Wednesday, April 26

Dreams of the Black Dog

What's It All About?

Mana in the Void

The Glamour and the Despair

I walk by myself in a muted world. I know this because the dream perspective is through my own eyes and even though I cannot see my body, I see the world jitter slightly as I put one foot in front of the other. It now looks like each step vibrates my sight, but does not affect the road I’m on.

All around me is a flat expanse, soundless, empty of people; filled with blurred rock, bush, mountain, and one or two bare trees. As I gaze straight ahead, I realize that I am stopped. I cannot look behind or even side to side. Other than my forward view, I realize the blur is because much of the wide world is in my peripheral eye sight. As I wonder and worry about this realization, I begin to walk and all around me are telephone poles strung with many levels of wires. Bus benches, blowing paper, gutters, street grates, a water fountain and concrete sidewalks. As I walk, I experience a visual doppler effect where blurry items become sharp as I approach and dim as I pass them. I seem to be in a membrane which obscures my vision until I approach the outer edges. Within this membrane is silence. I want to hear noise. I search for the sounds of birds, cars, bicycles, skateboards, people and worry that this profound silence means that I am deaf.

I feel myself moving forward, not stepping now, but gliding soundlessly through this soundless world onto a long, straight blacktop highway with a double yellow stripe down the middle. Such roads only exist in the desert, I’m thinking, and in my peripheral sight, there are spiny cactus, sand and rock. The colors have gone from white washed pale, to concrete grey, to dry brownness. The black asphalt points like an arrow to the horizon and that is where my gaze is focused.

Without me noticing a change the membrane dissolves and the black road becomes a brown gravel road littered with rock, weeds and the possibility of crawling creatures. It seems to be swallowed up by the mountain at the horizon and I wonder if a train is coming. As I wonder, I see a black figure far away shimmering in the false mirage of the road. It is still and so am I. Nothing moves. The road and desert surroundings have become flat, motionless paintings, two dimensional and cartoonish. It is at this point I am able to look behind me. I see a mirror image of the road in front, cartoonish and shimmering in the distance. The backward view however, has no mountain, just flat earth and pale sky with the broad stripe of road. As I twist to the side to see the extent of road and horizon, in my peripheral vision, I see the black figure approaching.

 As I turn to get a straight forward view, the figure becomes a black dog. It looks like an all-black, Australian sheep dog, furry around the face with pointed ears and flashing black eyes. I feel a relief and gather myself to greet him, but the black dog snarls and barks, shattering the pervasive silence. He bunches his muscles and runs toward me showing sharp white teeth.

I am shocked, maddened, and as he gets closer, I am infuriated. The betrayal and rage pulse through my now visible body. I stand my ground beating my fists against my thighs readying myself to lunge forward and grab the dog by the neck. The black dog pauses for one final leap onto me and I shout. In my dream mind, I am screaming, “Get out of here.”

“Kathy, Kathy, wake up! You’re roaring. Stop!” my husband’s dark silhouette has risen above the covers. He is lightly tapping my arm. My throat is raw and my chest is heaving as I gasp for breath. I am sorry for waking him and for him waking me. As we settle back into the blankets I know I’ll see the black dog again until I tame him.

(btw... sorry about the commercial up front - you can skip through it. Enjoy 🐶)