Posted on February 29, 2008
(The next story is based on a remarkable dream I had.
It is truthfully described, and has many elements of that peculiar symbolism, that dreams tend to be so full of.
I enjoy symbolism as a literary concept, and of course the parables in the Bible are examples of some of the most successful symbolism.
Interestingly, a lot of people cannot relate to this style of writing/thinking at all.
The reactions tend to be polarized.
Some people really liked this story; others were utterly confused, and ‘lost’.)
They were living their lives in a fine old castle. It was huge. With turrets, winding stone staircases, and large old oak lined rooms.
Big. Old. Dusty. Creaking at the seams.
Full of modern things as well. Color T.V., video recorders, satellite dishes, microwaves.
All the glitter and pizzaz of the twentieth century.
But it was still basically the same Life as their forefathers had lived in the very same old castle. Although they didn’t always fully appreciate this fact.
What history had those rooms seen? What souls, long since departed, had strutted and fretted their hour upon the stage here?
He wandered around with his friends.
They were young, in their early twenties. Idealistic. Hopeful. Naive. Friends.
The knocking confused them. It was a regular occurrence, and puzzled them all. Always it seemed to come from upstairs. But no matter how fast they tried to locate the source of the sound, it was always gone before they could.
Who was knocking? Why?
The girls were a bit scared. The lads however professed to be just curious. He especially was fascinated. He would talk about the knocking incessantly, even if it had ceased for some time. The others would listen to him, but at times there was an impatience. They wanted to get on with more important things, such as courting, being beautiful, making money, or playing sophisticated games.
The odd knocking from above did not hold the same fascination for them as it did for him; but he was not quite aware of that fact.
Did this at times isolate him a little from the group? Perhaps. Vaguely, he was aware at times that he was causing annoyance. Then he would try and shut up. But then, when next time the knocking was heard, he would sit bolt upright, and call out excitedly to the others:
“There it is again! Come quick, let’s find it! “
And they, like it or not, would be swept along by him, and they would all run out of the large old banqueting hall, down the long corridor, up the stone stairs, stopping to listen, then running faster, then stopping again, with him at the front, excited, his eyes wide.
But always, the knocking would fade. And they would lose their way amongst the many rooms. They would try and follow the sound, but it would eventually disappear.
He would be disappointed. And the gruff comments from some of his friends would sometimes make him feel guilty. Had he brought them on a wild goose chase again?
But it seemed so desperately important to him. A matter of Life and Death. Their other pursuits to him paled in comparison. He wanted to know who was knocking. And he found it hard to understand that the others perhaps did not share his enthusiasm.
One of the girls voiced it one day: “Let’s give up. This is horrible. I don’t want to think about it any more.It gives me the creeps. ” And she had shuddered.
Some of the others had agreed. But he had demurred. Spoken out.
“Come on! You don’t want to live your whole lives in this place without inquiring into what’s going on,surely? Just ignore what you don’t understand? Because maybe it frightens you? It’s fascinating!
I want to know if there’s somebody there! And if there is, what sort of person he is. And why he’s knocking. And why he’s hiding from us. I think it’s brilliant. And I’ve got a feeling it’s ever so important… “
Did they agree? Certainly, they were loath to disagree. Publicly. Out loud. But… at times it was as if they preferred the easier option. To simply ‘not think about it’. To him, that was a source of puzzlement.
And there came the day they were all walking along together in a strange part of the castle, which was only infrequently visited. Their minds were on other things, and when the knocking came, everybody was taken aback. He had been the first to recover. The noise had come from above and behind. He whirled around, and there stood a huge old oak door, with a big old fashioned bolt drawn across. He had leaped forward, and almost hurled himself at the big old fashioned door. Ignoring warning shouts from the others, his fingers had slipped and fumbled as he heaved at the bolt with all his might. In his mind’s eye, behind the door, he saw a stone flight of stairs, winding their way up to the attic, from where the knocking had come. Suddenly, the bolt yielded, and with an age old creaking, the door swung open just a fraction, revealing the first few dusty spiraling stone steps. His heart beat with excitement, and then…
He froze to the spot.
Rooted, unable to move a muscle.
Vaguely, as if at the back of his mind, he was aware of screams behind him, and the sound of running footsteps.
Running… running… away.
His friends… were running away in terror…
But he… was powerless, rooted to the spot, unable to move a muscle. His eyes were helplessly glued on the open door. The weight on his entire being was massive. Beyond verbal description was the feeling of IMMINENCE. Thoughts raced feverishly through his startled mind. Was he to be made to pay for his rash behavior, and his lack of respectful humility? Had he offended? Had he…
He knew a ‘Being’ was approaching. Slowly, purposefully, towards the partly open door. Still out of his field of view, but coming on, steadily…
Terror clutched at his mind. Tried to invade him. Take over his whole body. He knew he was on the point of the most complete and utter terror he had ever experienced in his whole Life…
Slowly, he sank to his knees, and the posture and his heart spelled out a wordless prayer. Still the feeling of IMMINENCE lasted, whilst he found his entire reliance on self draining away. Draining away… and then he was aware that he was placing his complete trust in some great Being outside himself. A complete and whole hearted trusting that he was not alone, and that he had but to reach out and cry for help. And it would be given…
Then, the IMMINENCE was no more, and slowly, he rose to his feet. He looked around, and realized his friends were creeping back slowly, fearfully. He went to meet them, feeling a quiet calm that he knew showed very clearly, but was incomprehensible to them. They were overjoyed to see him, a circumstance that impressed upon him how deep an impact the strange and mysterious force had made on all of them.
* * *
He woke up slowly…
A gradual surfacing, in the peace of his bed, the morning light shining through the curtains.
A new day…
He felt quietly satisfied, as if he had done a good day’s work, and achieved a great goal.
As he propped himself up on one elbow, his brow furrowed in thought, and he tried to marshal his thoughts.
What an extraordinary dream…
And what an extraordinary peace he felt. It could have been a nightmare. It could have been a frenzied awakening, kicking and thrashing, perspiring, fighting with the bedclothes…
He had experienced plenty of those.
But no, this had been peaceful, quietly satisfied. A great thing achieved.
What great thing?
Two things were clear: he had felt an immediate and great consolation the moment he had placed his complete and utter trust in a Being outside of himself, about whom (or which) he knew nothing.
And also, this ‘Being’ that had saved his mind from terror, and maybe more, was NOT the same ‘Presence’ or ‘Imminence’ that had been approaching that door from the other side…
Last edited by Francis Meyrick on August 10, 2009, 9:12 pm