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October 11th, 2012

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory…

A friend posted this photo to his Facebook wall the other day…

…to which another friend remarked, “Some churches seem to self-select for the ignorant and the gullible. But I like the comment someone left: “Take this sh*t seriously. It’s all fun and games until someone starts shooting.” And in other news…some days this dream I had back in April of 2005, somewhere in George Bush’s America, still bothers me…

In this dream I’m driving to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to visit some gay friends. From Baltimore, Gettysburg is not all that far away. This is a day trip I’m taking, and I have three gay friends with me…a full car. We chat easily as I drive with the windows down and the moon roof open through some very lovely Maryland, and then Pennsylvania countryside. I don’t recognize anyone in the car with me…never saw their faces before in my life. But somehow…in this dream…I know they are all friends of mine. It is a beautiful day. Perfect actually. Not too hot, not too cold. The air smells sweet and crisp and clear. The sky is a perfect blue, with just a few fluffy clouds in it here and there…just enough to make it beautiful, but not so many as to block the sun. A perfect day. My companions and I are feeling as sunny and cheerful as the weather. Peace and contentment and companionship. A perfect day.

Eventually we get to a small and cozy old cottage house in Gettysburg. Somehow I know it is not far from the battlefield nearby…somewhere over the rolling hills of grass and trees. But the sight of such a charming little house puts all thoughts of that terrible war out of my mind. It is so cozy and peaceful to look at. Like something out of a Currier and Ives print. There is a large plot of land around it, with a very nice stone walled garden on one side of the house. Inside we meet more friends, There is a table of lovely snacks and wine. Delicious. I chat with a few of the folks inside, get a few snacks from the table and a small crystal glass of wine, and walk out into the garden…back out into the perfect day. I don’t recognize any of these people. But somehow in my dream I know that they are all gay friends of mine. We chat about this and that in the beautiful garden. The couple who owns the house has clearly done years of careful loving work on both house and garden.

The garden is surrounded by a low stone walls that I think must date back hundreds of years. Inside the wall are so many beautiful bushes and flowers it just takes your breath away. A little paradise. It is a very peaceful, tranquil setting, and I feel a warm, serene ease being there, and being in the company of these other gay folks. I don’t know any of them, yet I feel that we are all compatriots…comrades somehow. Kindred.

I am sitting on one of the low stone walls. A guy about my age is sitting beside me on my right. Several other guys are standing in front of me. We are chatting easily about this and that. As we chat, about a dozen bright yellow birds, American Goldfinches, land on the wall near us. We watch as they fly a short distance to one of the garden’s Azalea bushes, now in full rosy bloom. Yellow birds hopping around in a rose red bush, looking for some food I suppose. The sight is lovely. One of my companions remarks on how colorful they are, and I agree.

The goldfinches fly off, and almost immediately about a dozen or so starlings land on the stone wall a short distance away from us. My companions ignore them. Some people don’t like starlings, they’re not very pretty birds, but I like and even admire them in some ways. But starlings are not welcome in most places because their flocks can get Huge and they make a lot of mess.

My companions ignore the small flock of starlings. As I watch one of the birds starts walking very awkwardly on the stone wall, over towards where I’m sitting. As it gets closer I can see its feathers are unkempt…ruffled…disordered. Some look broken. It’s little pointy yellow beak is broken and bent in the middle. It comes closer, awkwardly waddling on little stubby bird legs. I can see eyes are just two black holes in its head…empty sockets in its little bird skull.

It walks awkwardly over the stones to me and then it stops, fixes those empty socket eyes on mine, and in a little dry, gravelly voice, begins singingĀ The Battle Hymn of the Republic to me…

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

…and then I wake up.

2 Responses to “Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory…”

  1. John Says:

    Bruce, that was compelling but weird.

  2. Bruce Says:

    Dreams can be like that. I try not to take them as anything more then random imagery bubbling up from whatever thoughts and feelings are stirring on any particular night. But that one left me disturbed for days. It’s still troubling.

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