YES, LIKE MILLIONS OF OTHERS, I watched the debate between the two "major party" nominees for the US presidency last night. The entire event was a Nashville snoozer. Enter Obama, McCain, Brokaw. Exit. An embarrassing snoooozer. Just plain awful political theatre. But this morning, just before opening my eyes with full awareness, my brain did its own version of the shuck and jive by churning out a quick metaphor consisting of a rather short string of bizarre images, tossed together with no particular connection to my own political surface sensibilities, but indeed rich with Jungian and Freudian innuendo and provocation.
First scene. I was standing on a balcony overlooking a rather frisky river. I seemed to pose no particular function in my presence there on the balcony for the first few dreamscape frames, but was statically admiring the choppy waters and the lush green forests hemming the river's edge on all sides. Only then did I notice the fish. Whole schools of fish, shiny silvery flounder in fact, the river thick with these oddly shaped flat fish. Subsequently I noticed, standing to my right just a few feet away from me, was none other than Senator Barack Obama, his white shirt rolled up to his elbows holding a long cast reel, and not being a fisherman myself, the reel was of no special distinction to me. Out the corner of my eye, I could see that Michelle Obama stood a few feet further away at the far edge of this deck balcony. She was encouraging her husband, cheering up his fishing skills, but neither of them seemed to notice me standing just three or four feet away, a stranger in the mist. Suddenly I became aware that I was clutching a long stick in my hand, not quite but nearly as formidable in length as Mr. Obama's shiny reel. Remember, this is that sort of dream, where quick non-sensical edits are the norm, so without linear thought I find myself probing my branch stick into the water just at the point where a large baited flounder and the Senator's hook were converging. In a flash, the end of my stick was tangled in his rod line. Both Obamas immediately sensed alarm, and turning toward me, glare solemnly at the culprit. I was mum with embarrassment, of course, but quickly gained enough composure to begin an apology just at the moment the scene shifts.
Scene Two. I am standing in the main room in a cabin, perhaps the same cabin owning the balcony I'd just been intruding upon. There is a fiercely glowing log fire in the aged brick fireplace off to my right. Directly to my left on a stand is a large basket of fish. I first intuit that these fish are not flounder but are trout, fattened rainbow trout perhaps. As I gaze around the room, noticing the kitchen is off to my far left, Just beneath a window along the wall is a larger table attended by two shadowy figures fussing over another large basket, but no, this time it is a large kettle of fish. Suddenly one of the shadowy figures turns around, and I see a woman. It is Cindy McCain. It is then that I recognize her husband just as he whips around, rushing the basket of trout near me, and leaning in, flashes that grin, that infamous bearish grin of his, while grabbing the basket of rainbow trout and hurling the entire undressed lot into the flames.
Senator McCain then returns to the large black kettle still on the table and begins gutting and dressing each fish, also rainbow trout, with an unseen knife, one at a time until I begin to notice a strong fishy odor which seems to be emanating from the fireplace. Of course the odor is probably the overpowering stench of guts that McCain is now disembowelling, but before I can make the distinction, I awaken. To my amazement I detect a strong odor of fish rot as I immediately begin to ponder this dream, and continue to suck air into my nostrils until I am positive no real fish odor exists in the room. It was all in my head.
Very odd dream. But believe me, this story, while part of a sleeping dream state, was a very real event. I have recreated the arrangement of images and impulses as I experienced them to the best of my abilities.
To even attempt a rational interpretation of this very vivid experience today would be too exhausting. I shall return. Perhaps after the election.