In the Hall of Maati

Wednesday, 6 October

Last night I had a dream that was so vivid that I have not even taken time to shower and dress myself this morning before logging on to my computer to write down every tiny detail that I can remember from it. I expect that a late-night reading of The Omega Course after Alex had gone to bed was to blame; it had filled my head with images of cadavers rising from their graves and sinister magicians re-animating the skulls of the deceased. I really should start reading romance novels at bedtime instead!

I recall finding myself standing in a grand chamber as large as, if not larger than, the Great Hall at the university. It was sparsely furnished and dimly lit and although I could not smell my surroundings I could detect a suffocating air of decay that filled the chamber and made me feel ill at ease. A row of dark and tattered, seemingly fire-damaged old flags adorned the stone wall ahead of me and a red carpet ran from left to right along the entire length of the room. At the far end of the carpet to my right was a bright and gleaming golden throne that was stunningly beautiful but far too tall and narrow to seat an average-sized person. 

Although I was unable to turn my head to see them, I was aware of other people on either side of me who, like me, were standing on a series of small red mats that had been placed at regular intervals along the carpet and facing the central aisle. I watched the shadows of these figures move on the opposite wall as though ordered by an inaudible command and they knelt on their mats and bowed down until they were almost prostrate on the floor. A voice from the silhouetted figure on the mat beside me whispered “bow your head down. They must not see you. The living are not supposed to be here” and so I knelt with unquestioning compliance and bowed down until the top of my head touched the floor.

No sooner had I done this when a dull roar began to build from the far end of the chamber to my left, like the sound of a slow steam train rolling into a station. Within minutes the roar had grown until it had reached a deafening pitch overhead and so I raised my chin a little and peeked out of one eye to catch a glimpse of the source of the sound. Almost directly in front of me, only a few inches or so away at the most, I could see the feet of a large band of figures marching from left to right along the central aisle. The feet were identifiably human but they had the same skeletal form and white-green phosphorescent glow that I had seen before. I desperately wanted to see the creatures in their full glory but the warning from the person beside me echoed in my mind and, although my body was exposed and they could clearly see me before them, for some strange reason I knew that if we made eye contact then they would be alerted to my presence, so I held my breath and squeezed my eyes tightly shut as the roaring noise passed directly overhead and the group moved away to my right. When the ordeal was over and the noise had died away, I opened my eyes and stole a glance along the carpet. The room was silent and both the skeletal figures and the men beside me were gone.

I would not say that it was a disturbing dream, on the contrary it was a fascinating and compelling dream and if I had not awoken at that point then I would have been perfectly happy to endure it for much longer, especially now that Luke has instilled in me the confidence to explore and engage with these lucid dreams more directly. And this new-found confidence that Luke has instilled in me is spilling over into other unusual phenomena that I encounter in my daily routine too; for instance, the dark evenings have become a playground for the senses and most recently I have noticed a luminous glow that is visible on surfaces around the flat in the pitch dark of the night. I first stumbled across this strange glow when visiting the toilet in the middle of the night; it looked as though moonlight was reflecting off the surfaces in the bathroom and transforming the room into a black-and-white photograph, but the blinds were tightly closed and there was no light whatsoever coming into the room. I have since discovered that if I sit completely still in the pitch dark for long enough then my environment transforms entirely into black and white and I can see the white outline of objects around me, but I have to look slightly out the corner of my eye if I wish to maintain the effect when moving around the room. Normally I would be disturbed by this kind of sensory abnormality, but I am more accepting of them now. Besides this one has practical benefits when trying to safely negotiate my way around the flat at night!

Although last night’s dream has not alarmed me, I was nevertheless grateful for the distraction of another set of photographs and a poem from Luke when I logged on to my computer only a few minutes ago…

It Was Sweet to My Heart

I have been steeped in liquor amnii
Too many times now.

I am weary from my fights
with the majestic rage,
the relentless desire,
the heat of fury
And the all-consuming thirst.

The battle is won.

Now I hear
The groaning of the clouds,
The grind of the earth
And the cries from the throat
Of the blood-red rose.

I am timeless and constant.
Keep your vigil, little candle,
As the dusk bleeds the sunlight away.