Today I woke up, made coffee and settled back in to bed to tell my husband about the dream I had last night. We usually compare dreams in the morning but I am much more likely to recall mine than he is. Last night I had a nightmare, so when I saw today’s daily prompt I felt a little chill run through me. I don’t like nightmares but I do like serendipity.
I am what is called a lucid dreamer – I am often in my dream, kind of like a director – and I am often aware I am dreaming. Sometimes I dream so much and in so much extreme detail – sights, sounds, feelings, tactile imagery – that I wake up exhausted. Seriously. Sometimes it is as if I stayed up all night to watch movies…only the tracks I am watching are running on the screen in my mind and I cannot turn them off. Often the dreams are good and then I love the fact that my subconscious mind is so thorough and infinitely creative. However, when the dreams are bad, I usually feel the effects of them all day.
Last night was a strange one and I am still wrestling with its meaning. I was in my old neighborhood, in the inner city close to Baltimore. I could recognize the streets, some of the brownstones and people – but not all. I was frantic, running up and down the street, banging on doors trying to alert people to the fact that a tornado was coming toward us. I could see on the horizon, very near to the edge of the city, a long, dark funnel cloud churning in the air. It was black and menacing and in high contrast to the bright, silvery light around it. I was urging people to take shelter, to get in their basements and protect their heads. For some reason, I was also encouraging my neighbors to lie down on the street with me and put pillows over our heads. Some people listened and could see the threat of the tornado too, but others ignored me and went about their daily lives. I recall feeling very scared in the moment and very angry toward those who would not listen to my warning.
The next phase of the dream was like seeing a disaster film. While I had a small group of people lying on the street with me, I began to realize the tornado had taken a turn and was not heading toward us. I got up and could see the sinister twister chewing up the city, and it was directly above the Federal Hill neighborhood across the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Debris was flying, sirens were wailing, buildings were crumbling to the ground. It was pure chaos and all I could do was watch as disaster struck the lives of people, destroying all they had.
In the dream I was debating with people about how to help: I wanted to get a boat (?) and travel across the harbor to the site of the tornado to see if I could help. I clearly remember thinking I could take huge jugs of water to give to those who might be thirsty. Some people agreed we should go and try to help; others thought we should wait til the storm had passed. It was during this debate that’s I awoke…uncertain as to the outcome or whether I was able to assist anyone.
I don’t know what the dream means…Am I frustrated and feel no one is really hearing me? Do I want to be of service to others but don’t know how? Am I fearful of natural disasters? Maybe all of these interpretations are true in some ways. It was a dream full of potent and powerful imagery and those scenes have lingered far into the morning. Being a lucid and vivid dreamer has its pluses but if a dream leaves a firm imprint on me because it was particularly dark or disturbing, that mood of uncertainty or apprehension can be with me all day.