This morning I got up at 04:00 so that I could drive to Portland to attend a suicidality conference. I rarely remember the dreams that I have. This morning I had one that was filled with lots of emotion.
The dream was set somewhere in the East. It could have been Thailand or China… I am unsure. The countryside was a forest of giant bamboo. I was in a stilt house, up in the bamboo, with a friend, a woman. I do not remember the beginning the dream, I have the feeling that I am forgetting some important aspect, yet what I can recall now, sixteen hours later, is that this woman friend and I were fighting another couple. The couple was a native of the country that we were in. I cannot describe much more of them than this. We were fighting the other couple, woman versus woman, man versus man. My fight had moved around the room and up onto the straw roof. The other man had a long spear and threw it at me. I managed to duck and to return a killing blow upon him. This freed me up to go downstairs where the other fight was still carrying on.
When I re-entered the room below the woman adversarie looked at me. She knew that her partner was dead by my hand and she dropped her weapon, overcome with grief. I don’t remember if she explained it to me, but somehow I knew her fear in the dream. Her fear was that the soul of her mate would wander the earth as a lost spirit, tormented, unless it could be guided to the next plane. With a look of worry, fear, and deep sadness she begged me to kill her so that she could be that guide for her beloved.
Instantly I felt her pain. I was so overcome with sadness and shame at the action that I had done that I leapt to the ground and grabbed her feet, begging for forgiveness for what I had done.
I awoke. In therapy we ask people to try to localize their emotions in their body, to describe the sensations they feel in their stomach, their arms, their legs. What does joy feel like? Guilt? Sorrow? I awoke in my bed, in the dark, and I felt a heaviness as though I were filled with sand, an entanglement as though all of me were tied in knots. I was dense and lethargic and it seemed as though my very blood had stopped its flow. Lying in the bed I felt a very deep sense of grief, loss, sorrow, and guilt. And I cherished the rich emotion.
What this dream means I do not know. It isn’t a theme that has been coming up for me lately. It seems as though it is random from out of the blue. Yet it was surprisingly coherent and quite powerful in its emotional strength. It was nice that I had this on Mabon, the Autumn Equinox. Perhaps there is something there in the mythology when the Oak King dies, when Persephone returns to the Underworld. I do not know. But I am grateful for both the rare, remembered dream, and the feeling heart that felt the grief and pain.