Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Always know where your beetroot is

I know that reading about other people's dreams is so intensely boring that most of you will probably skip this post altogether. But like every other blogger, I persist in believing that I have the coolest, wackiest, most interesting and poignant dreams of all time and that everyone in the whole wide world is waiting breathlessly, begging me* to please, please, tell them about that dream. You know, the one with the beetroot and the goddesses. The one that gives you hope for the future of humanity your own selfish desire to graduate.

So yes, my dearly beloved readers, today is the long-awaited day: I'm going to let you in on the well-kept secret of the beetroot goddess dream.

This is a dream I had one night early on in the dissertation-writing process. And once I tell you how it played out, I'm sure you too will come to believe that it is an omen of future happiness and you will understand why I replay this dream in my head (muttering nervously and rocking back and forth in my snug, long-sleeved white coat) whenever I start to fear that I might not make it through this PhD-getting process after all.

The dream begins with me lost in a dark underground labyrinth. There are confusing symbols on the wall and contradictory signposts that I am trying to follow. Along the path are scattered miscellaneous dead bodies and dusty bones.

This wandering like a lost soul through purgatory thing went on for longer than you would believe, so I'm going to gloss over it here. But believe me, it was hugely un-fun. The dream me knew I had to escape the labyrinth, otherwise I'd end up like the dead people on the floor, but I also kept taking wrong turns and getting deeper and deeper into the maze.

But eventually I come to the end of a long passageway and can see a locked door that I somehow know is the only way out of the maze. And three powerful beings appear in front of it. They are big and scary and kind of bronzed, which pisses me off because I always wanted to be one of those people who tanned easily but instead am pasty or pink depending on the season and dammit, why do those all-powerful goddess labyrinth guardians have it so easy when they probably spend their entire lives down here in the dark where no one will even see them?

Of the three, only the one in the centre speaks. (The other two are just her posse, specialising in looking big and buff.)

"If you want to leave this place," she thunders at me, "you have to prove yourself worthy."

At this point I know I'm doomed.

"You must show me what you have in your pockets**. If I deem it good enough, you may leave. If not, you will die here."

I put my hands in my pockets, not sure what I will find. In the first one, I discover a handful of coins. As I pull these out, I know she will see them as a symbol of materialism and I will fail the test. I am right. She looks hugely displeased.

I reach into the other pocket and draw out... a big sludgepile of beetroot. The sliced, tinned stuff, dripping with that chemically-enhanced pink syrup. I put the beetroot at the feet of the goddess.

She smiles. "I like beetroot," she tells me happily. "You pass the test. You may go."

And the door behind her swings open into a sunny, leafy paradise.

See? See? Wasn't it a good dream? And positively dripping with symbolism? Even if some of the details were wrong (only two of my three committee members get tanned in summer), the message is clear:

I don't have to write a good dissertation after all. I just need to find a nice big tin of beetroot.


* In a whisper, because they have no breath, what with all that breathless waiting. (Duh.)

** Yeah, this dream might have happened soon after I saw one of the Lord of the Rings movies.


Lucy said...

That is an awesome dream :) I hope you serve beetroot at your graduation party.

StyleyGeek said...

It might have been an awesome dream, but there were no people in the park playing games in the dark. I swear.

(Have you got that song stuck in your head now too? Oh good, we can all go insane together.)

Lucy said...

Luckily, I don't know that song. Sorry to trigger it for you :)

Anonymous said...

that *is* an interesting dream, what are you talking about?!

so if i want something published, i need beetroot. good to know.

StyleyGeek said...

Are you saying NONE of you know Lionel Richie's "Say me, say you" song?

What radio station were you listening to in the 80s?

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Hee hee hee hee hee, this dream is AWESOME.

Breena Ronan said...

That is a great dream! Beets are much better than coins.

post-doc said...

Are you saying that you don't wait breathlessly for posts about my dreams? Really? Not even a little? Fine.

I'll confess to loving dream posts - it's such a cool peek into someone's subconscious. Your subconscious is absolutely awesome - I now have a whole new appreciation for beets. :)

StyleyGeek said...

Well of course I wait breathlessly for YOUR dreams, post-doc! It's everyone else's that are boring :)