Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Fog Before the Dream

When I was a young girl (around 11 years old I think) I began having a series of dreams that all started and ended exactly the same way:

Dense fog blankets the landscape and obscures landmarks - a dense white space where all senses are deadened and any sense of direction lost. Through the billowing fog, a hoof-beat drumming, coming from no direction and all directions at once, surrounds my small pajama clad form. Out of the mist steps a large bay destrier, ridden by a battered knight. The horse has a proudly arched neck, and each hoof is as large as my head. The rider, on his seat towering above my head, carries a white shield with a black barbed cross on it. He gazes down at me through piercing blue eyes bearing an expression equal parts patience and exasperation. The corner of his mouth under a heavy mustache quirks with the ghost of a smile as he leans over to stretch out a heavily muscled and scared forearm. Not knowing what else to do, I reach up and clasp my arm to his; he swings me up behind the cantle with ease. I reach forward trying to wrap my arms around his waist as the great horse leaps into a run. For a time, the only reality is the rhythm of the horse and the pulse of his hoof-beats. Gradually the fog clears and I am set down in the landscape of my dream. The dreams changed nightly, and were, for me, normal dreams. When the night's dreaming has run its course I would look up to see my knight there and once again I would be swept into the saddle to take the run in reverse, ending in the fog.

Every single night for nearly four years this battle-weary knight came to ride me to and from my dreams. Over time I learned his name 'Sinclair', and we would have short (3 to 4 sentence) conversations about my life or about my dreams. The year I turned sixteen, Sinclair ceased to come. One night he was there as normal, and the next, he was not.

I was 38 the year I went to Scotland and 'found' Sinclair. I had always assumed he had told me his given name, after all, that is how he always referred to me. From the beginning of our acquaintance, I was Eddie, or Eddie Louise, none of the bogus 'My Lady' titles that other girls aspired to. Even in my dreams I was not a Princess or a Lady; I was an adventurer. While in Scotland, I toured Roslyn Chapel and discovered the Sinclairs, a Scottish family that bears the coat-of-arms I had dreamed of. I have no explanation for how a cowboy's daughter in rural Wyoming managed to dream specifically of a 600 year old knight down to his coat of arms. I blame it on the fog.

PS: My personal life is in a fog just now - between books, between jobs, between phases of life and possibly even between homes. I could sure use Sinclair to help guide me out of the fog!


Chip Michael said...

You've always been adventurous, as long as I've known you (all my known life). You're also an avid reader. Stories have a profound effect on you; finding their way into your dreams doesn't surprise me at all.

Other Lisa said...

Wow! Sounds like the basis of a novel to me...