I ran into John Armson last night. John and I always had this tendency to run into one another. It was a relationship which wasn't close- not at all- but you wouldn't call it casual either. It was meaningfully awkward. When we bumped elbows there were usually repercussions. He almost lost his job once for booking me to give a talk in Rochester cathedral when he was a canon there and I was pagan ideologue...
The dream was about me leaving the church. Again. In this time line I'd resigned once, gone back, and now I was quitting for good. I conferred with John. We were holding hands. "The trouble is I'm an Indian", I said, meaning (in the shorthand of dreams) I was more Hindu than Christian. "Yes," said John. "I'm an Indian too."
That was probably the truth. I can't pretend to know what went on inside his head but he never seemed an easy fit for the Anglican priesthood. Or for this life, now I come to think of it.
When people I knew a long time ago turn up in my dreams I search the obituaries. Not everyone gets one of course, but John had a certain importance in the world. Sure enough I find that the Reverend Canon Dr John Armson died just a month ago, on the 12th of April this year. His memorial service is yet to be arranged.