I have some pretty weird dreams. I used to have the classic recurring dreams about the final exam approaching in the college class I never attended and the one about my teeth falling apart. A recurring dream that, as far as I know is unique to myself, and which has always bothered me the most is the one where I'm not married to my wife yet but we seem to have drifted apart because I haven't seen her or called her for several weeks. Recently however, all my dreams seem to be of the one of a kind variety.
The other night I had a really strange one.
It started out with me on horseback. The horse was in a leisurely trot and I remember feeling that there was no rush. As a matter of fact I had the distinct impression that I was arriving much too early. I was riding through grassy fields and I remember adjusting the cloak on my back. I was also definitely wearing a helmet of some sort as I could feel the nose guard. There were people all around, men, women and children and they seemed to be enjoying themselves, picnicking perhaps. They all seemed happy.
I remember greeting a number of youngsters with a smile and a pat on the head, but the smile was phony. I rode down to the bottom of a hill and there was a road leading along the walls of a city. The walls of the city were high enough to block the sun and the road was in shadow.
Along the road, perhaps near the entrance to the city, was an older woman up upon a dais or at least she was on something that put her up high enough so that, even from horseback, I had to look up slightly when I spoke to her. I didn’t know her name but I knew she was the queen. I stopped the horse and simply said “They are coming.”
She nodded, thanked me, said that she would give orders for the people to take shelter within the city and gave me permission “to go back.” I remember being tremendously happy even though I knew with absolute certainly that going back would mean my death. I distinctly remember a feeling of absolute joy that I would be in one more battle where I could die. I drew my sword, saluted the queen and began to gallop back down the road. People were already streaming towards the city. They were no longer happy. They were frightened.
Along the road I passed battered and beaten soldiers retreating toward the city. Finally I came to a cathedral surrounded by a very high chain link fence, a chain link fence that was totally out of place with all the 17th or 18th century symbolisms. I was at the bottom of a slope and the cathedral was about half way up towards the top. Along the far side of the fence I saw cavalry moving down the slope of the hill in single file. I immediately recognized them as the queen’s elite guard. They had snow white cloaks and silver helmets topped with thick flopping black feathers. I remember thinking that if the elite guard is retreating, then the end must be very near.
I rode through a gate in bottom of the fence and there were other cavalry there. They were dismounted and waiting on the grass just in front of a very low wall along the right front of the cathedral courtyard. They weren’t dressed in as fancy a uniform as the elite guard. I rode up to a youngish man with very black hair and a thin black beard. His eyes were very tired. I believe he was the commander of the cavalry waiting near the wall. He looked at me and simply asked if I had delivered the message. I nodded.
At that moment a cardinal or bishop came riding into the fenced in area. He was riding a black horse, was dressed in a black gown with red trim and had on the traditional churchman’s cap. Not a miter, just the informal gap that goes with the day to day ecclesiastical cassock. I could see the elite guard continuing its retreat behind him along the bottom of the fence. Then the Bishop cried out in desperation “Will no one stay and defend the church?”
No one answered him.
Then I heard shouting that the rear guard was collapsing. I looked toward the top of the hill and I could see walls and barricades being pushed inward. I was still on horseback. The rest of the men in the courtyard strapped on helms, mounted and drew their swords. I drew mine as well although I don’t remember having put it back in its sheath. The youngish man with the black hair waved us out a side gate and we started up the hill to reinforce the rear guard.
That’s when my alarm clock went off.
I’m not even going to try and figure this one out. It was totally bizarre, crystal clear and burned into my memory. The thing that left the strongest impression was the feeling of total happiness that I was going to die in a known and familiar fashion. The suspense was over. I knew how it was going to end.
I went to a few dream interpretation web sites, but I found nothing even close to this. I read somewhere that dream images are borrowed from people or things you encounter while awake. The queen reminded me of Queen Beatrix of Holland which isn’t too surprising because I had just seen her on a news clip after that maniac drove his car into the royal procession.
The queen’s elite guard I’m pretty sure I got from news footage I’d seen of Imperial German Cavalry from just prior to world war one. The bishop was perhaps the result of me having just watched the trailer for Angels & Demons. If not, then I’ve seen plenty of pictures and films of cardinals and bishops. The black haired officer I can’t place anywhere. I’d say John Derek as Joshua in the Ten Commandments but Derek’s hair was much curlier than this man's hair.
I didn’t see much of the city but it could have been borrowed from the ruins of Lordaeron in World of Warcraft. The cathedral was made of very dark rock. I have no idea where I got that from nor do I have any idea why it would be surrounded by a very high chain link fence. A wrought iron fence I could understand but chain link?
Maybe some night I’ll go back and find out more. I’d like to know who “they” were and why the bishop thought the church needed defending. I had the feeling that “they” may not have been human.
The most interesting thing was that throughout the entire dream, I never felt afraid. The sitution was hopeless but that didn't seem to bother me. I was content. Here's hoping I manage to go out in real life that calmly.