Saturday, May 15, 2010

                       Jusepe de Ribera: Saint Sébastien

I am in a forest. It resembles the forest on the hike to Sutter Creek in Yosemite, but more tropical. I am sometimes a boy. I know what is going on. I might have had this dream before. I was following someone. I get to a part of the path where I am hiding behind some trees, watching the person I am following (who is a young person, I think a young girl. She is a young girl and I am a young boy and I have a crush on her. I know she is in grave danger and I want to save her. Actually no it is a boy I am watching and I am a young girl.) The boy goes into a big, rusty, metal shed in the forest just off the path. I watch through the window as the boy meets a very tall saint. The saint is wearing a long black robe with a hood, is at least twenty feet tall, and is wearing a medieval mask that doctors wore during the black plague with the long noses. I know that it is fate for the boy to persuade the saint to do something, possibly to persuade him to publish his sainthood - to make his sainthood known because his way of thinking about Christianity is revolutionary. The boy fails to do this, and leaves, but does not go far away. Then a powerful force blows the shed off the ground. The saint turns around to face down the hill. It might be God. It might be an angel. It might be a magical king. The force/person tells the saint that his ideas are too radical and different. The saint tells the force that his ideas about Christianity are totally reasonable and logical, and that there is no reason to feel threatened by them. (Why am I dreaming about Christianity? My grandmother took me to a synagogue in Nairobi.) The spirit demon force goes away. I go into the shed through the window because I am flying. Even though the shed is gone. But I am not flying so much as I am hovering twenty feet above the ground. I tell the saint I agree with him. I fly right up to his face and tell him to take off his mask. The saint's face is handsome. He has sunken cheeks, dark eyebrows and dark eyes. He looks very kind, and probably around 35 years old. I tell him he is beautiful and I kiss him. Then I fly away. I notice a man and a woman sitting a few feet away from the saint. I know that they are going to coach him on his sainthood. But I am concerned now with the boy I am following. He is running away out of the forest, back in the direction he came, because he is trying to get back to the city. (The city might be Berkeley, California.) He is running away because he knows that a flash flood is crashing right behind him, tumbling down the hill. While flying, I follow behind him. I am trying to save him. There are other people running too, but I am only concerned with the boy. Except at this point I might be a boy and the person I am trying to save is a girl. I told the girl to grab onto my feet and I would lift her to safety. She did that, but slipped off because she was unsure of herself. I heard the saint speak to me in my mind, encouraging me to help save the girl again. So I told her to reach for my feet again. She did. This time she got a better grip, but her hands were very sweaty and so were my calves (because we were in a tropical rainforest) so she was still slipping. She told me she was scared she was going to slip off again. So I gently put her down on the side of the path. We decided the best way for me to help her get out of the forest was for her to get on my back. Her cheerleading squad was there, but not wearing uniforms. Her cheerleading squad, which consisted of a bunch of young boys, all stood in position, ready for the girl to mount them like a human pyramid where should would be the top. She kept on repeating the name of whatever this cheerleading trick or move was called. Then her repeating of the name dissolved into her saying “chick chick chick” under her breath. As I write this now I realize that she was mimicking the birds I can hear out my window.

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