Saturday, June 09, 2012


(Note: I am scheduled to have cataract surgery the last week of June and it is getting progressively harder for me to read/write on the computer (mostly I think from screen glare, which the cataract makes me more sensitive to). I'm told that after surgery I may have about a week of possibly blurry or less than perfect vision so don't be surprised if there is little or no other posts from me for a few weeks. In the interim, I thought I'd give you something to chew on :-)

A dream I had while in college in the early 1960s was so unusual to me that I wrote it down when I woke up (not something I did then and rarely do even now). Years later when I wrote my novel, Three Part Invention, having the dream notes enabled me to give the dream to Beth, one of the main characters, changing little except shifting point of view from 1st to 3rd person. Plus a little a little novelistic embellishment. Would you call this an initiatory dream? A calling? The dream on which this excerpt is based occurred about a decade before I knew anything of  "Goddess" or "Great Mother." I have bolded the parts I think most made the dream an initiation or calling:


[Beth] went back to her dorm room where she fell asleep immediately and began to dream....yellow walls of a mental institution. Beth was there to visit Valerie, who had been committed. Mistakenly, Beth was convinced. "You've got to release her," she told a nurse," Val's not insane!"

But the nurse looked dubious and, handing Beth a notebook, said, "Look at this."

Beth turned page after page of scribbling. Looks like German, Beth thought, but then realized it was no known language. Nevertheless, Beth told the nurse, "That's perfectly good middle German. Valerie is a German scholar."

The nurse laughed; her laughter bounced off the yellow walls like yodeling in a canyon. "Valerie is very sick," she said and, still laughing, walked away.

But where was Val? What if she couldn't find her? No, that couldn't happen. She was going to get Val out. Beth looked up and down the hall...and suddenly knew with certitude that Val was behind the third door down the hall on the right. The door had no windows, indicating that this was a top security cell for the dangerously insane and should have been locked. Yet when Beth turned the knob, it opened.

Val sat resplendent in middle of her bed, smiling serenely, her dark hair flowing about her....Val didn't seem to be concerned about being in a mental asylum, but Beth...had to get Val out of there. Beth took her friend's hand and...they floated through the doorway through hall and towards the outside door. As they exited, Beth realized that Val was not just Val. Somehow she was also Beth's mother. But not her real-life mother. Another mother, one who was truly hers and whom Beth also had to save. As Val-Mother and Beth ran down the hilly lawn in front of the asylum, the nurses and psychiatrists pursued them, calling to them to come back. But they outran the medical staff and reached the parking lot where Beth remembered leaving her car. But neither Beth nor Val-Mother could see the car anywhere. Val-Mother had become weak, weak from sitting on her bed in the hospital so long, weaker yet from running. She leaned on Beth and Beth helped her walk. Slowly they crossed the lot, and Beth thought she spotted her car, but before she could be sure a big yellow school bus suddenly bore down on them....

When Beth regained consciousness she crawled out from under the school bus which had crashed and which was now empty and broken. Val-Mother was nowhere to be seen. Then Beth was away from the bus, in another place, a place of wind and light--a highway. Beth was on foot on a highway, alone. First, cars whizzed by so fast she couldn't even see them. Then traffic ceased. The wind stopped. Beth walked along the vacant highway, feeling that she had a destination, though she could not name what it might be....

Beth awoke with a start, able to recall the whole dream, wondering at its weirdness.

END OF EXCERPT from Three Part Invention, a novel. Copyright 2002, 2009 by Judith Laura. All rights reserved.

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