Brian's Journal - A Dream

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Catching a plate (11/05/2020)
I am sitting at my desk in front of a window in our second-floor apartment in a dormitory or apartment building reminiscent of Gibson Hall when suddenly a white plate comes sailing in through the window like a frisbee. I instantly raise my hand and catch it. Impressed with my quick reflexes, I tell Darchelle or Susan, in the adjacent kitchen, about catching the plate. It had been thrown by someone like Ben or Lance from about 50 yards away out on the lawn and had sailed over to the window in a long shallow arc. The plate had apparently been outside overnight because it still bore a few drops of dew.
I get up and go downstairs to tell someone about the plate and how precisely it had been thrown, that it had sailed right into the open window, which was barely wide enough to accommodate it. As I walked back up the stairs I realized that the plate was intended to serve as a carpet caster cup for a heavy sofa and I did not think it would be strong enough to not break under its weight. I also realized that the plate might have been too wide to fit through the window, and if that were the case then it would have been a miracle, and if that were the case I might have to believe in God again. I immediately decided to settle the question by measuring the plate and the window through which it flew. Using a tape measure I measured them twice and determined that the plate was 12 inches in diameter and the window 6 inches wide. I did not conclude that it would have been impossible for the plate to fit through the window.
I heard that the Lee had returned to his room upstairs so I went up to see him. As I left our apartment Susan, standing in the doorway, asked me not to visit too long with Lee because I needed to prepare hors d'oeuvres for dinner. I told her I would get back in time. When I reached Lee's doorway he was just leaving to go on a trip, carrying an armload of stuff. He greeted me brusquely without stopping to talk and I was surprised that he was not more friendly. Returning to the landing at the top of the stairs, someone asked me if KK could come out to play, but I immediately thought of Violet instead and said that I thought she might be busy. A man on the landing was using a hand truck to deliver a metal milk crate filled with four glass gallon jugs of milk. The door of the refrigerator on the landing was open so I asked the milkman if he wanted me to close it but he said no.
Like the other dreams recently which I have not been able to remember, this dream does not contain any familiar symbols, nor does the narrative make much sense. What I do notice about it is the juxtaposition of people in my present life with people from the past. As ALS increasingly limits my activities in the present, I have been reflecting more and more on my past. Past and present overlap in this dream.
The man who threw the plate could have been either my current brother-in-law Ben D or Lance W, whom I knew at Project Restore 30 years ago when we lived at Gibson Hall. KK, at the end of the dream, is Ben's young daughter but I envisioned Violet D, a friend of Susan's and Bible worker at Restore who married Lance. The milkman is a reference to my childhood when our milk was delivered in glass starts with paper caps. The woman in the kitchen might have been Darchelle, or might have been my ex-wife Susan, whom I married a few years before we became involved with Restore. During our time with Project Restore I was particularly devout but in the dream I explicitly do not believe in God, nor do I acknowledge the apparent miracle that the 12" plate fit through a 6" window. Lee V was our pastor back then, but in the dream I thought of him as a friend the way I think of our current pastor John M, who has appeared in several of my dreams about God.
The setting, the question about a miracle and Lee's appearance in the dream are clear references to God, so I suspect the plate also fits with that theme somehow. Perhaps it represents the Holy Spirit which is traditionally represented as a white dove in flight. If so, then my catching the plate might represent my becoming a Christian. In the dream that act/event appears miraculous but I apparently conclude that not only was it not miraculous, it was also not adequate for its intended purpose - supporting a heavy piece of furniture. Carefully measuring the plate and the window may represent my process of examining and coming to understand my experience with Christianity. In becoming a Christian, I adopted a burdensome standard of behavior but did not find the love that I sought. Lee, whose gospel I for a time embraced as the solution, proved in the dream to have neither time for, nor interest in, me. After my encounter with him, I have no further involvement with the plate, or for that matter with Susan; the dream ends instead with a reference to my childhood, before God became an issue.

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