Monday, 13 June 2011 11:30
I HAD a dream. Now it was a peculiar dream. Most dreams are. Sometimes they have no sequence and are not open to interpretation. Some are open to interpretation and reveal all sorts of suppressed secrets. There is a long history of interpretation of dreams and it goes right back to the Bible.
Sigmund Freud describes his work thus:
"In the following pages, I shall demonstrate that there is a psychological technique which makes it possible to interpret dreams, and that on the application of this technique, every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.
"Further, I shall endeavour to elucidate the processes which underlie the strangeness and obscurity of dreams, and to deduce from these processes the nature of the psychic forces whose conflict or cooperation is responsible for our dreams."
I do not know what he might make of this dream. The scene is set in the rear lawn of Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip, that long, 90-year-old, and Barack Obama are being instructed by Enda Kenny on how to play hurling. Around his neck, Enda carries a golden whistle on a silver chain.
Barack Obama, being the younger man, is getting in on the knack of using the hurley. Prince Philip, being older, finds it a little difficult. He is inclined to lose his temper, which is a habit with him.
"You have got to control your temper, Prince," Enda warned him.
Prince Philip makes some nasty remark and Enda takes out his notebook and writes his name down.
"Another word from you and you will be put in the sin bin. You might make nasty remarks about the Chinese but you will not get away with that behaviour here."
Prince Philip frowns and remains silent.
The game finally ends and the three call for pints of Guinness. As it happens, the publican from the village of Moneygall is at hand and he pours five pints. They are the perfect pints and the group is joined by the Queen and Michelle Obama.
"Fine girls you are," the three men toast the ladies.
Now the Guinness must have gone to the ladies heads for immediately they begin to dance an Irish jig played by Bono who has returned from a trip somewhere or other. He is dressed in green and is wearing green sunglasses.
When Bono is finished he is dismissed with the curt directive.
"You will find some food in the royal kitchen."
He refuses to accept the offer. He complains about his treatment and is removed from the palace garden by two guards in red uniforms.
"You might get away with that carry on in Dublin but not at Buckingham Palace," Prince Philip remarks.
He is unceremoniously thrown out through the wrought iron gates of Buckingham Palace and his guitar is thrown after him.
He picks himself up and starts busking outside the palace.
Yes I had a dream. Strange things happen in dreams as I have demonstrated.
Then I thought of a more serious dream and it is the dream by Martin Luther King. It was made at a time when coloured people's rights were trampled upon in the south.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their character.
"I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
" I have a dream today.
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be engulfed, every hill shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
"This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the south with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
"With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
"With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day."
These words have rung through America and they have rung through the nations of the world where tyrants and oligarchies hold power. Many people have died because of these words. Martin Luther King was assassinated, as were the Kennedy brothers, because they stood for these principles.
When John F. Kennedy came to Ireland he was greatly received. The country was exulted by his words. When Barack Obama arrived he received the same rapturous welcome.
No one could have foreseen when Martin Luther King uttered these words that a coloured president would walk across the White House gardens and his wife cut roses in the rose garden. History is a funny old thing.
I do not have to praise Enda Kenny and his wife on their performance upon the day. It was truly magnificent.
I had suggested that Obama might have received The Annals of the Four Masters but the gift of 19 bright and charming fairy tales of Hawaii skilfully retold by this gifted storyteller Padraic Colum was an excellent choice.
He brings to these stories a rare feeling for the things of the imagination, and he tells the stories with poetry, imagery, and enchantment. These legends have been treasured by Hawaiians from time immemorial and are perhaps our best approach to the cultural background of the Hawaiian people.
The economy may be failing but we still continue to pen world class literature.