The past couple of days I’ve been struggling with a quick, sharp stomach bug. It’s nearly gone now, but it was rough: I lost ten pounds in less than a week. Yesterday evening, I was over the worst of it, and soaking in the tub; and I slipped into the following dream/meditation:
I was walking through tall grass in warm sunlight — golden grass, waist-height. Suddenly I came upon a pond that had been hidden by the grass, perhaps a dozen yards across; it was deep and green and somehow radiated coolness. On the other side of the pool was a forest, also deep and green, and I caught glimpses of fairies darting here and there among the trees.
It came to me that I should dive into the pool, and I did. It was dark, murky, and cold, but I had no trouble breathing, and the primary impression I had was womblike: that I was returning to a source, an origin. The water was thick and syrupy, surrounding me, holding me…
At the bottom of the pool was a hole. It was hard to see how big it was — certainly big enough for a person to fall into, and certainly big enough that the entire pool should have been long since drained away; but it seemed instead that water was flowing out of the hole. I swam as close as I dared and looked in.
It was full of stars. Here was a window on the universe: the swirls of galaxies, the hard sharp stars of vacuum, and the drifting nebulae, all visible in the hole at the bottom of the pool. It was cold and beautiful, and took my breath away.
But that wasn’t all that was at the bottom of the pool. There was also — I kid you not — an ape.
The ape — perhaps a chimpanzee? — was drifting in the current at the edge of the hole. It had large yellow eyes, and smiled very gently. It beckoned me closer, and indicated to me through gestures that it had something it wanted to give me. I nodded as gratefully as I could, and it reached one of its long arms into the hole and pulled something out.
I couldn’t see what it was at first, even though he held it out to me cupped in his hands. It glittered and shimmered in the dim light from the stars and galaxies below. I had to focus on it for several seconds before it resolved into a sculpture of glass, jewels, and filigree; its primary colors were yellow and black, but there were also parts that were clear crystal. I still couldn’t make out its shape. Then it twitched, as if it were alive, and I saw it raise filmy wings; and suddenly it was flying out of the ape’s hands toward me — and I could see what it was: a fantastic living sculpture of a honey bee, about the size of a robin.
The bee came and landed on my shoulder, quite comfortably, as if it intended to stay. I didn’t feel threatened or worried by the bee, but I was so suprised that it shocked me out of the meditation before I could try to ask the ape what it was for, or explore my feelings about it.
I immediately was able to relate the ape at the bottom of the pool to the “monkey-fish” image in my wife’s Tarot storyboard reading last month. To me, the ape felt like some kind of guardian — the guardian of the hole, the source — but also like a sort of precursor, a first draft, an older version, of ourselves. He stands closer to the origin than we do.
And the bee is a solar symbol, isn’t it? Certainly the colors put me in mind of the sun-symbol I recently put on this site to honor Apollo. But why a bee? And why is it a sculpture of a bee, a simulacrum, rather than a real bee? Why is it so big? And what is it for?…
I’m at a loss. Does anyone have any ideas?