And the Sign Said

So a few weeks ago I had this dream.

Aw, man! Can there be anything worse than a blogger jawing on about some dream she had? But stay with me – there’s at least a song at the end.

BTW: professionally I coordinate events for a library.

So in this dream, I’m at work, but I’m also in the building that, when I was a kid, housed my church. (You know, dreams – it can be both.) I’m lost in layers of tasks when one of my co-workers tugs on my sleeve and says the caterers are here early, and I’m not set up for them yet. “Jesus Christ, can you just give me a minute?!” I exclaim in supreme frustration.

I immediately feel regretful about this outburst in the dream, as I daresay I would awake. But my co-worker has gone off, and I better go corral the caterers before the whole event gets away from me.

I hustle down a long hall, weaving in and out of side rooms, like classrooms. The church building of my youth has classrooms, and it also has these vibrant primary-color stained-glass windows. They’re a little hard to describe, these windows: not like the line drawings in a lot of windows, but more like jagged chunks of bright color jammed together to form impressionistic scenes.


Anyway, in the dream every inch of each classroom is painted with the colors of one of those windows – brilliant, dominant, overpowering, especially a rich red one with some battered elementary-school desks hanging around.

I reach the event space, which also seems to be the sanctuary, but it doesn’t resemble the real-life version of either room. The entryway is a huge open area, but it’s packed with people straining excitedly to hear what’s going on inside. And no wonder: it’s a huge choir and orchestra singing this song. (Yeah, Christmas, but a sentiment for all seasons.)

The only free space is sort of up a decorative stone wall level with my waist. I excuse myself through the throng and ooch along the wall till I can peek around a corner at the musicians. I can’t really see the ensemble, but only a corner of the surface behind them, behind the altar. It’s sandstone color and decorated by a tacky pale blue neon sign that was sloppy to begin with and has also seen better days. It droops toward the floor and flickers. In my handwriting, it says


I wake up weeping happy tears.

No, that’s it. What were you expecting, a punchline?

Then how about this: “The words of the prophets are written…in the flash of a neon light/that split the night…”

This is one in a blog series called Metanoia Season. Click here for the list of related posts.

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