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Chocolate

Image credit here.

Image credit here.

2013

Writing seems to be at least as good as drugs. I went to sleep after finishing my essay on becoming invisible and had the oddest dream:

The weather was chilly. I stood just outside (Irish Name) Hall, an academic building on the (Jesuit) University campus. A man smiled and hurried by on my left as he made for the door. I didn’t take too close a look. Why would I? I was accustomed to the rhythms of student life, and I no longer noticed their comforting background hum.

I can’t recall his face other than to say that he was youthful looking and without facial hair. I assumed he was a fellow student. He had brown skin, and his dark hair hung about to his shoulders. My peripheral vision told me that he wore jeans and a dark leather jacket. Something flashed bright redβ€”a knit cap or a winter scarf?Β  In passing, he held out his left hand as if in greeting. Without thinking–and perhaps in recognition of some unspoken solidarity among those who labor for knowledge–I held out my left hand in return. We briefly clasped hands.

I felt an immediate, sharp pain.

Stunned, I opened my fingers to find that his touch had transferred a loosely-crumpled wad of wood shavings. I soon discovered the source of my discomfort. In the ball were hidden four nails: two small wire brads and two larger wood nails. His grip had driven the larger nails into the bottom of my palm and the smaller ones into my wrist directly below. I spun around, confused. But he was already gone.

I brushed away the nails. Their tips had become embedded just deeply enough to draw a trickle of blood. I felt piqued and violated. He had smiled even while planning to harm me, and I had held out my hand in welcome. But what was to be done? Finding no recourse, I went about my business.

I opened the door and entered the building. There I found myself standing in some sort of dimly lit cafΓ© or general store. To my right stood Rodger, a former professor turned colleague. Rodger’s class and way of being had been a great help to me as I was coming to the end of a long and exhausting spiritual slog. He continues to be a wise and helpful presence though we rarely interact.

Rodger stood at the end of a long wooden table which reached nearly to his chest. In the low light, I could make out a wall of shelves behind him. He was preparing to take orders, to serve people. He looked worn out.

Still startled from my encounter a moment before, I unclenched my fist to share with him the story of what had happened. The dripping blood had formed a jelly-like blob of crimson where it had congealed in the center of my palm. I wiped it away and showed Rodger my hand. He told me he was sorry about what had happened to me. I shrugged it off.

I asked how he was doing, and Rodger confirmed that he was weary. I thought some refreshment might help, and I asked him why he didn’t fix himself some tea. I remembered he was not a coffee drinker. Rodger replied that the tea had run out.

I wanted to find some way to help but couldn’t, at first, think how. I thought about my habit of carrying a bit of dark chocolate in my purse for just such emergencies as these. Rodger said he would be glad to have it.

I felt pleased to know I had something to offer and pleased that Rodger would accept it. I hoped it wouldn’t be covered in lint.

As I began to dig around in my purse, the room filled with people. They lined up along the sides of the table facing Rodger and waited to place orders for hot drinks and make requests for foods and dry goods. As the crowd grew, I was pushed farther and farther down the table and away from Rodger. For some reason, I remember that the woman who stood directly in front of me, near the back of what had become a throng, was wearing a beige overcoat.

Once I extricated myself from the tangle, I returned my attention to the excavation of my purse. To my surprise, I found two large, unopened bars of chocolate! Their labels promised a delicious treat.

I tried to recall buying these bars but I was unable to account for their presence in my bag. I realized they must have been in the bottom of my purse for some time because I could feel that they had they had begun to break along their fault lines into smaller squares. Finally, I came upon the single dark square I had originally sought. I was delighted! Not only could I serve Rodger; I could even offer him choices. I had more than enough to share.

My alarm went off. I got out of bed and pushed the dream to the back of my mind. Later as I sat in church, I woke up with a jolt: Nails. Palm. OH.

I recounted last night’s dream to my husband as we took a long walk together. He immediately saw what I had completely missed. And now, as I sit here finishing this account, I begin to wonder about something else. I had assumed the man had intended malice.

What if this was not the case?

Because of the timing and context in which I dreamed and recorded this dream, I have decided that it belongs to The Story of Hanna. For the prior installment, click here. For the next installment, click here.

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14 responses »

  1. A cool dream. I love dreams that are so vivid and full of messages. In my counselor’s training, I took a class on dream interpretation and one of the exercises was to write out in a stream-of-consciousness what happened next in the dream (or before). It was great fun and always amazing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Glad you liked the dream. I tried to find a happy medium between recounting mechanically and telling what I was thinking/experiencing so that it wouldn’t be too dry. Still not fully sure what it meant (if it is even fully knowable or sensical) though some parts are clear to me.

      I’ve never taken a dream class. It sounds fascinating! For now I’m just glad the dream didn’t contain any cigars πŸ™‚

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      Reply
    • To be fair, I should say I’m glad you thought the dream was cool, and I always appreciate how generous you are to comment! I love it that you read and give interesting comments!

      I find when I post something with a Christian theme, people don’t comment much. I think it either feels unsafe or what I have written turns them off or they don’t want to appear to endorse it. I’m actually totally fine with people not thinking or believing the way I do. No worries. I’m a pastoral counselor, and I’m used to other worldviews.

      So, all those words to say: I appreciate your presence on my blog, Diana You ARE really a Peach :)!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • I’m a pastoral counselor too, so though I’m religiously untethered (ha ha) I’m also just fine with any spiritual or religious worldview. Curious and open actually.

        Your posts are interesting and heartfelt. I enjoy reflecting and commenting πŸ™‚ ❀

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  2. That is so cool. I can’t say I’ve ever had a stigmata dream before, that’s for sure. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Honestly, I had never thought of it that way but I guess it is correct, technically. I mean, I put together the nails and palm and God but I hadn’t thought of that term. I have heard the term and will have to look up the significance of how it is used. Is that term used more often among Catholic Christians? I was not raised in the Catholic Church and consider myself non-denominational. Such an interesting observation to think about. Thank you, Eve.

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  3. Stigmata are the marks left on Jesus’ body after the crucifixion, so by definition it’s a Christian term, but in movies I see it mostly related to the Catholic church.

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  4. That’s quite a dream, Jane, but anything that ends with waking up and finding chocolate is good.

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  6. Hmm, such complex dreams leave me flabbergasted for days — twisting and turning them round and round in my head until I weary about even going to sleep lest I have another. Or even sometimes wondering if by some small chance the dream continues to finally reveal its true meaning. But alas, there is usually no followup dream and I have to concede that I am not one for whom “dreams” manifest signs of things to come — I was not blessed with the gift of “visions”.

    Glad that you were not badly hurt in the dream though, I think if nothing else that is a good sign that whatever the case you will recover and be blessed with lots of chocolate πŸ™‚

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