Dreamed November or December 1948 by Nancy Price
Source: Acquainted with the Night by Nancy Price (1949), selections from an experimental dream journal she kept for one year.
I felt I would like to end this series of dreams with the most beautiful sound that has ever come to me in these visions of the night. I may in some aeon of time hear it again, but never in this life, of that I am assured.
In my dream, as in my waking hours, I was oppressed and depressed by the sunless, icy days through which I had been passing, but the dream brought no snow to beautify the unrelenting drab greyness. I was apparently wandering in a barren waste of endlessly stretching plains, dreary mountains and again plains, all of which I had to traverse. On and on I trudged, my eyes ever seeking something that might gladden them. I suffered neither hunger nor thirst, I seemed drained of all feeling and sensation, just moving on, where, and for what, I do not know, but on I had to go. It seemed there was no difference in the light of day or of the night; both were cold, cheerless, dreary as a slum in the early morning. I was untroubled of hope or expectancy; I seemed to have no past or future, just to move forward with no particular desire either to sleep or rest; aimless movement in a surround of drab, where there was no sign or sound of life. As I now think of my dream, the worst aspect of it seems my acceptance of mechanical and meaningless movement.
My next recollection is of finding myself in an empty building, walled in, no doors or windows. Then suddenly, as a flash of lightning pierces the darkness--a wall cracked. Through the aperture came a bird's song such as I have never heard or imagined. When I try to recapture that sound I think of the exaltation of the lark, the freshness and clarity of the blackbird and thrush, the inspiration expressed by the nightingale, the restful sweetness of the dove, the cheer of the robin and the joyousness of chaffinch, reed warbler and wren; every song was there in those wonderful notes, which expressed strength, beauty, gladness. On and on sang the bird, and the music entirely possessed my whole being, fulfilling all that I had ever desired, enjoyed or worshipped.
I pushed through the opening, the air was warm and full of sweet scents. I was filled with an exaltation and sense of completeness such as I have never before known or thought possible. On and on went the song, and I woke, but still it filled my mind, heart and ears.
I leapt out of bed and pushed open the window. Fainter grew that marvellous singing, the air still had a lingering warmth and sweetness, then gradually the light, the song, the kindly warmth, all the unutterable beauty faded--it was a dark cold night. I shut the window, but never shall I shut out the memory of that ineffable wonder, that fulfilment, that state of being where body and mind were uplifted and satisfied, composed of sensation outside mortal experience.
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