***We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging for this special dream event***
Last night (the morning of 12/16/2008) I had several weird dreams that I may or may not remember enough of to adequately relate here. Last night was kind of strange overall, in that I had at least two distinct dream cycles – that I remember. Normally, I have one dream cycle immediately after falling asleep. This lasts between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, and then I wake up (generally remembering – at the moment – what I just dreamed). I don’t always remember these dreams in the morning because, well, I don’t try to. I’ll kind of mentally tag the interesting ones for morning/daytime remembrance. After this initial dream cycle, I’m dead to the world – probably dreaming, but I usually don’t have a clue what goes on. I know I was awake (and coherent) at least twice or three times last night, which is definitely not normal; I’ll try to reconstruct the sequence and events of last night as best I can:
I went to sleep at a relatively normal hour (about 12:30). I don’t remember what time I woke up from the first dream cycle, but I do remember waking up later at 2:45 and thinking it very strange that I was awake (and coherent) at 2:45 and feeling relatively well-rested. I was kind of surprised that I still had that much time left in the night to sleep. I think I had two dream cycles between 12:30 and 2:45, but right now I can only remember the rudiments of the first:
I was walking in the cemetary in nearby Wyckoff NJ. Nothing spooky. This is a relatively pedestrian cemetary – the one on near the corner of Wyckoff and Franklin Avenues – it might be a United Methodist Church, but I’m not sure. The only real important thing is that I know exactly which cemetary I was in, and that I was familiar with the surroundings in the dream. Something happened with a flock of goldfinches and their feathers kind of whirling around and past me. I knew this was relatively symbolic and wanted to explore this in the dream, but kind of got swept away with events. [I’ve never seen more than one or two goldfinches at a time – even then, I only see them rarely – and they’re the state bird of NJ (where I reside).] My hiking partner Scott may or may not have been with me for the goldfinches thing, but I was soon in the passenger seat of a golf cart that he was driving relatively unsafely. We were kind of driving around the surrounds of the cemetary, which was a fantasy (meaning it only existed in my dream) kind of English hedge-and-stone-bench, semi-labyrinthical but not way-losing garden.
Somehow, we came around a corner and drove into an extremely large barn. Barn insofar as it was made of wood and was very open and looked barn-ish, but it was HUGE. The ceiling must have been three or four stories high and it was proportionately wide, with lots of barn-door-openings. It was probably a hundred yards long; we drove in the largest set of doors at one end (a bit too fast for my liking, which I was trying to point out to Scott as we caromed around, trying not to hit the two or three people that were in there working on boats in slings). We slowed down as we got to the far end, and kind of tumbled through a window with the golf cart and down a dozen or so feet into maybe a junk pile, breaking wooden things as we fell and landed.
Then we were in the barn itself, walking back towards where we entered. The barn turned out to be a sort of boathouse – not power boats, but man-powered boats, very similar to a boathouse for a crew team. There were all kinds of boats in racks on the walls and hanging in slings from the ceiling. They were similar to rowing shells, but much more creatively shaped – they were dusty and looked like old experiments in boat design. One was kind of like a two-person kayak, but really bowed like a pea pod where the seats were. The bows of most of them had that rounded arrow shape of the pictures one sees of giant squid.
As with a boathouse, the apertures we passed on the way in were facing a body of water. I remember it being a relatively choppy lake, or perhaps a piece of ocean; there were whitecaps. There were about four people in the boathouse, in various stages of working on the boats: three good-sized, well muscled brothers and a sister, all around my age (late 20s/early 30s). At one point, one of the brothers was out on the water with an aformentioned oddly shaped kayak, not succeeding at what I percieved to be the advanced move of jumping the crest of a wave, doing a 180 along the long axis of the boat, and driving the bow sharply into the water. I think it was supposed to be a diving-maneuver, but the brother was trying to force or muscle the move too much; he wasn’t fluid enough to make the move successful, so he kind of wiped out, but that’s not really the right term or a good explanation.
As Scott and I were walking through the boathouse, my intention was to find the person in charge and apologize for our trespass and lack of respect. The father-figure of the four was up in a loft, guiding one of the boats out as two of the brothers worked pulleys to let it down to the floor. The sister came up to me and there was that kind of cross-species forbidden animal attraction between us that I’ve read about in vampire/werewolf/alien-type novels. You see, I somehow knew that these people were not exactly human. She was a close-talker, but I ascribe that to the attraction, and as we looked into each others’ eyes, I knew to be true all the things that authors take chapters to explain: yes, we were in love, but it was forbidden for us to be together and my only choice was to live among them forever, taking on whatever inhuman characteristic/curse they posessed, even though such a relationship would effectively shun both of us from our respective societies.
The father-figure was a kindly older man, with disproportionate youth for his age. He was probably ancient. I guess he started to explain what it was that made this particular tribe different, because the brothers became very defensive of their sister and began making various advances toward me of an untoward nature. One ripped a small hole in his shirt at his heart with both hands, through which a snake or worm-thing started to violently squirm (out of his chest, presumably). Another did some wierd twisting/turning thing, whereby he began to transmogrify into a similar, though much larger, snake himself. As I recall, that didn’t work out too well for him.
As this was happening, the father-figure was explaining that the brothers were unable to control their snake-natures (damn, I need a better word for the snake-ishness of these people), perhaps because their blood was impure, perhaps because of the aspects of their human nature that made them want to control or try too hard to do so, and perhaps for some other reason relating to both. Either way, the father-figure was saddened by this fact. He tried to explain that there was a certain art to being snake-aspected – kind of a “hold on loosely, but don’t let go” attitude toward dealing with the mixed nature of their chi. I understood what he meant and could see that he knew this and had some hope for me.
The third brother at this time opened some kind of gate or cage, and a good-sized snake with a large head and wide-open mouth filled with finger-long (but much wider) teeth came roiling at me through the dust and sawdust and under one of the boats sitting in slings. I remember being briefly afraid and catching it, each of my hands on the upper and lower jaws, respectively. The teeth did not cut me and I had the vague suspicion as the snake’s body coiled around me and began to squeeze that what I was supposed to do was rip the head apart by pulling the jaws sharply away from one another (thereby killing the snake).
Call me a wuss or a natural pacifist (though I don’t believe myself to be either), but for whatever reason I didn’t. The snake and I wrestled for a bit and, as though I knew I was dreaming the whole time, I realized that I wansn’t going to kill it and that if I truly wanted the situation to end, I would have to wake up. Coming out of the dream and to consciousness required a concerted effort on my part and felt like I had to push my consciousness [sorry for the repetition] through really thick molasses to the front of my face. I can’t say that I physically woke up gasping, but the feeling was there. Part of me fears that one day I won’t have the strength of will to do this. Maybe then I’ll give in, kill the snake, and get the girl.