To Sleep... (But Please, Hold the Dreams!)
A couple of months ago, I had a dream that starting out pleasantly enough and then became very disturbing. It has stayed with me for some time.
(After the account of the dream, read about the perspective of two others. Who / what might one of them be?!)
Exploding the Moment.
I dreamed that I had decided to go for a walk, which I often do. It was a sunny day, warm, but not too warm. There was a pleasant breeze blowing. I walked towards a what appeared to be a large lake, and was pleased to see a long strip of land extending into it, long like a pier. How perfect, I thought to myself in my dream. That would be a nice walk. There were a few feet of water separating this promontory to where I stood. I jumped and got over and started walking. There was not a single other person in sight. I was smiling in my dream, enjoying the view of land and water, the warmth of the sun and the light breeze.
Then, as I walked, the sky grew cloudy and gray. I kept walking, hoping it would clear before long. It did not. The sky grew darker and the wind picked up. Then it started to rain! I looked around, astonished at this abrupt change, and had a sinking feeling. The wind grew in force, and the rain came at a 45° angle. It felt like sleet, sharp and cold. I realized, as my heart sank further, that I was quite defenseless in the face of nature's power. All around me was the ocean. I could see no land, except the land I was standing on.
And then a big wave came and knocked me down. Prostrate on the ground, I spread my arms above my head and clung to the land I was on. The only way I would survive was to keep lying prone to avoid being knocked down by the wind and rain, by inching backwards bit by bit, keeping my arms and body on the land. If I fell off, no one would know.
I slid back slowly, barely able to see, aware of only gray and brown around me. I was drenched by the water which kept coming relentlessly and continued to blind me.
I was filled with terror, but knew I had to keep moving, slowly but surely. If the storm continued at this force, the strip of land would be submerged, and with it, me.
I did not have a sense of how much time was passing. I had to be in the moment, each and every moment, to survive this. Unable to see, I felt with my feet to sense if I had reached the edge that I had jumped onto. Finally I felt it. How would I jump across, I wondered and then decided that I would somehow turn around and would figure it out when I was facing where I wanted to reach. To my horror, the strip of water that I had jumped over was now like a river, with water gushing by.
As I was thinking about what to do next, a wave of water knocked me off the land I was gripping so tightly. I felt a wave of panic, unmoored for some moments. The I closed my eyes, put my head down, stretched my hands out and kicked towards what I thought was the shore.
Somehow my fingers touched land. I felt what seemed like a worn strip of wood that seem to be holding back the shore. Odd, I thought, even in that desperate moment, I hadn’t noticed it when I was starting my walk. I got my hands around it and somehow heaved myself onto land.
That is where my dream ended.
I was sitting at a table outside a café when I saw a woman walk by. She had on a pair of blue jeans, a red full-sleeved shirt, and a sun hat. It was a bright, sunny day and she seemed pleased. She had a smile on her face and a spring in her step. She seemed headed for the coast, for a walk, judging by her shoes.
It must've been about a half hour later that a freak storm happened. It grew windy, dark and stormy, and then it just poured! I retreated inside the café to escape the rain. Several passersby did the same, caught off guard by the sudden turn in the weather. After what seemed like ages, the rain stopped.
I continue to sit inside, reflecting on the strange, unexpected storm. I ordered another tea and looked out the window. I saw the same woman I'd seen earlier walk by in the opposite direction. This time, she was walking very slowly. There was no spring in her step. She was completely drenched. Almost involuntarily, I stood up, wanting to offer her a cup of hot tea.
Wet, muddy ground. Water flowing like a river. A body lying near it. Still, unmoving. A meal. Hop closer. No, not a meal. Alive. Hand moving. No use. Meal elsewhere. Fly away.