is me.  They are not solemn, but jovial, and excited. They ride up to the building but go on about their merry way.

Then the scene shifts and I am looking at the feet of three women wearing sandals and lying on a rug that is folded up into thirds.  It is like a boat of sorts, and we are all lying on it.  We are surrounded by heaps of gold.  We are lying in the hull of a ship and the cargo hold includes a massive trove of gold and silver objects from pieces of chain, to plates, ewers, cups, and a vast array of trinkets.  As I lay there, I realize one of the three women;s feet are my own.  I feel like the women with me are my sisters....perhaps not physical sisters, but we each know each other well.  We are all lying on this carpet and we are going across some sea of some kind.  I do not know where we are going.....but one thing resolves in my awareness as I think of this dream and it is that in each scene, the subject of possession or ownership is involved.  Each of these is a past life, all with completely different aspects of possession or ownership implied. In one case, I am the seat of power or somehow connected to it.  In another, I am stealing this power or wealth.  In yet another, I am another object OF wealth.  I am a possession. Perhaps I am a gift to be given to some sultan, or perhaps I am being moved to another place to preserve power or wealth.  Whatever it is, it  is a very different take on the idea from all of the others. Each scene seems to encompass the full circle of understanding of what this is all about.

A few years later, after having made a mask that a history professor was convinced I had gotten out of a book on PreColumbian art, I took his course on the subject out of curiosity and found myself staring at an image of the same room I had dreamed a few years previously.  It was the tomb of Pacal, and as I looked at the slide up on the screen, I saw how the room was the same, with a window out the back and a hole in the floor and an entry to my left.  I also learned that the Spaniards did loot the temples and tombs all across South America, all dressed in armor, and certainly looking like "knights gone bad."  As I learned more about all of this, I came across an image of the stucco they used on their buildings as a final dressing that would brighten the buildings some. This was called by some plaster, but isn't plaster white?  The color of this plaster was nearly the same color as the one in the first dream of me standing atop this large mound like building.  There was never any mention of small children being used to do the plaster work.  It was incredibly muddy and slippery work. Could they stand on top of this material without sinking into is deeply, thus being able to shape it and form it in their small frames?  Far from being like slaves to do work, these children were honored.  Perhaps this work was the greatest honor, like being called to work on a new cathedral, or to be the company chosen to work on a renovation of the White House or something....

Perhaps you have a dream that stands out as entirely normal, yet out of context with what you currently know or understand.  Perhaps, with the right set of events, that one random event in dream might resolve into a suggestion of something more.

And here we are, living in the age when the Mayan calendar ceased being counted....great cycles of time teased from larger cosmological cycles, yet holding sway over our minds and imaginations as our own lives sync up to those old cycles just as the seasons mark the years, the moons mark the months, and a turn around the galaxy might mark a galactic day or year....

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