This morning’s dream, apropos of nothing:
I was on a long trip with a friend and a group of students. We went to a…place, I suppose. We ended up picking up a pack of dogs of varying sizes along the way. We ate lunch at a tiny, tiny airport at which my friend was seduced by a weird old Wurlitzer organ and decided not to come home with the rest of us. In order to save the life of one of the critters, I ended up doing a jump and roll out of a moving vehicle. When the van stopped, one of the students came back to find me, but the van sped off. The small dog and I were walking past a farm when she found us, and I had to climb through a tractor (yeah, I don’t know what that means, either, but it accurately describes the experience), to reach her. The dog disappeared. We were told we could catch the van by taking a shortcut through the tall, tall corn.
[Note: Never, ever believe anyone who tells you that it is possible to take a shortcut through a cornfield. It is in no way possible to do this, even in a dream. The Corn never gives you up.]
As we walked through the corn, a woman tried to encourage us into a corn maze, but we refused to turn from our path. She merely shrugged, and told us to enjoy the fair. Night was falling, and we suddenly came upon a massive merry-go-round. I took pictures of it with my phone, and caught the most stunning image of the stars (which, somehow, I couldn’t see otherwise) above and behind the circling horses. Just past the merry-go-round, the cornfield descended into a valley. At the center of the valley was a great bubble of energy and light surrounding a weirdly designed structure (a sort of Bizarro-world combo of the Guggenheim and the Sydney Opera House) of pale tan stone. We went inside, and in my head there was a warning in the form of a single word: “akousmata“. Inside was a sort of complex society in which selected people were given the opportunity to compete in a sort of battle-game for the prize of prosperity and/or social advancement. They actively competed even for the right to compete, even as the chosen were unable to give up the right to do so — there was a whole waiting room full of hopefuls trying various reality-show tricks to get attention, some of them even wearing costumes indicating the bribe they were willing to pay. We came across a room for “Loyalists”, who I somehow understood to be ideal or professional competitors who were given the choice of sides: “good” or “evil”. Those who chose the “good” could choose again, but “evil” once chosen was a permanent assignment until victory was achieved.
My friend and I became involved in a sort of legal negotiation in order to get out of there — we had to dress in Victorian skirts and shirtwaists, with our hair done up in period style, and haggle over a complicated (and ultimately nonsensical) document with the Loyalists and their masters. I kept adjusting my wire-rimmed spectacles right before hitting a rules-“gotcha”.
Then I woke up.
All of this is apparently a warning to me from the depths of my own subconscious, and it seems to go something like this: If I want to avoid weirdo dreams about playing in the Pythagorean Akousmatic Hunger Games, I should avoid a) doing too many pushups in a single workout, and b) eating 3-bean vegetarian chili for dinner.
…or something like that.
[P.S. for the classicists in the bleachers: Yes, I know the no-beans rule is an item under dispute and that it isn’t clear from the documentation we have that this was ever actually a dietary rule among the Pythagoreans. I just always thought Burnet’s list of the rules was funny. :) ]