09 January 2014

"What dreams may come"

In my dream, I was on a white horse, and Judy was riding with me on another white horse. We were on a major highway. As we were riding down the road, with cars all around us but in no apparent danger, we were discussing conjunto theology. I wish I could remember more of our discussion, because I'd love to know what conjunto theology actually is. (I've since searched in Google, which does have some 48,000 references to "teología en conjunto," including this blog.) Instead of paying better attention to our conversation, I was enjoying the attention we drew from drivers and passengers admiring our horses.

As we continued down the highway, it narrowed down and became a two-lane road, which in turn went under an arch and entered a building. A sign said that the road was under repair, and cars were halted by a series of rubber barriers that blocked motor traffic but were no problem for our horses. We found ourselves in a beautiful old university building, and our horses went up the stairs, into an old lecture hall, and out the opposite door into a courtyard--a very familiar academic courtyard from previous dreams, but one I've never seen in real life. There the dream ended.

As near as I can tell, "conjunto theology" in my dream links up with the music I was listening to that day, a recent album by Ry Cooder and Corridos Famosos, Live in San Francisco, featuring the wonderful accordionist Flaco Jiménez. Even now, as I write, I can't think of these musicians without hearing the music in my head. No wonder it infected my dream!

Recently we showed the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? to our fifth-year students, as we've done most years since we've been here. Again we explained that the film was loosely based on Homer's Odyssey. In Russian, the reputed author Homer's name is pronounced gomer (with a hard "g"). That night I dreamed I was a movie producer, and my colleagues and I were blocking out a new film. We were drawing storyboards and discussing casting for an epic movie that concerned the search for a prophet who had a word that our world needed to hear. The name of the film: Everyone's Looking for Gomer.

photo by Walter E. Frost; source. 
In my dreams I often see my grandparents again, both my Norwegian and German grandparents. Thanks to those dreams, I sometimes get to meet them in their young adulthood, for example during World War II. I clearly remember that one dream was in black and white. Sometimes the dreams are charmingly impossible: in one recurring passage, I'm on a ship that resembles the M.S. Meteor, the small ocean liner my father's father Knut Maurer captained in his last years with the Bergen Line. My dream ship often sails into such narrow canals or fjords that I can reach out and touch things on land. Once we sailed within touching distance of the china cabinet in their living room.

For years, I dreamed about my murdered sister Ellen, until we finally held a memorial meeting for her, nearly twenty years after she died. And I rarely dream about my parents. When I dream about my mother, there's usually something very wrong with the house in my dream. One wall is on fire, or there is a leak in the roof. There is no danger in the dream--they're not nightmares--but just these odd touches.

This evening's reminiscences seem to have been stirred up by last week's "secondhand nostalgia" post, in which I talked a bit about what it was like to grow up in my anti-religious family. Do you like remembering and recording your dreams? Do any of these features sound familiar?

"Striving for the Greater Gifts." Micah Bales asks the difficult questions about the presence--or absence--of the spiritual gifts our communities need to be obedient. Since these gifts are at the heart of Friends discipline and church government, I hope that his post gets many readers and comments.

"Which denomination?"--and is Brian McLaren asking the right questions?

Quick! Got a question on open theism for Greg Boyd?

Time for another item in our "Perpetual War Watch": Nick Turse, "Special Ops Goes Global."

"Deepening the Life of the Spirit, an online retreat exploring prayer and spiritual practice," starting January 24.

"One Country Saved its Jews. Were They Just Better People?" A fascinating review of Bo Lidegaard's Countrymen.

Two Allman-related items of blues news: "Gregg Allman; A Blues Scholar With A Lifetime of Rock Royalty," and "Derek Trucks & Warren Haynes to Depart Allman Brothers Band at End of 2014."

Of course ...

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Bound For Glory (Live from Atlanta) from Tedeschi Trucks Band on Vimeo.

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