An Odd Dream For Elul!
Well this was interesting.
When I awoke this morning (Monday, August 17, 2015) I remembered this odd dream vividly. I've always been an active dreamer. Usually my dreams fade shortly after I wake up. This one has not yet faded. I shared this with my wife (and our dear friend Anna) who said it was quite appropriate for Elul. That thought had not occurred to me until then.
With this preface, I'd like to share it with you. It is what it is, maybe just a weird dream, maybe something more. I'm just sharing it.
I am on a city street standing before a large New York style brownstone house/apartment building (once my wife mentioned it, it did look a lot like 770 for those of you who understand this reference -- although I am Breslov and Der Alte Weg Chassidus).
Next, I am inside the building, walking up a set of steps with a finely polished banister. I am moving very slowly, like in 1/2 time slow motion. I come to a door. I know this door. I have entered this room many times, although I am not so acquainted as to walk in without some trepidation. I open the door. Its a small apartment, I'm in the living room. It looks like the cozy home of a widowed grandmother. There are family photos, doilies and various chotskies, all in their correct place as only a proper grandmother can do.
Sitting in a rocking chair is the matron. She looks up at me, not at all surprised by my abrupt entry into her apartment. She says to me in a tone conveying both seriousness and assurance that everything is alright, that everything is as it should be and, indeed, that things could not possibly be any different than they currently are: "You'd better hurry or you'll miss your flight home."
"Yes ma'am," I reply; "But I'm not sure how to get there."
"There is only one way to the airport," she replies, stating what she clearly considers to be obvious. "That way." She points.
I turn my head and see that she is pointing at the window. I don't consider that we are on upper floor or anything else, I simply jump through the closed window and pass directly through the glass and wooden frame. My unusual exit does no damage to the window.
At first I continue going perpendicular to the ground like the road runner but then, like in the road runner cartoons, as I glance down I begin to fall.
Beneath me I see the opening of a huge copper pipe. As I get closer to it I realize I am about to enter it. I pull my hands around my next bracing myself and I enter the pipe.
As I speed though the pipe I notice the amazing diversity of colors and textures of the pipe's interior lining, thankfully without considering what might have given birth to the funguses etc. that grew there.
Soon the pipe turns and I am speeding along like play dough or a similar substance. The pipe is now more like a kitchen sink, with innumerable elbows and bends. I am me, but my body is no longer recognizably human. I have become a roughly rolled out stick of flexible substance.
On and on I speed along. Finally I am shot out of the pipe and into a large room where everything is tinted brown. I don't think to consider my own form, but in the room, seated in a rough circle around a small fire are numerous men (no women are present). Each one is obese. Most have very long hair and scraggly beards. Most are dressed in animal skins, a couple are naked. One of these later catches my eye and I look at him with amazement. From the top of his head downward, quite slowly, clothing begins to cover his body, as if someone was pulling a window shade down that was dressing him from the top down. He seems oblivious of his transformation. As the clothing begins covering him I see that he is now wearing a sky blue moo moo. The garment is decorated with suns, stars, and moons. I am amazed by this garment and watch as meteors begin shooting across his chest. I then realize that these are not depictions but actual heavenly bodies contained within the magnificent garment.
The man with the amazing gown slowly turned to face me. He said, "You have no time to waste. Go home!" Just then a hole or portal opened in the wall and I jump into it because that was is what I to do. I have no thought about the matter.
Again I am speeding through an angular tunnel, but it is no longer a pipe. Now it is a series of gopher holes. I change tunnels freely without thought or direction. I am water seeking the path of least resistance.
Eventually I find myself just inside a cave opening (like one I lived in for three months in the 1970's). With a beautiful forest beyond him I see a very thin but muscular boy of perhaps 13. "This way," he urges me, "hurry or you will miss your return." We race through a virgin and pristine forest. He is leading the way. Soon we came to a smooth crystal clear lake. We dive in and begin swimming downward with all our strength.
In time I notice an underwater cave and think to ask the boy if we are heading there, but he was gone. I swim hard for the cave. My lungs begin to hurt but I push myself onward towards the cave (usually when I have underwater dreams I don't need air). As I enter the cave I plummet into the old woman's brownstone apartment again, careening through her closed front door without any damage to it or to me. She looks up from her knitting, smiles, and returns her concentration to her work ignoring me.
With nothing better to do, I dive out the window again, only this time, while I expect to fall, I fly upward among the clouds.
As I level out I look below and see cities, and farms, and cars, and people, tiny as ants, scampering along. I continue my flight until, in the distance, I see the airport and begin my decent.
There are planes of all sorts on the runways and in the hangers. I can see through the roofs of the buildings and I see old World War II era biplanes, and stealth bombers, and planes we don't have yet, including circular disks that are far too large to be held in the hangers, but are there anyway. It is as though the limitations of time and space have been overcome. I notice this but have no particular interest in it. I pass over the terminal and see so many people rushing to their flights. I see people leaning on the walls bring frisked by uniformed guards while others, many wielding large weapons openly, are ignored. The thought strikes me that these people are all rushing to get somewhere without understanding that they already are somewhere. I ponder: If someone is already somewhere why are they so concerned about being somewhere else?
This is not the airport I am looking for. I rise swiftly back into the sky. It is as though I decide this and correct my flight accordingly and yet I know that I am without any control whatsoever. I am the wind flowing. Nothing more.
Ahead is a huge mountain. I pause, looking at it with wonder. Never had there been such a mountain! Suddenly the winds begin blowing hard. Looking down I see mighty trees being uprooted and tossed away like toothpicks by an unseen hand. Looking back at the mountain I see that its vegetation is also being torn away by the powerful roiling winds. Huge rivers of dirt, and sand, and brush are flying into the wind as the mountain becomes shorter, less objectively impressive. It is being worn away by the massive winds right before my eyes. Suddenly torrential rains in sheets, no walls, fall from the heavens inundating the earth. The Mount is being washed away, battered on its surface and compromised underneath. The winds are blowing to the west and so the rains wash everything in that direction like a mighty monsoon. The clouds abruptly darken, blocking the sun, and I can see nothing more. All is darkness.
Now I am in pitch black darkness and moving fast into the ebony underground nothingness. I am inside the Mount. The thought occurs to me: If I'm not careful I will smash into a wall!
Instinctively I reach out my arms in front of me like a cartoon character flying. From the palms of my hands light suddenly emerges. I see before me with no difficulty and I continue onward. On the walls and setting on shelves are anceint artifacts, items sacred to my people and hidden in the depths of this Mount. I want to stop and look but can not spare the time. I must reach home before its too late. and I know that time is quickly running out.
The tunnel turns sharply to the left without notice but I continue forward. I burst through the tunnel wall (without impacting the wall at all) and find myself on a factory floor. The machines here are different from any I have seen before. I stroll around looking at them, wondering what functions they might serve. Just then an audible voice warns me in my left ear, "You'll miss you flight!" I begin frantically looking for a door, anyway to leave this place but I can not find one. I am trapped here! Trapped like an animal. I began to panic. What if I can not escape in time to catch my flight! Frantically I seek but I find no escape route. I pause to consider my situation. What am I doing here?
At the far corner of the room I see a boy of about 12 or 13. He is emaciated, little more than a living skeleton, and he is naked. There is a fear in his eyes such as I have never seen even in my worst nightmares -- and I know that realm all too well. As I look at him I realize that I know this boy. I know him very well in fact.
Bright red blood is dripping from his hands but he makes no attempt to show this to me nor to seek my help. His body is coated in hardened dirt and coagulated blood, and mud, and other things I try not to consider, but he seems oblivious to all of this. He is doing nothing. Just standing there. Just standing there looking at me. I look at his hands and arms and see that the flesh is dangling in sheets. I want to scream. To scream for this boy. To scream for myself at having to witness him.
I approach him tentatively but he steps into the wall. Gone.
I follow into the wall.
The sun is much too bright. Its burns my flesh. It beats down on my bare head, shoulders, and back. Dripping sweat stings my eyes but I dare not brush it away. In the distance I see trees, a beautiful forest. So lovely and cool. I gaze at it lovingly. There is a path there. I look longingly at the path and imagine myself strolling aimlessly down it. Have I walked that path before? I think maybe I have. I remember it, but this is not my Bulgaria and so it can't be the same path.
My foot feels like it's on fire. I note that it has turned purple. How odd, I think, a purple foot. I'm becoming delirious. My head is throbbing and the world is reeling but I am steady on my feet, I think. My empty gut is feeding on itself and I am standing because standing is what is to be done. Standing naked in the burning sun with my purple foot burning hotter than my blistered back and shoulders.
I glance up at the pit that lies before us, between us and the cool forest and the trail, and it is then that I realize why I am so dirty and why my hands are bleeding. I remember what I have done for them ... before... and now... What they made me do... but still, what I did, and I know that even HaShem could never forgive me now. He is gone away anyway. He has abandoned the earth. Who could blame Him?
And I know that I can never walk down that forest path because of what I did.
There is no hope for me. There is no hope for anyone who has been cast aside by his people.
I am an outcast -- the truth of this causes my empty stomach to gurgle with nothing but acid and my heart breaks and my chest heaves and I know: There is no hope.
I hear multiple explosions everywhere. Guns firing in rapid succession. After so many exhausting years I feel liquid and energy moving within my body, flowing. It feels wonderful. I am enraptured in bliss as my life flows out of my body with an odd metallic taste in my dry mouth. I am falling, falling. Into the darkness that is everything.
But then I hear a familiar voice, "This way!" it urges. Just as my body is about to hit the ground of the pit floor before me, now below me, I leave my body like the last spurt of water being forced through an open valve in an fast emptying container and I am in another tunnel careening forward.
And I hear voices, soft laughter that carries over the rumbling of an air conditioner. I hear a single yap of a small dog, its a pug, its Bella. And it is daylight, normal, healthy daylight and my dear Ahuva and our friend Anna are talking in the kitchen. I open my eyes and Jerry, our aging Golden Retriever is looking up at me from the floor wondering when I will give him his morning attention.
And my world has again settled down. For now.
The end of this dream merges into my Shoah memories which are discussed here.
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