This is the time of year when I have few thoughts to spare outside my immediate job, my brain exhausted and useless on the weekends, even those weekends I don’t end up going in, as I did yesterday. Activity will be minimal through to October. Unless this “Every two weeks a mass shooting” thing continues, in which case I’ll try to devote a few hours to pointing out my growing problems with this pattern.
In the meantime, I’ve promised myself to try to get back in the habit of writing down my dreams, especially those that stick in my brain for any reason. This is not due to any pretense of “prophetic” or “Psychic” dreaming, so much as the understanding that dreams are the way the subconscious tells the conscious various things, sometimes relating to upcoming events, more often relating to the very personal present or the past. When a dream is especially clear, it warrants a note or two for the sake of remembrance. So, my dream last night .. .
I was in smallish church, perhaps a glorified chapel, kneeling behind a pew full of nuns, their habits and veils a navy blue, except for the novice who was in light blue with a white veil. Several more rows of nuns in different habits ranged ahead, while the pews to my right were filled with cassock-ed priests and robed monks. There were many families with children also at the Mass, all gathered around the base of the altar– it was some sort of community Mass of Thanksgiving, I think specifically for the religious God had called from the community. From the decorations in the church, I think it was late Advent, and I think it was evening, the stained glass windows dark, but the interior filled with light.
We had gotten to the part of the Mass generally referred two as the “Prayers of the Faithful”– after the three readings, the psalm and homily, after the Creed was recited, when the community brought forth petitions to be prayed by everyone. In my dream, after the lector-led prayers, there was a few minutes given for people in the congregation to pipe up with their own intentions– a practice I have experienced in some smaller communities and gatherings, but in not the normal practice with a Sunday congregation. One man, over to my right, dressed in a long sleeved white button-down with a dark red sweater vest and grey slacks, mentioned an intention, over which we prayed. Then, at the front of the church, to my right, at the front of what would have been the south transept, near the base of the altar and the children, a man in a puffy white parka began to speak an intention of his own.
“That Allah will witness this, and bless what comes after. . .” it was calmly spoken, as he pulled out what looked, from my distance, to be a .45 and, in one smooth motion, carelessly aimed it at a little, brown haired boy and shot him in the head. The entire right side of the church seemed to surge as the men rushed forward, one of the first tackle him crying “Don’t beat him, just restrain him for interrogation!” But I think I saw some kicking anyway.
I was kneeling in shock at witnessing the so-casual murder of a child, the wailing of his mother cutting through the eerie silence even as the men subdued the man with the gun. The nuns in front of me were also in similar shock, the novice’s pale robe somehow stained with specks of blood even at our distance.
The obvious take needs not be addressed. But I will be thinking about the not-so-obvious signals in this dream. When I have dreams this clear and coherent, everything is the way it is for a reason, with several layers to be dissected. And it usually takes a few years to work them all out. Two I have had that have taken me a few decades to discover all the layers to. . . so no rush. Just a reminder to myself and readers that, especially with dreams, one must “Look underneath the underneath . . .”