Haunted Dreams

March 6, 2010 · 0 comments

My dreams have been haunted of late, dear reader.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t dream so much in colors and shapes and things said as I do in feelings, emotions and events.  I suppose the overriding feeling that has pervaded my dreams in the past week or so has been that of being (unwillingly) on the defensive.  Defending me and mine, but in a futile-gesture sense – as though whatever I’m defending against is inexorable.

Last night I dreamt of things biting my hands – I think they were smallish dogs, but I’m not sure.  Whatever they might have been, it would have been easy enough for me to kill them, but I didn’t.  My non-desire to kill things in my dreams (despite my eminent ability) is not unusual.  I can only conclude that I’m a pacifist at heart, and that any violence in my life is necessarily calculated and comes from my mind.  The violence itself (and I’m speaking more-or-less metaphorically here) isn’t any source of pleasure for me, but the sense of accomplishment resulting from setting my mind to something and completing it is.

A couple of nights ago I dreamt of zombies.  Nothing particularly creative:  the usual doomsday we’re-outnumbered-and-dwindling-whilst-they’re-only-growing-in-number-with-no-end-in-sight scenario.  I remember thinking that it was pointless to be fighting the zombies – not that they would undoubtedly win, but rather that there wasn’t any reason why they should be coming for us.  We were holed up in some sort of mountainside river enclosure, which is to say that the mountainside and river were enclosed by some larger structure.  As I think back, the best way to describe it would be that gravity acted differently there:  the pieces of the river flowed around mountain outcroppings at a steep angle, but though they should by all rights have been waterfalls, they were just deep, slow moving bits of water.  Zombies spread like a virus, and that virus kept breaking out within our theoretically sealed and secure holdfast, for no apparent reason.  I think I remember triage decisions to euthanize – to put it kindly – friends and whatnot who had been recently infected.

The night before that was more of the same, though it wasn’t dogs or zombies.

I’m kind of at a loss as to where these dreams are coming from.  They seem to speak of an underlying source of anxiety in my life – a feeling of being hunted or chased.  But when I examine these feelings in the light of day, they seem to be naught but dreams.  Because my dreams are generally so pedestrian and easily recognizable as my brain rehashing recent events, I rarely have cause to remember them.  So when I have dreams like these, it’s reason for me to pause and consider.  I don’t believe in discounting them.

Maybe I’ll get some clarity from the hike tomorrow.  I’m going to attempt the Friday/Balsam Cap/Rocky/Lone range traverse.  It looks to be around 12 miles.  Twelve miles isn’t unmanageable, but the peaks of these four mountains are covered with near-impassable pine trees, so the going will be slow.  I’m going to leave early in the hope that I’ll have enough daylight to bag all four peaks.  If the snow is too wet, deep and heavy, I’ll turn off the trail (which is a misnomer, because almost the entire 12 miles will be bushwhack) sooner rather than later and just climb Rocky and Lone.

It’s supposed to be in the high 30s in the Catskills tomorrow, and I’m not sure what that will mean for the snow cover.   If it melts evenly and I can stride atop it cleanly, all will be well.  If it’s heavy and deep, the hike will be a real pain in the ass.  We’ll see what happens.  I have six mountains left to climb in the next three weekends.  If I can bag all four in the range tomorrow, I’ll take Sunday off.  If not, I’ll go back and finish off Bearpen on Sunday.

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