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Dream of the Dancing Goddesses

Dreamed December l9, l988, painted 1989, oil on panel, 43.5 x 54", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting, 'Dream of the Dancing Goddesses', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge

A woman is helping a few of us with some meditation / bodywork. She has me visualize the word "Depression" written on my breast. In the course of the work, I think she wants me to see the word changed or erased--though she is not clear about this.

At the end she describes how she sees us in our inner state--odd and humorous images. I don't feel she has done enough.

I am trying to remember the name of a well known spiritual bodywork and can't. I think it's a Sanskrit word, but not yoga. It's at the edge of my recollection but I can't get it. I ask the people around me. Someone mentions a Bible story about Jesus and breasts.

Now I peek through a door or curtain at a rehearsal for a performance. There are very tall goddess figures which are just wonderful--made of batik fabric. The fabric is in swirly patterns in warm colors. Each wearer looks out a gauze window in the chest. The heads seem to have been long and almost pointed. Yet they don't look grotesque, they somehow look realistic and beautiful. They dance and move just wonderfully. They've had to make the exit doors taller for them to get on and off stage.

Another part of the dance--fat women come out. One is sitting at each of the 4 corners. The others go to each one, tumble her around, kiss her, appreciate her body. They are largely bare-skinned with yellowish, silky, skimpy garments.

Wondering if we'll bring the kids to this performance.

I am driving back somewhere, over a highway bridge to the other side. Realize I'm not properly dressed--only have cloth draped over my lap and shoulders. Before I get where I'm going I'll have to stop and actually put clothes on.


At the time I hadn't seen many images of women wearing burqas; but years later, I realized that the women’s faces behind the screens in the chests of the dancing goddesses had an uncanny resonance with the hidden faces of women in burqas.

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