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baby steps

worse than this
i had a dream last night that was very, very complicated, but one of the images that most stuck with me was being with a group of people and having to descend an extremely decrepit staircase. i mean, parts of it weren't even a staircase anymore, just gaps with roots and branches kind of protruding. and this thing was really steep, crazy steep. pretty much a vertical drop in some places.

i think a lot of people have dreams like this, about having to take very difficult, dangerous or challenging walks, generally because our collective unconscious isn't that imaginative when it comes to thinking up metaphors for the challenges we see ourselves facing. a staircase is actually kind of a departure for me, because normally, these dreams are about bridges. having to cross rickety old bridges over rushing water, something i would probably never do in real life. [i once tried to cross the jacques cartier bridge in montreal on a sunny summer day as a way of dealing with my fear of being on bridges. in retrospect, i made it more than half way before i turned back, which technically means i crossed more than the span of the cartier bridge, but it doesn't carry that feeling of satisfaction.]



way worse than this
not aaron [yet]
the difference in the case of this dream was that i was, among the group of people i was with [unknown to me in waking life], the person who was most adept at descending this monstrosity. i was actually quite nimble, a term that no one has ever used to describe me without heavy sarcasm. normally, i either chicken out of these dangerous walks even in my dreams [although granted, this one wasn't over water], or i have to get instruction from someone else. like the dream i had a few weeks ago where my friend aaron was showing people the trick to crossing a particularly flimsy-looking bridge while dressed in full historical pilgrim garb. [aaron's normally a sharp-dressed man, but i don't think he's done the full pilgrim. yet.]

in fact, this would mark one of the first times ever in my dreams that i displayed any dexterity at anything. i'm often kind of a clod when it comes to these sort of physical challenges. but descend the stairs i did, quickly and without a misstep.

even worse than this
supposedly, descending a staircase in one's dreams is analogous to descending into the unconscious. i'm not quite sure i get that, since dreams already take place in the unconscious, but i suppose i see the symbolism. perhaps this is a sign that my unconscious and i have made a sort of peace? that i'm making friends with the underside of my mind? or maybe my mind just enjoys having a playground where it can be nimble, without being shackled with my comically clumsy body. i don't know that i could repeat this feat in the physical world. then again, i don't know that i could find such a dilapidated staircase.

i liked the feeling of accomplishment this gave me. in fact, there were several moments in this particular dream that gave me that feeling, which is rare, since i'm normally kind of a nincompoop when i dream. now all i have to do is think of a way to parlay those feelings of strength and superiority into the "real" world. or alternately, i could just go back to sleep and try to ride the wave a little longer. 

Comments

Anonymous said…
a bit marcel duchamp - (descending staircase)into the deeper parts forest
but at least you were not alone

my forest dreams have women rising out of ponds and demons standing by caves

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