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The Strangest Dream

April 19, 2011

It’s approaching 5:00 a.m. on a chilly spring morning and I’ve been thrust from a cozy bed to tell you about this dream:

I was swept through a rag-tag commune by a fierce wind blowing me betwixt people in

Old North Church, Boston, MA

colorful costumes. It was a Woodstock-like world of swirling fabric tents and pounded earthen floors where women and children crowded around artisans weaving intricate shawls and brewing wonderful teas and beer.

They spoke of poets and of ideas as diverse as the clothing they wore and each had a different story to tell. None shared the same message but each had an audience and received applause and good cheer as they recited their visions and hopes for tomorrow.

My hair was blond and longer in my dream, as it hasn’t been for years, and flowed with the wind that rushed me through small shops while my scarf of crimson, white and midnight blue entwined around the waists of women and the shoulders of men I’d known as enemies and bound me, briefly, to them until we smiled. As though the instant in which we’d let go of our anger released me to move on.

In the end, I paused to admire the goods upon a table made of pine boughs and topped by a sea-worn piece of schist with veins that flowed like waves glittering with bits of micas, like stars trapped in time. I recognized the vendor as a teacher I’d had long ago and asked, “May I buy these?”

She smiled, “No … they already belong to you. Just take what you fancy, but leave the rest for others.”

Throwing back the comforter, I stumbled out of bed and went to my deck to look out across the waters of the bay and sort through the illusions. From the distant shore, a single beacon from the Wood Island Light blinked once.

In that instant, I recognized the tapestry of the dream and its metaphor.

On a morning just like this hundreds of years now past, in the dim light of a chilly April dawn, the dream of engaging dispirit and desperate citizens in a common cause to forge a new community was born.

A silversmith rode swiftly through the countryside to awaken farmers and merchants and scholars and craftsmen to set aside their differences and join in a common cause.

Now, as the first rays of this new dawn illuminate the waters of the Gulf of Maine, I understand more than I knew when I retired last night and long for the dream to return.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Douglas permalink
    April 19, 2011 6:55 am

    that was beautiful. visceral. and though it has filled me with a sense of vitality, it ironically captures what my sense of death would be like. you have subtly and profoundly extolled one of the milestones of wisdom with your scarf, and i smiled to think of the queues in Avatar. At some point all things converge to Love and one’s enemies to oneself.

    Thanks for waking up early today.

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