Sunday, January 25, 2009

Providence...POSSESSED! Part 1: The Oaten Exorcist

As promised in an earlier post, we will be putting a dent in our backlog of dreams pouring in from Providence, Rhode Island, most of which (witch?) concern being possessed by demons, spirits, puppy dogs, and characters from soap operas. Possession is no light matter for a dreamworker to be meddling with, so I've sought some professional advice: The Sandman comics written by Neil Gaiman. The most solid trade secret I've found comes not from Gaiman, but in Clive Barker's introduction to one of the volumes, where Barker explains that there are "two kinds of fantastic fiction." In one kind, an existing reality is invaded by another reality and must be "exorcised" to maintain the established order. In the second kind, Barker explains, "the whole world is haunted and mysterious . . . a series of relative realities." These are good things to think about when one lays one's head down to sleep, perchance to dream. Will our dreams be struggles to maintain what we perceive to be our reality? Our can we simply roll with it and let reality shift as our dreamworlds see fit?

Today's dream comes from someone who I think does a good job at balancing these two perspectives. I'll use her whole name here because she makes beautiful comics, silkscreen prints and animated movies (all of which I'm shamelessly plugging by scattering around this post) and any reader of this blog would be smart to seek out her stuff. Please welcome the dream of Jo Dery:
I dreamed that I performed an exorcism on an unknown figure, lying in a hospital bed. I had to stand over the figure with a bowl of oatmeal, with raisins in it, and to chant continuously. I had my eyes closed. There came a moment when I felt the exorcism had worked, and so I opened my eyes. In front of me, next to the bed, stood a man who looked like "Sonny" from General Hospital in the mid 90's, or "Richard" from LOST. When I saw him I turned to him and began to yell: "Get out! Get out!" I walked toward him, out of the room and down hallway after hallway. It now felt like we were in a school, like a middle school. By the end of the dream, I had chased him out.

Jo, demonic possession by fictional TV personae is one of the most difficult exorcisms to perform. You did remarkably well and could perhaps give some tips to Lauri regarding the undercurrent of yesterday's dream. And maybe you can help me stop the Gilligan's Island theme from playing on a continuous loop in my brain. But seriously . . .

You perform this exorcism on an unknown figure and that figure is (drum roll please) you, Jo, but in a past state where you were not as strong or as healthy as you are now.
You have been eating your oatmeal every morning, nourishing yourself with its warm comforts and the self-love that it embodies. Now you channel this power to chase out the bogey men in your brain once and for all. The hospital/school that you're in is also an extension of you. You've managed to pull this Sonny/Richard man out of your body, but he not out of you completely—he is still in your life. And so you chase him out, down and out one corridor, and then another and another, further and further away from the prone, vulnerable version of you still lying back in that hospital bed. Something about this task feels like the petty bullshit you had to put up with when you were 13. Aren't we a little old to be dealing with things like that? Anyway, congrats on chasing him out. Maybe you've already accomplished this in your awake life and this dream is a celebration of that feat. If not, go get yourself a piping hot bowl of oatmeal and maybe give Sonny/Richard the option of which orifice he'd like to eat it with. Maybe.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting episode of Providence...POSSESSED! on 31 Dreamers.

5 comments:

Jo Dery said...

...this dream definitely reads as a post script to my past few years. things are well! the exorcism worked!

Yvette said...

Ha! I'm amused but not surprised that you're getting a lot of possession dreams from Providence. We are a unique crew.

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