Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dark Parable: Cry for hire

In February 2009,

I dreamed a minister had decided to have an affair. It was a favorite minister of mine and in the dream I might have been his wife. I didn't want to come out and rebuke him and I remembered a book written by a famous writer from the past who talked about the dangers of affairs and how they can destroy a ministry. So
I decided to look for this book. I remembered I had put it in a bookcase near a dumb waiter. But the house had so many bookshelves, crawl spaces, and dumbwaiters that I couldn't quite find which one. The book was called "a cry for hire." I looked everywhere for it. While lookign for it I came upon a world behind the dumbwaiters where people had created a world behind the pulleys. They still used the pulleys but never came out outside into the larger house. I think they were aware of the larger world but didn't really care about it. They even  had raised children there and had different generations. One child had bad scars or blemishes on his legs and I said to him, "you must go out into the sun." I never found the book but when I woke up I went online and googled "a cry for hire." I got nothing. There was no such title. But when I googled "cry for hire" I got this:

True friends appear less mov'd than counterfeit; As men that grieve at funerals are not so loud as those that cry for hire. ~ Horace

I had never heard of the book/ode before and suddenly here is the phrase! It reminded me of the time in college when I dreamed of Sonnet 8 and figured I'd read it when I woke up. When I did read the sonnet, it totally spoke to my situation. Am not sure what counterfeit friends I may have or -- vice versa-- which folks I think don't love me but which really do. But it really blessed me. I like stuff like this because it makes me know that stuff in dreams are not entirely about thoughts or events the dreamer is aware of but that God does wonderful things to show us the way.

I decided at that time to write a children's story about the pulley world. A nice metaphor for we
Earthers and how we've forgotten where we came from. It turned out not to be an adult story. So that dream helped me in three ways.

1) I was being told to go out into the sun more to help my sleeping issues (okay, i still need to do that more)
2) I was given a world to describe and explore.
3) I was told how to deal with fame and with criticism.

THIS IS THE HORACE POEM IN ITS ENTIRETY. IT'S ABOUT NOT TRUSTING FOLKS WHO
PRAISE YOUR WORK. TRUST THOSE WHO TRY TO IMPROVE IT. ("f" replaces the "s" in
many of the words. Olde Englifhe.)

HORACE. ioi


Take leave of Woe, and the soft Joys of Love:
And no Musician dares pretend to Skill,
Without a great Expence of Time and Pains-,

But ev'ry little busy Scribbler now
Swells with the Praises which he gives himself ;
And taking Sanauary in the Crowd,
Brags of his Impudence, and looms to mend.

A Wealthy Poet takes more Pains to hire
A Flatt'ring Audience, than poor Tradesmen
To persuade Customers to buy their Goods:

'Tis hard to find a Man of great Estate,
That can distinguish Flatterers from Friends.
Never delude your self, nor read your Book
Before a brib'd and fawning Auditor.;
For he'll commend, and feign an Ecstasy,
Grow pale or weep, do any thing to please;
True Friends appear less mov'd than Counterfeit
As Men that truly grieve at Funerals,
Are not so loud as those that cry for Hire.

Wise were the Kings, who never chose a Friend,
'Till with full Cups they had unmask'd his Soul,
And seen the Bottom of his deepest Thoughts.

You cannot arm your self with too much Care
Against the Smiles of a designing Knave.

Umtillius (if his Advice were ask'd)
Would freely tell you what you should correct,
Or (if you could not) bid you blot it out,
And with more Care supply the Vacancy ;
But if he found you fond and obstinate
(And apter to defend, than mend your Faults)
With Silence leave you to admire your self,
And without Rival hug your darling Book :
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