|Yes, this is also in the sidebar, but I like the|
larger, sepia-version too, so deal with it.
I was walking in the woods with a few friends, all female, and it was another time. We were all young and wearing long gowns, which felt like they were homemade of some coarse fabric. We had flowers and ribbons braided into our hair, and we were excited, on our way to some celebration or festival. We came to a clearing in the woods, full of lanterns and a bonfire and people dancing to festive flute music. The weather was mild, and everyone was so happy—and then I saw him.
He was maybe a year or two older than me, with curly, golden-brown hair and, lest my eyes deceived me, two small horns pointed forward like a satyr’s. While I knew this was the first time we had met, I recognized him. He smiled at me, and I smiled back, and then I went back to dancing with my friends.
A little later, I went off into the woods to cool off, or to be alone, or whatever my inspiration was at the time (I don’t always recall all my motivations in my dreams, at least upon waking, and I recorded this one right away in my journal). I sat down on the side of a hill, overlooking a valley. Suddenly, the horned young man appeared and sat down next to me. He held my hand. He whispered that he loved me, and that it had been too long since he’d seen me last. I put my head on his shoulder. I heard my friends calling for me back at the festival, so I looked at him, he nodded, and disappeared into the woods. I went back to the celebration alone.
Then, I was suddenly back in my own time, wearing jeans and a sweater, and hiking in the woods behind the house where I grew up. He was sitting on a log, and he looked tired, and a little older than when I’d last seen him. I sat next to him and asked if he wanted to come home. He said, “Yes,” and told me that he didn’t have the strength to move anymore, that he’d lost too much power and it was all he could manage to take physical form, so I bent down and picked him up. I wrapped him up in my arms and walked back towards my house, only he couldn’t even make it that far. “I’m sorry,” he told me, “I can’t stay here anymore. It takes too much out of me,” and so I kissed him goodbye. He faded, right before my eyes. I went home alone.
The rest of the dream was completely unrelated (I was Batman. Not Batgirl, Batman), and didn’t have the same effect on me. That part of the dream, though…I just can’t get it out of my head. I woke up feeling stronger, as if there’d been a message hidden for me that I had to decipher. I woke up with the thought half-formed on my lips that I deserve better than what I’ve been settling for. I deserve to be treated right, and to be adored and appreciated the same way that everyone deserves to be adored and appreciated. That dream partly inspired me to cut out the last remaining item of drama (note: the rotten orange, recently flushed from my life, that I mentioned in my previous post). That dream also inspired me to make a drawing, that when I’m home I’m going to turn into a painting.
In the weeks since, I’ve had a lot on my mind, and not a whole lot of time to mull things over. I haven’t meditated in over a month. I can’t remember the last time I was able to properly celebrate the full or new moon, and Samhain’s ritual was ill-defined, completely improvised, and lasted all of ten minutes while my roommates showered. The entire time I was home for Thanksgiving, I wanted to sneak off into the woods—to see if my dream-satyr-man was waiting for me, just beyond that curve of trees—but I never got a chance with all the cooking and baking and cleaning and organizing and entertaining we did. With Yule fast approaching, I’m already planning the ritual I’ll do, and this time, no matter what, I’ll make it to the woods. I’ve been away from the forest of my youth for a long time, and it’s calling me, ever more insistently, back. It’s time I take a walk beneath the poplars and cedars and oaks and maples and pines I used to know so well.