At 6:45 A.M., I awoke, shivering, with this dream:

On Sunday morning, I attend brunch at an elegant country club with flower-bedecked tables laden with choice foods, attended by aproned servers. Stylishly dressed families jam circle tables in the dining rooms that overlook the golf course. The chatter is deafening. Because I’ve a need for a restroom, I go in search of one. The next awareness I have is of a hand leading me from the men’s room, located in the basement through labyrinthine musty stinking corridors. The soot-encrusted tiles feel cold beneath my bare feet. I’ve lost my shoes. Bleary-eyed, exhausted, I plod along.

This dream could have causal factors: taking my thyroid medicine at 5 A.M., then turning on Relevant Radio, a recently discovered Catholic FM station, rather than resume my sleep. Just wanted to hear what they’re talking about, I mused, having been a non-practicing Catholic since May 2007, though still one at heart.

The smooth tones of an Archbishop, repeating himself at intervals, intrigued me. It felt like I was seated in the boardroom of a Fortune 500 Company; the commodities under discussion were the souls of the Archbishop’s nine thousand parishioners and plans to revivify their spiritual practices, as well as help his struggling young priests return to prayer. All in all, a rosy picture emerged of his Archdiocese.

Again, it was my curiosity that activated my Dreamer’s correction as noted above.

The image of the Sunday morning brunch suggests an essential feeding during a church service; the elegant country club, the veneer of the Catholic Church; the chatter, the gibberish of prayer; the men’s room, the undercover manipulation by the patriarchy; the basement, the shadow/unacknowledged sinfulness of the Catholic Church; hand, the right green forearm of salvation as depicted in Medieval stained glass windows; and the loss of my shoes, the absence of purpose.

The sickening aftermath of this dream lingered into the day, eventually dissipating in the writing this blog; its lesson: beware of curiosity and its contagion.

Or perhaps the dream is all about my shadow, not the Catholic Church.