Tuesday, October 14, 2008

what dreams may come...

... a good night sleep for me is a dreamless one. I'm plagued by vivid dreams.
Last night was a doozy. I'll leave it up to you to decipher its meaning.

Jacob's Dream, Ferdinand Bol c.1642

I was in the most beautiful church I've ever seen. It was an Orthodox Church with every inch decorated in iconography. The air was heavy with incense, it was so thick I swear I could still smell it when I first woke. The Liturgy was being chanted and it sounded like a choir of heavenly male angels humming and droning. The church was packed and a great procession was beginning. When I turned to look at the ornately decorated priests, deacons and servers processing in and I glanced around at the other congregants.

Everyone looked distorted and twisted, angular jutting jaws and hunched shoulders. The scene surrounding me was a disjointed jumble of bodies committing various acts of sins...the couple standing directly behind me were groping and kissing each other passionately, a man was screaming into his cell phone, a group of teenage girls dressed like hookers were shouting obscenities, a little kid covered in dirt was picking the pocket of an elderly man praying, and two inebriated Orthodox priests were having a fist fight and knocking over candles in the back of the church.

However as disturbing as the surrounding scene was I still felt calm and at peace. The surrounding scene did not shock or anger me. I can't explain what I felt as I was in the deepest part of this dream. I felt detached from myself as if I was only watching a scene from a movie that I happened to be in.

There was so much chaos going on within this church... yet it still seem completely normal. No one admonished the ill acting congregation, not even the pious priests processing in.

This is the Church... the good, bad and ugly. Literally.

As I began waking up I desperately felt I had to remember the last thing I seeing... a single ray of light streaming from an open window and twisting in the incense smoke to land squarely on a young red bearded priest during the Entry of the Holy Gifts. I sat in my bed for a few minutes while the Cherubic Hymn still rung in my ears.


Angela M. said...

Were you in Los Angeles last night?!

Mary Rose said...

Wow, CC. You've got some serious spiritual mojo going on between those ears...

This is my impression:

The Church as the place to honor God is gorgeous, when clothed with the proper spirit. However, the Church is populated with sinners. I think you instinctively knew this, which is why you weren't surprised or bothered by what was going on.

The priest celebrating the service (do the Orthodox call it a Mass?) knew it, too.

I think your acceptance of the scene is very profound. You weren't filled with frustration or judgement. Just an acceptance of reality.

Really, really interesting.

Carolina Cannonball said...

I think would make an excellent painting.

Angela M. said...

Sounds like a Bosch or Dali!

jill said...

mary rose, the Orthodox do not call this service Mass. They call it Liturgy, or, more correctly, Divine Liturgy. :)