Monday, November 24, 2008

and after

That last dream - it's not unlike a number of others recurring over the years. There have been long stretches of time when the river figured prominently in my dreams as a metaphor for life's journey -- the passage of time, and a powerful mystery; a barrier that could only be crossed successfully at great risk to one's self; and a pathway to be navigated. Broken bridges have been a recurring theme too, long long before the 35W accident -- bridges that fall and have to be crossed anyway, picking your way through the wreckage. The 35W disaster had an especially eerie tinge for me in that regard -- though my dreams weren't ever so terribly destructive in tone -- and of course that bridge is at the heart of my terrain, my landscape of experience with its twin metaphor in the unconscious mind. Each time I cross the river, here in downtown Minneapolis, on the Third Avenue bridge or the Hennepin, or the newly-rebuilt 35W bridge, I'm right on that line -- between physical reality and the realm of meaning. There's no one I love who doesn't relate to that line, the long line of the river and the intersecting cross of a bridge -- though I've only rarely been down there with CW, she doesn't go for long walks -- sooner or later they all come down there with me.

Anyway - running through the woods along the river is therefore an easy dream to parse. I am in the woods these days -- sometimes gladly, sometimes fearfully, but it's difficult to see where I'm headed. There's still the reassuring geography -- I know where I am in relation to the river, after all -- but I fear at times what I used to love, a walk in the woods, the static unknown depth of a thick landscape and the meditative path, one foot in front of the other, no thoughts for what's ahead or behind. In this dream I'm on that happy path of exploration and discovery until the way becomes dark, and a danger appears, and the path becomes a trap. Recuperative solitude becomes vulnerable isolation.

Still, it doesn't end too badly in this case. And generally they don't, these dreams. They're often instructive. And God knows this is a time when I can use some instructions.

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