Sometimes dreams are thrashy, like a download of all the bad or unneccesary information dumped and deleted from the processor. Sometimes they are symbolic, signifying our deepest desires, fears, aspirations or passions. They also might be enlightening, through a dream we might discover a solution or way forward which our concious mind couldn't forsee. But sometimes dreams put a stamp on you, greater than any story or experience the wakened state could give you. They surpass the symbolic and enlightening by combining them and then giving you an experience which is branded on you for the rest of your life.
My dream starts in a pub. At the time I was 18 years old, lost in life with no direction or courage to pursue the things which interested me. So of course the setting would be a pub, because I used to frequent them in that period.
I'm sitting at the bar with a few friends, the conversation is leisurely, the pub is packed, the atmosphere is exactly the one you might expect on a Friday night. Suddenly, one of my friends turns to me and says in the most nonchalant manner: "You should go sit at that table. Someone's coming to see you."
I didn't take him seriously. I laughed. But the look in his eyes was serious, a duty-bound expression. Everyone else in the group grew quiet, the silence filled with the conversations of other customers. Despite my distrust of the situation, feeling I was being pranked, I went to the only empty table in the pub. I sat there and waited.
I took 5 minutes before the front entrance opened and what walked in was something I couldn't miss, ignore or ever forget.
This creature was the embodiment of yin-yang. In black and white clothing, perfectly reflected in every part. from head to toe. One shoe white, one black. The black shoe with white laces, and vice versa. The trousers black on one side, white on the other. This pattern continued with its shirt and coat. But if that was the end of it, the view would be amusing at best, what really shocked was that the same pattern continued on the skin....and it wasn't painted on.
You could see the veins underneath the skin on certain parts and even they were one shade or the other, perfectly reflected to their counterpoint. The creepiest part were the eyes, intense, glooming yet soothing, shocking and captivating, ridiculous and mesmerizing. The look in its eyes was difficult to explain. Not only was the vision dual, so were the feelings involved. That look portrayed amusment at my shock but also stillness and resolve. This thing was on a mission, but wasn't oppose to some fun along the way.
If this wasn't enough, my shock extended to the reaction of everyone else at the pub. My eyes searched for confirmation that this thing was anything but normal, yet no one else seemed to agree. It wasn't as if they couldn't see it, you could see some people give a glance to this creature, but none of them were impressed in the slightest. All the while, this thing locked its eyes onto me, slowly moving towards my table.
It sat down opposite to me. It took out a box of cigarettes from its inner pocket and lit one up. The cigarette was in its' left (white) hand, the cigarette was totally black and the smoke white. Yes, it was that ridicoulous. It starred at me for a good minute before speaking:
"I know, what am I?" Obviously,...it was what I was thinking. It didn't feel like mind-reading, it was as obvious as it gets. It continued:
"2000 years ago you would call me god, 500 years later a prophet, another 1000 years later an angel. Today you would say I'm a subconcious representation of your thoughts, emotions and experiences, manifested visually in a way which best suits you, a way you can comprehend. To someone else I can manifest as a bird, a stone, their teddy bear etc. Whatever is neccesary."
It took a drag out of the cigarette. Sometimes, even in the most bizarre of circumstances, you latch on to things which aren't primary... in this case, I was surprised that this creature was allowed to smoke inside. You must understand, as improbable and impossible as this situation may seem, I never for a moment thought I was in a dream. I can describe this experience from memory because it felt like I was there. There's no haze in this recollection, it's as clear as any other memory.
The creature noticed my surprise regarding the smoking, so it tossed the cigarette box closer to me. I was tempted, but decided no to indulge.
"Whilst we are on the topic of the obvious, why am I here? I hope that the vague explanation of my identity is insufficient enough to light up your intrigue and curiosity, because that will be important in the future. Regarding the reason of my visit, that's the pressing matter.
You're young enough to be lost and old enough to start finding your way out. Many of your peers will never find that road, many already have, yet many more think they have."
How do I explain this voice. Like the duality of its appearance, it reflected two opposites simultaneously. It was raspy and deep, whilst somehow remaining inviting, soothing and calm. It was easy to get afraid of the sound, but you would be relaxed by it at the same time. It would keep you on your toes whilst easing its way into your mind. Like an unwanted visitor you let in without thinking. You just knew you'd be fine.
"You would never admit it, but you're worried about your way forward," the voice continued. "I'm sure the drink and company are fulfilling, but it's like overflowing a funnel. Eventually, it will run out.
Your worry is granted and needed. What I'm here to do is place the threads in the right order and inform you about them. The thing is...I need to do that in such a way, you have no idea it's happening."
He took another drag of the cigarette which never seemed to run out. Throughout this he kept his eyes fixed on me, the eyelids ever so slightly closed. I could feel that gesture was for me, to not scare me away yet keep my attention fixed to his words.
Then he said: "In a year from now, a door will open. A friend, who is not a friend yet, will point you to them. You'll stutter, but you will walk through. Things will seem improbable, but the threads will lead you. All I need you to do now, is keep vigilant. And relax. You can't let yourself boil from the inside, that's the easiest way to miss the clues."
He stood up, for the first time looked away from me through the window of the pub: "That will be enough for now. Your friends await you. We will meet again, soon enough, but not before the event. You know what to do."
The truth was, I didn't. Not only that, I didn't have a f*cking clue. I had no idea what was happening. Just before he went out the front door he turned to me, locked his eyes straight into mine and said: "Wake up now, the alarm is ringing."
It was. I woke up. To be honest, that first day I was just impressed by the dream, I didn't take it seriously. I made a sketch of it, which was weird for me...I didn't draw at the time, at all.
This was around February, I never took note of the exact date. Within a few months I became a friend with someone from my high school. In January of the following year(2012), she showed me a university I might be interested in. Indeed, I hesitated, my parents weren't too thrilled at first, but I decided to give it a shot. The school was Faculty of Design, the course Visual Communication. I didn't draw at all before that, I barely knew anything about design. They accepted 25 people a year, more than 80 applied. In reality, I didn't stand a chance. To my utter amazement, I got accepted.
What's funny is that I only remembered the dream again after being accepted. I have a feeling if I remembered it earlier, things might have ended up differently. After I recalled it, it gave me the biggest chill down my spine. Something so insignificant as a dream nailed and branded itself on me for the rest of time.
And it wasn't the last time I met him. I say him because in one of the dreams he challanged me to give him a name. That's why he is Maurits, in honour of Maurits Cornelis Escher, my favorite artist. The Whack bit is simple, I'll let you figure it out.
There have been at least 10 dreams after this one where he appeared. As of writing this, the last one was a month ago, regarding a field of flowers. But let's leave that one for another time.
I should clarify,...I'm neither religious or particulary spiritual. If anyhting, I'm highly skeptical and a tad cynical. I'm very much so interested in the stories regarding religious texts, myths and legends, but I don't neccesarily believe them. This dream is the closest I've come to spirituality. Something which left me feeling quite...unsettled.
Imagine having a dream which branded itself on you. Like a tattoo in the mind. A black and white tattoo...