Thursday, August 25, 2011

When They Said, "Repent"...

I wonder what they meant...

* * *

For the record...

I had a meeting with my therapist yesterday morning -- the guy I started seeing after my drinking damn near cost me my job. He's a veteran in dealing with patients with substance abuse problems (he's been there, done that himself), and I've concentrated on that part of my life when talking to him. And he's done right by me, far as I'm concerned. But in the last part of the session, I decided to share an odd dream I'd had that morning before visiting him, as if he were Sigmund Freud, just to get his take on it, or if he had any -- he's not exactly a dream analyst.

I was in what I can only describe as an alternate Virginia from the one I live in. A little medieval, in some ways, but at the same time, there was this... terminal, I suppose, that had buses, trains, and jets flying in and out of it, that does not exist anywhere in Virginia. Yet there were people in this terminal mentioning places like Roanoke and Virginia Beach -- so, same state, alternate universe. And since I was dreaming it all, I had no idea it was all in my head.

Anyway, there were a handful of people walking around this... terrain... with what looked like ravens to me hovering above their heads. And now and then, they'd wrap a piece of paper around their raven's leg, the way people used to do with passenger pigeons, and send the raven off to wherever the message had to be delivered. At some point, one person just sent their raven off, and later on, it came back, and it saw that I happened to be the only person around.

I remember leaning a little, intending for it to land on my shoulder. Which it did. Up til that point, the dream had a somewhat nightmarish quality to it, but once the raven landed on my shoulder, things seemed to calm down -- in fact, the raven was relieved to be able to give its wings a rest. And for most of the rest of this dream, I walked from place to place with this raven on my shoulder, totally cool with it. I had something resembling a conversation with this raven, but all I can remember now is that it was glad to have a place to perch -- I can't remember anything else.

Then, eventually, I wound up at that aforementioned terminal, and I remembered that I had to be somewhere at a certain time -- maybe the print shop, maybe somewhere else -- but I couldn't remember where I parked my car. I knew how to get there from where I was, but... where the fuck was my car?!

While I was running to and fro, I caught a sight of my shadow in the sunlight, and instead of a raven on my shoulder, there was this big spider.

I slapped it off in a scared fit just as my clock alarm went off. A couple hours later, having told all this to my counselor, I asked him what he thought it meant.

The part that he showed the most interest in was the raven. He told me that the obstacles to getting from one place to another were a sure sign of anxiety and stress -- and since I've had a lot of dreams like that lately, and I have been more anxious and stressed than in healthy for a human being, I readily agreed with him. But he asked me what the raven meant to me.

Well, you say "raven" to me, the first thing I think of is that Edgar Allan Poe poem. Or an oversized crow. But I also know that ravens are highly intelligent animals, and in certain cultures, they are viewed as fortune tellers. Trouble is, the fortunes they tell are usually bad (see Mr. Poe). But I dug a little deeper into raven symbolism this evening out of curiosity, and... well, I ended up posting the Cohen video clip above as a result.

Ravens aren't forces of evil. They're forces of goodness. But they're overmatched -- and they sense it. They're doing what they can because that's the way they're put together.

That's what I think the raven in my dream meant. Because that's exactly how I feel every minute of every day these days.

And yet, I keep pressing on. Why? Ask any raven why it keep flying; its answer is the same as mine...

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