The Great Dream Time
First of the Dreams
In all my nearly 51 years, I never used drugs and laughingly told people that my life has been so weird, hallucinogenic drugs would do nothing for me. In a more serious vein, I’ve said that my grip on reality was so precarious that drugs might be the doorway to madness. I was joking, but perhaps only slightly. In my early teenage years, events came to pass that could no longer be explained. And, they kept coming. The beginnings were in October 1971 on a cool fall night when I dreamed a dream; the first of many dreams that I ultimately recorded and named the Great Dream Time.
I stood on a barren plain. I was no longer a teenager but an adult with long braided hair and a beard, dressed simply as a warrior with a staff and shield. I stared unblinkingly across the plain’s expanse toward a mountain range which loomed in the distance. Lightning flashed about me in an eerie display that defied logic. The bolts were black against a bright sky. I didn’t fear them for they generated from my own being. They were my totem—my symbol of power. Suddenly, to my right appeared a green typewriter, suspended in mid-air. I smiled, for this bizarre image heralded the coming of my friend and advisor, Greg Taylor. He appeared and greeted me, addressing me in my spirit name as “Lawgiver”. I called him “Kakoli”, a spirit name interpreted as “Ram”. Following a brief clasp of our hands, he solemnly described a growing danger to a city in the clouds we called home and urged me to help him combat it. I answered his call to battle and summoned another friend, Paul Larson to aid us. A sharp bolt of lightning confirmed he heard our desperate cry for aid. Moments later he appeared on the plain to stand with us. He revealed a small metal disc he carried in a pouch which hung from his shoulder. We formed a circle and chanted as the disc began to glow. I felt we were spinning as we were transported to the city in the clouds.
The city stood shiny and new, gleaming in sunshine never obscured by clouds from above. Despite its beauty and purity, it was beset by lightning that emanated upward from the clouds below in surrealistic fashion. The bolts flashed in a purplish hue, and I recognized our opponent as the mystery figure that terrorized my people for months. Our previous efforts were to no avail in halting the reign of fear this madman perpetrated upon our citizens. I looked intently into the eyes of my friends and vowed this time we would win.
The cacophonous sounds of the typewriter matched the uneven rhythms of lightning and thunder that danced around us. Greg Taylor used his powers to augment our own tenfold. A figure shrouded in dark robes appeared and purple lightning bolts violently pierced the sky. Paul Larson, whom Greg Taylor once referred to as “Berserker”, countered with lightning that cut through the air with equally intensity. I had never seen such a display of raw power, but I did my best to match it. The air was charged with energy that surged in waves through my body. A lesser being would have been incinerated, but I endured. With fierce determination, Paul Larson and I increased the force of our attack in hopes it was sufficient to destroy our enemy, but the mysterious being countered our every move. He was at least our equal.
Clouds formed above the city we protected as we struggled, and a fierce storm ensued. I recognized the storm as the work of another friend and ally, the beautiful Ann Collins, using her might to aid our cause. The turbulent clouds she created formed a dome of force which prevented our own energies from dispersing. Our power was focused as never before. The battle raged on until our opponent faltered. The purple lightning slightly lessened in intensity. The bolts suddenly swirled around him in a mad dance of blinding light, and he vanished.
I gathered my friends about me to congratulate them for a victory well earned. We didn’t destroy our enemy, but for the first time we stayed his hand and prevented him from realizing his evil purpose. As we formed a circle, Paul Larson again held the disc he carried in the palm of his hand. We watch it glow and pulse as though it were praising us for our efforts in protecting the city in the clouds. I was pleased, but knew as well that our victory was not complete. The enemy was still unknown to us and at large. There would be other battles in our future.
Ann Collins again summoned a storm, and it carried her back to her sanctuary beyond the mountains on the surface below. Paul Lehr used the storm to focus his own abilities, and lightning flashed about him as he vanished from view. I stood with Greg Taylor, who placed his hand upon my shoulder in a gesture of camaraderie. I smiled. A large green typewriter suddenly appeared again in the air above him, and he too, vanished. All that remained was a soft warm breeze that softly caressed my face, a final testament to the power unleashed only moments earlier.
I was alone.
This was the first of many similar dreams I had in the fall of 1971. The cast of characters expanded over time, but the theme remained the same: my friends and I were locked in a struggle with a mysterious entity of great power. We were symbolically represented by elemental forces that signified our character and abilities. Only Greg Taylor was represented by a different type of symbol in the green typewriter. The dreams lasted longer and became more specific: clothing and appearance became standardized, elemental totems were soon catalogued, and the number of enemies grew in proportion to the total cast of characters. Conversation was minimal, and all movement and actions were bold and dramatic. They always began with me standing alone on a vast barren plain, and ended with the departure of my friends. Loneliness despite deep and loyal friendships was an enduring premise of these dreams.
Other themes were equally recognizable. My friends and I wielded great power and used it to protect an idyllic utopian community. Forces opposed our efforts as saviors of this group of people and sought relentlessly to destroy our sanctuary. The task always fell upon my group of friends to act as savior to our people.
After the New Year in 1972, the dreams vanished, never to return again in this form or context. What did they mean? Were they more than dreams? Were they perhaps an omen of strange times to come? Why did this series of dreams seemingly comprise an ongoing narrative, structurally and thematically consistent unto itself?
What was my life about to become?
A Mighty Warrior
I never knew what these dreams meant or why I dreamed them. I only knew that they seemed more than a dream--they seemed a representation of something certainly fantastic and perhaps real. Subsequent events in my life would seem to support the idea that these were more than dreams. Shortly thereafter, my life took a turn down a road that was more than normal. I found myself overwhelmed by the unusual--the unreal. Was this dream and the dreams that followed a presager of what was to come? Was this an omen, or even a warning? Perhaps.
If my dreams were a warning, however, I never was told how to respond. I never knew what to make of these odd dreams or the subsequent events in my life that changed and molded me. All I could do was survive.
This dream is a small piece of the tapestry that came to represent my life.
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