1. I was at church, which now had a 'second half' to it. Not where the real-life construction is happening, but with the church and the presbytery to the right as you're facing it, and a new glass building to the left. I worked in the glass building, which was some kind of government organisation or agency, and was going in and out quite a lot with a woman I don't know in real life, but who was either my equivalent in another department or perhaps slightly above me, but not my direct supervisor. We were animatedly discussing an important problem coming down the steps and out the front door one day when I stopped in the forecourt. Something was wrong - I'd sensed it for a while, but now it felt critical, dangerous. I 'felt' the area around me and knew there was an explosive in the presbytery tied to the electrical wiring; anything one did to defuse it would only set it off. I had no sense of when it would go off, though I sensed 'near future', not immediate.
Right. Time to let people know.
I spotted J out front, spreading salt on the pavement outside the gate. I had mixed feelings about approaching him: if he believed me, he'd move quickly; but since it was me, I worried that he would simply dismiss me and do nothing. As I stepped out, I noticed he had spread salt across the gate entrance itself and was now spreading it in lines perpendicular to the original one across the gate. I stepped out of the forecourt, careful not to disturb his lines, and stood facing him.
'J, what are you doing?'
'Need to create a way to contain the explosion.'
Suffice it to say, one of the things J is known for is his precise, clear English. His leaving out the subject nearly gave me whiplash. I looked at him sharply.
'J, wait, you KNOW about the explosion?'
In the same, slow, deliberate manner, continuing to spread salt, 'Yes. Don't know when though.'
He appeared to be sleepwalking or in a fugue. I desperately tried to break through.
'J, listen. Spreading salt isn't going to help. We need to get everyone out and we need to find a way to contain it. We're going to have to work out what kind of explosion it's going to be and build something, create something to minimise the damage and casualties to surrounding areas. It's too late for here. Can you hear me?'
No response. 'J, WAKE UP. We need to get moving.' I was on the verge of shaking him.
Unfortunately, that's the moment I listened to my own directive and opened my eyes.
2. It was pitch dark, and I was flying. I was held from behind by what felt like a...presence more than a man, though he felt solid enough. I'm pretty sure we were on a Pegasus or some other flying creature. From behind me, his voice, raspy as if his vocal cords had been damaged in a fire, said, 'I have to fight for my love. My brothers wouldn't come.' I felt his profound sadness and leaned back slightly, trying to comfort him saying, 'I'm sure they'll change their minds and come.'
He remained silent, but I sensed his disagreement and his sorrow mixed with love - for his brothers and for me. Below me, the ground was suddenly lit up by a series of stadiums, and somehow I knew they were for gladiatorial contests - ones in which he was going to participate. My heart ached for the blood he would have to spill in the fight for his love. I hoped his love knew how blessed she was.
Then we descended onto what looked like a college/university quadrangle. There were some security lights on, and some windows were lit as well, but we stood in total darkness. As he put me down, I turned to him, this shadow twice my height, and he said,
'Now go. And:
Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'arets.
Veha'arets hayetah tohu vavohu vechoshech al-peney tehom veruach Elohim merachefet al-peney hamayim.
G-d will come. Remember.'
After that, he spoke in something akin to Hebrew - I don't know how I knew it wasn't Hebrew; all I can say is that it was a profound blessing - not one of the 'given' ones, e.g., 'May the Lord bless you and keep you', but something...deeper, almost as if it was woven out of the fabric of creation itself. I felt it around me like a blanket of benison and protection.
...and found myself sitting with Steve, my cousin's husband, who I haven't seen in ages. We were sitting at a computer, working something through, when some sixth sense made me turn around.
I saw, sitting on a brick wall, swinging his legs, in khaki trousers, tackies and a t-shirt, a clerical friend. 'Surely not HERE,' I thought, peering closely at the familiar profile. Then his head turned, and sure enough, it was he. He nodded and raised his eyebrows - in surprise, curiosity and greeting, which I returned similarly. I decided to allow him to come over if he wanted to - after all, even good clerical friends need complete breaks from those back in their church circle.
Steve asked me a question, I turned back to the screen for 30 seconds, then turned around again - he had disappeared completely, not even to be seen walking away in the surrounding crowd.
Steve asked, 'What's wrong?'
'Nothing. Thought I saw a friend from back home.'
'Well, go find him and say 'hi'!'
'No, if he'd wanted to talk, he'd have come over. I'm not going to bother him while he's on holiday.'
Then there was a weird, half-remembered segue about going into kitchens with Steve and friends, then I said, 'I'm going to mass; I'll see you guys later.'
We parted ways and I chose the cathedral, best to keep out of my friend's way, I figured. The cathedral looked like an opera house: brightly lit, white, blue plush theatre seats, in the semi-round, rather baroque and very beautiful. Suddenly, I turned to see clerical friend coming up the aisle two away from me (NOT central) to get ready to say mass and moved to an alcove where I was at a distance and hidden from view from the sanctuary. 'At least then he doesn't have to see me till at least communion,' I thought.
Oddly enough, at communion, he was dispensing at our aisle and the one next to it (I thought he'd be up at the sanctuary aisle; we were the one behind). I was about three away from him on my side of the double queue when the doors burst open and monsters of all descriptions came in, claws and teeth bared, ready for the kill. Thank G-d our teamwork in the dream was as seamless as it is in real life, or it would have been carnage. I don't remember any dead, but there must have been in that first entry, before we moved. As it was, we got everyone else out safely, then tore to the sacristy.
In the sacristy stood a cow. Somehow, we had an invocation/prayer that would turn it into a creature that would help us against the onslaught of demonic animals. I had begun to recite the prayer when a huge, lizard-like monster passed by, paused and grinned at us, then went up the steps behind the sacristy. I knew I couldn't stop reciting, and it moved so quickly, we couldn't grab it to either kill or hold it to transform it. My heart broke. I finished as quickly as possible and we waited, breathless. Suddenly, the cow started to change, growing fangs.
'Kill it, Irim. We have to kill it!'
I could see a golden glow around it. 'No, wait, it's fine. This is the middle.'
I could sense his tension, but he trusted me. Suddenly, the transformation was complete, and a stunning red, yellow and blue feathered creature sat in front of us on one of the sacristy tables. We moved towards it. Somehow, I knew it was meant to be a phoenix, though it was currently flattened in the middle, looking more like a feathered serpent (and yes, it was only as I typed this that I got the Quetzlcoatl reference and looked him up - had no idea he was associated with Venus, whose transit was visible today).
I resisted stroking its gorgeous plumage and simply said, 'We need to go upstairs and save the others. Something like a basilisk passed as we were calling you...'
It looked at me and said, 'It's too late for those upstairs. Go, save yourselves and the others down here and outside that you can.'
Every fibre of my being protested, and I knew his did too. But then I knew - I knew that the Quetzl phoenix was going upstairs to save those that it could and that we would only be in the way. At that moment, I went to stroke it in thanks...
and woke up.