“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious.” ~ Sigmund Freud
Since childhood I have been a vivid dreamer and I have long ago given up trying to ignore the fact that these psychic movies contain, below the surface, messages for me; messages my waking mind, for whatever reason, is unable to confront or acknowledge.
Sometimes, the connection between the pictures that I see in my sleep and real-life occurrences are obvious, while on other occasions, their meanings are more elusive and, therefore, harder to decode. Regardless of the interpretive process and the depths to which I must analyze the stories, I stand firm in the belief that there is unquestionably a lesson to be learned, a question to be answered, a reality to be revealed or a foreshadowing of something that is yet to come.
To follow is one of my more recent dreams.
While I was standing on an overpass that overlooked and led down to the ocean I observed an ominous-looking silhouette of a person draped in a shroud of fog. This stranger was fixed atop the jetty below me, and even though the distance between us was significant I could tell that the figure, despite its long and flowing hair, was clearly male as evidenced by the size and stature.
Close to his body he appeared to be holding something, fragilely yet firmly, in his arms. Through his gestures, and a vague, yet palpable, feeling that seemed to be carried on the wind, it was apparent that this person had a substantial and intimate history with whatever it was that he held so close to his person. I also sensed that he and I, in some way, shared an equally historic and meaningful relationship with each other.
Suddenly and deliberately he opened the vessel and cast its invisible contents away from himself and into the inky, dark water that surrounded him. As he did so the ground fog dissipated, the clouds parted and the illumination of the moon displayed what was now a much softer and gentler person who no longer appeared as large or ominous as he had merely seconds before.
Turning away from the water, he slowly descended from the rocks on which he was perched and stepped onto the sandy beach. He began walking in my direction and although in an awake state I would have been apprehensive at his approach, in this hazy state of unconsciousness I kept my feet firmly planted on the wooden overpass as I waited and watched him ascend the steps that led to the above platform upon which I stood.
As he approached I was overcome with a melancholic, yet familiar, feeling for this man; a feeling that kept me frozen in place and time thus allowing him to close the gap between us. As he did so, he nodded his head and then presented me with a medium-sized, hammered metal chest that was engraved with words and symbols that I could neither read nor understand, but I sensed they held some significance.
Although I did not know who this man was, what the box contained or what I was to do with it, I oddly accepted it without question. In the exchange process, an ethereal grin appeared on his face as he looked into my eyes before leaning down and kissing my cheek. [Even in the dream-state, I felt a deeply profound sense of confusion and sadness.]
In a seemingly unearthly manner that was devoid of any sentiment at all, he descended the steps of the staircase that was located behind me. These stairs, unlike the ones that had recently delivered him to me, would lead him away from both me and this place where we had just shared an ever so brief encounter.
While I maintained a firm but fragile grip on the metal box, as he had, I also silently and reverently held it close to my body in an attempt to absorb the energies contained within it. Again, similar to what the man had done earlier on the jetty, I deliberately and decisively thrust open the lid of the metal chest. It held only a note within its walls. I saw nothing else inside that I could cast out, or so I thought, but I knew at that moment, that my life and I would be changed forever.
In longhand the message contained within read:
“Toots…we all have hurts, scars and legacies that we have accumulated along the way. They weigh us down and keep us imprisoned in our own minds and worlds, serving to keep others out while maintaining our illusion of safety. To be free and whole, I have cast mine out and surrendered them to a watery grave. You are not without these same limitations, my dear, therefore, I, having shed what no longer suits me, give you the opportunity to do the same; to bury your fears and all that holds you back, as I did, in Davy Jones’ locker, so that we may walk freely together. When you are done and are ready, I will be waiting for you on the other side of the stairs. You will have to find me though, because, although I am free of those old thoughts and habits, I am still a man who enjoys the game; a game I now play for fun rather than out of fear. Catch me if you can, but I will give you a hint…I will be standing next to my truck waiting for you.”
I liberated my feet from their frozen position on the wooden boardwalk, which enabled me to leap down the stairs and run to the ocean where I would mimic the ritual he had performed earlier. I threw open the lid of the metal box to release what, if anything, was trapped inside and when done I quickly made my way across the beach and onto the overpass.
Suddenly, I was overcome with an empty sense of freedom, as if all the worries and problems that I had been burdened with of late might be lifted. But, was it really that simple for us to shed the heaviness we carry within? A sense of confusion and longing enveloped me as I stopped for a brief time to catch my breath and get my bearings.
I was ready to descend the stairs in search of the man who would, hopefully, be standing next to his truck waiting for me. I wanted to know him and to learn more about what was contained within his magickal mind.
[7:11 a.m., the alarm goes off and my dream ends, prematurely. I wake feeling confused, pensive and heavy from my psyche’s latest nocturnal wandering, but I am also confident that its message will unfold.
Over my morning coffee it becomes clear to me that much like the dream and its male protagonist, my current relationship is elusive and my partner unavailable. I face the fact that I have spent too many hours waiting and searching for him while he chipped away at and hid behind his issues.
The abrupt and unfinished ending of the dream parallels my life with him. Nothing has ever been solid between us, and I have always questioned the reason for his pursuing me only to disappear time after time. I have stayed where I was and accepted the unacceptable out of good faith, believing…hoping that he would face his demons and commit if only on the most base of levels.
It was through my nighttime fantasy that I have been able to realize that my reality with him was more fantastical than that which had transpired within the vehicle by which the message was delivered. It is also clear that he was but an image that held only the potentiality of a relationship; a relationship that existed solely within the confines of my mind— both asleep and awake.
As more clarity sets in, I see that it is time for me to open my eyes to the fact that he is as elusive in the flesh as he was in my slumber and that an equal and lasting union between us will never exist. It is time to move on and it was through opening what I believed was an empty box and expelling its vacant contents that I opened the door to letting go.]