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Dream 4-5-16

April 5, 2016

I’ve always found Cezanne’s “The house of the hanged man” to be both beautiful and intriguing. In the beginning of this dream I was viewing that painting in my mind’s eye. A “half-witted” young man of the village had long been annoying people, and now he had stolen a piece of string; so they brought him to me, the sheriff, to be hanged.

I got a chair and a small blanket, and took him to the base of a hill where there was a tree with a low branch. The people of the village gathered on the slope to watch the hanging. They reminded me of the people on the hillside, munching bread and fish while Jesus blessed the just. It wasn’t as if they didn’t already know the wisdom in his teaching. It wasn’t hard for working folk to figure out. But as a master teacher he was very well-spoken.

While I slowly made the normal preparations, more and more villagers began to feel that maybe this punishment was taking things too far. I asked if they wanted to find the young man innocent of capital offense, but a few women declared that he was evil, so I proceeded.  As he stood on the chair, I swung my coat over the limb and tied the arms together. Then I tied one end of the blanket to the coat and wrapped the other end around the young man’s throat.

“Clasp your hands behind your back,” I told him, “and don’t unclasp them.” He nodded and did as he was told.

“Now step off the chair.”

As he hung briefly in the air, I pulled the chair out of the way, and the limb lowered him gently to the ground.

“This is The Hanged Man,” I declared to the crowd. “Has justice been accomplished?” They got to their feet and walked away.

I said to The Hanged Man, “Unclasp your hands and get up off the ground.” When he was standing I said to him, “Promise that you will not steal that piece of string again.” He nodded.

“Now go home.”

From → dreams, Uncategorized

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