You had two dreams that night. Late in the night before morning. Late in the clear night before the smoky dawn of day. Late in the recesses of dark, deep in the recesses of velvet sleep. Deep in the heart of a purring wetness a pulsing aura a pulse a pulse a pulse a pulse a drift, a dive, a submergence. Late so late so still so dead were you with your first dream you suffered you sank you struggled you bobbed downward into dark waters darkened by the emanations of your own troubled brain, sickened by a night chill or poisonous bite or thirst of the hot fields where water you sweated out was not replaced and water you put in your mouth was sloshed then spit out, spit out in the mightiest stream you could make, like the betel. It hurt your back, your kidneys. A mild poison. A drying poison. Poison in the dark. Your first dream. A melting wall. A beating. A dire welcome of your impending death your days lying numbered by the side of the dry jungle path in the mulchy undergrowth. You. Under the shedding trees. Under dropping leaves. Under dying fruit. You. And the bad dream you had. So bad you could not consult. Could not consult for fear. Could not consult for fear of consequences beyond your power to control, beyond your power to correct or interpret or change to song as so many dreams were and had been changed to songs, to poetry, to incantation, to ceremony, to the beating of sticks, to the wearing of masks, to the donning of anklets and bells by your ancestors. These songs and poetry and incantation and ceremony and beating of sticks and wearing of masks and the donning of anklets and bells and even dancing. These things were still done. They had always been done. They would always be done. But not of this dream. Not of this first dream you had on your last night. This first dream all by itself could have killed you, torn you apart as a lion would tear, greedy, ravenous, nonchalant. The dream came up on you like a bear, starving, lousy with bugs, its eyes dripping an unholy wetness the smell of spoiled food. Your dream: what was it? Can you share it now over the space of time and demons? Can you find it in your wet sticks, your wet fronds of palm, fashioned into fences, the woven mats drying in the sun, drying, piled together, fortified with sun. Like the piles of rice spread and drying on the road as the fat merchants eye them and calculate their worth and their price? Like the spices you dry by the sunny spot, were peppers and cloves and saffron enliven the nose. This dream. Can the sun dispel, enlighten, lighten it? All dreams but this, your dream tonight? You can't build from this the way you can build from coconut frond curtains. There is no wholesome drying like the rices or the spices. There is nothing but ill in this dream. No containment. No directing. No interpreting. No consulting. No valuing. No evaluation. No price and no payment. No absolution. Only pure damage. Damage to yourself and maybe to others. Maybe to your family. Maybe to the soothsayer. Maybe to the village. Maybe to the countryside. Like a plague. Poison and penetrating. Contagious and mysterious. Fearful and raging and lackadaisical. Horrible and silent. This dream you could not share then but can share now. Whisper it. This dream. This dream on the far shore of flight like so many insect eating birds or the bats of night like waters broken uncontrolled. Like flipping clouds. Disease, this dream. Not to be shared. Not to be shared for the horror it will cause and maybe spread. Not for the demons it will take out of lurking and come flying across the water's surface. This dream. Simple. Here it is.
You bit your teeth off one by one. No pain in this, just a removal. Some you swallowed. Most you spit out. Spit out like so many dry seeds. You spit them, your teeth, painlessly, just like you removed them from your own gums not fitfully not with any feeling at all. Only just the feeling of each tooth. Its identity known by your tongue after so many years of knowing these teeth. You relished the feel of each tooth as it went down your throat or you spit it out of your mouth. This removing and swallowing and spitting and relishing of your own teeth. That was the dream. Short as it was.
You were heaving when you woke up fighting for air, the air filling your lungs with infinitesimal slowness as you lay there between dead and alive on your mat. The pulse of insects and the trickle of water livening the night. You fell back asleep before you could sit up, before you could remember this dream.
The second dream. A dream of glory. A deep dream of glory, of saving, of song, of salvation. A dream of future, of the strength you would shed to your descendants, of the powerful unsheathing of your towering trembling stupendous journeying sapling. Planted and established. Permanent and rooted, strengthened by its filling the world with light. Its filling the world with message. Its message of goodness. Its leaves shimmering, swaying, scintillating in the sun like a million meditative lights. Its bringing of feasts and lifting of first fruits. Its terrible squeezing as it empowers, devours, penetrates, draws and gives light. This dream like a pillar, billowing, growing, enchanting, filling, pouring, streaming its innate goodness. A goodness as innate as the badness of your first dream. This good dream. What was it? Can you share it? Can you find it? Can you lug it out with you, out of the night shadows, out of your soaking sleeping mat, out of your fever into daytime? Can you bring it, this dream of yours, out into the shining brass daylight? Can you position it so it is visible from all sides, simple enough for the simplest of us to comprehend, to worship? Can you use this dream? Can we use this dream? Can we find a place of good for this dream, place it in a house of dreams, an image house, a place where we can envision it collectively, as a group? Worship this dream? Interpret this dream? Scatter this dream like so much seed up in the high places and the low places, unfurl this dream like a flag? Make this dream a story? Make it our story? Find its valor, its lusty truth, brand ourselves with it? Can this story be our brand? Can this story brand itself upon us and our land? Can this story fold into and enfold upon the stories we carry? Can we cart this story as a third visit after two have been completed? A completion? A wholeness? A design for our future and our past? A design for our present? Our presence? What is the power of this dream and what do you attribute its power to? Or is it powerful enough to provide an empowerment, a branding, an identity, a oneness, an indivisibility, a quickening, a strengthening, a stiffening, a message?
This dream of yours. Make it ours. Put it in a picture before you die. Put it in words before you are taken with fever. Put it in our hearts as you draw us closer to you in your last breaths. Put your sweet smelling dream in the stench of your dying so you may live through it and we can die through it. Make this story, your dream, the conduit for us, the explanation for us, the story of our people and our land, the explanation for us on this land, the story of our power, the explanation of our power on this land. Our ownership. Our wresting from devils and demons, our planting ourselves in the high places, our putting our priests in the high places, in the cool high places, in the cool caves of the high places, and our putting ourselves in the low places, the rich low places, the watered low places, the fertile low places, the irrigated low places, the desireable low places, the places we cut from jungle, the places we took from savages, the savages we cut out of these lands, the lakes we built to repel the savages, to protect ourselves from the savages, to garner our food from, our fish, our tubers, our green and flowering things. Tell us in your dream. How did this golden thing become our landscape, fall into our hands, utterly destroy the demons, build our fate and faith. Tell us in your dream. How did this golden thing brand itself to is, enliven us, elevate us, enlighten us, make our hands and feet work willingly? Tell us in your dream. How did this golden thing become our picture, our story, our place and our place names? How did we come to own this story and how did this story come to own us so that we were one? How was this story approved by our elders and our priests and our castes and our womenfolk? How did this golden thing become our cooking pot and our offering stone? Tell us in your dream. How did this golden thing become adopted and ferreted out and meted into our blood? Melded into our blood, into a oneness, a flowing oneness, a solid oneness, a shining oneness, an intractable oneness? How did we eat the lion and become of its blood? How did this dream become our conquest? Here was the dream.