I was in an art class that was being taught by Mr Ratomski, my old high school art teacher. He'd told us to draw a reclining figure, which most of us were getting on with. It turned out that with me in the classroom was my colleague, Mark Taplin. He was frustrated by the imprecise brief and the fact that he was finding it absolutely impossible to draw his figure's left arm. After redrawing and erasing dozens of arms, he started shouting at Mr Ratomski that he couldn't believe that the class was so badly run and asking how he was supposed to learn anything if no one told him how to draw.
Mr Ratomski listened to the outburst then, quite happily, explained to Mark that all of the poses that human anatomy is capable of can be found in da Vinci's Last Supper and that all any artist had to do was think of the disciples from left to right until they came across the appropriate pose for their picture.
This made sense to Mark, who is extremely knowledgeable about matters relating to all western religions, and he seemed entirely pleased with the advice.
Notes for Freudian Interpretation
After about 15 years of not seeing Mr Ratomski, I've seen him a few times recently. First, he called up and asked if I could give him and his family a tour of the art on display in the Parliament. When he showed up for the tour, I saw that he hadn't changed much since I left school, despite having acquired a pension and two teenage boys since I last saw him. I met him again last month when I went to an exhibition of Polish art that he'd organised in Fife and once more last week, when I was at the printmakers workshop and he came in to drop off some paintings (one of the artists who work there had had them in the Polish exhibition, even though he's Lithuanian).
I have no idea why Mark's in the dream. All I'd said to him the day I had the dream was "goodnight", which I said without looking up from something I was reading. (I know it sounds incredibly rude, but it's quite normal in the office. What an ignorant and self-absorbed shower we must be.) The fact that he's the main character suggests that I'm using him as a stand-in for me, which is interesting but baffling.
The idea that all of the poses that are known to man are represented in the Last Supper is great and I think that I might try to spread this as truth. When I was quite young, I heard someone say that all of the stories in the world are in the Bible and I had absolutely no clue what they meant. For some reason, perhaps because I was so mystified by the idea (how could the Bible have both Jesus and Judge Dredd in it?), it stuck in my head and is one of the thoughts that I find bubbling up to the surface of my consciousness fairly regularly.
Da Vinci might appear in the dream because of the regrettable feeling of loathing that rose up in me upon seeing a poster on a bus shelter for the DVD of "The Da Vinci Code". I've got no particular view on the film, as I haven't seen it, but I have a strong view on the current advertising campaign, which features a horrible, cheap collage of every major character's face. If you're going to inflict your stupid advert on millions of people in the world, why make it so horribly ugly?