sábado, julio 09, 2005

Black Bonnet Dream

Street Scene:

There's dozens and dozens of people (familia, Las Vegas, NM) who have turned out for this event: seems like a quinceañera or something like that). I'm sitting in row of people on one street (each street is like a different seating row--and it's an old dirt road). Somebody sends a child to get me, to ask me to bring my curandera stuff. So I take one small box with me and leave with the child.

Curandera stuff = rosaries, medals, holy cards, crystals, rings, herbs, statuettes...

Along the way, I see a young woman who looks exactly like my grandma lupe must have looked when she was really young. And she asks my name and tells me she has just changed her name to Katharine. (she says her name in English, although most of the dream is in Spanish)

She takes me off to her casita (or room in someone else's house) and is showing me her curandera stuff.

Then there's a big noise--maybe the church bell of the village ringing?--and I remember that I had been called to attend someone---

I leave the young woman (I think, she may also come with me) and rush toward the church, where there are crowds and crowds of people. (Like all the people who were previously sitting in the streets eating are now lined up for the church). And I get a little bit tangled with the lines of people and eventually make my way in and find the mother (grandmother) of the young woman whose quinceañera we're celebrating. She's the one who has sent for me. And I got sidetracked along the way and now I fear that I'm too late: that the young woman has died because I wasn't here.

Now it feels more like a receiving line : a wedding or a funeral, and its hard to tell the mood, so I don't really know which it is. And they're giving out something, like holy cards or ribbons or church fans, with something commemorated on them--and for a moment i'm confused that I'm supposed to pay for them, so i don't get one, but I'm trying to read them from where I'm at and I can't read the writing. Some is prob'ly in chinese, and other is in Spanish but in a fancy script.

I go to the family and I'm not actually talking that much, but it's like I'm trying to offer my condolences and apologize for having come too late, but trying not to say the wrong thing, or say too much. And they take me to the doorway where the line has been filing through, and I see a young woman in white dress who has collapsed upon the floor. And it's like people are paying their respects as they file through, and so i'm sure i have killed this young woman by getting sidetracked along the way.

I realize that the family is not mourning her death. They're happy because it seemed like she was going to die and then something happened: someone --another curandera? a bruja--intervened, so she's not dead, but she's not awake either: she's in some kind of stasis or coma or something.

But I also see that where her body is lying on the stone floor, there's a little trickle coming from her and pooling a small distance away, and it's a yellow fluid. At first I think it's urine, but then I realize that it's something else.

They want to find who the other woman (curandera, bruja) who intervened.

I take some of the memorial cards and ribbons that they've been giving out.

I don't know if other people see the pool of liquid and know what it means.

I wander off, first thinking about finding the other bruja, but then also realizing I've lost track of the familia I was with--Aunt Helen or someone--and so I want to go by her house to make sure everything is okay. (She actually ought to be here at the church with the young woman's familia, because she's a close member of the familia, but no one has seen her).

House Scene:

I go back to the house on Hot Springs, and I'm looking through the house and finding all these new passages and cubby holes and oubliettes and tower rooms, but I'm not finding what I'm looking for, and I'm getting more worried because I don't see her. And I find some other things, like other people's rosaries and holy medals. Maybe I take some.

I'm carrying this toddler: I don't know if I've been carrying it the whole time or not. But for some reason, I'm thinking that keeping the toddler with me will help me find my aunt.

I'm looking out the window. And it's a little like things have changed next door. I remember there being another old house next door, but now it's like a lot of four old houses, and they're crosswise to the house I'm in (i.e. perpindicular to the street the should be on, Hot springs.

There's something scary about these houses. Like someone lives in them or… their front yards have all gone to dirt … maybe someone is buried in the front yards. I'm searching the grounds, but I'm very nervous the whole time. There's a Anglo man on the grounds --he's scary, and he's carrying something, like an old scythe or sicle for cutting wheat or weeds or something, and of course that makes him more scary. And he asks me, which of the four houses it is that someone used to live in. and I don't want to tell him, because He's looking for what I"m looking for, and also I'm looking up a the four houses and I see a woman in a black coal-scuttle bonnet looking down on me. I can't make out any of her features or skin color or anything--just the black bonnet. And the upstairs I see her in is the house he's asking about, but I like and point to the second house instead and say "here."

And the man rushes to attack me, but I pull out my machete (no lie!) and fight him off.

I think I beat him, but I also lose consciousness.

I wake up back in the house. I've lost the toddler now, too!

There are other people in the house now (lots and lots of extended family members) and I'm asking one of the viejitas about the houses next door and also asking if she ever sees anything unusual in them (ghostly figures) and she points toward the house (the fourth?) and says yes she sometimes La Vieja Ines.

I'm looking out the window of the house on hot springs, and looking up a the upper levels and I think I see her. So I'm rushing up to the upper floors, and , they're all full of different people! The people are suddenly mostly African American, and there's lots of boys and young men who've just been showering, so of course they're startled that I'm there and are all scrambling all over the place. And I'm looking past them and also asking one of the viejas some questions, and I realize that La Vieja Ines is actually black-skinned. She's prob'ly from slavery times.

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