The Dream of the Alabaster Coffin

The other night I had a dream and have written it down here so that you can help me understand what it means.  In the dream I saw a knight riding upon a white horse.  He was riding between trees that looked like columns, holding up the sky.  The knight came within sight of a castle with its drawbridge down.  Without a stop his steed thundered across the bridge, causing the bricks of the castle to tremble.  He crossed under the portcullis and expected to enter into the courtyard.  Instead the gate led directly into a tunnel of rough-hewn stone.  The farther this tunnel went on the closer together the walls came and the ceiling and floor to each other.  Soon became so low that the knight had to dismount from his horse and walk.  Where it headed he knew not, but it went straight and slopped slowly downward as if heading for the very heart of the mountain.

The tunnel was not void of like as you would expect.  Rather the rocks had their own pale light which did not come as a reflection from any outside source.  Because of the narrowness of the passage the knight was finally forced to abandon his horse.  He followed it sometime alone.  It was only just wide and high enough for him to fit through, as if made for him and him alone.

After traveling an hour he came steadily to see a white light ahead of him which grew as he traveled towards it.  It was not the bluish light of the rock, but the color of sunlight.  After first he disbelieved his eyes, believing himself to still be in the depths of the mountain.  However, his mind was not playing a trick on him.  He finally entered a wide cavern in which he could not see the opposite wall.

In the middle a single beam of white light was cascading from the ceiling to the floor.  In fact that was all that could be seen in the cavern and he stood contemplating it for a while.  As if waking from a dream, he suddenly realized how thick the place was with enchantment.  How do you describe the feeling of enchantment to one who has not felt it?  It is an unearthly silence with seems to rise from the earth.  The air you breathe feels heavy, making it hard to breathe.  To call it an electric feeling would be close to the truth.  All the while there is an expectation that something is going to happen.  The longer you stay there more is builds and builds until you can hardly stand it.

Looking to where the light was falling the knight saw a smooth alabaster stone on the floor.  The beam was pouring over and through it.  Walking down to it he discovered it was long and rectangular.  The knight sat on it and began passing his hand over its milky surface.  In doing so he discovered that you could almost see into it.  He peered into its depths and thought he could just make out a lump in it, like a ribbon of opaque stone.  He looked deeper, contemplating the flaw in the stone, until he realized that it wasn’t a flaw, but a figure, encased in the alabaster stone.  It was the figure of a woman or a young lady.  He could see the figure, ill-defined as it was, through the translucent rock, but there could be no doubt there was a person encased in the stone.

The lady in the stone appeared to be looking upward along the beam of light coming down on her.  Curious, the knight leaned over and looked along the beam too.  Instead of blinding white light he saw something else.  It was the blue sky.  He saw the moon in her noon day journey, caught in the green leaves of a tree.  How far the light had traveled to meet his eye he didn’t consider.  He simply enjoyed the light.  This was what the lady in stone beheld in the dark heart of the mountain.  When the knight had finished looking along the beam he considered the lady.

How long had she lain there was something the knight could not guess.  As this was an enchanted place, he wondered if she were once alive.  Perhaps she was still alive! A prisoner encased in this alabaster coffin by some spell.  What was the cause of her coming to lie there and what was the way to free her?

At this point I woke up in a bit of a daze.  I tried hard to fall asleep and return to the dream but it was no use.  The dream was gone.  I could only contemplate what had happened in the dream, not experience the dream itself.  If, perhaps, you know the meaning of the dream let me know.


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