the funeral at the beach

(…..dreamed this last night)

A famous musician died. Before his death he requested an ocean burial, but not from a boat. He wanted his casket carried into the surf to a cleft between two large boulders just past the breakers, where it would be dropped to slip silently under the water and wedge between the boulders. His friends, colleagues and admirers were very saddened by his request because they would not be able to make any sort of final tribute of affection for him. I gathered flowers from the dune lines and brought them back to the water’s edge. We formed a line, and each person carried a single bloom into the water and dropped it over the place where the casket had been lowered into the sea. Eventually the surface of the water was covered with blooms, and there were more and more people who wanted to participate, and no more blossoms to be found.

I volunteered to go into the town and purchase more flowers, not really knowing if I could afford to pay for them or not. It was just something that needed to be done, and I needed to do it. I went to the first florist shop and explained the situation. The florist disappeared into the back of the shop. I heard him talking to someone on the phone. When he came back he was carrying a large basket of blossoms, and he told me to go to two other florists who were waiting for me to collect baskets of flowers from them as well. I gathered the baskets and went back to the beach. While I had been gone, hundreds more had gathered, and built a pier so that it was easier for them to walk above the surf to the place where they dropped their flowers into the water. I watched as each person took a flower from one of my baskets, made the walk to the end of the pier, and dropped the flower into the water.

What I don’t remember is whether or not I was able to make my own offering to him. I think I walked out to the the cleft in the rocks earlier, trudging through very heavy surf to get there. But I’m not sure about that.

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(…..second dream….still at the beach)

I am a little boy, maybe nine or ten years old, with a younger brother. Our parents are divorced and we are staying with our mother. She has become quite smitten with an elegant man she noticed among the mourners at the beach funeral for the musician. I don’t believe she really knew anything about the dead man, but she had been taken by the spectacle of it all. Anyway, this man was very good-looking, and is of some notoriety in the music world. He shows the two of us kids how to dig for clams, catch, clean and filet fish. It seems that we are having fun for the first time in quite a while, and because we’re catching and cleaning fish, we are stinky kids, and so is the nice man helping us. Our mother is not happy about this, and would prefer that he take her to a proper restaurant to have these delicasies properly prepared for her. The nice man agrees to take all of us out for the evening, to dinner and a concert. I have wondered over to a boat dock where the day’s fresh catch is being unloaded, asking questions and probably being a pest. But the old fishermen are being nice to me, giving me tips on catching and pricing seafood for the kinds of restaurants my mother is expecting to be taken to. She has to come and find me, and since I’ve been hanging out with the “old men of the sea”, we are now going to be late for our evening with Mr. Wonderful. He tells her to stop scolding me for trying to learn the business, and she responds with some rather unkind words about the fishing industry and the smelly people who work in it. The man gives her the name of the restaurant and the private suite number where he wants us to meet him for dinner, and he leaves. She takes us to our motel room and cleans us up, puts on her best evening gown, and we head to the appointed meeting place. A butler is waiting outside the door. He asks her name, she replies, and he says “I’m sorry, Mr. ____ allows no one into his private dining area until two hours before the concert.” She tells him that she is aware of that because he invited her and she is late because she had to clean up her stinky kids. The butler shows her a sign next to the door, like a conference room sign, with a woman’s name written on it. “Is that your name? Mr.____ is expecting a very nice woman and her two wonderful little boys for dinner tonight.” She answers, “That’s not my name, but I AM THE WOMAN he invited and these two bratty boys he encouraged to hang out with those nasty fishermen this afternoon are the reason we’re late!” The butler looks at me and my little brother, then back at her. “Yes, they do look like the same boys he described to me, but you, lady___ you treated them horribly this afternoon. If that is your normal behavior with your boys, then my employer wants nothing to do with you. I’m sorry, but he has invited someone else for the evening, and you need to go now before she arrives.”

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An editorial comment: Although I don’t really know what these dreams mean, I do know that the woman in the second dream, the mean mother, is me. Or at least she’s the me that I feel I’m being at this point in my life. I think, if I worked at it for a while, I could put this all together and pull out what it’s trying to tell me. I’m just too tired and discouraged to try it right now.

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2 responses to “the funeral at the beach

  1. I recommend Every Dreamer’s Handbook by Will Phillips. Really. It isn’t hard, you have the basics down already and can work it as you feel like you can, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  2. I have that book,the problem is FINDING it. I know it’s in this house somewhere, and I had everything on shelves until fairly recently when things were unshelved and put into boxes while I was in the DR……

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