If you have just arrived at The Library in Purgatory, the first chapter is here.

"I never found the girl, I never got rich. Follow me."

~Leonard Cohen

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chapter VII.8

The Princess Dream Continued
So I’m lying in bed this morning—sleeping in from the Heat’s OT win last night—thinking about this latest dream, basking in the wonderful afterglow of it, and I start carrying it forward from where it left off.

What follows is the rest of the story, how I’d end it, not the book, but the chapter.  I’ve never done this before, but this time it seems right and to add to the overall message of the dream.

The Princess Dream—Expanded:
And suddenly, as if my thoughts of her triggered her awareness of me and the danger that I am in, the Princess appears out of thin air, between me and the troll/ogre.  She is working magic, sends the troll/ogre flying back thirty feet or more, dead, with a powerful blast.  She is lethal.

Her ladies-in-waiting are there also, each a skilled and competent warrior of the highest order— expertly following her orders, binding my wounds, and collecting me and my gear up.  The Princess has other, urgent business to deal with and leaves me in their excellent care.  I pass out.

I wake up and a woman is rebinding one of the wounds on my right arm with herbs and new bandages.  I manage to ask where I am at as I don’t know and am disoriented as hell.  She tells me that I am in the Princess’s chambers— in her bed actually, and under her care.  I pass back out.

The ladies-in-waiting are concerned.  All of my wounds have been skillfully tended to, yet I am not getting better but getting weaker, running a high fever and tossing and turning in a nightmare-induced delirium.  Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the troll/ogre’s weapon was poisoned, some of which is now coursing through my veins.

The ladies-in-waiting are out of ideas for what to do when the Princess returns from her other obligations.  She is distraught to see me in my current state and questions her ladies-in-waiting as to my condition.  After they tell her all they’ve done, she bids them leave the chamber, wait outside and let no one enter until she gives the okay.

The Princess then lies down next to me; just her presence has a calming effect and I quiet down immediately, stopping tossing and lying still.  I am burning to the touch as we lie face to face, breathing each other’s breath— our souls intermingle and she gently enters my psyche finding me besieged, hostage to a nightmare I cannot escape brought on by the troll/ogre’s poison. 

I am trapped, unable to get away, constantly reliving the last few moments of the fight in some horrible trick where the scene continually loops back into itself— unable to stop the blow that kills my charger, unable to kill the troll/ogre; sightlessly lashing out around myself; blinded with fear, frustration and blood; surrounded by my shortcomings and demons jeering at me.  The Princess calls to me but I cannot hear her, only the sick crunch of my friend’s neck snapping under the cudgel blow, my useless cries.  She approaches slowly and, in an instant, without even knowing what I have done, I lash out at her with my sword taking her for another assailant.  She does not retreat or hesitate but steps inside the arc of my swing, spinning with me, but miscalculates as I roll the blade cutting her, her arm, and then she is holding me, lowering me gently to the ground as I collapse against her.  The loop is broken, the nightmare vanishing.  She takes me, somewhere safe, a place from an old, happy memory and holds me until the fever, the fear subsides and I sleep peacefully.

And I lead you
to the edge of the Black Forest
to see the Beast
wired to the tree there—
no longer to stalk my dreams.

The way your eyes shone
in the headlights that night
as we drove north
hands on the wheel
softly your gaze.

I would dream you a million stars
in a lifetime of summer afternoons
and fire-fly-lemonade evenings
burning in the night
if only you could stay,
for just a while.

The Princess spends the night with me, spooning, but awakes before I do and leaves me alone in her bed.  Her ladies-in-waiting return to the chamber, after keeping vigil outside her door and pick up whatever it is that they do during the day.  The Princess leaves to conduct her daily duties.

An indeterminate amount of time passes— not too long really— and I am alone in her chambers and despairing of anything to do, bored, so I figure I’ll practice my Jedi skills, flying swords and knives around with my mind.

As it happens, I have just started when the Princess walks in.  In a most caring and appropriate manner which does not belittle me as she, though about my age, is wiser, more worldly, experienced and more lethal than I am, tells me to stop, to conserve my strength, to rest, and recuperate or else I will be in no condition to be her personal bodyguard on the trip to the Desert/Wasteland.

Given her charm, beauty, and the fact that I am wildly, madly in love with her it is not hard to comply with her request.  Further, she says that prior to our departure; I will be officially knighted— the implication being that we cannot officially be together, even though she is sleeping with me at night already.

The Princess is about to leave and I notice a small bandage on her arm in the same place where I cut her with my sword in the nightmare.  I have been pondering the previous day’s events, the nightmare, and the Princess’s role in all of them.  I stop her as she walks by saying, “Thank you.”

She asks, “For what,” feigning ignorance.

My thanks is sincere, not a ploy, but I mean to try to draw her out, to get her to admit that she was actually in my nightmare.    It will make up a little for my pathetic lingering behavior yesterday at the ceremony at the tombs.

For not thinking me a monster…” I reply, “…but maybe I spoke too soon.”  The Princess recognizes the sincerity in my voice as well as my not-that-cunning and simple trap.

“I don’t think you’re a monster,” she smiles, “and I will prove my words to you later tonight.  Now rest, guard your strength and I will see you soon.”

I stay awake as long as I can, waiting for her to return, but eventually succumb and fall asleep before she returns.  Only then does she come, once again sending her ladies-in-waiting out of her chambers and lying down next to me.

Again, we are lying face to face, breathing each other’s breath and our souls intermingling, only this time, she leads me into her psyche.  Once there, she asks what I would see, that nothing will be hidden or forbidden me.  In a rare sign of wisdom, I reply that I am honored beyond belief to have been invited here and would gladly see whatever she would show me or have me see.  The whole night is spent with her sharing aspects of her life with me.  I am simply in awe.  Again, she is gone from my side before I awake the next morning.

Preparations continue for the journey to the Desert/Wasteland, which is some kind of huge deal but I do not know why.  The Princess and her ladies-in-waiting nurse me back to full health.  I rarely see the Princess during the days, her duties requiring much of her time, particularly the preparations for the trip to the Desert/Wasteland.  However, every night she returns  to her bed to lie with me and we share our dreams— the bond, connection, trust, between us growing with every night together, though she is gone before I wake in morning.  Eventually I have recovered completely and am officially knighted in some overdone ceremony, as well as being appointed the Princess’s official bodyguard.

The scene shifts and I am in some kind of government office.  I have a piece of blank white paper and am here to make the official notice of the death of my horse/friend.  It essentially needs to be notarized but there is no one here to do so so I stamp the paper— with purple ink and about half a dozen different stamps— saying things like “official” and whatever.  I then, in very poor penmanship, write, “On this date, Joker died valiantly defending my life and the crown while on official business in the bad-lands.”  I sign it.  My heart is heavy; I had hoped, beyond hope that the Princess somehow might be able to bring Joker back.

Shortly thereafter, the Princess, I, a royal entourage, and a huge following depart on the much-awaited trip to the Desert/Wasteland.

This is a horrible, god-forsaken place we’re going to— no one ever goes there…the place is akin to death.  Yet in spite of all this, there is a festival spirit in the air with much pageantry levity and celebration along the way.  For the life of me, I cannot figure out why; the whole thing fills me with a low-level sense of dread, foreboding, and I ride watchfully closer to the Princess than I would normally.

We ride for about five days or so, I don’t remember exactly.  I miss Joker terribly.  I have a good steed but it’s just not the same, no one will ever be able to replace him.

The Princess still has affairs to conduct during the day via small delegations and couriers.  I accompany her on her duties but for the most of the time we ride together, alone, talking.  We do not sleep together at night.

On the day that we are to arrive wherever it is that we’re going in this Desert/Wasteland we are far out in front of the main group/procession but still behind the lead advance elements, we are riding alone; the Princess is notably quieter and seems to be watching me much more intently, though trying not to appear so.  We crest a small rise and survey the opening vista, slowing my steed, almost unconsciously, to a halt.  The Princess also slows up, drawing nearer to me than she has on the whole trip, a look of concern and compassion on her face.  She gently rests her right hand on my left thigh.

“I know this place…somehow,” I say, bewildered, confused, a growing sense of unexplained apprehension.

The Princess says nothing, gazing intently, concerned, into my eyes as they sweep the horizon,

The mountains are far off and imposing.  I somehow know that you could ride for days and they would never grow closer— no matter which direction you went in.  There is nothing in the sky to discern one part from another.  Everything below is brown and non-descript— even the sense of the rise we are on is an illusion.  The only thing marring the unending no-thingness, far off in the distance is a small, wilted, brown and dead plant surrounded by a smattering of white crystals, reflecting a harsh, indifferent sun.

We slowly ride up to the now-dead plant.  As we approach, I dismount and kneel by it, gently stroking the brittle brown petals.  I look up at the Princess, who has remained mounted, a look of supreme sorrow on her face.

“Why have you brought me here?” half angrily, not knowing why.  She flinches from my tone and I feel horrible, like a jack-ass.  And then…it all comes flooding back…Colleen, Kim, Big Blue, the Days of Nothing, Iraq and ‘Astan, Little Fin, a drunk flight to Denver…It is almost too much and I reel, dizzy, losing my balance, beginning to fall on the sad remains of the little plant.

She is there in a heartbeat, supporting me, holding me up, saving the sad little plant from my sudden vertigo.  The rush, the spinning slowly fades and each piece sublimely falls into place, just as it should, just as it was bound to, just as it would.  I lean against the Princess, slowly recovering my balance, my breath.  She is surprisingly strong.  Tears of relief and happiness well up in my eyes, a lone one dropping from my left eye, splashing gently into the base of the little plant.

Instantly, the Desert/Wasteland is transformed[1] into a rolling green plain with savannahs, forests, groves, meadowlands, glens, glades, brooks, streams, rivers, and even a few swamps.  The mountains don’t seem nearly so menacing and the peaks are mantled in snow ringed by belts of green pine below.  Birds are singing, abundant life is everywhere, and clouds are floating in the sky, which has seemingly turned a richer, deeper, friendlier royal blue.  The Princess is crying tears of joy and relief…and then she is upon me, pressing her body against mine and showering me with kisses.  We have regained our composure, what remains of it, by the time the rest of the procession arrives at our location and we are waiting for them, mounted but holding hands, her right in my left.

The Wasteland, from where my journey started all those fourteen years ago, has been renewed.  Somehow, I had something to do with it but, like Parzival, I can’t put my finger on any one thing.

The whole procession makes camp at the castle at the beginning of Twenty2 the Hard Way, which has been miraculously restored and is mine, as is all this newly restored land.  I am to be the king and the Princess my queen.  We are married and sleep together for the first time that I remember.  There is much celebration.

She is infinite in her wisdom, compassion, kindness and strength.  My wisdom starts where hers leaves off, my compassion pales to hers in every way but my feelings for her, my kindness is brought out by hers, and my strength is of the sublimest sort ( knowing that I can survive all things and that no harm can come to her as long as I have my life).  She is my life, my death, my sole desire and my joy.

One morning, after an indeterminate amount of time— early autumn— my Queen and I ride out from our castle with a small retinue.  The days are warm, comfortable, friendly, yellow, and shortening; the nights chill and crisp, and although longer, generally terse, at least compared to the days.  The first frost has appeared and coyotes howl in the distance at the full moon.  We ride for a week due west.

The overall mood in the party is subdued.  The Queen and I do not talk much— a million small nuances shared between us every minute simply by our proximity to each other.

Late on the fifth day since our departure, we arrive in a large grove of Aspens and Poplars and make camp.  That night is passionate and intense beyond description during which, in lieu of rings, upon my scars from the troll/ogre and her scar from my nightmare we swear our undying love and allegiance to each other.  The words to describe how I felt as I held her…I just don’t have.

On the morning of the sixth day, the Queen and I set out with a miniscule retinue, leaving the rest behind at the grove of Aspens and Poplars.  We travel leisurely…her and I trading many diminutive, deep looks and small intimate secrets and wonders that our escorts never pick up on.  Surprisingly, there is much laughter, delight, and joy between us.  After a days travel we arrive at a large river— inky black, fast flowing and without a ripple in sight.  Our escorts prepare a camp for the Queen and I and then retire back through the night to the other camp.

I awake early before her and make us breakfast.  Once again, the atmosphere is quiet.  Afterwards, my Queen and I proceed down to the black river, which marks a subtle and shifting boundary upon the land.  Beached upon our side of the river is a small skiff with one oar.  We board it together, she holding my hand.

I am in such a state of despair that I want to lose my life and consider plunging into the oily black waters.  She, heart of my heart, steadfast, knows me better than I know myself and beseechingly, very sexily dissuades me from leaping into the murky river Styx— which this land, though not the Land of the Dead, borders.  With her own hands my beloved rows me easily across the river.

There are tears in my eyes as the bow digs into the sand on the distant, indistinct shore.  I must step foot ashore, as surely as I breathe, yet to do so is to act against all that I have ever loved, all that has ever loved me— Love herself.

“Silly sailor,” she smiles, “so you go to seek your fortunes in the world of your birth.  Do you really think that you can escape me that easily, my love?  As you love and risk so will your kingdom here prosper…and know this, as we swore, I will never forsake you and you will never forsake me as long as we shall live.   And should you lose your way, there will always be someone here to ferry you back to me.”

The look in my eyes was all the reply that she— knower of my innermost heart— needed.  And so, here, I find myself blessed by the gods, fortunate, and secure in Love’s love.

Wanted to get a couple of other things that have been floating around in my head for the last several days out of the way before going back to the last dream.

This from a match.com article (how pathetic is that?):

            “Line:  “I’m just not ready for a relationship.”

What it means: “I’m just not in love with you.”

It’s hard when someone you like tells you he or she’s not in a place to seriously date anyone.  But it also makes you hope that the problem is timing, not your personalities.  If you can just be patient, you think, things could percolate, right? 
Wrong.  “This means ‘I don’t love you, so if that’s what you want, we should break up,’” says Puhn.  Don’t be fooled — when this person does meet someone who has that spark, he or she will indeed be ready for a relationship.”

It strikes me that this is pretty much what Gwen said to me.  How to balance that with what my heart knows?  I’ve never ruled out the fact that this could all just be wishful thinking (on my part) of the most powerful kind.

I don’t know.  Reading through a bunch of these articles I half feel like her dating guinea pig.  The signals were so mixed and the whole sex thing threw me for a loop.  It makes me wonder if she’s sleeping with these guys she’s dating as part of getting over Ivan.  I can understand if she is, yet it doesn’t make me happy.  If I was a better man, it wouldn’t be an issue, but it is and the below from match.com perfectly covers how I feel:

“Q:  “In your experience, do you think women who make you wait for sex end up being better long-term partners?”

I think they do make better potential long-term partners.  As I've gotten older, I have realized there should be something sacred, private, and intimate about sex between two people.  It's a revelation and a sharing.  I don't think I would want to be with someone who's so willing to share herself with others.  I want someone who's going to honor that aspect of herself and only share herself when it's really appropriate.”

My biggest mistake was assuming that I was in friendly territory—not just in SD but the whole time we were emailing when I was in ‘Astan.  It certainly could have was friendly, but not as friendly as I thought.  There are definitely some things hat I would have said differently had I realized that I was under the microscope.  In spite of all that, I have to trust in my heart at this point, my path has certainly been divinely led and I cannot, nor would, turn back at this point.

Wanted to jot down a couple more quotes by Joseph Campbell relating to Parzival and the manner in which he attained admittance to the Gral Castle a second time.

“The healing of the maimed king, therefore, could be accomplished only by an uncorrupted youth naturally endowed, who would merit the supreme crown through his own authentic life work and experience, motivated by a spirit of unflinching noble love, enduring loyalty and spontaneous compassion.”[2]

“But his ultimate victory followed, ironically, rather from his loyalty to Condwiramurs and fearlessness in combat than from his obdurate determination to rediscover the castle.”[3]

It is not because of a single defining incident that Parzival wins his second chance but due to her perseverance and manner in which he lived his life while pursuing his quest.  Again, I thought there would be a single, identifiable, moment; that I would realize/find something long forgotten or buried.  Ironically, I did—that I was the person I was s’posed to be—only it wasn’t what I was expecting, which was some horrible, shameful, thing.

Dream Analysis:
Okay, back to the dream.  Before I get into the details though, I want to give a quick overview, quoting Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, of what I believe the Priestess/Princess/Queen represents.  Later, I will cover her specifically at the various points in the dream.

First off, and perhaps most striking, she doesn’t have a face, at least not that I can picture in my head (the only characters I recall having identifiable faces were the shape-shifter, and Joker, my horse—a horse face obviously).  However, she is known by her attributes:  exceedingly beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, wise, worldly, experienced, and lethal (I once had a dream that left me feeling similarly—warm, loved, etc.— when I was working in CT I think.  The Princess was Buffy the Vampire Slayer—much more capable than I was.  I’m trying to keep up with her, to protect her, and she realizes that she’s too far in front of me and I am in danger and in need of rescue.)  Anyway, I can’t see that she is beautiful but I know that she is (Flash Forward:  02NOV11).  She is self-assured, capable, a take-charge kind of person.  Although younger than me, she possesses more wisdom and experience, as well as being more lethal.  However, she doesn’t look down on me and treats me as an equal.  In this sense, she respects my potential as she obviously sees something in me that I don’t.  Joseph Campbell writes:

The hegemony wrested from the enemy, the freedom won from the malice of the monster, the life energy released from the toils of the tyrant Holdfast—is symbolized as a woman.  She is the maiden of innumerable dragon slayings, the bride abducted from the jealous father, the virgin rescued from the unholy lover.  She is the “other portion” of the hero himself—for “each is both”: if his stature is that of the world monarch she is the world, and if he is a warrior she is fame.  She is the image of his destiny which he is to release from the prison of enveloping circumstance.  But where he is ignorant of his destiny, or deluded by false considerations, no effort on his part will overcome the obstacle.[4]

Woman, in the picture language of mythology, represents the totality of what can be known.  The hero is the one who comes to know.  As he progresses in the slow initiation which is life, the form of the goddess undergoes for him a series of transfigurations:  she can never be greater than himself, though she can always promise more than he is yet capable of comprehending.  She lures, she guides, she bids him burst his fetters.  And if he can match her import, the two, the knower and the known, will be released from every limitation.  Woman is the guide acme of sensuous adventure[5]

There is a sense that the Princess is “Love” herself, or possibly Love’s daughter.

I have to admit that writing an ending to this dream may have influenced it beyond what it initially was.  However, the ending came from the same mind that dreamed the dream and was more of an “occurring to” than an attempt at a short story in that many of the details simply occurred to me without forethought on my part as I was thinking and writing it out.

That said, this dream acts out for me, in ways that can’t right now in the “physical world,” the royal wedding and the return.  It symbolizes, in very real terms, that although I will never stop learning, that I have mastered the tasks and learned what I was required to learn in order to complete this quest.  I find it interesting that this dream came as I was some 98% thru Tristan, and that my final lesson was “love.”  Again, Joseph Campbell writes:

“If the hero in his triumph wins the blessing of the goddess or the god and is then explicitly commissioned to return to the world with some elixir for the restoration of society, the final stage of his adventure is supported by all the powers of his supernatural patron.”[6]

Pt 1:
The dream starts out a little indistinctly, almost as if walking into a movie halfway through, things have been going on but you’re not sure what.

It starts out with this creature, a shape-shifter whose original form resembles that of a cat, and I have to catch it.  It is not clear how exactly I have come to have this duty or even the authority, which is damn near limitless, to carry it out.  My initial thinking was that this creature was the same as my Beast, though my beast was never a shape-shifter, at least not that I’ve known of.  Also, the shape-shifter has the traits of the feline, which tend to be feminine in nature.  It occurred to me as I was writing that the creature may have been an incarnation of “Love”.  It certainly fits with the fickle/cat analogy and the fact that it can change its guise/aspect/appearance at will is certainly in keeping with the nature of love.  Could possibly, at a stretch, see it as an incarnation of Gwen

In we go with that, it then makes sense that I have all the authority I need to pursue this creature, this love; for who cannot, who is forbidden?  This also seems to make sense as I am not yet a knight and there are no other indicators to point at that I am nobility or a government employee.

So, these government agents/employees alert me that this suspicious individual, dressed as a customs agent is trying to gain access to this very important shipment.  I arrive on the scene and the “customs agent” is playing the role to the hilt, trying to convince me that he needs to inspect the packages though I suspect that the agent is really the creature.  I also suspect that it knows that I know, yet it continues to go on with the whole charade.  I let it play it out to the end then take it into custody, winning some renown for myself in the process.

The creature makes its appearance in “official dis/guise” attempting, through ploy, to gain access to an important shipment—I never know of find out that the shipment is, ala Ronin, only that it is most important.  As I was writing, it strikes me that the creature could, possibly, be one of these other idiots—will go with the “German” for ease—trying to steal Gwen  It is interesting that, even though the creature is in disguise—not appearing as it really is—I know immediately what it is, for no seeming good reason.  Even more interesting is the sense that the creature knows that I know, yet can (or chooses to) do nothing other than go off the script it has prepared for itself.

Pt 2:
The scene shifts and I am standing in a crowd, with the masses, watching a ceremony, led by the high priestess/princess, which is going to right a wrong that was carried out by evil magic.

The Princess here makes her first appearance, as a high priestess—implying an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the esoteric, divine, obscure, and sublime; a person most likely to look upon someone as myself with compassion and understanding.

So, this Great Harm that has been rendered by a nameless “evil magic” is that the spirits of two lovers—first among all lovers—have been entombed, separately, unable to commingle in the afterlife.  The Princess has hit upon a way to break the spell and reunite the two lover’s spirits.

In this instance, my first and strongest impressions are that the two lovers are Isolde and Tristan.  A secondary interpretation is that the two lovers are Gwen and myself—separated by circumstance and the “evil magic” of people/things that I have little to no knowledge of—events and circumstances outside of my awareness.  In that case, the Princess is acting as “Love” herself, breaking down the barriers between us so that we can be united.

It is worth noting here that although I’d like to, just for the implications, I never FELT that the Princess was Gwen  In fact, this dream had almost nothing at all to do with Gwen whatsoever outside of some secondary meanings/interpretations which have come after the fact.

The venue looks strangely like a cross tilted on its side with the top facing right.  The male’s tomb is to the left and the female’s to the right you can argue the spiritual meaning of a “tipped cross” all you like.  I am sure that there is irony and symbology in there somewhere, I just, in this instance, don’t know what it is.

The two tombs are broken open and the evil magic dispelled by the creation of a standing wave made from the sound of the chanting, drums, and stamping feet.  The wave is initially created, followed by silence, then amplified upon by more noise, followed by silence, etc.

In this instance, I can see this whole thing pertaining to Gwen and I as it has been a start/stop kind of relationship from the get-go.  Most recently, we have not spoken since something like 08/9MAY and last week I sent her a card and a notebook I had been writing for her prior to that—an amplification?  Who knows, it may have been the stupidest thing to do, but that is neither here nor there.

So, the last amplification to the standing wave (all very scientific I might add) is made, followed by silence; hell, even the crowd is deathly quiet.  Several moments pass and nothing happens.  One of the female disciples starts to wail that they have failed, but she is harshly “shushed” by the Princess.  Seconds later, the doors to the two tombs explode outward, which is not what you’d expect by generating a standing wave between two fixed points.  Be that as it may, both spirits fly out of their tombs, visible to all present, and embrace before proceeding out of view, but within earshot, to receive a Christian marriage.

I have to laugh, the undead (or at least not “physically” alive) receiving a Christian, probably Catholic, marriage—too funny.  Aside from the lovers being reunited, I am at a loss to explain this section except as the logical progression of the storyline.  Who said that “everything” had to mean “something” though, often in dream, it does; in which case, I’ll throw out this long shot—Gwen and I are reunited.

The last scene in this section is that somehow,  have come to be standing on the upper level at the end of the cross near Isolde’s former tomb.  I am standing, if not next to, than in close proximity to, the Princess—through no fault of my own—who is being queried about various subjects by female disciples below.  At some point, and I’m not sure where or when, I throw in my two cents and manage to say something both wise and insightful and, at that point, the Princess notices me, favorably, for the first time.  I remain in close proximity to her/by her side through the rest of the questioning until she wraps it up and walks into Isolde’s tomb with her entourage.  At that point, I am still hanging around and suddenly realize that I have no good reason to do so and quite possibly look pathetic, as all I want to do is remain as close to the Princess as I possibly can.  She looks out at me from where she is walking into the tomb and catches me eye.  With that glance, she knows what I am thinking and that I am wild-crazy in love with her, smiles at me, and then turns a corner and is gone.

As I am writing here, it is occurring to me that Gwen might have more to do with this dream that I originally thought, though it is at the periphery. 

So there I am, by the Princess, and say something worthy so that she takes note of me—this could be Gwen as the Princess—and yet she leaves me, having at least noticed me.  At that point, I feel potentially pathetic as I am hanging around for no good reason, so I let her go.  She notices this and understands; sounds amazingly similar to Gwen’s and my last conversation where I had to say goodbye or look pathetic and not worthy of anything.

I can see that I hinted at it earlier, but didn’t state it—that this does, in a way, resemble the situation with Gwen: the separation.  It is worth noting, that at this point in the dream, there were no indications that the Princess and I were meant for each other or that we would ever see each other again.—it had just been a chance meeting.

Flying out to Baton Rouge tomorrow at o’god early to train a group of Sri Lankans.  Been scrambling all day and have just taking a fucking beating getting ready—goddamn, it’s s’posed to get easier, right?  I just want to go to sleep and not get up and half wish they’d cancel the damned thing.  By the time Monday rolls around though I’ll be happy and the next three weeks will just blow by.  But Christ, getting wagons rolling is killing me.

Dream Misc:
There were a couple more quotes from Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces that I wanted to work into the analysis of this last dream but now won’t have time to  so I’m gonna toss them in here and reference ‘em later.

“…every failure to cope with a life situation must be laid, in the end, to a restriction of consciousness.”[7]

That actually didn’t have so much to do with the dream as I just recognized the truth of it.

“The hero adventures out of the land we know into darkness; there he accomplishes his adventure […] And his return is described as a coming back out of that yonder zone.  Nevertheless—and here is a great key to the understanding of myth and symbol—the two kingdoms are actually one[…] There must always remain however, from the standpoint of normal waking consciousness, a certain baffling inconsistency between the wisdom brought forth from the deep, and the prudence usually found to be effective in the light world.”[8]

This, especially the last sentence, is so perfectly exemplified by the disparity between common sense and my heart—and I’m speaking about Gwen here.  Common sense, as best evidenced by the match.com article is that she could not be less interested in me.  My heart however, says that not only do I have a chance, but that she is “the one”.  There is no logical way, and I’m not sure that there’s an illogical way, to reconcile the two positions.  I have to believe that I sound crazy or possibly pathetic to most people when I state that I have chosen to believe/follow my heart and its wisdom over “empirical” evidence or truth.  There are forces at play in the Universe that will likely never be understood until we are all gods.  Through my fear, courage, egolessness, and perseverance, I have come into contact with and been guided by these forces.

Christ, now I’m sounding crazy!  I know what I mean, and obviously, so would Joseph Campbell; his point that it takes effort to remain attached to that knowledge in the face of the square world we come back to.  Like I said, it’s been a looooong day.  God I miss her so much.  Being around her, god, I don’t even have the words to describe it, only that, for me, it is sublimely perfect; it is better than anything heaven could ever be.  I know it sounds stupidly cliché, but I was born to be in close proximity to her—like Fozzie Bear, whose natural habitat is a Studebaker; mine is Gwen; I am such an idiot!

Listening to Monofader, Behind, today.  Of course, I originally saw myself as saying the lyrics to the chorus to Gwen, but funnily enough, today, they were said to me—whether by Gwen or the Princess I don’t know.  And a part of me says that it doesn’t matter, only that finally someone (female) is saying, “It’s your time and I am here to watch over you while you are down.”

And that brings up an interesting point to this last dream that I had not previously considered—the dream is about me.  I get to be wounded (and don’t have to hide it), someone rescues me, someone heals me…and I don’t feel bad or weak about it.  All my life, it has been me that sucked it up, that was strong, that was the reassuring shoulder to cry on, that was the unflinching eye in the hurricane.  And never once, with some very small episodes with Gwen, who was giving all she could, has it been my turn, have I gotten to let it all go because I knew someone was looking after me.  Wow!  I can’t even begin to say, even in a dream, how much it means to me and my self-worth, for this to happen!

Up at o’god early but got off okay.  Got a cab to the airport, a low sliver moon, followed by Venus rising in the east followed me on my ride.  The neighborhood looked so peaceful as it slept, still too early for anyone to be up.  I had to smile to myself, there would have been a time when, at a minimum, I’d have butterflies, new job and all; but not anymore, just the sweet sadness of leaving home on another adventure.

Dream Analysis— Pt 3:
The next section opens finding me and a best friend—again, faceless—fixing to depart on another mission:  to find this unknown noble and tell him that the royal court is getting ready to depart for the desert/wasteland.

Again, the friend isn’t anyone in particular, but for some reason, I’m left with the impression that it was Ivan.  I don’t know who has given us this task but there is the feeling that, although not knights, we are very close to it and about the juniorest/lowest ranking of whatever we are.  It doesn’t feel like I am a contractor anymore.

Neither of us knows the person we’re s’posed to find, though there is the impression that he is some form of royalty—a prince possibly—and about our age.  I don’t know that this person has any significance other than as a catalyst for our mission.

It seems we’re to look for this guy by riding Clydesdales.  There are two, one much bigger than the other, and they look pretty much as Clydesdales do; both have a reddish tint to their coats.  I vault onto the back of the taller Clydesdale; there are no saddles, only reins/bridals.  I somehow also wind up holding the reins to the smaller horse, which is jumping and leaping around like mad.  Ivan is standing there watching me struggle with his horse and doing nothing to help or get on.  I’m getting mad and finally manage, through sheer strength, to jerk the horse to a halt and Ivan is still just standing there.  I scream at him to hurry up and get the hell on the horse before he starts jumping around again.  Finally, he does and off we go in opposite directions.

Typically in myths, the mode of transportation is a shaggy little pony—not much to look at but possessing the most amazing capabilities and wisdom.  The Clydesdale I get on is ginormous, hardly the “little pony”.  It is possible that he is the finest warhorse/charger in all the land and is well mannered.  I just vaulted onto his back and he stood there quietly.  Of course, the first thing I though of was Mr. Zeep, who is symbolically portrayed as my red warhorse in the poem Don Q, which was really a self-portrait.

It is interesting that there are no saddles, that we have to ride bareback.  It means something, but I don’t know if it signifies our low rank/station, capabilities or skills not possessed, or a closer link to the “animal” nature.

Ivan’s horse is crazy, jumping around wildly.  I have the reins and Ivan’s pissing me off by doing nothing to help out; he is not as capable or comfortable as I am, I guess.  This suddenly strikes me as a micro-expression of the trinity of him, Gwen, and myself.  She is wild, too much for him, he vacillates, then finally takes her and leaves (to Colorado?).

Was thinking as I rode out of the neighborhood this morning that this op was a small call to adventure or rather, that it was the world calling me back from the netherworld, where I have grown quite comfortable—at least for the last ten weeks.  I mean, I have a fairly regular routine that is easy and comfortable to me—to the point where I am basically in a small rut and upset when the routine is changed or impinged upon outside of my wishes.  I really, honestly, don’t want to be working right now.  In some ways it feels like when I got back in Kabul last DEC.  Part of it, I think is the sense of going from somewhere where I am accepted to somewhere where I seriously doubt that anyone will understand what has been going on for the last six weeks; that sense that I have to hide, disguise myself (as Tristan did) as I move among these people.  It is not what I need right now.

I have been depressed—not really the right word—lovesick since I arrived in ATL.  And by that, I mean that missing Gwen today is killing me, it hurts, everything reminds me of her and I feel her lack at every turn.  I now know, honestly, how Parzival felt when looking at the three drops of blood in the snow that reminded him of his wife and how he felt.  I ache for her and today that ache has been much more noticeable than it has been in a long time.  It threatens to overwhelm me and I want to reach out to her, to call, to email; but Parzival’s position and mine are not the same—Condwiramurs was his wife…and knew it, which is not my situation.

Went with Blair and Frank to the grocery store to get booze and happened to see the Hero DVD for sale.  Remembered how much I loved the movie and that Gwen also loved it and that I had lost my copy somewhere and don’t know where it got to so I picked it up.  Was watching some of the special features and remembered the love story between Blowing Snow and Broken Sword and that made me think of Gwen and myself and the ache was even more and I felt even lonelier.  But what a great movie, can’t wait to watch in on the 50” when I get home.

And yet, for all the ache and pain today, it to will pass; but more importantly, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t need to be…and possibly, it may be a step on the road to Gwen and I talking again.

So, we eat lunch at PF Chang’s and goddamn if there isn’t a woman who, from where I’m sitting, looks a little like Gwen (from the rear/right).  I am transfixed and it is all I can do to tear my gaze away even though I know that it is not her.

Damn you Love!  Why do you torment me so?  Faithful I have been and yet you taunt me, taunt me with what I have been forbidden at a time when I would forget her—Queen of my Desire.

Feel bad, too stupid to do much more tonight—the world will never run out of assholes, and tonight, I am one of them.  I never should have said yes to this gig.  God Gwen, where are you

Dream Analysis— Pt 4:
So, me and my buddy ride off in opposite directions, tearing though the city trying to find this person and deliver our message.  It is the middle of the night—past midnight.  The city, something out of Blade Runner, was set in Chicago.  Even though it is so late, the city is wide-awake and busy as hell.  Everywhere, preparations are underway for the trip to the desert/wasteland—kids are lined up around blocks waiting to get on buses.  I really can’t say for sure what this means.  As I write now, am left with the impression that they were kidnapped or orphans…and I am suddenly reminded of the kids who were the crew of a renegade Kilo SS in a dream I had years ago.  It is as if they are going to be reunited with their families, though I have no idea how they wound up in the city—these lost children.

As the sun is coming up, I find myself on the outskirts of the city, in a bad part of town.  I know that this is a bad section, dangerous.  I look back and can see the skyscrapers of downtown a long way behind me—like looking back at the skyline if you took Ogden (I think) all the way out of the city, kinda from a SW or W perspective.

It is interesting that we are transitioning from night to day, but still in that in-between time.  I think it symbolizes moving from the unconscious to the conscious, from sleeping to waking, from the netherworld to reality, and is consistent with the theme of return.  It is also interesting that what takes place next happens during this in-between time—night into dawn—and not strictly at night, when I would have most expected it.

As we rode through the city, my horse began to talk to me.  He let me know, up front, that the only reason he is even talking to me—someone of lower rank/stature/wisdom than himself—is that I have been judicious, yet correct, in my use of the spurs, which he has taken as a sign of advanced potential.  He is the highest ranking and best warhorse in the whole kingdom, incredibly wise and experienced.  He has seen something in me, buried deep, something special, different, and recognized that.  He gives me advice, though I don’t remember any specifics (much to my dismay).  In this very short time we have developed a bond that will never be broken and I love him like a best friend or a big brother.  He is looking out for me, guiding me, protecting me.

Again, in myths, the horses—vehicles of wisdom and guidance—are usually shaggy little ponies of great capability.  I however, wind up with the biggest and best warhorse in the whole kingdom—a horse with no rival.  This is an honor beyond compare.  Further, because I have treated him wisely and shown discretion and compassion, he has further honored me by speaking to me.  He is a veritable repository of wisdom and experience and he recognizes something special in me.  At this point, I am riding what is essentially “the king’s charger”— an omen of things to come?

In the Margins:
-Fortune (from cookie): “Any trouble you may have will pass very shortly.”

Dream Analysis
So, I and the king’s charger are in the bad part of town, unable to locate the prince we are s’posed to give the message to, and the sun is coming up.  Suddenly, we are attacked by a huge ogre/troll.  Unlike some dreams, the fight here is not specific or graphic at all.  It is obvious though that I am no match for the ogre/troll.  It is too large and I don’t have enough skill/training to beat it though that doesn’t stop me from trying.  It is a fight to the death because there is no way to escape or run and I’m doing the best I can to postpone the inevitable.  During the course of the fight, I am knocked from the back of my horse and am fighting on foot.  Eventually I am knocked on my back and am too wounded to get back up.  The ogre/troll advances on me and rises up to give the killing blow.  At the last second though, my horse charges in, placing himself between me and the ogre/troll, taking the blow instead.  It kills him and I feel terrible, just sick inside.

The ogre/troll advances on me again and I am only strong enough to valiantly, but vainly, hold my sword up in defiance.  The ogre/troll is going to kill me; I am not afraid and my last thoughts are regret that I never got to say goodbye to the Princess and that I will never see her again.  I can see her in my head, at the tombs, as she walked off, giving me one last look over her shoulder.  And suddenly, as if my thoughts of her triggered her awareness of me and the danger I was in, the Princess is appearing out of thin air between me and the ogre/troll—killing him with a magical burst of energy that sends him flying across the street.  Immediately after that, a bunch of the Princess’s ladies-in-waiting are on the scene.  The Princess is barking out orders, calmly and concisely, managing the scene.  She is kneeling next to me, concern etched on her face.  The ladies-in-waiting are pulling me out of my armor, which I hadn’t been wearing earlier, and starting to tend to my wounds.  I pass out on the street.

I don’t know what the troll/ogre represents.  My initial thinking was that it represented Gwen and the current situation between us—that Love rescued me from a seemingly hopeless situation where my horse was already killed and there appeared to be no way that we would ever be getting together/reconciled.  I still think that this is a perfectly good take.

I initially thought that Gwen had little to do with this dream, in that she was not the Princess.  I also thought that the dream was the playing out of this portion of the hero myth symbolically in a dream because I might not be able to do so in the “physical” world; that this was representational of what I had already accomplished, or was undergoing, rather than a portent of things to come in the “physical” world.  However, if the scene in the tombs where the Princess is leaving represents the current separation between Gwen and myself, than there is the possibility that I am to face some future threat that Gwen, as the Princess, saves/rescues me from.

It is hard to say which; certainly, in our enlightened and modern life, the latter makes no logical sense at all and is all but impossible.  It may end up being the case, as it often is, that parts of both are true, that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The rest of the dream is pretty self-explanatory, not needing any interpretation and, actually, I’m getting tired of writing about it.  However, I did want to mention a couple of things about the postscript that I wrote.  When I started writing, I had the vague/general outline but the majority of the details basically wrote themselves in that they didn’t come from conscious thought but were spontaneous.

The fact that I made my final return to the “physical” world in autumn, itself a season of transition, struck me.  I had kinda been of the mind that I was back now, but maybe in light of this, I should take my time, that I don’t have to be in a rush—not that I really am.

My final question is; what do I need to do in the “physical” world to affect a return?  I feel that I need to go somewhere, a little easy journey/trip to commemorate everything that I have done, been through, learned, and accomplished.

[1]Synchronicity and Rain

“…Jung was known to recount the following story of his friend Richard Wilhelm in explaining his view of synchronicity.  Wilhelm claimed that this story was true and that he’d witnessed these events firsthand.  He was stationed in a small provincial Chinese village that was experiencing a long drought—pushing the village towards the edge of starvation.  After having exhausted all the prayers and rituals they could think of to bring rain, the elders of the village decided to recruit a famous rainmaker from another province to come to their aid.

Days later, the short and ordinary-looking rainmaker showed up in a horse-drawn cart.  He immediately requested a remote private hut where he could be completely undisturbed, and asked for enough food and water to last four days.  For three days, no rain came.  But on the morning of the fourth day, the villagers were awakened by a heavy downpour!

Wilhelm was in shock and quickly ran to the old rainmaker, who was preparing to go back to his province.  “How did you make this happen?” asked Wilhelm.  Grinning, the old man explained that the done absolutely nothing, but that in his own province, everything was in balance with the Tao (the Divine consciousness that connects us all).  There, he said, it rains when it needs to and when it needs to be sunny, it’s sunny—all because those living in the region are in harmony with themselves.

This, he remarked, wasn’t the case in the drought-plagued village.  Here, the people were out of balance with themselves, and that put them out of sync with the Tao.  When he’d first arrived, he recalled, he’d been thrown off-kilter himself because of the chaotic consciousness of the villagers.

He’d isolated himself from their lower state of being until he could reestablish the connection and harmony between him and the Life Force.  And on the fourth day, his resonance with the Tao had been restored, which produced the rain as a by-product!”
[2] Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By, p. 163
[3] Ibid, p. 165
[4] Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 342
[5] Ibid, p. 116
[6] Ibid, p. 197
[7] Ibid, p. 121
[8] Ibid, p. 217

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