B A R R Y L A N D .



the goddess dream.








coffee eucharist.
an outdoor whiff of coffee brings back a lost Eden

a dense meal from the English language's father superior

cathedral builders.
a close observation on what it must have been like

bow ties.
why the real ones that you tie are sexier, and how to do it

observations on what my life is going to be like


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I have the most interesting and adventurous dreams! One time, I actually had an entire dream composed of fractals. You'll be relieved that I won't attempt any explanation beyond that. Here's one of the more colorful ones, dreamed on the Ides of March a few years ago.


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 I  was walking or running down a path through a garden. It was a gently sloping stair path, and the stones that comprised it were about three feet wide, and rounded off considerably at the leading edges. I discovered that if I loped in a certain way I could actually float down the path without ever touching the stones.

At the end of the path was a large two-story house, mostly brown and tan, the kind you see in those lower-middle-class subdivisions. I guess I knocked on the door. A guy answered: he was young, maybe younger than twenty. He was light caramel black, with a medium Afro. He sort of resembled Willis on Diff'rent Strokes. We went in, and inside, the house was spacious and all tan or brown. The carpeting was the tightly napped kind you find in public buildings.

At some point I discovered a large balloon in the shape of a puffy cartoon animal. I mounted it and started floating around the house on it. It was shaped like a stubby sea-horse or maybe a dragon without wings or legs.

I know that I was bothering my hosts (the guy and a girl, also light black, with straightened and styled hair, and very attractive). They were sitting together across a corner of a large wooden table on the second story. The second story was roomy, with a large, square space in the middle which, rimmed with bannisters, looked onto the lower floor. There was a skylight over this large area. The table was toward a corner of the open space. I continued to float around exuberantly, bumping into things and irritating the hosts, for quite a while.

The scene suddenly widened, and I was up on a huge cloud — a Mt Olympus-like place — overlooking the world, including the house. And I was observing, from about fifty feet, the goddess who was looking down on all this.

She was fiercely beautiful, but not appealing to me because she was a goddess and not human. I saw her left profile. Her hair was dark, and the eye that I could see was a jewel-like blue or green, and very exaggerated (the shape of eyes in Egyptian art: a little too large, and like a straight paisley). She wore a white pleated skirt that brushed right above her knees, and a loose sleeveless tunic of linen, also white. She stood with both legs slightly bent, and one well in front of the other, as if she were going to throw the long spear she held raised in her right hand. Or maybe it was a lightning bolt.

She sharply called out a one-syllable name or order, and there was a huge dragon beside her, on the other side of her from where I was watching. It went through a startlingly rapid series of MTV-style changes: the basic shape remained the same, but its size and colorings rapidly shifted, perhaps ten times a second. Sometimes it was striped or brightly patterned, or with strange shapes. It finally settled on one size and color-pattern — 20 or 30 feet long and bright green with colored scales on his back (the stairstep kind, like on a brontosaurus). He was the real example of what I had been riding in the house.

Many people were out in the skies that day, a bright, sunny day with puffy clouds, riding around floating on their inflated sea horses / dragons / brontosauri.

She mounted her animal and they struck out for the clouds. She took a cold, condescending pleasure in zapping someone's balloon and instantly replacing it with her dragon, who would then fly around a bit. It caused a moment of panic followed by many moments of surprise and shock, and sometimes glee.

She did that to me once, but I can't remember what happened or how long I rode.

One man in particular, not really overweight but rather plump and balding (he seemed like an accountant) a broad man about fortyish years old, was riding along on his balloon, and the goddess, behind the veil of the universe's fabric that divides the ordinary and apparent from the divine, zapped his balloon from under him, and allowed him to fall a while before she placed the beast under him. He fell quite a long way, in fact. I, wanting to see things from his perspective (that is, not knowing that it was all a goddess's prank), somehow entered into his body as he was plummeting and tried to feel his fear during the exhilarating fall.

He passed below the clouds, and by this time was enjoying it. He saw the city get nearer and larger, and was fascinated by the sight. But then, as his fate became obvious and real to him, he assumed a praying position in air (I'm still in his body, seeing through his eyes). He prayed to Jesus on behalf of his soul. He said, "Oh Jesus Jesus Jesus please please please...."

Below us was a grassy area with one hill in front. As we neared, his panic became more intense, and I was rather concerned myself, but at the last moment, when I and the man's body were exactly fourteen feet above the ground, still in a praying position, we found ourselves back up in the clouds, riding on a bright beast.