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The Chasm

Dreamed 1948 by Nancy Price.

Source: Acquainted with the Night by Nancy Price (1949), selections from an experimental dream journal she kept for one year.

Flowers--yes, often flowers in my dreams. I am at Kinver Edge, that portion of beautiful country in Staffordshire now acquired by the National Trust, where in my childhood people dwelt in the old Rock Houses--people who would be regarded with amazement in our so-called enlightened days. Companions unknown were there with me, we were seeking for a camping site, which at last was chosen. It was surrounded by a windswept thorn hedge, a stony place that had been an old British encampment. It stood high, one could see for miles over wood and meadowland and in the distance the so-called Black Country of the Midlands.

"We must find some way for a small cart to come with our things," said one of my companions.

And seeking for that way, we walked and walked interminably. Suddenly I saw thousands of wild cyclamen, every colour. I called my companions. "Don't tell anybody," I said, "or they will soon all be uprooted. What a find! How beautiful they are."

But even as I spoke I found I was on the edge of a precipice and prevented in some way from turning back. All round was a panorama of country beautiful and golden in the sunlight and I saw it through a transparent sea, glistening with every colour of the rainbow.

The branch of a tree hung over this precipice tempting any to lie along it and look over the abyss. An irresistible desire possessed me to do this, I tried to force my eyes from the vista beneath and from the temptation offered by the branch.

Then I realised that one of my companions was my mother, that she had gone forward and was now on the branch which stretched so perilously over the edge. I saw her face turned to me, I felt that she realised her danger and was imploring me to help, to go to her. Yet I dared not, my feet seemed riveted to the ground on which I stood. I forced my eyes away from that awful abyss which for all its spectacle of loveliness held for me nothing but fear. Back and back I forced my thoughts, turning my eyes away.

I woke, yet still I saw the abyss which would not leave me. I grasped the sides of my bed with tenacity and turned the light full on. I tried to force myself into complete consciousness because I felt that half of myself was still somewhere else. An overwhelming sense of sleep, a sleep that held menace possessed my whole being. I could not resist it and sank again into oblivion.

I could not have slept long but I woke wholly this time to hubbub, voices and shouting in the street below my flat. Someone had fallen from a top store window to death. In my dream had another subconscious mind become linked up with mine, and mingling with my own memories and imagination become a sort of whole without that order or government which the conscious mind exercises?

--Nancy Price

LISTS AND LINKS: scenery - flowers - mothers - falling - death - telepathic dreams - psychic dreams in general - a second dream set in Kinver, Price's home town: Let There Be Light - more Nancy Price

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