Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bridge of dreams

A recent post on a friend's blog detailed a dream she had involving a bridge.
Coincidentally, her dream reminded me of one I had more than a decade ago that also involved a bridge.
This was the most powerful, profound dream I've yet had in my life, coming as it did at a time of turbulence and, unbeknownst to me then, transition.
I was living in Philadelphia and was stuck in a job I hated, mired in my personal life and unsure of what to do to extricate myself from this rut.
Luckily, I wrote down the dream immediately upon waking from it and added it as an entry in the journal I was keeping.
I try to keep its message fresh in my mind all these years later.
Here is the text of it, edited only for style and grammar:


"Monday, Jan. 10, 1994

Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the weekend was a dream I had this morning at around 5:45.
I think it was set in Kutztown [in Berks County, Pa., where I lived quite happily from 1980-85] or on the way to Kutztown ...

Anyway, among the details of the dream I remember was walking into a freeway-style diner and asking for directions to Kutztown. I was on foot. The waitress told me the way and I walked out the door.

I was on top of a very steep hill, and I had to get to the bottom of this hill ... to proceed to Kutztown.
Something resembling roller coaster tracks, complete with the ... framework, went straight down the hill. Unlike a roller coaster, though, there were no dips or anything. [The tracks] just went straight down this very steep hill at a steep angle.

Parallel to the tracks and attached to them was a lower level that consisted of a slatted walkway, sort of like the walkway across the Brooklyn Bridge but much narrower.

I didn't want to walk down the roller coaster tracks because I was afraid a train might come, so I climbed down to the walkway. As I started down ... the walkway, it began to fall apart. Each time I'd try to get a handhold, it would crumble and fall away. Every time I put even a little pressure on the floorboards, they'd break and fall away.

I started to panic, but then I heard myself telling myself to calm down, that the situation was surmountable if I kept a level head and remained calm.

It was at this point that I decided to climb up to the level of the roller coaster tracks. It didn't seem like too difficult a climb, perhaps 4 or 5 feet. ... I had just grabbed hold and was preparing to hoist myself up when I woke to my alarm clock. I don't know if I ever made it.

This wasn't a nightmare ... in that I didn't wake up in a cold sweat or with a palpitating heart. It wasn't a particularly unpleasant dream -- what I remember of it -- especially once I told myself not to panic prior to attempting to climb up to the tracks ...

Not in a very, very long time have I had a dream that seemed to relate ... so eerily well to my circumstances. ... [I think one of the messages is that] I don't have to look nearly as far for a way out (a new job?) as I think I do; it's running right beside me."

***

Within about two months of this dream, I was fired from that job I so hated. I got a new job that May, and within a year I was bound for a new life in Japan.

12 comments:

LBseahag said...

Isn't that strange???

I randomly have dreams about nasty toilet stalls...I am still trying to figure that one out...I think its job related...

The mind is fascinating, yet scary...

Michael said...

Hi LB,

Yes, the mind is a thing of wonder...

Sarah Sometimes said...

Michael, thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting. I'm looking forward to poking around in your archives.

Michael said...

You're welcome, Sarah, and thank YOU!

Kitty said...

I used to dream about bridges a lot. Massive, swooping bridges, like big interchanges on an interstate highway, but usually over water, rivers and such.

Now this is interesting, and I hadn't realized it until I read this post. I don't think I've had any bridge dreams since the hurricane and my cross-country move. Maybe I'm now on the other side? :)

Michael said...

Hello Kitty,

This was the first such dream I've had, or at least remember having, and it has stuck with me all these years. Your dreams sound pretty fascinating, too.

anu said...

I loved your dream Michael. As i was reading it, something amazing happenned. I could see flashes of your dream episode before my eyes even as i read the words for the first time.

A train coming down the roller coster really scared me.

I have a dream journal in another blog i made to record my dreams. I have not updated it for long. Though i've dreams almost every time i sleep even during an afternoon nap. And sometimes i'm doing weird things in my dreams, sometimes i'v people from real life whom i barely know in my dream, sometimes i'm in places from my real life in my dream.

My dreams are so powerful (no matter how silly they are), that it almost seems like reality, even for a few moments after i wake up. I wonder with the qs i have in my mind from where i broke off from the dream. But it seems so real that i almost believed even after i woke up that i was real in that dream which was my reality and these waking hours were my actual dream.

And i've always woken up refreshed (even if the dream was scary/painful) and as if i've been sleeping for years and years or maybe as if, i dont need to ever sleep at all.

All of this is so fascinating to me :) Thanks for sharing your dream Michael, i really enjoyed it.

Michael said...

Hello Anu,

Thanks for your comments, Anu! I, too, dream every night, but I usually forget the dreams upon waking unless they occur just prior to my getting up. I likely would've forgotten the dream I described in my post if I hadn't awakened when I did.

Green said...

I've often had some dream with a bridge but unlike you, nothing seemed to relate to my reality.
Or I've never tried to think that way.
But it might be interesting to think that way...

Phats said...

WOW I can't believe you remember your dreams this vividly. I seem to never remember my dreams, and when I do it's usually someone wanting to kill me, and those i'd rather not remember! Interesting though.

Phats said...

I must have spaced last time and just now realized that roller coaster in the picture you posted is the beast! i love that roller coaster at Kings Island!

Michael said...

Hi Greensleeves,

The timing of this dream was perfect, coming as it did at a crossroads in my life.

Hi Phats,
Luckily, I wrote this one down.