It has been a long time since I have written about any dreams. So in this Installment, I want to share what I believe is a truly important dream. This occurred back on July 1, 2013.
I wrote in my journal:
I was participating in an honoring rites ceremony on a sunken State vessel for a Captain and his Mate, at the insistence of the Captain’s son, if I remember correctly. The son had found the ship and we traveled to it to observe it.
I recall that the ship was not sunken, but setting on the sea-bed.
I recall walking in and through the ship, yes, it was filled with water, but we walked in and around – as if it were actually above ground.
I recall meeting several other people of renown on that ship, they spoke with me, but the only one I recall is President Eisenhower, because I can recall his face, but for some reason, I believe I referred to him as President Truman. I met him when I opened a door and he was walking out, and I know he spoke with me, but I don’t recall what was said.
The ship had this beautiful soft golden hew to it, the golden hew illuminated the ship, meaning the ship had no other mechanisms for lighting, no candles, no light-fixtures, no outside sunlight, only the golden hew bathing the entire ship. The tree grove was illuminated by what felt like moonlight.
I know Mary was there, I simply don’t recall how long, or frequency, because I seem to recall holding her hand, but at other times not holding her hand, and being with her in the tree grove garden talking to the Captain’s son, but then she was there and not there while I was inside the ship.
We stayed inside and around the ship until we exhausted the air supply inside the ship. We were inside the ship examining the beauty, the statehood, discussing the historical nature of the vessel and the people. Outside the ship in the grove by moonlight, we discussed how we were going to honor the Captain and his Mate, I know we discussed it, but do not recall any specific words. We were back inside the ship in like a kitchen/dinning area where we diced up some type of item that I believe was some type of cheese. Once diced into small cubes, we found ourselves running out of air, and completed our memorial.
I also recall discussing with Mary my nervousness about conducting this honor, and she encouraged me that I could conduct the service and do so pleasing to the entire moment and the people.
I recall walking outside the ship in like a tree grove, talking with Mary and the Captain’s son. The Captain, his Mate, and the Captain’s son were nameless.
I even recall hearing one of the doors close, and it sounded just like my grandmother’s (my dad’s mother) door from her kitchen to her back porch area, the door was wooden with a large single glass pane, the house was built somewhere in the early 1900s and felt uptodate, but aged when I last was there, but the sound of that door closing was her door.
The first thing I wrote is that I was participating in an honoring rites ceremony. But at the end of that first paragraph I wrote that “we” meaning Mary and I, went to observe the honoring rites ceremony.
That seems odd, but I guess it is not odd, when you put those statements in the motif of like a graduation ceremony. The school officials orchestrate an honoring rites ceremony to celebrate those who are graduating. But hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, participate in the ceremony by observing the ceremony take place. While those observers are not “active” in the ceremony, they are, nonetheless, part of the ceremony.
The opening paragraph speaks of specific individuals. The first is the Captain. The second is the Captain’s mate, which is not the Captain’s spouse, but the Captain’s helper while they are on that vessel. The third is the Captain’s son.
The other thing that is important is that this honoring rites ceremony was taking place on a State vessel. This is a ship purpose built representing some type of authoritative organization. Yet it was not a vessel built for battle. It was a ship built representing dignity and honor.
I said that the ship was not sunken, but setting on the sea floor. That means that the ship was setting on its keel, perfectly upright, neither listing to port nor listing to starboard. This seems to indicate that the ship was resting there on purpose and, according to the dream, for a purpose.
Now the odd thing is that the interior of the vessel is both filled with water and illuminated with a soft golden glow. Being filled with water gives the ship a sense of having sunk, but the golden glow gives the ship a sense of having not sunk, in other words being a live working vessel.
I walked around within the ship and met several people. Why I recall President Eisenhower is somewhat mysterious. He did serve as President, yet also had a military career. In the dream, the vessel felt far more Stately like a Presidential-type vessel than a military vessel. But why I referred to him as President Truman is just as mysterious.
So, in this dream, I am aboard this dignified and regal ship, which is illuminated not by electricity or by other human mechanisms for illumination (e.g. candles). Instead this ship is softly, deliberately illuminated by a golden light which itself accents the stately nature of the vessel.
In my journal entry, I mention a tree grove. What I find most interesting about that is that it is located outside the Stately vessel, but still under water. But while underwater there is this beautiful tree grove illuminated by moonlight.
In my recording of the dream, it seems that I know that Mary is there, but she and I are not always together walking through the ship. Yet, she was with me in the tree grove, where we spoke to the Captain’s son.
It is just as odd that she and I stayed inside the vessel until we used the air in the ship. So somehow, the ship has both water and air and illumination in it. The whole dream is filled with this type of imagery, on the sea floor, but like we were on land.
Yet Mary and I spent time in conversation. In the vessel, we talked about the historicity of the ship and people. Outside the ship, we talked about how we were going to honor the Captain and his mate. We then dice cheese into small cubes. Then the memorial is finished. Yet we also talked about my anxiety about my ability to conduct the service and be satisfying to the people.
But perhaps the most striking thing that occurred is when I heard my grandmother’s kitchen door close. It wasn’t a slam. It simply closed.
If you are familiar with animated movies, there is a scene toward the end of the movie about a mouse that is a chef. The mouse-chef prepares a meal for the resident critic. The critic takes a bite and is immediately taken to a moment in his youth. The critic is instantly taken not just with the food, but taken back to a memory.
That is the kind of thing that happened with the closing of that door. It reverberated in the memory, as if I had been standing right there in her kitchen. A dream, but it was that real.
When Mary and I talked about that dream, my journal entry records that she thought the dream had something to do with the United States. I mean, those elements are there, and definitely lend to that feeling. But I told her then, I tell my reader now, as I recorded in my journal that I did not get that impression, not at all.
Important imagery. Symbolic. I was there. So was Mary. What does it mean?
My journal records that Mary and I spent the day thinking and talking about that dream. While on a break during my workday, I prayed about it and was led to understand that if I prayed when I arrived home later that day, I would be able to have an answer about the dream.
That prayer led me to understand that I was to read Deuteronomy and make notes. During that break, I was able to read and makes notes up through chapter six.
During that day, I also prayed. I asked “Where are you sending me?” The Divine responded:
My journal records that I understood that “South” meant a physical movement, as in moving from one location to another.
My journal also records that later that afternoon, after completing the bus route, I found myself on a hill where I could look out over the city of San Antonio, and I heard the Divine ask:
Do you want to remain here?
I wrote in my journal that my answer was “If remaining here, means living as I have been, then no.”
My reader needs to keep in mind that I was really wrestling with where I was going in my life, and I wasn’t too keen on continuing in that occupation. So, back then when I looked at my life, I did not want to continue doing the same things that I had been doing.
I interpreted the Divine’s question as that San Antonio represented maintaining my personal and familial status quo. That was something I was ready to change. As I look back, I can see how God changed my status quo one element at a time, and now I am here in 2016 looking forward to beginning a new life with my two ladies.
But back to the dream.
Later that day, I arrived home, prepared my thoughts and myself for prayer. During that interactive prayer, the meaning of the dream was revealed. The Divine said:
Life is good, even under pressure. I am the light, in me there is no darkness. I am the ship. You are my servant. My son seems obvious. My mate seems obvious. The rite is a rite of passage from one stage of life to another. The people represent those figures who moved from one stage of life to another through a rite. The tree represents union, the tree of life, even in moonlight.
In my journal I recorded the following:
The interpretation seemed much shorter than I expected, but there it is. After the interpretation, I recalled that there was only light inside the ship, not outside, but in the garden under the tree there was moonlight, but I got the idea that the tree of life grows even in the moonlight, it does not require only the sun.
Mary asked if there were shadows being cast in the ship. I had to answer no.
Dreams. I don’t have many, but when I do they feel important. From this particular dream, it seems that I was given something important.
Life is celebrated with rites of passages. We celebrate graduation, and marriage, the birth of children, along with personal achievements and awards. We celebrate lots of momentous occasions, even the victory of our favorite sports teams.
Life has pressure, but with God’s presence, the pressure is manageable, making the impossible, possible.
Blessings and Shalom