Last week I dreamed. Free from medication and its both polarising numbing and stimulating effects this experience was something both recurring and modern.
I wrote it down and stuck in on Facebook. Here’s an account for those not in my loop of social media.
“Dreamed last night I had to cross a rickety rope bridge, stretched across two high columns at the edge of the sea. Natural stone, like the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, briny and worn, bearing the eternal wrath of Mother Nature.
I reached the columns by means of the coastline access. Walking, beneath hollow frames of homes and houses, long abandoned, seaweed festooned like ivy, hanging tendrils, flotsam everywhere, and all the creatures of such places, happy to go about their business, free from strangers.
It would later dawn on me that these cliffside walkways would move with the tide. Rise and fall with the consistency of nature, hundreds of feet, impossible in reality. my pathway is a temporary access, and part of me knows I shouldn’t waste time in daydreaming.
When I reach the bridge, spanning the coastline to the first column I see the bridge is a ghost.
The middle part is virtually gone, planks and sleepers long since rotted, the only way to cross to hang onto the frayed wires, steel cables braided but even them now fraying, supporting the few remaining planks of wood hanging from them.
This is suicide. The breakers, eternal white horses, roar over fifty feet below. The rocks, when they are visible are a jagged and lethal and life-taking as those in any fairytale. To fall is to die. To try is to fall.
Yep, this is going to end well.
Then without fanfare the tide, the sea, starts to rise. Impossibly high, up and up until it swamps the cliffside, water ankle-deep spilling over the breakwaters. The rope bridge is sent reeling, riding the currents, the tidal wash, constantly pulling and pushing with the back-flow of the waters. But I know this is not an issue. This bridge has endured this natural reaction, and so I do not panic.
Two people, a girl and her father, appear on the other side. They have been waiting, stranded on the column for such an event. With no sign of permission and barely a nod or a word the girl, who cannot be more than 15, slips into the swollen sea and begins to pull herself towards me, the wires holding firm, taut but steady, a safety line any climber would be familiar with.
I see her pulling herself, determined, towards me on one side. The right side. Following her lead I ease myself into the brine and copy her, the left side, going away from the land. I don’t know if this is something expected. Like swimming regulations, you must swim clockwise in certain lanes, anticlockwise in others. Or is it more understanding? I am leaving the land and travelling away, I cannot bar her path, nor can I use her side for my own journey. Like all dreams the answers are accepted without questions being needed.
I slide into the ocean; it’s fresh but not cold. I barely make it two handspans when it happens.
The tide suddenly recedes; falling like someone tugged the plughole free from the world, the suction dragging me under. It is so absolute I do not kick or thrash against it, the air is sucked from my lungs, the feeling of a giant’s affection, squeezing my ribcage, a huge pushed exhale and I am sinking in under a second. I grab at the wire as the light turns dark, the deeper I fall. It is still in my hands but I know it has detached from the rest of the bridge. There is terror in my heart but I do not even have time to submit to it. Every second I imagine is another ten feet of water pushed between me and the surface. I do not see the girl, nor any more wires, bridge debris, nothing, not until I touchdown on the ocean floor. It is rocky and rough, like the Mediterranean, green, blue, clear and cold. Icy, icy cold.
It is cold because of the depth. I see the green murk, the distance unnatural, but there is nothing else down there. Nothing on the bottom, no crustaceans like those seen in the abandoned shells of cliffside, no fish, no monsters with teeth and black eyes and ravenous insatiable hunger.
I know I will drown if I stay there. But there is no risk of me remaining. The suction is gone and I am standing at the bottom of the ocean, looking off into the jade green dark.
There is nothing else to do, so I just do what comes naturally and push off from the coral and the rock beneath. Heading up, steadily, back towards the surface, towards air and light and all other things.”
Interesting dream; made all the more interesting when I wrote the bones of it on the Facebook post at 6.30 in the morning.
So, like all things dreamic, or dreamish the biggest question on everybody’s lips is: What does it mean?
Well, I reckon several things.
Being underwater, deep underwater, is a dream recurrence that I’ve experienced through most of my life. Sometimes the water, and it’s always the ocean, is empty, sometimes it’s crowded. And not just with fish, big creatures, Jurassic-BIG, fins and teeth and fierce purpose.
But oddly there is never any threat in their presence. We share the same sea, like some mutated Monty Python Sketch, everyone going about their day-to-day. Wishing each other a silent good morning.
That place, under the waters, doesn’t scare, instead it soothes.
Does it mean I’m more at home surrounded by the monsters? Outside the mainstream, outside the judgment and the questions and gutterball blocks, narrowing the track to a 1984 rigid standardisation?
But the main point I gained from this dream is I cannot follow someone else’s path. I can try, but the ocean will just swallow me, sucking away from that plan. Sending me to the deep to think things through. Come to my senses and try again, think and plan and listen to myself and seek my true path.
Or maybe they’re all just dreams; my ID, Ego and Superego sorting and sifting data; clearing about the rubbish and the backlog from a day of hospitals and Instagram.
But despite all this uncertainty there will always be one thing I admit to without question or query.
My deep love for the sea. The ocean’s crashing roar, the deep and passionate waters hiding and giving and sustaining and destroying all at the same time.
Which is odd because I am a Leo.
A fire sign with a deep understanding and passion for the ultimate water symbol? I guess my mental acumen is more inverted than I give it credit for.