The Building From My Dream

I knocked together a quick 3D rendering of what that building in my dream looked like, from my point of view:

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The recessed areas between the timbers were the little bays where we were each assigned a bedding space.  The door is just visible, as are the windows.  There is also a stairway (only hinted at here) to the upper levels which I presume contained a similar sort of arrangements.  There were few walls and no bars, shackles, or restraints of any kind so if it was a jail, it was a very low-security affair.  The thought that this was a debtor’s prison seems very likely.  It might also have been tenements or even barracks (perhaps billets from my revolutionary war life, if I’m wrong about the date?).

There were a number of us in the place, it was dark so I couldn’t see much of the others but I think we were in pretty ragged shape.  The people next to me and the men entering the door in long button-up coats all wore styles suggestive of the late 17th or early 18th century.

This was so vivid in my dream  I was able to remember it well enough to make a model the next day.  I really feel strongly that this is a past life memory.

Old Sheldon Church

A few nights ago, I had a dream about a brick colonnaded building.  It was very richly appointed, and I think it was built by a rich family.  It had a roof and doors in my dream.

It looked an awful lot like the ruins of the Old Sheldon Church in Yemasee, South Carolina:

Some months before that, I had a dream that I was in a large cemetery- a necropolis, really- of large old-fashioned above-ground tombs with heavy shade from large oak trees.

Yep, you guessed it, Old Sheldon Church Again!

Now here’s the bizarre thing: even though I grew up in the South Carolina lowcountry, I don’t recall ever going to the Old Sheldon Church.  I stumbled on the image tonight by accident while looking for photos of Old Fort Dorchester which I went to often as a child, but this one eludes me.  I simply can’t remember if I’ve been there or not.  But what I can say is that it was in my dream, and that it had a roof even though this particular church has been a ruin since the Civil War.

Perhaps it’s nothing.  I’ve e-mailed my father to ask if I’ve ever been to these ruins as a child.

Remembering A Dream

I remember a dream I had years ago (I was probably between 12 and 15) that at the time I thought very little of but now, in hindsight, it kind of makes sense.

It was during a rebellion of some kind, or a war or something of that nature.  There were three or four knights (or at least they were men at arms with some nice kit), still in their armor, who were being hanged.  I was an observer and felt detached from the scene save for a slight twinge of horror, as if I had no involvement.

I’m pretty sure that since I had this dream, I have come across several accounts of knights and fighting men being hanged in their armor, but by then I had forgotten all about this dream; I had given more importance to dreams that had more of an emotional impact (which surprisingly, this one didn’t beyond the usual feeling of an unpleasant dream).  I desperately wish I had access to my counselor’s files from high school since I must have told him all about these dreams!

For the record, if I try to remember the dream the armor I see is not 13th century armor, so I don’t think this is from Count William’s time.  What I see instead is 14th century armor, with significant plate elements and pointed sabatons.  At the time I would have known no such distinction.

The 14th century is still kind of an area of mystery for me.  I’ve had brief flickers that I initially attributed to Count William’s life but suspect I was dressed in 14th century clothing (the colors of my hose were one red and one black and my tunic was short and close-fitting; that is so unlike the style in Count William’s time in which solid-color hose and baggy tunics were favored).  I initially attributed this to an aesthetic bias toward 14th century fashions, art, and literature but in light of remembering these dreams from high school, I’m not so sure now.

The two events that immediately come to mind in which knights or men-at-arms might have been hanged in their armor are the 100 Years War and the Peasant’s Revolt.  Admittedly I’m a little weak on those beyond the most cursory history book details of the conflict because I’ve been so obsessed with the Angevin Empire for the last couple of years.  I need to shift my attention back to the 14th century.

EDIT: I just looked up “knights hanged in armor” and what comes up as the first thing actually related to medieval history?  The Albigensian Crusade! WEIRD!

Only one problem, the Albigensian Crusade was in the 13th century, so this probably isn’t it.  Also, I was not involved in prosecuting the Albigensian Crusade myself as I was in the service of King John (who was excommunicated and allied with Raymond of Toulouse against France who allied with the Pope).  Being an ally of Raymond of Toulouse might have sent me into Cathar Country while this was going on, but I doubt this is what I saw.

Creepy Coincidence

A couple entries back I mentioned the Jordanian response to ISIS, and in my last entry I mentioned a dream where I saw the date January 30, 1962.

It turns out that January 30, 1962 is the Jordanian King Abdullah’s birthday.

Um… what’s going on here?  And why do I have a dreadful feeling that something very bad is about to happen in the Middle East?

Maybe it’s nothing.  The mind does crazy things sometimes, making too much of tenuous connections.  But with the eyes of the world turned at least partly toward Jordan this week I’m a bit spooked that it would come up twice for me.

A Dream

I had a dream last night that made me wake up wondering what exactly was happening.

In the dream, I was in the Bay Area with my father and I remember looking out the window of a building. There was a hospital there, brick and stone with art deco flourishes and those narrow, tall windows you’d expect in a 1930s city building, but on the building or its sign there was a date in cut-out metal letters and numbers: January 30, 1962.

Now I’m left wondering what happened on January 30, 1962. That was around the time I was living in Point Reyes Station.

Dreams

I meant to mention this earlier.  Although I have not had any flashes of what might be past life memories for a good while now, I have been having vivid dreams lately that seem to have a theme of watching hundreds of years of entropy unfold before me.

In the dream I had a couple days ago, I was in a pretty little cottage.  The place was old, and looked like somewhere in Northern Europe.  It had terra-cotta tiled floors of varying shades of brown and a pitched A-frame roof like an Alpine chalet, and the ceiling came down to floor level and was plastered and white-washed.  I lay in a simple bed, looking out the window.  The tiles below the window were intricately patterned.  The scenery beyond the window was beautiful, and I felt I knew it, with a green field and wooded hills beyond.  I felt tears in my eyes.  Then I saw roads and ditches cut through it, and before long I was looking at a highway; I felt I had just watched several hundred years pass and and the tears of joy turned to tears of sorrow.

In the other dream, which I think was actually in the early morning hours yesterday, I found myself looking at the ruins of an old brick church.  One could still see the insets in the brick work where the rafters would have gone, and although I didn’t actually see how it looked when it was new, I felt I knew this place when it was an active church.

I don’t know what to make of these dreams.  The way the windows looked in that cottage may have been from an ad I saw for a cute little cottage for sale in East Coker (for more money than I’ll ever have), and the general feeling of the dreams is understandable given the ravages of time on places I knew in past lives I’m more certain about.  I don’t think they’re real places so much as speculating on how I might feel when confronted with places I knew in past lives.  Still, I awoke from those dreams- especially the one about the cottage- feeling rather sad and incredibly old, as if I really had watched hundreds of years pass before my eyes.

I suppose in a way, I have.

Dream

Last night, I had a dream that was largely nonsensical, but there was one element that stands out.

In the dream, my fiance said the word “army” with a heavy Somerset accent (maybe he was trying to talk like a pirate?).  Just hearing the word “army” said that way triggered something undoubtedly past-life related within me and soured my mood.  It left me feeling unpleasant even after I had woken up.

What else?  I seem to remember there was also a moment going to one of those small, mid-century grocery stores with tall glass fronts that were still common in my childhood (but seem to be vanishing now that everything’s gone to big-box retail).  The usual colorful kiddie rides and candy vending machines were out front.  I wonder if that means anything?  It was a lot like the Piggly-Wiggly in Goose Creek, SC that we would shop at if we were down that way when I was young.

Beyond that, the dream made no sense whatsoever and I’m still in a hazy, dreamlike state (probably because I took something for anxiety right before bed…  I hate what those pills do to me though so I rarely take them).

Recent Dreams

My recent dreams have been sort of uneasy and indistinct, laced with anxiety and what seems to be constant action, moving from place to place, never staying still, the channel changing constantly.

Just a moment ago, while trying to remember what I dreamed about, it seems there was something involving a low stone or brick wall that I had to run for.  Then a cold chill hit me… that wall was cover and I was trying to get to it because I had to.

I remember nothing else about the dream.  I have suspected for a time that I’m blocking some really unpleasant memories from the war, but now my suspicions are strong.  Even my dreams that aren’t overtly related to my life as John, I think, might have something to do with repressed memories.

I just want it out…  it’s always better out than in, it seems.  I want to know what’s bothering me so that I can just get it over with.

The Meaning of that Dream…

I had a dream a few weeks ago (I think I made an entry about it) where I walked through an alternate Yeovil- one as it would be if two world wars hadn’t happened- and saw it much more intact, and closer to how John would have remembered it.

The part of the dream that really struck me, though, was when I came to the square where the Yeovil war memorial would be, and in its place was a giant, ancient myrtle tree.

Today in an art history class, we were discussing the Venuses of Titian and Giorgione and it was mentioned that the myrtle is a symbol of Venus.

Suddenly, a possible meaning of the dream clicked.  That myrtle was the distinct opposite of what stands there now.  Rather than a cold stone in the spirit of Mars, God of War, this was a living thing, ancient and beautiful, in the spirit of Venus, Goddess of Love.  I sat in its shade and was very content.  If I was aware of this memetic symbolism, it didn’t click consciously.

Another possible meaning for the myrtle comes from the Welsh lyrics most commonly set to the tune “Cwm Rhondda,” which I believe to have been John’s favorite hymn during his adult years in the Welsh Marches.  The title of that particular setting is “Wele’n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd” (Lo, between the myrtles standing).*  The meaning of the myrtle in Christianity is apparently that of the Gentiles who converted to Christianity, so the symbolism would have a lot of power in Europe.

Now, I could digress into Neoplatonism and try to string the two meanings together, but right now I’m not in a good state for such intellectual gymnastics.  And yet, if this is anything but the product of 29 years of absorbing Christian and Greco-Roman religious memes and conflating them through common conventions, it’s tantalizing to think about because it’s the first time I’ve seen any hint of the divine in this.

I would feel very blessed if the Divine Feminine came to me in the guise of Venus in this life.  I am waiting for something a little less ambiguous but I’m listening.

* I should note that John was probably more familiar with an English language version of the hymn and though I’ve found evidence of the Harris family in the Welsh Marches going back hundreds of years, I have no reason to believe that he actually spoke Welsh.

A Thought and a Dream

A thought I had about that documentary I linked to last night:

I had considered that I had met a similar fate to the soldier who died laying barbed wire before having seen that documentary, but really had little to support that.

That being said, thinking about it in the context of the information they gave, it does allow at least one memory to make more sense.

The memory of the supposed artillery bombardment that I had previously thought had led to my death could have been misinterpreted, as a lot of things don’t add up in that context.

If it was an artillery bombardment, why was I on an earth embankment next to the trenches and not down in them, if not down in a dugout?

If it was an artillery bombardment, then why did the shells look more like the flares they showed?

If it was an artillery bombardment, then why are there only 3 soldiers from my division in the cemeteries in Houplines from that particular date, 2 of whom are from an entirely different regiment?

Also, if it was an artillery bombardment rather than some dangerous mission, then my epitaph (“He did his duty”) means a great deal less.

I believe now I may have been doing something out in No Man’s Land with a few other soldiers.  Perhaps not laying barbed wire, but we were discovered.  Flares went up, and before I could get back to the safety of the trench something got me.  I don’t recall feeling any pain, just a loud “WHOOMP!” a feeing of being face down in the dry, dusty earth, then darkness and silence.  That “WHOOMP!” could just as easily have been a trench mortar, a grenade, or even a heavy volley of machine gun fire.  Whatever it is, I believe it was fast and I don’t think I was fully aware that I had died.

Also, a dream I had just a little while ago when I came home and took a nap, which may be entirely random:

I was somewhere in Germany (I saw “Bayern” on a sign so I’m guessing Bavaria).  It was a city with a lot of modern architecture and lots of green spaces with broad-leafed trees.  There was a wide stairway set up a bit like a section of an ampitheater with its curved steps, going down about 20 feet.  It led to a series of elevators with stainless steel doors, which led to an underground rail station of some sort (the feeling I had was that it was an inter-city rail and not a light commuter rail).

Down inside the station, there was a restroom that had these broken green stone or bronze statues of winged goddesses in an art deco style, along with a larger-than-life hand mirror.  The text on the wall (in English no less) explained that these were decorative accents from a radio mast it cryptically referred to as the “night tower.”

I’m placing my bets that this is the end result of a lot of art history classes and several friends with past life memories of Germany, but I thought it was worth recording nonetheless.