Nothing surprising in it, as such, because it happened a few days after I read Kafka’s Metamorphosis. The fact that Kafka imagined himself as an insect and I, as a leopard, must speak volumes about where we see ourselves. Not just any leopard, mind you, a man-eating kind, no less. I have no idea where that came from. (No doubt thanks to Corbett’s Man-eaters of Kumaon, except that those were tigers.) Surely dream analysts would go berserk trying to decipher that one. I see a lot of fingers pointed at my ego.
As is usual in dreams, I could see myself – the leopard – from the outside as though my mind (in any case, my eyes) were suspended in the air. As though the dream were a video game where I had chosen my character as a leopard – I could see it as well as control it.
I watch myself prowling around the room. Round and round. Here and there. From this corner to that. The room has two doors and a window. One opens out to the balcony and the other to the rest of the house.
I’m confined. Yet I am free. The doors are open. I don’t go out. I go to their edge and peer out. I take in nature through my senses. From a distance.
A man-eater. Could be dangerous if let out.
My mind roams the jungles of my past. An ancient memory of unrestrained freedom. A fading image.
No one has imprisoned me, though.
I have confined myself.
I’m comfortable. I have everything I need. Even freedom in limited quantities. A cage, with an outlet. Breathing space. Walking space. Sighing space.
The leopard is a human, restricted by her own mind.
Prowling the wilderness of her dreams.