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).

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.

Dreamscapes, or Nightmares?

Last night I dreamed deep and weird. I came home slightly drunk from trivia night, and ate a huge cheeseburger and fries before bed, so it probably makes sense that I would have some rather weird shit tumbling around in my brain during the night.

I don’t remember everything – just pieces. At some point in the night I was dreaming about my old house, which no longer exists. It flooded several times over the course of several years, and eventually FEMA paid my family to demolish the property rather than attempt to move back in. The house was three stories, with the third being an attic with double height ceilings. It had two chimneys, was made entirely of cedar, and my parents built it together when I was a baby. I’ve often been told that as a child I couldn’t sleep without the sound of power saws and pounding hammers, after having spent so many days sleeping at the worksite. The house had a front porch on both the first and second stories, and a deck around back on the first level.  In my dream, I was crossing over the front porch, back and forth and back and forth. There was something I needed at one side, but I kept turning around just before being able to grab whatever that thing was. Finally, the porch boards began to give way and crack as I passed over them.

Someone (my mother?) was yelling at me to watch out. I couldn’t see her, but as my ankle was going into the hole in the boards, I gave one last try and lept clear of the porch. Suddenly, the hole opened up neatly, and instead of being a jagged hole into the porch, it was a neatly shaped ovoid space. Seven copperhead snakes were curled up inside, with heads all pointed in the same direction. The family’s pet cats ran by, and I was afraid for their safety, but the snakes didn’t strike. Then the family dog ran over to investigate, and was bitten three times. As the dream ended, I was scared for the dog but thought he’d be OK in the end.

The next dream I had involved being on vacation. I was with a group of friends, and we were supposed to stay at a hotel, but the air conditioners were out and it was horribly hot. I went and stayed somewhere else, but came back to the hotel to meet up with friends for meals and drinks. Every time I walked in, it felt like the hot room in a Bikram class, with more intensity. After fighting through the heat, I’d get to the hotel cafe and it would be blasting with cool air. My friends were all in bad moods, and bitchy throughout the dream. They also all wore shapeless chiffon-ish dresses and pillbox hats, like old British grannies would have worn in the 1970s. I was happy to not be in their hotel.

On the last night, I decided to go to my intended room in the hotel just to see where I would have been staying if I’d have stayed. My room was a suite, and the first room was the bedroom, while the rest was more like a small dancehall. It was Hawaiian themed, and had fake palm trees, backlit rock decorations, and a mini waterfall. On the far side of the room was a really nice record player from the 60’s, and it was entirely made of wood. When I looked, the records were all made of wood veneer. I was excited, because the top record was one of my mom’s favorite songs, the Sukiyaki song. Then I realized that the record was warped, a combination of the heat of the hotel and the moisture from the waterfall. I was bummed that it wouldn’t play, then thought I’d try it on the player, anyway. After putting the record on the player, I put the needle on and dropped the protective case over the turntable. Then I realized that the case was full of termites. They were everywhere, and they were multiplying. Except that in my dream, they weren’t the  brown Formosan termites we’re used to in Louisiana, but rather these hideous, squishy white bugs that looked like maggots, but with wings and longer bodies. The record player was overrun with them.

I woke myself up.