Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tsunami Dreams

Throughout my life, I've dreamed about getting swallowed up in the ocean. I think the dreams started because as a child, my parents had this trailer in a trailer park at the beach that we'd go to on the weekends. There was this huge gazebo that I'd play on and under, and I'd often dream about being on that gazebo and watching the water get higher and higher until it finally overwhelmed me. Or took away my things, or endangered my family.

I've been having that dream again and again lately. I guess it's a pretty transparent metaphor for feeling overwhelmed. The first time I had it recently, I was with my mother and sister and my sister's little girl. It had become my responsibility to protect my niece, and the water was getting higher and higher, and my niece was very concerned about her doll getting lost in the water. I was very anxious about not losing my flip flops, not getting out towel wet, not losting my niece's doll, and finally not losing my niece as the water and waves climbed higher and higher, higher and higher. Finally before I woke up, my mother and sister were running and I was slogging through waist-deep water holding my niece above my head while trying to escape from a giant wave that was approaching quickly, ominously.

Imagine--I'm feeling overwhelmed and feeling terrified because I'm responsible for a child-like person. I wonder what that can mean?

I had it again last night, but this time I was with Jeni, who is one of my closest girlfriends. We were having a nice time at the beach, and we walked across the gazebo to find that the water was way, way way too far inland. In this dream, I was anxious about the environment--the water seemed to be much further inland than it ever was in my childhood, and I explained to Jeni that it must be because of global warming. Then the waves become higher and higher, and Jeni and I are in danger of getting swallowed, but we hold each other's arms and struggle to get away.

I like this dream better. I'm scared, and I'm still overwhelmed, but I'm depending on my girlfriends to help me make it through.

In these dreams, I never get swallowed, but it's always close and so very dire. All the tsunami business in the news feels personal. What a terrifying thing to experience in real life!

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