Dream: Ritual Duties of the Sacred Clown

Dream 20030923, 7:10 AM:

I walk into an office that I recognize as mine, although it’s unlike any office I’ve ever worked at. It seems kind of open, like a desk area at a public library; there are desks and work areas, but no walls.

J. from work is here, and has dyed her hair a streaky medium brown. I make a remark about it; I try to be nice, although it looks really odd, since I’ve only seen her with an almost platinum golden blond. My comment is something non-committal, like “Wow, you did your hair!” She says that it’s “going back tomorrow.” The desks, including my desk which looks more like a wood coffee table, are being refinished; mine has a reddish cherry-like stain on it, but there are areas that have resisted the stain because there was tape or something sticky on the surface.

I get in a truck with some other folks from work; I think it’s Rogene and David T. from FACP. We drive along, and she is explaining that they built a building out of scrap wood; we get there, and she shows me a nice little shed that is painted green, with bolts through the outside wall holding it all together. I am inside for a while, and looking at a drawing on the wall, I start to draw a study from it using a pencil on white paper. The drawing is a three-quarter profile of a man, fairly simple and classical in style. I am pleased with the study, and joke about trying to “out-Foucault Foucault” – the name of the artist isn’t right, but it was something French. Everyone comes back, and I show them the study, which they seem to like.

We leave, and there is more dream plot that I don’t remember. I end up at J and C’s house (the coven that I circle with) and we are getting ready for a holiday circle. The house isn’t the same as their real one, though – the space is very busy, and reminds me somewhat of a potting shed, with lots of plants and pots and buckets of soil. There is a small room with a sunken floor, kind of reminiscent of a Japanese restaurant, where everyone is gathering to get ready for the ritual. We are playing with the ritual costumes – at one point, two people poke their heads through holes in one of the costumes, and pretend to be characters in a puppet skit. The costumes are complicated, long flowing billowy robes, but also have masks that are built into them; they seem Japanese, but also remind me of the art of Michael Parkes. I am given a long white robe with a complicated red and white mask, and asked to play the role of the Sacred Clown. C. explains to me that my job is to represent a thousand eyes; I am supposed to look at everything and notice it. It seems like a really neat job.

The ritual begins. I am in an adjacent room, waiting to go in. The room that I’m in is a small glass and wood greenhouse. I become fascinated with the plants, and observe them in great detail. There are several Crown of Thorns Euphorbias, and one of them has what appear to be Hot Tamales candies impaled on all its thorns; it makes it look like it has a lot of berries down the branches. It smells powerfully of cinnamon, and I inhale and enjoy its scent. There is an orange hang-tag tied to one of the plants that says that “The Garden Show needs roses ready for full bloom.” I look around the small room some more, and see a collection of tiny bromeliads, many of which are attached to the glass of the walls. There are also several other epiphytes, like Night Blooming Cereus. I remark to myself that J. has a really lovely greenhouse.

I look up and notice that everyone is in the other room now. I go in, and the circle is well under way, but I don’t feel like I’ve missed out or skipped my duties; it seems like it was important for me to observe things in the greenhouse, like that’s how I was doing my job. We finish up the ritual, and then all walk together out into a larger room that seems almost outside. It reminds me of a rodeo barn, with stands of seating. A youngish woman from the coven, someone I know in the dream but can’t place in real life, is there on the ground facing the stands, singing a pop song at the top of her lungs a capella. It reminds me of something from Alanis Morrissette; a lot of near-screamed emotional lyrics. All the coveners are seated in the stands. Everyone is watching the singer with interest, and when she finishes they all clap. I ask some question, and somebody starts to shush me, but I point out that it’s one of my duties as Sacred Clown, and that I have permission to ask anyone any question. C. laughs and confirms that this is indeed correct, and seems pleased with me for having studied and known what I was doing.

There is a little more in the big room that I don’t remember. Then, we are closing up, and I go back into the potting-shed room, and see that a black cat has run in while the door was open. I call to him, and he comes out; it’s my cat Buio, and I tell him that I love him. After he is out, I shut the door and turn out the lights.

[note: my cat Buio died early this month. He often would nap with me, and I felt like he was at my feet when I was sleeping this morning.]

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