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The Mother Who Was Trying To Kill Me

Dreamed May 6, 1969; papier-maché mask 1970; by Jenny Badger Sultan.

'Mother who was Trying to Kill me'; mask of a dream figure by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge.
I am living in the same seaside town I often seem to dream in. Strange things are happening to me--accidents of various kinds (can't remember what) which I feel are attempts on my life. I feel that someone is trying to kill me.

I become afraid and tell several people close to me about it (including my father?) but this causes fear also, for it might be one of them who wants to kill me.

Then, somehow, I make contact with someone who knows who is trying to kill me. I am supposed to meet this person on the street and be taken to the individual (called The -----Mother?) who has been trying to take my life.

I walk along the street to a certain doorway. A girl with reddish hair in a French roll is standing there. She says nothing direct about it but talks in a high, superficial voice. She seems like a strange person to trust, and I am not even sure this is who I'm supposed to meet, but I follow her.

We go across the street and into a building. There are various rooms with people in them and then we go upstairs and down a hall to a room where the Mother is. I am frightened, for this person has become very fearful to me and I'm afraid it may turn out to be someone I know.

We enter the room and it is filled with electronic equipment. The Mother is in a small alcove behind a big machine. The red-headed girl announces me, and I have to walk down the room and turn into the alcove before I can see the Mother, so we are very close when we actually meet. It is a horrible shock and awful to have to get so close before I can see her.

I can't remember her clearly, but think she had a very white head (bald) and face and one eye is destroyed. (If anything, the feelings her appearance arouse are like those in reading the dismemberment of the Bad Priest in Thomas Pynchon's book V.)

There is some encounter that I can't remember, but then the redhead hands the Mother a strange small white telephone receiver that she had in a paper bag she was carrying. (She works for the Mother and is trusted.) The Mother puts it to her ear and mouth and I press it hard against her plaster-like head, feeling great fear all the time. As I hold it against her head she begins to lose consciousness and, I think, dies.

I am very relieved and thankful to the red-headed girl who has turned out to be my real ally.

(In my journal, right after this dream is a drawing of my very vivid vision of a circle of tall pinnacle rocks, which have shown up in a number of subsequent paintings.)

'Mad Man and 'The Mother Who Was Trying To Kill Me', two masks by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge.
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