Pages from my Journal: The Eyeless Lady

Sometimes I have dreams that not only guide me but entertain me. Here is one such dream I had exactly 24 years ago today. It's entirely not a coincidence that I ran across this dream today. That dream helped me make decisions that led to me eventually leaving Atlanta for Nashville way back when and, obviously, it has some wisdom for me today since it is presenting itself to me right now. Exactly, to the day, 24 years later.


As recorded July 13, 1993

I had a dream last night. I dreamed of my young friend whom I had taken under my wing as my "little sister" or was it one of my nieces who are like my little sisters? Well, it could have been either or both because, in dreams, two people can be the same person at the same time.

Anyway, my sister/niece came to me with a problem. She had been to an art gallery. I had encouraged her to do things like that, broaden her horizons, learn something new. I was familiar with this gallery. I had visited it in earlier dreams. I knew anything could happen there.

She was frightened. She asked me to go with her. When I asked why, she told me she had seen an eyeless lady there. I was a bit incredulous but not totally unbelieving because I had been to this gallery before. Anything could happen there. "An eyeless lady, huh?" was my response.

So I went back with her. It was all familiar to me. Paintings were crowded on the walls - landscapes mostly, some portraits. Some were stacked in corners. Many were depicting events in progress but I can't remember what the events were. There were a few sculptures, not many. We rushed along the winding corridors, my sister/niece holding my hand, dragging me along. We ran through the whole gallery twice. People barely paid us any attention. The Eyeless Lady wasn't there.

Finally we stopped to ask the curator. She was a young lady, no more than 28, brown-skinned with hair pulled back. She wore a navy blue and white checked wool blazer over a long navy skirt. She was pretty and helpful.

"Where is that sculpture you showed me earlier?", my sister/niece asked, breathlessly. "It was so lifelike and real! It actually spoke to me!"

The curator smiled. "There she is behind you."

And there she was. She looked convincingly real. She moved like a real person. But she wasn't real. She was more like a phantom. I was surprised she didn't frighten me. Instead, I felt sorry for her. She was a light skinned woman who was probably very beautiful once. But now her hair was falling out and she was naked. She was burned over most of her body and there was a pair of needle-nosed scissors sticking out of her back. Most strikingly, in place of her eyes, there were two gaping black holes.

She was screaming soundlessly. We knew what she saying even though we could not hear her. She wanted revenge. She was powerless to achieve it. She wanted my sister/niece to do it for her. She threatened my sister/niece. At that point, I wondered why people created macabre art works like that.

Suddenly, she disappeared and we were at my sister/niece's apartment. My sister/niece's appearance had changed. Her face was different, the face of someone I did not know, but it was still her. My sister/niece/stranger begged me to spend the night with her. She had taken the Eyeless Lady's threats to heart and was too afraid to stay alone. I comforted her and agreed to stay. We stayed up and talked until very late.

In the middle of the night, the Eyeless Lady's voice appeared like wisps of luminous smoke in the room above our heads. My sister/niece/stranger clung to me in terror. Then abruptly it stopped. We wondered why.

The next day, I went again to visit the curator. She was still pretty and helpful and dressed in the same suit.

"Oh yes," she said. "That exhibit left in the middle of the night last night. But the artist left me this."

It was a perfect replica of the curator, dressed just like her, in the same suit. When I looked at it closer, there was a pair of needle-nosed scissors sticking out of its neck. It was dead. The curator was still smiling, though, apparently still pleased. She had blood on her lips now. She didn't seem to notice.


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