Monday, December 07, 2009

Now I Am Become Snake Princess, Composer of Dreams

So I had this interesting dream this morning. I won't call this one "weird" because it wasn't. It was just interesting.

I was driving with P-Doug somewhere and we were passing a public institution of some sort — a high school or community centre or something — and a sign said they were having a book sale, so he urged me to stop. We went in and among the people, we started looking around.

I happened across this one book, a hardcover in white, that was supposedly an anthology of some Canadian writer's work. It was about 10"x8" and a little over an inch thick, and looked just like the kind of thing I used to have to buy in university. It was written by a woman and the back of the book was covered with the usual quotes of praise; the front listed some Ontarian literary awards she'd won. I started flipping through it and found it was nicely laid out; the first section was short stories, another was poetry, and then there seemed to be more stories beyond that. Many pieces were accompanied by these intriguing, scribbly little illustrations... the kind of thing you'd see in cartoons in The New Yorker or something (one that I recall, accompanying a story, featured a devastated-looking little satyr man sitting in a fountain and staring out of the page). I was delighted and I just shook my head and said, "Sold!"

There was one poem that had this line that really caught my attention. It went:

I transformed, by necessity, from murderer to snake princess.

...and there was this funny little drawing accompanying the poem of a rail-thin snake with dot eyes and a little smile, crawling to the left, wearing a tiny three-pointed crown. The snake was distended with the vague shape of a human inside. It all seemed extremely profound and I rushed to the foyer to buy the book at once.

I awoke with the line still fresh in my mind because my cat, Bonnie, was poking me in the back with one claw, trying to get me to wake up, roll over, and pay attention to her (this is not uncommon). I grabbed the writing pad in the night table and scribbled down the line. Bonnie got offended and left.

I felt let down that I wasn't going to get to read this book that had so excited me in the dream. On the other hand, I guess the odd little line that so impressed me actually belongs to me. :)

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