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I am a Bird

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.

'Which is the 'he'--the 'he' that sleeps, or 'he'
That his own 'he' can neither feel nor see?"
           --Samuel Butler

Again I had a dream I wish I could remember in its entirety but I was unduly busy and so failed to make a note at once and it has faded in detail.

I only know I was a merlin [small falcon]. I knew I was the bird and yet myself; I had its remarkable swift flight and my eye was keen--I could see things denied to my dull human eye and the earth seemed brighter and clearer. I rejoiced that I lived on the moorlands of the north. I flew to my nest in the heather and felt an acute sensation of joy in the smell of growing things and the tang of the moorland air, everything about me was pungent, and I seemed imbued with a sharper sense of smell than ever.

Then I felt myself nesting on the cliff with the sound of sea in my ears and my eye roving over the great expanse of water. At night, I felt myself encompassed by the stars enfolded in an all-embracing space. I was without pity, I seemed to have passed beyond pity, I took that which my existence required. I felt the comfort of my feathers, I knew they matched well with the soft colours of the place whereon I lived. I felt myself preening these in the sun, and then I thought or remembered, with whatever strange sense the dream world bestows, of the time I had wasted covering my naked body with garments, shutting myself away from all the glory that now I knew. I heard myself cry aloud and thought--no words--what a blessing, I can convey everything in this cry.

Then I remember a blast of burning heat, then piercing cold, and then everything becoming dim and fading. I felt my strong claws curling, everything was going from me.

Then I saw myself with a gun. I had shot myself as a bird.

--Nancy Price


Well, what do we call this?, murder or suicide? And what's it say about Nancy's life?

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: I'm Just Not Myself Today! - species-bent dreams - birds - hawks and owls - flying dreams - lucidity - life-paths - oops! - dying in dreams - alter egos - This is certainly violence... but is it suicide? more Nancy Price - Patagia dreams she's a slightly different bird in Hunt and Peck - Northern England or Scotland -

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