These Dreams: Pop(e) Culture
A few evenings ago, a colleague and I were discussing dreams. She said that when she wakes up before a dream feels finished, she makes herself fall asleep again in order to get some closure. Don't I know it? =P
The last time I had a "two-parter" was some months ago, but the conversation must have inspired my subconscious, because I had one immediately after. And now you're getting to hear about it.
When the dream started, Mass was about to begin at the clubhouse my old village liked to use for all its gatherings, spiritual and secular. We were a community too wary of strangers to build a real church we would have to allow access to--and too used to having things the easy way to drive one short kilometre away to hear Mass at our actual parish church. Anyway, we must have reasoned, the priests were allowing it. Cue ominous music . . .
Although I was in the Philippines, the priest in my dream was the Irish missionary from my New Zealand parish. And he was visibly upset that one of the altar boys was late. So late that Father had to admit we couldn't wait for him any longer, but had to start the celebration without him. By the time the altar boy got there, we had arrived at the Presentation of the Gifts.
The young man went straight to the altar to apologise and to explain what had held him up. Really irritated now, Father managed to calm the nervous boy down and to get him to join the congregation until the end of the Mass. But the end of the Mass didn't actually come.
After Communion, during the Purification of the Vessels, Father started to disrobe before us all, removing his vestments until all he had on were his street clothes. The bumbling altar boy had stepped forward again, to assist him and to hold out . . . a drum?
Finally, Father declared that he was tired of our parish's complacency in the face of our mission to evangelise. He himself would begin going into the streets and stirring up the world. If we took our faith seriously, he said, then we would join him. Then he strapped on the drum and marched out of the clubhouse, leaving the rest of us stunned--and me with the vague sense that something was off. Eventually, we all got up and made for the exits as well.
Outside, people were milling about in the streets. The air was sparked with energy--a sense that the day was special, although nobody really knew why. It was someone else's holiday; we had just walked into it. In the distance, we could hear shouting and the sound of Father's drum. My family decided to pile into our old van and follow him.
Just as we were about to shut the vehicle doors . . . I woke up.
* * * * *
It wasn't a dream I really cared to finish--because I already knew what I was telling myself--but I was too slow about waking up and slipped into sleep again . . .
Back in my family's van, I saw that we had ended up in another corner of our sprawling parish. Father's shouting and drumming were no longer audible, and I realised we had taken the wrong direction somewhere, although I didn't say so. But I did ask to be dropped off somewhere else instead of wandering around.
That somewhere was a friend's house with a huge hall in which a subdued party was going on. As soon as I walked in, some guys I knew in the dream but not in real life grabbed me and asked me why I had taken so long to get there. Apparently, our pal the host had got out of hand with his bragging and nobody could get him back in line. My friends had thought I'd never get there.
Dealing with that sort of thing requires the observance of proper ceremony, so I suited up, strapping on the nearest proton pack I could find. Then I walked up to where the host was regaling a small circle of people with some tale and raised the lightsabre attached to the pack. There was no better way to say that I meant business and that my business was battle. And as soon as I had caught the host's eye (and everyone else's attention), I declared: "We have never debated Star Trek: The Next Generation."
I couldn't have said anything that would have embarrassed him more. So I spun on my heel and began stalking out . . . before turning to look at him again and adding, for good measure: "Nor have we talked about Christina Ricci's performance as Wednesday Addams."
Then I got out of there, my two ecstatic friends following in my wake.
Ite, somniata est.
Image Sources: a) Pope Francis in Lampedusa, b) Ghostbusters II screen cap