I find inspiration in odd places sometimes. Sometimes inspiration finds me.
I had a dream last night of a dark skinned forest spirit. She appeared to be of African-American descent with wild black ringlets and café au lait skin. She spoke to me in my dream. Her words were strange, and lead me into odd places as I write about them.
Let me digress for a minute, dear reader. You might think that the dreams of a druid priestess would be filled with fairies and Gods, right? All that mythology and folklore I stuff in my head should combine to create a truly marvelous dreamscape to rival the great writers of fictions, such as Carroll, Tolkein or Rowling. Reality is much more boring than that. Mostly my dreams live in this world, not the next. Supermarkets are more common than castles as settings and often the people in my dreams are the people I know in my life. If only Legolas would deign to drop into my next dream I’d be a happy dandelionlady, especially if a bottle of wine and a perfect mossy glen were the setting.
Here’s where it gets weird.
When a dream of a spirit appears and talks to me, tells me she is the spirit of the forest and that I have work to do for her, I could think it’s my own mind. Or I could take the dream at face value and assume that this is a real entity who has decided to take an interest and has plans for my time.
Christians do it all the time. No one freaks out if someone believes in angels. It gives the grandkids something easy to pick out for Christmas gifts. But it makes me uncomfortable to admit that I think I just talked with someone in my dream that might be real. But I do. She had twigs in her hair and she smelled of moss and the forest floor. She wanted me to build her an altar, or more specifically to improve the nature spirit altar I already had set up. In retrospect I can get that. The Ancestors cairn is way cooler and if I was looking at the two of them I might think the nature spirits had been a little shorted. At the time I remember thinking, “Huh? You want what?” I got an image in my head of the rib bones of a deer forming a sort of arch over the altar. This is what she wanted me to make. Conveniently, in my waking life I had just bleached the bones of a deer that I had found. It had had died some time ago. The plan was to use them in various craft projects. I can still see the image in my head of how the altar should look.
So, the question remains: was this a bolt of inspiration from the depths of my own mind or was this something external? Maybe a little part of me wants to take on the face of a strangely distorted black woman with leaves in her hair. Or maybe someone decided to talk to me. Did I get the idea from the bones I cleaned, or did I attract the attention of a forest spirit by picking them up in the first place?
I don’t know. What do you think?