A dream and some mischievous elves – maybe.

"Poor little birdie teased", by Victorian illustrator Richard Doyle

“Poor little birdie teased”, by Victorian illustrator Richard Doyle

Last night I dreamt that I was giving the Chinese jeweller in Albert Cuypstraat (Tai Chong) instructions on how to make two gold rings, one of which was like a wedding band and intended for my mother. She is dead of course, but I go on dreaming about her, and also about my father, as if they both were still alive. In recent years, ever more so, in fact.

The ring for my mother was to be inscribed with a text. The same text that is engraved on the granite stone of the Homomonument that I talked about yesterday.

“Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen” (“Such an immense longing for friendship”).

The text is an extract from the poem “To a young fisherman” by Jacob Israel de Haan (1881-1924).

In my dream I was giving instructions to the jeweller for making two rings, as I said, but I forget the design of the other one, and for whom it was intended.

This week has been an “enchanted” one, but not in a nice sense of the word. I did a lot of reading about Scandinavian and also U.K. folklore. I came across what I thought was a beautiful chant (collected in the 19th century) to drive away witches and bad fairies and to call on good ones, to come and aid whoever has the job of churning the butter that day. I said it aloud……….

Come, butter, come,
Come, butter, come,
Peter stands at the gate,
Waiting for a buttered cake,
Come, butter, come!

Later, after this study, I was disconcerted to come home at 12.30 in the night and find dumped on the street by my door, a huge pile of clothing, neatly folded and resting on a large light blue rubbish bag, as if intended for me. It was damp from the rain. I piled the clothes into the bag and brought them upstairs, with a sick feeling. When I examined the contents again I found that the clothing was not mine, but a child’s. So I put the bag outside on the landing in order that it did not “cross over my boundary”. In the morning I took the bag downstairs and knocked on my neighbours’ doors to see whose it was. Hardly anyone was in, but I spoke to three people who knew nothing and who were not interested in any case. So I put the rubbish bag back where I had found it the previous night and by the next day it was gone. Whilst doing this, I noticed that all the street lighting was on, though it was late in the morning.

This story would not have any significance but for one detail. When I examined the clothing on the street at 12.30 on Tuesday night, in that dim light, I saw that it was mine.

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