Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Long Arm of Gravity's Law

What goes up, must come down, right? 

Not necessarily in dreams.


The impossible can happen in our dreams. Readers to this blog have sent in all sorts of impossibilities that they've dreamt up, as far-fetched as brushing one's teeth with a killer whale, to snorting Allen Ginsberg up one's nose, to being a super hero in the form of a frozen novelty dessert. Weird stuff. On the simpler side a dreamer in Paris dreamt that she saw fish flying up into the sky, going off and away, never to be heard from again.


It is possible that things exiting one dream could return in another. It may even be possible that these items could leave the dream of one dreamer and enter the dreams of another. The odds of the happening might be greater than we think since we don't know what other people dream about most of the time. But 31 Dreamers is a place where dreams collide, overlap, run tandem to one another. And fishes flying out of France may just migrate to Montpelier, Vermont, where Trish dreamt this up during her afternoon siesta:
At a large family gathering I’m looking through the house for my childhood chest of drawers. My mother shows me all of her new cheap/modern but ornate furniture. Out the window I see a crowd of people gathering at the bottom of the hill the house is on. Trying to make sense of the scene from a distance, I grab my mom and some family members and we realize that a couple of police cars have crashed into the yard somehow. I burst out crying when I see people dragging an old man out of one of the cars. I assume he is dead. Two LOUD bangs like gunshots ring out and the crowd scatters or hits the ground, covering their heads. I run through the house and into the garage/front yard area to SHOUT over the noise of the party that there are gunshots and everyone should stay inside.

I run into the room where I’m staying to get dressed to go outside and scope the scene. Someone (a female cousin?) comes into the room to chat while I get dressed and distracts me. In my haste I put on an overly glamorous shirt (inappropriate for the situation) and only one very thin sock with the other foot bare inside pointy black snakeskin bootlets. They don't fit comfortably and it is snowy and wet outside.

I run out to the distraught crowd to find them gaily fixing the lawn where the grass got ripped up from the crash. They are gibber-gabbering about neighborly things and seem to be having quality community time together. A lady remarked that they thought someone had been shooting because she "saw a bottle (of alcohol) that was left in the deer hunting platform on her land across the street, but really the noises had happened because it had been RAINING FISH."

I was dumbstruck and began walking about in a daze, until I fell over a berm in my snakeskin boots. Stuck on the other side, I had to trudge through an irrigation ditch between the berm and the road. Sulking, I waded through the cold water trying to get to the highland of the driveway until I saw indeed—it had rained fish! There were huge, long, beautiful fish flopping out of puddles of water too small for them!

With glee I ran to the house urging my kid brothers to take my 5-year-old son down to the road to see/catch a fish. They walked down the hill to where others were catching fish as well. In my haste to find fish-catching gear, I tripped over a rocking chair and smashed a tiny hard-shelled egg under one of the rocking rails of the chair. I stayed in to resentfully clean this up while the boys excitedly tried to catch the fish with bare hands. As I walked downstairs to get a towel, I felt a hand on my shoulder. Looking back, I was horrified to see that the hand stayed on my shoulder as I continued to walk down the stairs. My stepmom stood stationary at the top of the stairs and her arm stretched like taffy down the whole length of the staircase—Ewww! I shooed off her freaky hand/arm and she just laughed. I had to laugh and smile too and I could hear the children splashing and laughing in the distance.

Trish, for a short nap you can really pack it in. Here's what I got:

You are trying to go back to finding what you value. Your mother doesn't share your values and in the face of disaster you take the lead. The reality is that there are bad things happening and people dying all the time while a lot of us just eat cheese and crackers with pinkies akimbo like folks aren't being shot right in our own front yards. For the others in your dream, what happens outside the window might as well be on the other side of the world. For you it doesn't matter where it's happening—it's real and the people that it's happening to are real. You want to respond to these situations, to save the world and get those closest to you to give a shit about something for once, but you also just want to play dress-up and have fun and not worry about this stuff. In the dream the interface of these two desires makes for some uncomfortable attire while your neighbors blab about nothing and patch problems up as if they'd never existed. Meanwhile you're flummoxed to the point of being dizzy, feeling aimless, unsupported and stuck in a rut and looking like a glam-rock has-been to boot. Its a bad place to be.

But Trish—there's hope! The world is full of wonderful and spectacular things! Did you know that it actually can rain fish? Yep. Small fish, frogs, squids and other aquatic creatures sometimes get sucked into the air by tornadoes and gale-force storms. Up they go, and down they come! (Really—read this BBC article about it). But in the midst of this fantasticness you put family first, sending your son to catch fish while you contend with a household where you always feel like your walking on eggshells, unable to fully be yourself. Your stepmom seems to be the law in this place and she mandates you be a certain way from her position above you. Meanwhile your brothers are free to do whatever they want—y'know, guy stuff. You want your son to be independent and do the things that he wants to do, but will he turn out like them in the process?

That's what I got. That and a little pocket-sized book called Pond Life: A Guide to Common Plants and Animals of North American Ponds and Lakes by George K. Reid. Sometimes when things are a little tense there's nothing better than looking at colorful illustrations of plants, insects and fishes and learning fun facts about the way ponds are formed. It can take one's mind off of the trivialities of the human world, diving instead into the real wonders found in nature. Then, when we're done reading, we might look up and see that everything's gonna be alright. I myself read this book on election day. It worked.

"Raining Fish" illustration at the top of this post by Brett Ryder. More photos of this commoner-than-you'd-think phenomenon can be found in Wikipedia's article "Raining Animals."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying the dream blog (and so is my sister), it's witty, fun, insightful and so very you that it is utterly charming. Keep up the goodness!!