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Dreams 11-9-15

November 9, 2015

Many dreams last night, and yet only one image stayed with me:

I walked home from somewhere, in the late afternoon, and when I was just outside my door I saw a very large number of earthworms. It was as if my entire field of sight was filled with earthworms, some as small as “manure worms” and some as large as a small snake (but definitely worms, like enlarged “night crawlers”). They were moving around and over each other, although all were moving slowly in a general direction from lower left to upper right, toward my door. Instead of going into my house, I looked and looked at them [rather like looking and looking at the menu at a restaurant when one is stoned, somehow never quite getting around to making a choice]. This was not at all a repulsive vision.

A few thoughts about that image: I had a lot of experiences with earthworms, as a kid, because of my general interest in everything natural, and then specifically the value of earthworms in gardening, and as bait for fishing. They are subterranean beings, by nature. That’s their key aspect, for me, at least. They are creatures of the earth element. And move well, below the surface.

So, normally they’re only seen when digging. If they find themselves in the light (fire element), they immediately search for a crack where they can penetrate the surface of the earth and disappear below. The sun will quickly dry and destroy them, although they can also drown in too much water, such as a rain puddle—indeed too much water in the earth forces them to the surface. (Night crawlers expose themselves to the air and water—dew and secretion—in the darkness, to mate. But the light of a flashlight can cause them to swiftly retreat. When I successfully grabbed one I found it to be a fleshy and slippery fusion of water and earth, quickly changing, indeed often disappearing down its hole, as if it had been an apparition, and I had been tricked; to fix its shape in my hand, I had to hold it very tight.) They are good food for birds as well as fish, and for humans too, I’m told. Below the surface they move partly by moving the soil through themselves, enriching it for plants, and thus for humans.

But it was not a rainy day in my dream, although the sky was a light gray overcast. What were all those earthworms doing in the air and light?

By subterranean we mean below the surface, not below the earth (similarly, a submarine goes below the surface, not below the sea).

On the principle that it’s my dream, so I get to interpret it, I’ll dig for it. I’m remembering that there is a garden below the surface of the earth, in the kingdom of Hades and his queen, Persephone. These nourishing worms, I’m thinking, might be lesser emissaries from her garden to mine, suggesting the psychic richness of growth below surfaces, and suggesting that Swinburne’s dreary but wonderfully lyrical poem, “The Garden of Proserpine,” (which I find marvelously clarifying again every time I reread it, as just now) is only a half-accurate vision, splitting as it does life and death. The music of the poem, suffusing as the verbal image of her garden as well as ours, is itself like a psychopompous, a Hermes, taking us with him as he journeys back and forth between our worlds.

Fascinating. Worms.

From → dreams

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