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Descending the Mountain Tower

Dreamed July 6, 2004, painted 2004; acrylic on canvas, 36 x 50", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting by Jenny Badger Sultan: 'Descending the Mountain Tower'. Click to enlarge.


I am coming down what seems like a ruined building/mountain, going down and down, around and around, spiraling. I am by myself and seem to be going to join my friends, my group.

Along the way I meet a boy who is also on the descent. We come to a point where it is not clear which way to go. The way does not clearly go down, in fact it seems to lead up again. I try different approaches but am very uncertain which way to go. Then I see a car coming up a road. This may show us the way to go.

Detail of acrylic painting by Jenny Badger Sultan: 'Descending the Mountain Tower'. Jenny and boy walking.

The boy and I go over to the car. It stops at a kind of level open place. We tell them we are trying to get down to meet our people--is this road the right way? They indicate that it is. Evidently the part in the ruined building is over, and now it's descent by road.

The people in the car ask us about the people we are trying to meet. I say that my people are in a red car and the boy describes the car his people are in. I think these people say they have seen both cars with people below. I think there is some discussion about time--how long it will take to get somewhere.

Rest of the dream is unclear.


Last night's dream gave me a new image--the ruined building/mountain/tower--descending in a spiral path. So it's a 3-dimensional spiral and has the feeling of being a place. I seem to want to create a place right now. Detail of acrylic painting by Jenny Badger Sultan: 'Descending the Mountain Tower'. Cave of tears in lower left.

I envision natural rocky forms as well as built forms. I see pathways and stairs, doorways, holes and tunnels. I see myself and the boy, my young companion.

I am thinking about Santorini [Greece; also known as Thera], with its blue doors into rock and cliff faces. Also, Gozo, with colored doors on rooms built into the cliffside at the harbor. Carved caves at the salt pans. And, of course, the caves at Cappadocia [Turkey] where I've never been.

I see references to 'Getting Down' and 'The Verdure is Accomplished' (previous dream paintings).

I am very much involved here with creating a fantasy place, a place I would like to inhabit. I think of my childhood maze drawing into which I would project myself. I think of all the other fantasy places where I love to be.

The cave in the lower left comes in. I think of it now as 'a cave of tears.' The other day sadness overtook me and I thought of living my life through a veil of tears. I thought I should include this in the painting, but each opening I considered did not seem right. This cave does seem right. It had had a pool, now it has stalactites and I think tears will follow.

This painting is from the dream of going down. I think of my friend Stephanie--how she said it is our task in Western culture to go down, how we need to go down into grief in the Fall. It's still summer, but I can feel the descent already.

LISTS AND LINKS: mountains - spirals - stairs and ascent - caves and the underworld - grief and tears - paintings - more Jenny Badger Sultan

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