A Persistent Muse

Born to stir the pot & punish the world for not paying attention

A Persistent Muse

A Persistent Muse
The Heart of the MIDWEST,
September 05
In real life I teach art, art history, drawing and painting at a private high school. I recently left my job teaching in an innercity high school. Bottom line: I love teaching and this is my 40th year doing so! I adore visual and verbal expression and the whole wrestling match of creativity. Do I have the idea or does it have me? I hope to become a better writer through my blogs and exposure to exceptional writers. My Avatar is based upon a Seraph/Angel I painted for a child in our family.


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NOVEMBER 5, 2010 8:20AM


Rate: 33 Flag

I see blue and white tile on the corner entrance to a stone building; the tile is European, Delft and carefully crafted. A bell rings and a door closes heavily; I am inside the shop. Beneath my feet a wooden floor creaks announcing every shifted movement over the planks.  I hear everything. Looking through simple quarter pane glass windows I view narrow cobblestone streets. Children play...running and laughing.


I release the ecru handmade lace curtains and turn my view inside the shop. Women and men whisper and speak in muffled tones. Above my head running the length of the room on dark beams hang copper pots, cups and some brassware. Their sheen and color are warm and inviting. Near the window, fragrant in the warm sunshine are dried bundles of Artemisia occupy large vases, gathered recently from my nearby garden. In neatly folded stacks and bolts, fabric yardage softens another corner of the space. Their colors are predominantly dark, their weight heavy as befits the cooler season in this place.


Most of the room is taken up with oaken bins. Within them are small ceramic figures of animals, birds and people from oceans away. The figurines bear variations of blues, greens, whites and golden or russet tones. I run my hands over the edges of the bins; they are hard but smooth from touching and usefulness. Other bins lie filled with brightly embroidered handmade tea towels. I straighten them and know them as fine linen. I reach into my pocket to feel the inside. It is soft, comfortable and reassuringly well-worn...like flannel.


Near me is a tiny hall leading to another room. It is a living area - one of two; the other is not visible. I walk to the hallway and glance down at a miniature oval bucket made of wood. I notice that I am wearing an apron of cream-colored cloth over a heavy blue gray skirt and a cream colored cap. I kneel near the tub and begin to fill it slowly by hand with a large wooden dipper from a previously singing copper kettle.  The water has finally cooled and is now perfectly warm. Still, I check it.   Once...twice...three times nervously. I want to make sure it is all right and that it is safe.


Suddenly, from the back room I hear a young child's voice. "Momma! Momma! Momma!" The pitch and sound sear through me. The shreek is haunting...completely mesmerizing... impossible to forget. This is clearly part of my mind and part of me. Still kneeling, I reach out and sweep the floor in front of me with my hands and arms as I creep forward. I long to gather him into my arms. It is too familiar. Thoughts fill my mind with terror, "I cannot find the baby! Oh, my God! It is happening again and I cannot find the baby!" I try again, frantically...riveted to the sound of the child's screams echoing loudly, "Momma! Momma! Momma!"


Overwhelming fear, dread and remorse wash over me; I am crushed beneath the weight of it. I can neither move nor look. I ache to hear his voice, but cannot bear to look in order to find him. My eyes will not open. I am paralyzed by agonizing terror, torn between listening for what I love and looking at something I cannot stand to see.

 A mist falls. The dream recurs, more slowly now. I breathe into it, trying to see more this time. There is something here for me... something I am supposed to know...something I am supposed to have learned...something I must remember...something to use again...something to carry on.  


© 2010 Rebecca Ann Pelley All Rights Reserved

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Wow... I can't tell you what you are supposed to "learn" from this, but I can tell you this is very powerful.
ms muse ... a vividly haunting dream ... paralysis ... rated ... lew
May loving arms be holding you as mists lift even if the loving arms must be your own.
I wish I understood dreams, this one is frightening and amazing.
rated with love
What a frightening dream..
rated with hugs
fiercely frightening
and haunting...
hope it works itself through soon!
This really had me going, still does. I woke up at 1:11 last night after a dream that was just so real I knew I was there. It had a lot of things I had forgot, but they came rushing in my mind. I woke up and haven't been able to sleep since. I feel your pain!
Your dreams intrigue me. Powerfully written!
I am so very sorry. I know you don't want to see but can you bear to turn your head and look at him? If not, perhaps you might want to tell yourself not to go there again before you go to sleep. I don't know but I know the feeling, I'm sorry.
dreams are strange creatures, and they might mean anything or nothing at all.
your attention to detail in this writing made me see the images as if I were there.
thank you
This is based on a dream that occasionally recurs. When it does, it recurs during the night three times. I wanted to capture the feelings, sights and essence of it in writing and hoped to communicate those things to visitors, readers and friends. Many thanks to you for your reflections here!~ ;)
Hmmm. I have to think about this. Will come back tomorrow and read. Quite evocative and beautiful. R
If this is a true reporting of your actual dream, it was exquisitely crafted, much like this post! I hope it resolves itself soon so the dream will cease.

It appears that at one point in your life you lost something that was very near and dear to you. And while you cannot remember what it was, your subconscious won't let it go. It is why this dream keeps recurring.

What you lost was not necessarily a child (or pet), hopefully you'd remembet that, but an object that you cherished almost as much. The objects in the shop are trying to tell you that it was a thing. The other elements in the dream may not be so important. Just my hunch. R
Okay, going out on a limb here. This is a past life recurring dream. Yes, you are supposed to see something, or learn something from opening your eyes and acknowledging whatever it was that happened and this acknowledgement helps you move on spiritually and into your next stage of being. What you describe sounded like a Dutch ancestry to me, you live in the 1600, perhaps late or early 1700. You are a wife of a shop keeper. Your child somehow died by accident in his bath, either scalded or drowned. He is calling to you, you are trying to be careful. Something happens and you have not the control over the situation that you would like. The inevitable happens, the pain is very great and leaves a mark on your psyche. This travels with your soul as you reincarnate. You have to acknowledge what might have happened and perhaps forgive yourself to move on from this lesson. Perhaps this lesson is about healing by freeing oneself from what you cannot change, that has already happened. Something that you must begin to see differently, as part of your personal story.

I have no idea what I am talking about, but there you have it. Well written. Evocative of some tragic pain. No one who blamed you is
able to anymore, and they no longer matter. It is about you and your own self.
wow is right! i'd love to know if this goes further! r.
EEK!! Rated.

Dreams are like one of those things that always make me wonder how and why they're created.
I have similar dreams, if I eat warm brownies close to bedtime.

I hope you find relief from the anxiety of the "vividly haunting dream" Betamale speaks of, but from where I'm sitting, the way you've shared the experience is a thing of beauty. I was mesmerized from word one.
In and out this evening, but thanks to you all! I was hoping that the words would match the images and emotions and hoping to elicit strong feelings in my readers. If that's been achieved I'm pleased to have effectively translated the experiences. With deep appreciation for your feedback...off to meetings! May be back later, but still, thanks so much for your reading and commenting here! ;} B
Haunting, and vivid in it's telling. A great write. No true insight into the dreams meaning. Intriguing. Peace
I've been coming back to this repeatedly to see if I can make anything of it, but it's no use. I'm just amazed at how beautifully you can describe a dream in all its smallest details - colors, patterns, sounds, feelings. . . Do you remember the overall feeling this recurring dream leaves with you? I think that's more important than what the dream may mean. Beautifully written. ~R
I hate those dreams that try to tell me something and I can't grasp what it is saying.
I agree this was very powerful writing.
Thanks for conjuring up some memories of my own. Great post and beautifully written, R
Check your meds for the words lysergic acid diethylamide. :) It sounds like you have viewed too many showings of the Dutch Master's Art History slides, maybe rounded the Prado and the Louvre one too many times, this brings to mind Velasquez for some reason.
Wow I have been having a dream fest here lately and trying to make head or tails of them is quite perplexing. Could this be your inner child needing something? Nice piece.
Incredible. So powerful, descriptive and vivid. I don't know what it means, but I hope you soon discover what it is you are supposed to learn, discover, carry on, and use.
Your story about your dream drew me in quite powerfully. A frightening scenario.
Good Morning! Laying this out yesterday I simply hoped to be able to express the nightmare/dream/visit adequately enough to evoke similar feelings in others. Analysis wasn't the priority, though it was a secondary one. I think after more reflection (Yours, mine and ours) that I am the child. The business and busyness of my life, the sights and sounds and commitments often find me putting myself last, caring for my needs after everything else. This assessment sinks into my bones and feels most apt.

O'Really- Your compliment means a great deal to me! ;}

BetaMale: Paralysis and powerlessness haunt us all. many thanks for your stop here!

Anna1liese: Being cloaked in love ...self or otherly and the idea of such brings peace...as do you. thanks!

Romantic Poetess: I had thought of trying to craft it as a poem, but thought it potentially to POE-ish. Glad you felt it.

Linda-Yes it was...maybe after reflection I can move through it more easily next time...and maybe there will be no more next time.

Stephsalive! Thank you for the word fierce...which I love! and for your visit!

Scanner! Thank you for your stop! Especially scary are the dreams that end but keep us entrapped enough to simply begin again...perhaps that converts to urgency in interpretation...perhaps it is "undigested gruel"?
I received Dutch 1600's too while reading. Very clearly. I felt disease as well...plague. Trying to keep up appearances, order, commerce while death was collecting a debt. I too think it was a past life carry-over dream.
...Or those brownies Leepin' was talking about!
Patricia K: Thanks for coming! I was going for powerfully written!:}

Leure: Your compassion (hard earned) is a gift and the other side of the blue you often feel. I see you generously reach to others so consistently here. many thanks

Vanessa: You and many of my favorites paint with words so exceptionally that I see the subjects and locations vividly. I hoped to increase the visual component in this piece! thank you!

Bernadine: Heart the word evocative bigtime! Merci and Many times!

Lezlie: Yes it was, and your "well-crafted" description hangs like a star over my head. I think I have figured it out the last 28 hours!

Trudge: Your generous gift of assessment and the time it took for you to not only comment here but kindly pm me too reflects a caring and giving spirit. You helped me to roll this around more effectively. Thanks very much.

Sheila: Again generously giving yourself! I believe in the energies of the past carrying forward...soul memory...and I think you nailed a lot here in your last sentence. Many thanks for your wisdom too!

Hey Jonathan...stay tuned. I think this is about what I am supposed to do: take care of myself...and now. ;} Love that you stopped!

Tink! - an eek means I scored...like a smack on a kitty nose, eh? Yea...me too. I didn't have any tuna or sardines before that dream either. ;} thanks for your support.

Larry: My gal pal and I are working out a theory that warm brownies eaten with mass quantities of our favorite alcoholic drinks negates the total calories consumed AND prevents hangovers. Still in the testing stage-didn't contribute to this school night post. ;}

Jack V: Thank you! I was going for the effect captured with the adjectives you left me! Thanks for all your writing too. I appreciate your weigh in here!
Yes, OS is addicting...partly because the process of writing is as well, but equally because of the folks who love to read, write and encourage/support others in their quest to do likewise. (Gratitude...warm and chocolatey)


BlueStocking Babe: I smile when I see your avatar now, since seeing the real you in your recent video post. Thank you! haunting, mesmerizing were among my goals. I didn't expect the concern and warmth I got...nor the clues to meanings. ;}

Fusun: Fear, regret and remorse are the major feelings left...That you found the beauty in descriptions and found this to be a solid piece means so much! Thanks!

Lunchlady! yup. Hate those riddles wrapped in enigmas. I always appreciate your stops. THanks for the "powerfully written" I was going for powerful. Blessings

Maryann! Thank you for your assessment. I know you've seen a lot in Europe and in writing! Grateful for your visit and note! ;}

Oryoki: I do wonder how much teaching art history permeates the settings of my dreams, but your comment made me laugh out loud! I often refer to art history as the class that ate my brain. Thanks friend!

Algis: I think your comment appeared at the precise moment this morning after my dreams in the night led me nearer the needy inner child theory. Do you want to show me yours? Seriously, thank you!!
...embarrassed that I waited so long to return the favor of your notes. ..but I was so spent after a long week battling the respiratory thing while teaching...
Again, my appreciation!

Gerri! I know i owe you a pm. I am so far behind! I am pleased that you found it vivid/incredible. The most important thing for me at the time of its creation was to capture, communicate and express the images and emotions. Getting to lay it all out proved so helpful and therapeutic too! thank you!

Sophie! Good to see you! Thank you for being drawn in, for being kind enough to stop and comment and to feel the frightening parts with me!

Linnn: I agree! I think it is past energy trying to lean upon the present to be certain that no recurrence happens! Irony...and brownies! YUm! Appreciate your stops...both of them:} !
This was an exceptionally vivid tale/dream. You painted a picture with so much to ponder. Dreams can be haunting and leave us drained. What do all the emotions mean for us? R
Beautifully written, I feel tense after reading this! I hope your awake life is more peaceful : )
Very strong writing. A deep, grand post.
Thanks for putting down such detail.
I was struck by your glance down a hall to a living room which you somehow knew was one of two.
And how you change, from the curious person who first enters, to the familiar role of scrubbing, to a stricken mother or guardian. To the child even, as someone suggested. Then there's you.
I'm inclined toward past lives, or having read The Girl With The Pearl Earring very recently.
One thing though : a recurring dream offers you the chance to practise your response in advance.
In this, I'd practise opening my eyes, moving toward the child.
However it resolves, it's fascinating, thank you.
So gripping and rings so true- the sense of not being in possession or deprived of some essential knowledge. It's there -out of grasp- till the next dream. Dreams feel like nonsense and meaning all at once. You captured that feeling so well.

I've pretty much given up on understanding dreams but this is riveting stuff, Becky.
Captivating writing! I was with you all the way. What the ultimate terrifying dream....
I am intrigued by the "bins." I would never attempt to guess what your recurring dream means, but in my mind I saw a woman working in a shop full of riches from a sailing vessel. She is mesmerized and lost in dreams. In the back room, her child overturns the boiling copper kettle. Dread, indescribable loss and terror are perfectly described. Powerful writing.~R
This is so powerfully written I was inside the dream with you. Your ability to pull the reader in; your descriptions and expression are phenomenal.
Amazing the detail you remember from this dream. It sounds like you have a complete other existence happening at night.
rated with love