Dreaming in Danish

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I had an interesting dream last night. I dreamt of a word in Danish, a language that I do not speak and of which I have no real knowledge. What’s more interesting is that the word made absolute sense in the context of the dream (though I didn’t know it at the time).

First, a small background of waking life: I work as an event planner at a hotel, and we often provide catering for events. We have a head chef at the hotel, and though we’re not exactly friends, I do respect him as a colleague. He’s quiet and focused, which comes across as stern and commanding in the professional environment. He’s got a good sense of humor hidden just under the surface, though, and like most kitchen professionals, he loves to feed people. You can’t go wrong with that combination.

All this being said, I don’t really think about Chef when I’m not standing in his kitchen or working on a menu for a client. That’s the first weird thing about the dream – that he was actually in it.

***********

I’m eating dinner at a fancy restaurant. There are eight seats, but only seven guests. The host, my old boss, disinvited one of the intended attendees at the last minute. It’s very like her, so I’m not at all surprised.

Champagne is served. The label is beautiful – yellow and pink, with gold foil accents, illustrated in an Art Nouveau style. The name on the label is HAVARI, in all capital letters, in black, with the second “A” in gold foil. The wine is crisp, and tastes of pears. I’ve never had anything like it, and I love it.

The meal ends. Chef appears, in his whites, wearing a fancy chef’s hat (he never wears a hat like that in waking life). He pours more champagne for everyone, taking time to discuss the unique pear flavor a little more with me. I am concerned I won’t remember the name of the wine, so he turns the bottle towards me to let me read it again: HAVARI. I need to remember HAVARI, I remind myself.

The scene changes. We’ve been told there’s a terrible storm on the way, and Chef is concerned about his family. The dinner party has dispersed, and I’ve gone home with Chef so that he can collect his wife and children. (I think in waking life, he only has the one child, but in the dream there were more.)

Chef’s house is on the edge of a body of water, with a solid wall of windows that look out onto a pier that juts out into the waves. I am in the house, watching the pier. Chef and his family have already left for safety, and I am relieved for them. I didn’t see them go, but there’s a feeling that he has gathered them to him like a mother hen, protecting her brood. I know that because of his instinct to stay calm and remain together, all are safe from harm.

I watch the storm outside grow wild, standing witness as the waves batter the pier. The sky and the water are the same color; it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends, especially with the waves so intense, and spray filling the air. The pier stands strong at first, then starts to shimmy, and finally is washed away as the pilings give way and collapse from the relentless power of the water.

At no point am I afraid. I am safe in the house, and the storm doesn’t seem to belong to me. I am just here to witness it.

*******

I woke up with two distinct thoughts:

  1. HAVARI
  2. Chef will have his foundation washed out from under him, but as long as he gathers his family to him when crisis comes, all will be OK in the end.

I got dressed and left for work. On the way, I wondered if I should tell Chef about my dream, or if he’d think I was crazy. Besides, how did I know that this was really a dream about him, and not just another vivid dream? But at some point in the morning, it struck me that I should Google the word “havari” to see what it was. I didn’t expect anything; in fact, I thought that it would help prove that this was all just jumbled bullshit from my subconscious, and let me move on with my day.

Now here’s the weird part – lately I’ve been contemplating Norse magick, specifically the practice of seidr, or weaving the lines of fate. I’ve been feeling a soul stirring for some time. The hows and whys are a whole other blog post, and I don’t have the energy for that right now. Let it be enough for now to say that when I found out that “havari” means “accident” or “emergency” in Danish, I realized I was being given a message to pass on.

Just because I knew the basic message doesn’t mean I knew the meaning, though. Maybe the lesson is for Chef in the distant future, when he has more than one child. Maybe it’s more of a metaphor than it already appeared to be. Maybe it was actually meant for me, and I misinterpreted it (though I strongly doubt this, for some reason).

I asked Chef for a minute of his time, told him the dream, and explained that I felt that I was supposed to tell him not to lose faith when things go awry. I told him to hold his family close. Even if the dream means nothing, I hope the thought of love still gives him strength if and when a dark time comes.

Being Chef, he was customarily quiet and thoughtful when I gave him all of this information – but when I finished, he assured me that he’d never leave me behind in a storm – and that he did have a wall of windows in his house. I was too weirded out to ask if he lived on a lake.

 

Dream Diary: Witch Tableaus

The last time I dreamt about C, we were at the French Market. He and my friend K were playing drums, and there was a group of dancers/mummers dressed as mechanical breasts milling around in the background. That was maybe a month ago.

Last night I dreamt about C again, which is strange, since he’s a person who often doesn’t cross my mind for half a year or more. I always worry when I dream about him, because he’s always rather stoic and sad. It was also strange, since this dream had another very vivid reference to performance art – and again, very weird performance art. Man, my brain is a very interesting place.

Last night’s dreams, as a whole, were pretty interesting. In one dream, I realized that my elderly landlady must be going senile. I came home to find that she’d taken every piece of furniture in our house out into the front yard, and was letting people take what they wanted. The house was full of antiques and really funky mid-century mod stuff, so I was really worried for her. I started hauling stuff back inside, but since she insisted she didn’t want any of it anymore, I outfitted my own bedroom with the pieces I knew she loved the best, just in case she wanted them back. Since we’d always agreed on what things were the coolest, it was a win for me, too, but I was still heartbroken that she appeared to have lost her faculties over the course of a single morning.

In another dream, I was with a friend that reminded me a lot of my mom. I couldn’t figure out who the person was, but she did a lot of things that made me think of Mum, so maybe it was actually her. We broke into a house together and fed a cat. I don’t know why we broke into the house, but I do know that most of the dream involved getting out of the house before the owner came home, though we were trying to be sneaky and have the front door locked and climb out of a window, and we weren’t agreeing on how to do it. I don’t recall us ever getting out of the house in my dream.

The next dream was the one with C. I was at a charity event where there were all these live tableaus (real people) set up to represent specific scenes in the history of witchcraft. I don’t think that we were in this reality, because the scenes depicted Harry Potter-esque magical events – scenes of great bravery and sacrifice in war. They were very important for the viewers, like war memorials. Many people who passed were brought to tears. At first, I thought that the garden with many of the tableaus was going to be mostly abandoned all night, and the event wasn’t going to make any donations. But the garden was full of tables, and as I passed around and looked at the tableaus, the tables began to fill up with people drinking and talking. There were fairy lights overhead, and people were in sparkling ball gowns and other fancy dress outfits. It was a beautiful event.

My mom and dad were there at some point, and we all decided to sit down to have a drink and discuss some card game. I was explaining the rules, but getting irritated, because Mum kept interrupting to ask for details that didn’t matter at all in the game, wasting time dissecting the items of least importance. Then I looked up, and saw C and his brother. They were sitting at a table across from my family, and a waiter was delivering their drinks. The waiter called them “Golden Bourbons” – but it was an actual cocktail of some kind, obviously containing bourbon, but a rich, milky chestnut color, served in a tall glass with ice. C looked pleased to be there with his brother, but also presented as caged and uncomfortable, whether from the event, or interacting with the brother, or possibly from realizing that I was there. I did end up talking with him later in the dream, and it was a perfectly innocuous conversation, though I can’t remember what was said, only that it was light and pleasant enough.

After that dream, I had one last one where I was a waiter at a fast food restaurant, and I sneaked away from the party that I was catering (which, who knows, might have been the party I dreamed about before) to pursue a suspicious guy who looked a lot like Patrick Wilson. It turned out that the suspicious guy was a government agent, and perfectly nice. He found me hiding in the back seat of his car during his stakeout and the rest of the dream was a poorly-sketched-out buddy cop movie with a romantic thread (of course, lol).

A Dream & A Song

This is “Black-Eyed Dog,” by Nick Drake. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs. Nick died very young, in his sleep, of what was presumed to be an accidental overdose of his depression medication. Before he left, he recorded some of the most hauntingly beautiful tunes, including this one. You probably recognize the concept of a black (or black-eyed) dog. Nick’s song was based on Winston Churchill’s description of the inescapable weight of depression, following you at all hours. Of course, this imagery is most likely based on a creature of British legend with which Churchill (and anyone who’s read Harry Potter) would be familiar – the Black Dog, a ghostly being that, once seen, portends the viewer’s death.

Fun fact: I thought that I “knew” that the Black Dog and the pooka, or púca, were one and the same before I started writing this blog post, but I was wrong.

Another fun fact: I really need to go to sleep, but now I’m getting really excited about reading about the Black Dog. Uh oh. But I’ll leave my faerie research for another time, and wrap this up…

Last night, I dreamt of a black dog, but it was protecting me, albeit reluctantly. I can’t remember the overall framework of the dream, but I was at someone’s house, turned to walk through a doorway and was frightened by the black snake I suddenly saw there. It was stretched out, facing me, and it seemed menacing. For a second I was scared, and yelped in fear. There was a closeup of its delicate face (the more I try to pull this moment up, the more I see that it was a square head, not poisonous), and then I saw its body, a deep, glossy black with a small, muted gold pattern that I couldn’t quite make out. Then I saw that the snake was resting between the paws of a lounging black labrador retriever, and the fear immediately left.

The dog was immense, and also a deep, glossy black. She was one of those purebred labs that are as big as a pony, all solid and sleek, with a flank that makes a drum-sound when you pat it. She was well cared for, and wore a collar with a dangling tag. She was imposing – not my friend, not my pet. She had a job, and she also had an attitude with me. We made eye contact briefly. I felt deference. For a second she seemed to briefly consider me, then the snake quickly crawled (hurled itself, really, in the way that dreams work) past me, away across the room, and over a side table that sat next to the window. The dog chased the snake, looked over the edge of the table down to where it was hiding, and that’s the last thing I remember.

My Weirdest Dream In Quite Some Time

Like this pic? Click through to be taken to Cami Trinh Faulkner's YouTube channel, DemonHiccups.

Like this pic? Click through to be taken to artist Cami Trinh Faulkner’s YouTube channel, DemonHiccups.

This may be the first time that I completely ignore the point of a Daily Post prompt and write something related but off-topic, instead. However, it seems odd that the prompt today would be to describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful, and this morning was the first time in years that I was moved to tears by a dream. Even though the dream was not beautiful – it was sad, and cruel, and extremely strange – and I only remember a snippet of the entire thing, I still feel compelled to share it here.

The dream happened sometime this morning, probably around 8am, but definitely long before I was ready to get out of bed. I know that it was daylight out already because when the dream woke me up, I was wearing my sleeping mask, and it was soaked with teardrops. I lifted the mask to let more tears roll out, and saw that the sun was already strong in my room.

The dream was a conversation with my Nana, the wife of my dead grandfather, Granddaddy. It was a family gathering of sorts, and we were standing in a kitchen with a freestanding kitchen island between the two of us. She had her back to a large bay window. It’s a room that doesn’t belong to any house in my family, and I can’t remember having seen it before.

My mother was on my right side, and behind and around us were family members from my father’s side of the family. Other than my great-grandmother, Nana’s mother, who was somewhere near her (you know how you sometimes don’t see something in a dream, but you still know it’s there?), I don’t know who any of them were supposed to represent; they weren’t faces I know from real life. I just know that they were supposed to be related to Nana and my father, and it was some kind of family reunion or get-together to celebrate a holiday or happy situation.

I came to the gathering under rather benign circumstances, but the dream escalated pretty quickly. In real life, since dreams only take seconds, it might be that the dream was only the conversation, and everything else was backstory that my brain used to fill in the blanks. I dunno.

I was paying my respects to Nana, just a little ‘Hi, love you, glad to be here’ kind of thing, and she started to pick me apart. She started insulting me, and my life choices, and my intelligence. I don’t remember anything specific (except for one thing that I’ll get to in a second), but I remember her face was twisted with hatred and malice. It was frightening, and obvious that she didn’t love me at all, and never had. The only thing that I remember very clearly from what she was saying was that she was calling me a liar – for an answer that I’d written down on a test in undergrad. The test question was ridiculous, and definitely not real, but I remember it, so here it goes:

“Two WWII-era American submariners went missing, and were presumed drowned. Their bodies were later discovered at _____________.”

In college (in this weird alternate reality), I’d answered that they were found at the zoo (the flash of scenery that I get tells me that I meant the Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago). However, I got the answer wrong because I failed to calculate the age of the park in relation to when the two men had died. They were actually found at the Ice Capades stadium on the other side of town.

Yes, completely random and really weird.

In the dream, Nana somehow knew that I had written the wrong answer on my long-ago test, and was making the assumption that writing the wrong answer when I’m typically a pretty smart girl meant that I was a despicable, no-account liar. I kept trying to explain that I just hadn’t known the right answer, but she wouldn’t take my explanation, and was calling me a liar to my face in front of this circle of people. It was humiliating, and I was so sad that she didn’t love me, and so angry that I couldn’t get her to realize that what she was doing was fundamentally incorrect.

So I woke myself up sobbing. And if that’s not worth a blog post, I don’t know what is.

If you’re hip on dream symbols, or want to share your own dreams, feel free to chime in in the comments section.

Dream Diary 3/27/13

I’ve been having some weird dreams lately. A few of the things I’ve been dreaming about:

1) Friday Night. Trying to catch and hold 2 pretty large fish, with my hands, inside of an apartment. For some reason I was plucking the two fish out of some space (a pool? the sink?) and trying to hold them long enough to transfer them to a bucket. It didn’t work, and they flip flopped out of my grasp and into the top of a closet. The  items in the closet started to fall out through the door, and I realized there was a washer and dryer combo there. I was relieved. No clue where the fish went.

2) Sunday Night. Driving a big rig. I was delivering something (contents of a house, maybe) for my mother, to a small town on a peninsula. All roads led down to the peninsula town, but none led back. I was happy to get there, but nervous driving the truck. At one point I parked it for awhile under a covered driveway, and then needed to back out of the driveway. I realized that the opening to the space in which I was parked was much smaller than it had been, meaning that I was trapped in the space. No worries, though – in the next scene I was happily back on the road. I woke up before making it to my final destination.

3) Last Night. Walking to my friend’s wedding, with a coworker from my current job who just happened to look like an old friend from high school in my dream. One of my shoes was twisted and broken, and I was hobbling trying to keep up with all of the people heading to the wedding. Once I got to the wedding location, I realized that I’d forgotten my cell phone and also needed to get cash from the bank, so my friend and I turned around to walk back to the bank. Once we got to the bank, I realized that Sylvester Stallone was standing behind the teller, dressed in a really tight cop uniform for a movie he was filming. As we left the bank, my friend convinced me to run back and say hi to Sly, so I did. One of the film staff went to get him for me, and when he came out I told him that I was his biggest fan. He smiled and was so gracious, and it crossed my mind to ask if we could take a photo, but then I realized that it would be rude. I left to go back to my friend, instantly regretting not asking for the photo. My friend and I started to walk back to the wedding, but we got lost in town and couldn’t find our way.