Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Dream: Temple Penance

Monday, June 2, 2014

I hoped I'd have a magical dream about Jay Lake -- something where Jay would appear and say something crass but meaningful, and I'd wake up with an "ah-ha!" moment -- but I had this odd dream instead.

In the dream I was dressed in a long flowing robe or a caftan.  Mostly I didn't notice the robe in the dream, but when I did there was a kind of awkwardness about it, possibly a restriction (probably prompted by being wrapped up in sheets or something).  We were visitors to a foreign country vaguely middle eastern.  The day was bright and arid.

A bunch of us were going into a non-Christian temple.  It was stone on the outside, very long, and you entered it from underneath (it was spanning a gully between two hills, and it sat on stone piers which defined a kind of entry courtyard  -- thinking about it more, the building was almost like a covered stone bridge or pictures you sometimes see of Noah's Ark).  It was darker inside.  In some ways the dream temple was like the old Church of the Good Samaritan dream setting in that there seemed to be a bunch of people there and it was sometimes difficult to get to where you wanted.

I was doing penance for someone else, I think; or else I was part of some sort of cultural education demonstration (maybe we were doing an alternate "stations of the cross" presentation).   I went to the front of the temple, not in the sanctuary, but near the front of where the congregation was standing.

I had to kneel in front of a kind of wooden brace or brackets set into the floor.   I hiked up the caftan a bit so my bare knees were on the floor. I had to place my knees just so on the wooden floor (paradoxically, I'm recalling the short blue carpeting at Good Samaritan) and fit my feet into the brackets.  This took some time as there was a requirement that I be lined up precisely.

The folks I'd come with and the congregation were silent, but there were a ton of eyes on me as the bottoms of my feet were whipped.  It sort of hurt an abstract dream-way.  I'm assuming that a (Assyrian?) priest whipped my feet, but I was facing forward and couldn't see who it was.  In dream-vision, I saw the straps of the whip passing over the soles of my feet.  (For the record: no, I do not have a fetish for having my feet whipped or caned.)

In the end, the bottoms of my feet were red and swollen.  I got up, winced as my feet touched the ground, and hobbled out of temple.   If there were any words or conversation, I've forgotten them.

I limped back downstairs and outside, which was still bright and sunny, into a courtyard garden, and then woke up.  My feet hurt in real life, which I assume is from a change in the weather combined with crouching while I stained a deck over the weekend (No, I don't think the cat was chewing on me at the time.)
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