Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I dreamt a couple nights ago I was on a river tour boat of the sort I've ridden worldwide. You see them on the canals of Venice or Amsterdam, on the Thames, the Tiber, the Main, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Danube, the Seine, the Hudson, the Potomac, etc. They've got a cabin on the deck with restaurant booths and benches and chairs set up inside, and tourists gape at passing landmarks while picking at baskets of schnitzel and fries, forking waffles lathered in heavy cream and strawberries into their greasy mouths, and sipping glasses of local lager. Typically when I travel in a new city I look at a map carefully and then hop the boat tour to orient myself.

In the dream we were pulling away from whatever city it was we were touring. There were lush cultivated plains on either side of the river, with pockets of trees. In the distance were craggy peaks capped with snow. The countryside looked like southern Germany but could I suppose have been anywhere in central Europe or the American west. I heard a strange booming noise and asked Cha and some other companions what it was. "Thunder," somebody replied.

"That's not thunder," I thought, and left the cabin and started taking photos from the deck. A line of ink-dark clouds had formed above the city behind us and I had never seen the like. Then, intense energy burst out from beneath the city and it was wholly demolished in three or four cataclysmic eruptions of blue and orange light. During the first burst I thought to take a photo but the second burst knocked me on my ass. By the third I was convinced the world was ending and decided to spend the last moments with my wife. These were not volcanic explosions, nor were they atomic or conventional bombs. I knew this fire was judgmental, supernatural damnation. And I awoke.

Such a dream, during large swaths of human history, would have been regarded as a portent, a dire omen indeed. I wonder if it has something to do with the numerous bird kill stories in the media of late?

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