A Dream of Falling, Part 2

[This post refers to the previous post.]
My dream has several possible meanings.

I don’t believe dreams are “sent” to us. I don’t think they are visions, and I don’t believe they allow us to see the future or know things we couldn’t otherwise know, like the exact moment our twin brother drove his car over the side of that mountain road in Tibet, or who was the last person Lacey Peterson saw.

Still, it is our own minds that put on these shows for us while we are sleeping. In essence it is one part of ourself telling stories to another part. If, during waking hours, I thought I was scaling the side of a ten-story building, or floating down from the top of it, you’d all think I was crazy, and you’d be right. But if it happens in a dream, it’s OK. It’s a window into my subconscious. It is me explaining what I think, what I fear, how I feel. To me.

I have had dreams in which I was terribly afraid. There was something that was going to “get” me. When I was very young it was often something known, like whales. I had a recurring dream when I was a child that I was being chased by a huge whale, and if I got out of the water it could come right up on land and continue the pursuit. Later my sleep was disturbed over and over by having “seen” The Flash. I grew up during The Cold War, when nuclear holocaust seemed inevitable. I would wake in horror, sit up in bed and wait for the shock wave, which would be a few seconds behind the flash and would vaporize everything. Never mind the bad science: This was scary.

These days I am too sophisticated for such foolishness, instead dreaming about vague, disquieting dread. I believe consciously that I can handle anything knowable that might come at me, so my mind can’t show me a picture of what it is that I must fear. It’s nothing that has a form, nothing I have seen in my waking life. On mornings after these dark, moody dreams I am jumpy and blue.

All of this stuff can show me something, I’m sure. I’m just not sure exactly what. What can I learn about myself from this dream? Maybe that I believe…

  • It’s the journey – the climb – that is important. I scale the wall, and I am among the few who have a chance to reach the end, but it was the climb that held my interest, and so I delcine to bring it to an end.
  • There is always another way. The limited options imposed by our society can be transcended, and the consequences of not doing what is expected – making a try for the roof, in this case – are not so bad.
  • I am weak. I can’t close. I do all the work, and I do it well, but I don’t make the final leap. I don’t have the faith in myself to go all the way to the top. I am afraid to compete for the highest position. I don’t deserve to see the roof, or whatever is over that ledge.

This last is troubling. I could have tried to climb up to the roof, to reach the pinnacle. Who knows what rewards I might have found? And if I had tried and not made it, the results would have been exactly the same as if I had not tried at all, but merely gave up.

So why don’t I try?

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8 Replies to “A Dream of Falling, Part 2”

  1. You knew what was on the ground. You knew that you could wake up and decide to take the route you know. I don’t think that you are weak, but I do think that you don’t care what the roof has to offer.

  2. “Vague disquieting dread” is exactly what I have been feeling lately, blaming it on a culmination of unfortunate events, none catastrophic, all annoying. And we discuss it, and come up empty handed as to what is causing this. VDD is as good an explanation as I have thought of.

    When I first read the dream of yours, I thought of the second option immediately, because the dream was showing you that some people fail, and some succeed.

  3. Thanks to all who try to spin this so I look good. I have taken my lesson from this dream, and some changes are being made.

    Aydreeyin – I think I should go up on the roof and have a look around, even if I don’t care what’s up there.

    Dick – The floating was as a leaf floats, not like a helium balloon. There was only one way I could go, once I released.

    G.D. – Kind of belligerent tone, kiddo, but sums it up neatly.

    Shephard – I have worked my butt off and failed often enough in my life, and I’m not ashamed of that. I just don’t remember when I stopped trying.

  4. Hmmm…I can’t seem to get past the image of animals and humans splattering into liquid. And why a phone booth? Is it an American phone booth, or one of those red ones from Britain? I was picturing a red one, for some reason, and I feel this makes a difference.

    Maybe the pinnacle isn’t the point, and that’s why you chose to float downward. This dream reminds me of Sisyphus, although that doesn’t fit with the many-options interpretation, the one I like best.

  5. Erin – I like that Sisyphus thing. It gives me a certain je ne sais quoi, as Albert Camus might have said. He also said

    “…Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth.”

    Theresa – Thanks, babe. I hope you’re right, even if my subconscious doesn’t seem to agree with you.

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