Last week, when I was making a decision about whether to become part of a publishing cooperative, I spent some time one afternoon corresponding with a writer friend who’d made the leap before me, That night, I had this dream:
Dream July 12: I walk up a dirt road high in the mountains, carrying only my purse over my shoulder. I think of it as Afghanistan. I come to a place with people, a work area, on the left side of the road, and enter, unsure if it’s okay. The work yard is open to the sky, and to the right is a workshop/warehouse, broad doorway open. There are men of the local area and an Englishman, with light hair, in his 40s, maybe. He shows me around. I see a small steep road at the back and climb it. The Englishman follows and sits in a place between, on a saddle of land. I don't really see distinct buildings but I ask if it's his home, He says it is. Behind him is nothing but a perilous drop. I glance down and back away. I ask if he has children – I saw some in the lower area. He says yes, four. As we walk back down and across the work yard, he holds my hand. By the fence near the road, he shuffled through VHS tapes, enthusiastically talking about the movies he shows each week. He names several. They sound cool but aren't familiar to me. The men cluster around and seem happy about the movies. Then I'm in the workshop. It's dark, shadowy. A woman, maybe mid-30s, with long dark, full hair around her shoulders, middle eastern looking, says, “look, right out of Knightsbridge!” She sounds English. I think she's his wife. She picks up a thin booklet, red, with black writing. Knightsbridge is in the title."
Climbing the steep road seems like a challenge. Something difficult and done alone. But also reaching lofty heights. Afghanistan is foreign to me, maybe an emerging part of my psyche. The man seems like an animus or psychopomp figure, holding my hand, showing me around, sitting between me and the sheer precipice.
When I was making a momentous decision about leaving a Ph.D. program, before I started writing fiction, an Englishman similarly walked with me in a dream. He pointed to a creative writing project spread on a table in the woods and asked that we do that instead, I later titled the dream, “Renaissance Woods,” Rebirth.
Curious, I looked up Knightsbridge. Besides being an affluent part of London, it’s an ancient word meaning “bridge of the youth or retainers.” The spelling was Cnihtebricge c. 1050. Cniht, in pre-Norman days, did not have the later meaning of knight as in a warrior on horseback, but simply meant youth. Cnihtebricge seems to have meant a place where youth congregated. Bridges and wells have often been gathering places,
One might say that in contemplating a big change related to my creative life, I return to a state of apprenticeship. Many internal parts need to come together and integrate as I approach a new way of doing things, bridging past and future. In the dream, two psychopomps – soul guides – come to me as a syzygy or supreme pair of opposites – as animus and anima, a conjunction of opposites becomes a pair of connected or corresponding parts, bridges, brings together.
Gotta love how dream images can be worked with to clarify, and maybe glorify, a moment in time. (There are more of my dream collages at my Depth Psychology web page).