Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Dream about an object

Gemma, my twin, would be proud of me. I had a dream about an object. Gemma loves objects - she works at a museum. Better still, the object I dreamt about belongs to her. I hope she still has it.

Around our childhood home, and more recently, in Gemma's untidy room there has been a precious, simple glass ball. It is crafted by hand: a thick blown glass ball. It is an Irish fisherman's float, used, before it became an object of aesthetic appreciation, to mark the place where Lobster Men let down their cages. They were traditionally bound by macrame knots to the woven basket cages into which unseen bounty from the depths would crawl, and later be consumed with great gusto! I do not know where our family found it, I seem to recall my Da talking about my Granddad coming across it years ago, on walk along a beach near Dublin. My Granddad died in 1966, so that would have been a long time before I was born. Today is the anniversary of his death.

Of course,  in the world of dreams nothing is quite like it is in reality. In this dream, which began on Sunday night and has persisted, the glass ball is, or contains, all that I am - my life source, my soul, everything I am meant to be. It shines and sparkles. Someone, unseen, protects me, and covers me over with a warm white blanket. I am treasured. 

Then comes a moment of choice. I can stay where I am, or go into the hands of someone else. The person who appears in the dream is a friend, perhaps in his late sixties, that I have not seen in a while, someone I trust completely and knew well in my teenage years. I go to him.  Acting in character, he takes this shining ball of light and throws it as high as he can into the air, and then waits to catch it. Again and again he repeats this process, and I laugh and am happy. Then, as is inevitable, he throws the ball too high, the sunlight catches his eye, and the fisherman's float falls to the floor and smashes into smithereens.

I disappear from the dream. My friend, the old wise and trusted sage, is devastated. He picks up the shards and places them on a tea tray. He carries them indoors, a familiar, homely building - a place where I grew. Then, with great dedication, and working through the night, he sets about gluing together, with superglue, the shards of the orb. The work is a work of sorrow, but also of hope. Eventually, he holds up the fruit of his labour. It is a clumsy object, surrounded by the fat, gloopy lines of white glue, delicate to touch, but hardening fast. Through the small window panels I can see a crouched diminished figure - me - sitting on the floor, hugging my knees, waiting.  My friend looks at me with compassionate pity, and he places his hands over the delicate, handmade orb. Tremendous heat comes from his hands, and through his love, the glass is heated, and the glue melts. The Fisherman's float transforms into a glistening bubble, and begins to float up, up, up.

My friend catches my attention, and calls me to reach out of the bubble. I do so without breaking the surface. I hold his hand and look back. He draws the orb towards me, and places it in my hands. I marvel at the shape, texture and weight of the ball - it is heavy, it should not float - and then, like my friend before me, I throw it into the air and laugh. I am happy. It floats. The first words of the dream happen now, my thoughts: I cannot hold you long enough, and so this is where I should be now - days and nights falling by me. I know of a dream I should be holding. This is where I should be now. Strange how my heart beats.

I do not know a lot about dreams, but I like this one, and I thought it worth recording. I have had it before, I think - when I was 19 years old. I wonder if it has meaning, and I wonder why it has returned to me now.

I should put a recipe here. If you have read this far, you have earned it. Perhaps you could really treat yourself and go and eat lobster. I think that was the first thing a niece of mine ever ate - it was just what the fishermen brought in on their boats. I am going to ask Gemma if she still has that Fisherman's float. I love that object. It sparks such strange dreams, even though it is years since I have seen it.

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