photo-4I’ve had the same dream three times this week: I’m high in the air, looking down on a city skyline, but I’m not flying. I’m sitting on what seems to be a platform, and on further inspection turns out to be a giant eraser pad of an even more giant No. 2 pencil. The pencil tip is on the ground, far, far below. Up here, I need to steer the pencil safely to a tall building where I can jump off, while keeping the pencil vertical. Besides being absolutely terrifying, it’s arduous. And windy. After what seems like a lifetime, I reach the building in front of me, and jump off the pencil, landing on the roof. I vow never to do that again.

The second time I have the dream, my dog is with me on the eraser. I don’t know why I’m up here again, but I just keep fighting to get us to safety. The wind is really blustery this time, and I have to hold onto the dog’s collar to keep him from sliding off the eraser edge.

Last night I have the dream for the third time. This time, another person joins the dog and me on the eraser. Instead of traveling to the building far in front of us, I decide to jump onto the nondescript beige building to our left. The other person jumps with the dog and me, and insists that I re-board to go to the “proper” building further away. It’s expected of me. My mind is racing. I have no idea how to get us safely to the ground from this rooftop.

I look over the other person’s shoulder to the giant waiting pencil and the pink eraser. I hate disappointing anyone. But I hate more the thought of going along with this bad idea. My thoughts keep swirling and then suddenly join hands: Every time I’m stuck up there, I have no idea how I got there. This time, I can choose. Strangely, it seems to surprise my travel companion when, with all my own authority, I say, “No.”

The choice was mine. The spell is broken. I wake up. Apparently refusal wasn’t part of the dream’s programming.

What does it mean? I don’t know. But if I dream it again, you’ll hear about it.

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My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon. I’m working on the second.

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