Women were taken to be delivered into slavery or forced into whoredom. While their daughter was able to fight off the invaders, her mother was taken from her father’s protection and held as prisoner. Her mother was still rather young, and very beautiful. She would be forced to serve her new Lord as one of his dozens of concubines. The father had been able to fight off invaders, as well, and stood alive, though badly beaten, as he watched them ride out of his village with his wife tied up in a cart, pressed into the bodies of all the other women abducted from their homes that day. He began to run after them but decided against it; he would not be able to rescue these women by himself. He stood alone in the middle of the road, heaving, struggling to catch his breath, struggling to slow his racing heart. He looked around and winced at the dead silence. He seemed to be the only man left alive. Bodies lay everywhere, hanging out of windows and doorways, strewn over wheelbarrows, sprawled on the dirt road, darkening it with their blood.
Some time had passed, not much, no more than a week or two, when he had come across the village of the tribe who had just decimated his own. He waited until dark, and with a jaguar’s stealth, slid through the wooden fence and made his way to a much better constructed and secure fence. He stood there, looking for his wife. He watched groups of women attending to different tasks under the eyes of several armed guards. Then he saw her. And she saw him. He complied with her almost imperceptible gestures and met her around the side of the fenced-in yard, nearest the trees which would offer him the darkness he needed to remain hidden. She approached him, dressed in beautiful red silk robes, and wore a headdress with tiny dangling rubies encircling its brim. Her face was painted snow-white, and her lips stained red into the shape of a tiny heart. She looked at him with a sharp determination he’d never seen before. She whispered, “They will never release me.” They clasped hands through the spaces in the fence, holding on to each other tightly. “I am your wife and will remain so in body and spirit forever. I will honor the vow I made to you and defend it with my life. I will never lie with another!” She began to cry. He pressed her hands tighter, raising them to his mouth to kiss them. “Do what you must,” he told her in a rushed and desperate voice, “Do whatever you must. Just STAY ALIVE!”
He was an old man and not able to raise help to rescue her. Nearly all the young men in the village had been killed. He was satisfied his wife was at least well cared-for, she was clean and wrapped in fine attire and there were no marks on her that he could see. He returned to his village to figure out a way to free his wife from her miserable fate. The Lord had not taken her yet, but he would eventually call for her and claim her body as his war right.
By the time their daughter returned home, several months had gone by. She had fought with the fierceness of a tigress to remain free of the life of slave or concubine. She managed to escape into the forest and remained there until she felt it was safe to return home. Her father was beside himself with joy and relief at the sight of her gliding into his house. He informed her of all he knew and they both set out that night to rescue her mother. They found the village completely empty of detainees and guards. There were villagers moving things from large mounds in wheelbarrows and baskets. When the two got closer, they saw the villagers had made two long rows of skulls. Each skull had a number painted on its forehead with black paint. A little man walked up to them carrying a ledger almost bigger than he was. The ledger showed the corresponding names. No. 20 was her mother. Her father dropped to his knees and sobbed openly into his hands. She picked up the skull and held it close to her body. Then, to her amazement, she watched as her mother’s ghostly face materialized over the skull and began to speak. “Daughter. Love strengthens us. It is the only real goal, the only true accomplishment, and the only real reason to live and die. Never surrender your honor. Always be true to yourself and those you love.” The daughter took her mother’s words into her heart. Her mother did not surrender her wedding vow, she maintained her self-respect and decided death would suit her better than a life of shame and guilt and fear. She left this world with her honor intact. The daughter lifted her mother’s skull to her lips and placed a lingering kiss on its crown. A hot tear escaped her eye and fled down her cheek onto her neck. Her father had been watching her and realized she was a formidable presence, as was her mother. He watched as her mother’s fierce spirit entered their daughter and enlivened her with power from Beyond.
And then I awoke.
This dream was so like a movie, I really didn’t want to pick it all apart looking for its message. I wanted to enjoy it without work. It’s a haunting and sad dream, to be sure, but it demonstrates a person’s capacity to rise above the most dire and fateful times in their lives. It reflects a daughter’s duty to her mother, the unrelenting love shared within a close family. I am all three of these characters in my dream: the Father, the Mother and the Daughter. The Father is someone expected to be strong, he is the Protector and Provider, but in this dream, he is old and weakened by injury and heartbreak. He must look to others to help him achieve his goals. The Mother resigns herself to her fate; she is strong enough, though, to keep fighting and will refuse to debase herself. To her, disgrace is worse than death. She must have refused the new Lord (and by “Lord,” I don’t mean God, or Jesus, I mean Lord, like mi’lord, an Overlord, a Chieftan), because she dies. The Daughter has her own ideas about things and moves independently of her parents. She is imbued with her mother’s proud and defiant spirit; this combined with her own fierceness, will make her a force to be reckoned with in the world. Her father will never worry about anything again. His daughter is the Rescuer.
I didn’t want to write an interpretation of this dream. Still, as in 2008 when I it came to me, I wanted to leave it alone. If you feel my analysis wasn’t particularly helpful, that’s okay. Just pretend I didn’t write it and let the dream-story stand on its own.