Frances Dream: Walking to Finland

Frances Dream
May 26, 1991

Woke up at nine this morning from this dream. I am alone, walking east on a trail to Finland. Sparse woods, not pygmy. I see Peter Franck, but I don’t think he was actually in the dream. He was in my thoughts in my dream, his nice body, his incredible charisma, his deliberate aloofness. German.

As I walked to Finland from the West Coast of California, up north, I thought of Peter, hoping he would jump out from behind a bush. He never did. I was going to some sort of the exhibition of calisthenics, which is weird in the first place.

I got to Finland. Tim Vargas (my son) was there, something to do with athletics. He was in real good shape and not very crazy. As Peter said, “Tim’s just crazy enough to keep the fire burning.”

I saw Tim, but I don’t remember talking to him. That has never happened before. (Tim Vargas and Peter should get into a discussion, that would be interesting. Those two Nazis would surely get into a good argument. I’ll need help from Tim Tompkins for the dialogue.)

Suddenly the grass was covered with musicians, all up and down the knolls, because now we were in a big park, very well kept. I completely forget about Peter. I completely forget about Tim Vargas. I completely forget about the athletics. Music kidnapped me all the way. A whole hill of fiddlers are right over there, and I’m walking toward them, slowly, listening. When the song is over, the whole parcel of them in concert placed their fiddles under their arms, dangled their bows, and watched me. They didn’t look very friendly.

I wanted to turn around and go the other way, but it would be too embarrassing. Much worse than scary. Even as scared as I was. Have you ever had nearly 100 not very sober Finns give you the once-over, straight out like Finns do?

I put my mind on automatic and plugged forward, hunchbacked under the fiddle strapped to my back. I walked slower and slower, but I still got there. Nothing saved me, no call from Tim Vargas, no friendly faces.

I stopped at the beginning of the knoll. Immediately the fiddlers took up their fiddles and played the most beautifully mournful song I ever heard. Wilde Rosen. It took me over. It took me in. When the song ended, I asked a woman, not a fiddler, if they would teach me some tunes. She said no, and pointed. “But on the next hill over there is a woman who teaches violin, and she can teach you those songs.” I woke up.

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