De tout malheur vient quelque chose de bien. One should believe it, because when the "worst" happens: what one has been dreading the most, it would be logical to believe that from then on things can only improve. Or better still, a redeeming miracle might take place so that nothing is lost and that the temporarily blocked project that one aspires to realise is finally, gloriously fulfilled.
For the night after having received catastrophically news, I had a curious dream. A small green shoot grew from my left arm about two inches above my elbow. I plucked it out to discover that it was a lettuce shrub. Another one immediately appeared, and as fast as I could pull them out, others grew. That part of my arm was peppered with little holes, and the little shoots of spreading lettuces were littered all around my feet.
Following this weird episode I squeezed where my arm was peppered with holes and this caused a live finger to come pointing forth for about half its length. It wasn't making a rude sign. It was a finger that would belong to an adolescent. Stupidly I checked my left hand to make sure that it wasn't one of my own fingers.
My mother (who had passed away at the turn of the century) was there in my dream. I asked her advice. As per usual she reassured me. It was nothing to worry about. By this time the finger had gone and the previously peppered zone of my arm had become a squarish hole like a narrow tunnel or gallery that one could peer down into. It was quite long and totally empty. That was when I woke up.
It was a dream and not a nightmare. Was it a mental attempt to come to terms with what in reality could be considered a nightmarish situation? If so how should one analyse such a dream? The shoots of lettuce, if shoots of lettuce exist, were not alien, parasitical or aggressive. Would they represent physically harmless developments previously regarded as being inconceivable, not in the natural order of how things should evolve? Thus the unanticipated shock.
And then the finger. Would it represent the unexpected hand of consequential circumstances? An indication of the helping hand. The hint of a saving personal engagement from an interested party?
And the presence of my mother. The philosophical reassurance that all will be well, come what may.
Finally the squarish tunnel, the long gallery. The unknown destiny. The future devoid of any clue of what it will reveal, apart from its tenebrous vanishing point, which never needs an explanation.
Text and image by Mirino. (Illustration from Alphonso's Dream. All rights reserved).