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Box of Dreams:

Dreamed 2009/9/8 by Jenny Badger Sultan


In a tall glass room, this rather classical male torso is floating, like an ancient herm on a plinth of air, under a great dome like the Pantheon.

Someone asks "Is it floating there, or is it stable?"

I reply, "it's floating."

Acrylic painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan: 'Herm'. Click to enlarge


A puzzling image. Representing Hermes, the psychopomp, protector of the crossroads?

--Jenny Badger Sultan

Detail of acrylic painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan: 'Herm'. Five robed figures look up, puzzled.


Jenny herself didn't remark on it, but this mysterious dream echoes an earlier one in the Box of Dreams: My Design for the Dome, in which she plans an elaborate mural for the inside of a civic dome rather like this one. No herms in sight, I admit.

I have a different take on the statue, hinging on her own answer: "It's floating." In classical times, such herm statues were erected not only at crossroads, but anywhere male energy was wanted for fertility or protection. Yet Jenny's dream-self sees the classic symbol of the male principle as floating--as unstable. And after two centuries of The Woman Question, I think her dream is posing the real riddle of our age: The Man Question. What is a true, grounded, stable man, without hype and bluster, a man who's not floating?

And where do you find one to examine? Not, apparently, under the domes of power.

--Chris Wayan

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