The first of two recent dreams about death…
In the dream, I went downstairs to the basement, which looking back now, I think was the basement on South East Fourth Street from my childhood.
Growing in the center of the floor was a plant; a weed, I thought, like a tiny tree. I went over to it to pull it up, I guess because I didn’t think it should be growing there. It seems kind of absurd; a weed growing in the basement with no sunlight. It had a reddish cast to the stalk, kind of like a rhubarb plant, but the stalk was round, rather than square like that plant. It had spiky leaves, and grew upward.
I went over to it and pulled on it, and it broke free of the ground pretty freely, and I was surprised to see that it was growing in sand rather than soil.
Then the ground started to shift beneath me, and I lost my footing. The sand started to fall into the hole I had just created, and I slid down with it. the sand quickly covered me, and I continued my downward slide.
My mind was racing, and I remember I thought, “if I can just stop here, I’ll be able to swim my way out to the surface.” But the sand swirled around me, and I kept falling farther. It dawned on me that I’d fallen perhaps fifty feet, and that I would never be able to get out alive.
And then I woke up, of course, have frightened myself half to death. And I am still wondering at the inner mechanics of my brain, and how I had constructed such a strange scenario with which to frighten myself. Because that dream still haunts me whenever I feel like I’m on unsure footing, both literally and emotionally.
I thought about it this summer when we all went to lake Michigan and laid out on the beach at Warren Dunes. It had been years since I’d been on a beach, and the sand had a way of sucking in around my feet that made my heart jump.
And we were walking across the rocks at The Falls, right here in Broadripple, where every step I took was on an unsteady rock that teetered beneath me, and paralyzed me to the spot, which made my friends laugh.
And I suddenly thought of it tonight, when the fears about my financial state and whether I have achieved what I should by the age that I am overwhelmed me when I laid down to sleep.